Bio Note: I am lucky to be more than surviving in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan, with my psychotherapist wife, psychiatrist cat, and a wide variety of birds and other critters apparently unaffected by and oblivious to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, I am conducting my 36th college-teaching year largely remotely, despite my relative techno-ignorance. Our six kids, significant others, and grandchildren keep us otherwise carefully busy. My ninth collection is Flip Requiem from Dos Madres Press (2020).
After the Gale
Ivory spines disguise the oaks’ south sides, slivers of sunshine lightening their rough trunks. What furrowed pallor, what dignity: spires anchored to all others underneath, delight clad in the plucked bones of winter. What diligence, what staid bystanding: a throng of distinct ascetics, enmeshed horde of collective loners. It’s as if they are avowing how steadfastness, resumed, enroots in you your essential locale.
Originally published in MORIA.
Entering Winter with a Line
from Gwendolyn Brooks
Horizon’s burst-smear of pink nonchalance forgets We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan. In winter’s vise I’ll wrestle— flail! —stampedes of elegies, pendulums of memory, sidestepping swathes of snow-fall brindled with late oak leaves’ yieldings: autumn’s ceding. But from this blunt and silhouetted terrain, ranging out tactically, cautious in my happenstance, I will still delight—plod, but still ignite.
Originally published in Amethyst Review.
Sisyphus Loses Track
His round trips triggered the technology of counting: clouds, moons, planets, galaxies, his rank breaths dusting the eternal groove. But erasure of future, easing of scars inflicted playing strung puppeteer to the gods, echo sweet gestures tendered like rain. Compass missing, mirror of death broken into windows cheering on chance encounters with the playful world, he looks, he touches, he glides the electric land.
Originally published in Red River Review.
©2020 D. R. James
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