Saturday, December 28, 2019

Embracing the Good

—Poems by James Lee Jobe, Davis, CA
—Photos Courtesy of James Lee Jobe

Late August. Moonrise tonight is at 3 AM. A waning crescent moon above the Sacramento Valley. A very slight south wind. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, and if I am up at 3 AM tonight, I will go outside and have a look. There are three lovely redwood trees in my front yard, forming a triangle of sorts. Across the street in the park, a row of very tall pine trees tickle the sky. Sixty-two years old as I write this, I have no desire to go any farther; I am as rooted as the trees, and about the same age. Moonrise for my neighbors and me. I will hold out my arms like branches.


The wind is passing by, on its way to somewhere, coming from somewhere else. Outside, we whisper, and the wind carries our words away. Oh life, you magnificent diamond.

Raising his head above the water,
The old fish said to me,
"I must have crossed this cold sea
A thousand times already. It’s work.
Working and drinking.
Working and drinking.
Working and drinking.
It’s easy to get caught up in that harsh cycle,
And there is no real satisfaction in it,
No peace.
I’m thirsty for dry land, for the feel
Of the world under me.
I want to trade these tired fins
For the arms and legs of a true human being.
Oh, to have opposable thumbs
And a measure of peace."

I walked away from the shore.
I can't give him the kind of help he wants,
And it's pointless to try to reason with a fish. 

Speak your mind without hesitation,
And live your life without pretense.
Life is short,
And what is the use in pretending?
We come into this life alone
And somewhat on a whim,
And friend, we go out the same way.
Laugh as much as you please,
And as often as you please. Loudly.
Never miss a chance to love anyone.
Anger and hate are ridiculous things,
Like old men who try to hide their baldness
With the hair from the sides of their heads.
Listen closely now, I am speaking my mind
And my wonderful advice is absolutely free.

In the end, the earth reclaims all. Who will honor the late citizens when the city is gone? When the city no longer even has a name. Where an immense urban ghost hovers where a city once stood. When structural ghosts have replaced the crumbling buildings and highways. No one will honor them. Wisps in the night fog and no one to remember. In the end, the earth reclaims all. Wisps in the night fog. Wisps in the night fog.

Only love can explain the devotion in the stars of the heart, in the solar system of deepest joy. Let us open our arms and embrace the goodness of the human spirit. Open our eyes to see the affection that the universe holds for life.


Today’s LittleNip:

May I always do my part to keep the light lit, even though I may never understand what the light is. May I be a help and an asset to those around me.

—James Lee Jobe


Our thanks to James Lee Jobe for his graceful late-December post—including the flattering portrait of Medusa!—as he reminds us of the true meaning of the season.

Creative Minds spoken word gathering of artists will meet today, 2pm, at GOS Art Gallery on Del Paso Blvd. in Sacramento. Also at 2pm, Poetic License poetry read-around meets in the Placerville Sr. Center lobby on Spring St. in Placerville. The suggested topic is “horse mail”, but others subjects are also welcome. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about these and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.

—Medusa, embracing the good ~


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.