Saturday, July 21, 2018

Heaven Can Wait

—Poems and Photos by James Lee Jobe, Davis, CA

The soul often falls in love with the things at our feet.
The ground by the creek that is so very soft,
Like a cushion for walking.
The worm that crosses the cool sidewalk at dawn,
Making for the grass on the other side.
Damp fog that so tightly hugs the earth.
The thoughts of the mouse that squints up at us.
The ocean when it rolls and roars.
The soul loves all of these things.
The mind loves things up high.
Mountains, eagles, sequoia trees.
The idea of heaven, the need of it.
The soul isn't worried about heaven,
Heaven can wait.
Let's take off our shoes and make loblollies in the mud.
We can stomp and splash all we want;
The soul says so. 

 Fisherman's Wharf, Rainy Morning

San Francisco. Goddamned Fisherman’s Wharf.
March. 7 goddamned AM.
That dock where the goddamned gulls scream.
That goddamned bell on the buoy.
That goddamned bellowing bull seal.
That fisherman pulling in a goddamned foot-long spiny dogfish shark.
That wet, cold air, just before the goddamned rain.
That goddamned bicycle messenger riding down the wrong side of Jefferson Street.
That fat tourist shivering in goddamned ridiculous short pants.
That goddamned footstep close behind you; you don't turn, and you don't look. 

 TV Set Speaking to a Ghost

If you are truly a damn fool, then follow me. Life doesn't really need any help from either one of us. Naked people pretend to admire each other when really they are only admiring themselves. The television sets are speaking to ghosts, and telling fantastic lies. Don’t listen in. I am not going to sink in the mud of it all. I am not naked, and likewise, I am not a ghost. Follow me. We can swim alone in the river of the sky, held aloft by waves of satire and rivers of air. We can break out, through the rings and moons of Saturn. This is a population of toads and goats, and I am from the tribe of Uz. Walk with me to the border, and then on into the sky. And after that, who gives a damn?

 Last Star Over the River

Before you go back indoors tonight, look up; I am the last star in an otherwise pitch-black sky, a whisper on the last breath of the breeze. Come over here to the sharpest edge of the river, where the final light is dappled black on the crest of the water. This is my hand in the darkness. This is the gold that sleeps in my heart, the gold that I have saved for you. Take it, sister, take it, brother. I am a star, light-years away, and yet I am here with you. I am the sleep-dust in your eyes when you awaken. I am those dreams that you have never told anyone. One by one, the other stars have flown to heaven, but not me. I am still here, waiting for you.


It is late, and I am praying
For all of the things that I want.
I want the earth to grow kindness
Like trees, like fruit.
I want children to breathe easily,
I want the hands of the devils to fall away
From their tiny throats.
I want the rain to wash away
The blood from the hands of the killers.
I want the stomachs to be full
And the bodies to be protected
By a roof and walls.
I want peace to cover the temple
Of our collective soul like a shawl
Covers the head of a grandmother at mass.
I want my arms to grow long enough
To embrace the suffering of this world.
I want to ease the pain that rules
So many haunted lives.
And I pray for peace.
Hear my prayer, please. 
Hear my prayer. 

 JLJ, Preaching

Today’s LittleNip:

Bless the small things that have no words.

—James Lee Jobe


—Medusa, with thanks to James Lee Jobe for this morning’s poetry and pix, helping us break through the rings of Saturn…

In the Rings of Saturn
—Photo by Cassini Spacecraft
To see what it looks like when meteors hit the rings of Saturn, 
go to 

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.