Saturday, July 07, 2018

The Whales of Morning

The Poet's Desk
—Poems and Photos by James Lee Jobe, Davis, CA

Daylight is knocking at the door, but I will not open it. I’m in love with the darkness. The whales of morning bellow and blow, these are just moans from hell. Time is a river that cannot be dammed, but I am a man, and I can be damned. And maybe I am damned; time will tell. These thoughts form a piano, and a naked woman bangs out a song. Night flies through the sky like Superman on a mission. The stars have extraterrestrial eyes, and they whisper, "We will watch over you." I don't really give a damn about the whispers. I don't really give a damn about anything more than sunrise. 

 Pencils, Pens, Brushes, and Meds

Talk to us, Master, it is so lonely here on this shelf.
The items for sale are speaking the grocer
As he stocks the shelves one by one.
They have questions about the strength of the world.
His rough fingers are people, too,
And they cast shadows of their own.
It is late at night and the store is closed.
The items come to life in the darker hours,
And they have little voices, squeaky voices,
Like those elves in Northern fairy tales.
What people do is sometimes the definition of who they are,
Or of what they might become, but not always.
The grocer has a heart and answers the items as he stocks.
There is a world beyond this store, he tells them,
And it is huge and beautiful. You'll see some of it one day,
When you are coming closer to your own end. 

 Lots Yet to Learn...

There is a novel whose pages contain a debate
About the meaning of living and dying.
The page where things are resolved has been torn out,
And no one reads the damn book anyway.

A dead man is praised for the good he didn't do,
And forgiven for all the evil that he did.
History may have something to say about this
Someday, a very long time from now.

Let's think about this. When all is said and done,
Who is better off: the killers who showed no mercy,
Or the victims with their souls still intact,
But their bodies riddled with bullets?

I don't have answers for you, just the questions.
Living and dying. Right and wrong. I am a damn fool.
Yes? Yes. If I had something real to say,
Don't you think I would have said it already? 

I was born for more
Than just to fill these old shoes.
I am more than the sperm of my father,
More than the weight of his sins
Or the face of his chance for salvation,
More than the blood of the men whose lives he took.
Life is more than the scent of sweet alyssum,
More than the depth of the Sahara sand.
Death more than life, yet still I live.
That which is? It is greater than that which is not.
Redemption is more than crime,
And possession is more than the emptiness
Of that which tomorrow might bring.
I am more than what I was before.
I am more, and it is because I am here with you.
I am more, and I will be more yet,
And this is for you, my dear.

—for Alexandra—


Today’s LittleNip:

That I find the strength to forego being clever
In favor of being kind,
That I might learn to silence myself
From saying those things which help no one.

—James Lee Jobe


—Medusa, with thanks to James Lee Jobe for soldiering on this week with his fine poems and pix, despite a stint in the hospital. He has been, as they say, vertiginous…

 Sick poet...
....who celebrates poetry anyway!

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.