Saturday, February 16, 2019

Listening Along

Your Poet's Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
—Poems and Photos by James Lee Jobe, Davis, CA

Let the day turn under, and let the year turn, too.
Life has an order, but we don’t know it,
And it doesn’t matter anyway.
Let the day turn as it will,
Everything that goes right is a blessing
And everything that goes wrong is a larger blessing.
Just go with it.
Tomorrow and all of life
Can handle themselves.


We are driving through our town,
Davis, California, and my wife asks,
“Why are you taking this street?” And I reply,
“Oh, I just don’t want to go the same old way.”
But friend, it isn’t true. I so love my city
That I just don’t want to miss a single street.
Who knows what we’ll see; a perfect redwood tree,
Or a sweet child on a bike, followed by an old dog.
Looking up, the sun blesses us with golden light.

 Your poet cooks. Feta chicken pasta with tomato 
and green beans, tossed with a slightly spicy sesame oil.

Peeling your birthday
Like the skin of an orange.
Tearing away the sections
Of these years since your cancer
Ate you up,
A little at a time.
Eating the orange slowly
Section by section.
Tangy, yet sweet.
Piece after piece,
Section after section.
Time is one fruit, your death is another,
And this is your birthday. Brother,

              (for Bill, my stepbrother)

 Your Poet Cooks. Veggie Stir Fry.

Here in the valley,
We have a dry season and a wet season.
By mid-summer I miss the rain very much;
The way the earth absorbs the water to fuel
Its labor to push the trees up for another year.
Not just trees.
Crops. Grass. Weeds.
Everything that grows.
I like to slip across the street to the park
And stand under the massive pines there,
Watching a slow rain fade into the field.
The gravity of a spinning planet
Holds the atmosphere, the weather below that.
The planet circling a star for warmth.
It’s complex, yet simple at the same time.
The pattern of life, nature itself.
Rain. Feeding the very tree above me.

 Your Poet

The valley and the creek hold their charms
Like a child holds laughter, brimming over.
From above, looking down,
The trees are like green lakes
Scattered among the well tended fields.
Crops grow.
Often at sunrise, when I am most alone,
I am touched by all of the life around me.
The dew-damp earth.
The purple sky to the east.
I bow with no one watching.
It is a simple bow, but genuine.


The mockingbird was up past midnight

”This nest is mine, brother.
This nest is mine, sister.
See the moon, see the stars—
They bless this life,
They bless this night.
This nest is mine, and I
Will sleep here through
The rest of the night.”

Sleep when you’re weary, little friend.
I will listen along until then.

 Your Poet's Granddaughter Goes Down the Slide

Today’s LittleNip:

A gray day, rainy and cold—
Granddaughter, please, bring me your smile.

—James Lee Jobe


Thank you, James Lee Jobe, for cooking up such a fine poetic feast for us this morning! James Lee will host the Davis Arts Center Poetry Series this Sunday, 2pm, featuring Ladies of the Knight (Poetry Overturned) with Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas, Jeanette Sem, and Angela James, plus open mic. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.

—Medusa (Celebrate Poetry!)

 Jizo in the Rain

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