Saturday, May 18, 2019

Moon Over the Pines

Full Blood-Moon at Sierra Nevada Mountains 
in Sequoia National Park
—Poems by James Lee Jobe, Davis, CA
—Moon Photos Courtesy of James Lee Jobe

Black coffee, strong and rich. Poems by WS Merwin. Outside, sunrise slips out over the valley again with chirping birds and sniffing dogs. The moon goes to sleep. Welcome to Tuesday.


Why waste this last sliver of the moon?
Walk with me across the empty field.
Cast off your sorrow,
And I will cast off mine.
There might not even be a tomorrow.

 Earthrise on the Surface of the Moon

The moon sets in the west just after dawn
And a two-seedling fir takes root, and is born,
Just like that.

Just like that.

I was born three thousand miles from this valley,
But this is where I took root and came to life,
Just like that.

Just like that.

Sacramento Valley, mice and hawks,
Land of burrowing owls.

Defined by the river,
A land defined by the water.

The power of water, moving, rushing.

The power of land, rich, giving.

It is just after dawn
And moon has set in the west,
The sun is clearing the pine tops.

Clear, blue sky.

A two-seedling fir takes root, born,
And this is where I took root and came to life,
Just like that.

Just like that.

 Full Moon Over the Golden Gate Bridge

Where I live, this Sacramento Valley, the river, the creeks. The farms and orchards spread out across the flatlands. The sky so endless that I wonder how the universe could be larger. But then, I am the universe, I am the valley, and they are me. We are one. If this life started over back east where I was born, I would come here all over again. Home is not the place where I came from, home is the place where I am one with the world. Here.

 Footprint on the Moon

Dear parents,
If there is a next life,
I don’t want to be your son.
I don’t want to even know you.
You are as different from each other
As summer is from winter, and yet
You’re both full of shit.
Father, with your lies and your cruelty.
Mother, with your superstitions
And your ridiculous beliefs.
I am better off with the dharma,
Even if I am a flea
On the ass of a mongrel dog.
I release myself now
From all of the crap you taught me.
There is no god
And no America to worship.
All is impermanence.
I will worship emptiness.
I will pledge allegiance to truth.
If there is a next life,
I don’t want to be your son.
I don’t want to even know you.
Even though I love you still,
Years after you have passed away
Into the shadows,
Into your cool graves.
It is a spring day, fresh and green,
And as I write these words
The strength of the sunshine
Lays across my face and hands.
And I am free, I choose to be so.

 Full Moon Over the Desert at Joshua Tree

I am that guy with no fear of death.
Why should I? I’m not dead yet.
I live in this moment, not that one,
And I am alive right now.

What happens when we die?
Is there a heaven? A god?
I don’t know and I don’t care.
Unlikely there is anything at all.

Do what is in front of you to do.
Sweep the floor, wash the dishes.
One moment is equal to the next.

So go ahead, shoot me, stab me,
Run me down on the highway;
All I have to do is finish this poem.


Everything is the answer
Nothing is the answer
There is no question
Just the moon over the pines


Today’s LittleNip:
A hungry man begging in front of a grocery store;
Hard irony under a golden sun in a blue sky.

—James Lee Jobe


Thanks, James Lee Jobe, for bringing us to touch the moon today. “No answer, no question, just the moon over the pines…”

This Sunday at 2pm (tomorrow), James will be hosting as Davis Arts Center Poetry Series welcomes writers Naomi J. Williams and Amanda Hawkins plus open mic. That’s at the Arts Center on F Street. 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, celebrating the poetry that is the moon!

 —Anonymous Photo

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.