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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hmmmmm......

This evening I reread all the most recent posts on this page. I discovered something interesting; more to me than you. Nearly every post concerns the subject of patience and waiting for what is desired. As a younger man I had great difficulty waiting for anything. Now, it seems all I do is wait. "Patience is a virtue," declared a sage. It may be, but it's more a necessity!

Writing is therapy. It is also an amazingly uncomfortable way to peer deeply into one's soul. Every so often an intimate truth surfaces. I'd tell you more....but you'll have to wait.


~ James

A Dominate Theme*

As I age
I grow more familiar
With loss.
The departure of family
And friends
Into what appears
From this perspective
As a dense and impenetrable fog
Becomes  increasingly
A dominate theme.

I wonder whether tears
Is a fair measure of devotion.
You see
I no longer weep for the loss.

But I sigh.

Perhaps more is said in the sigh
That may ever be expressed in tears.

I now see I am also in the stream of time.
Soon
I will bobble toward the falls
And jet over the edge
Into the roiling mist.

When I do
Do not weep for me.

But you may sigh.


* Yesterday I lost a dear friend. Today another. Death is a formidable foe, and its wounds cut deeply. I have been doing much sighing of late.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Nothing is Assured

I search my path
Like a blind man
Tapping his white cane
For a way through time
Every step cautious
And tenuous.

Nothing is sure
In this life.
Everything
And anything is possible
But nothing is assured.

All is rickety
Like an ancient rope bridge
Beckoning
Daring my try.
And this is often
The only way to the other side.

But nothing is assured.

Do I go?
Yes!
I go!
There is no reward for the timid.
It is not only possible
That i perish
It is likely!
But the only thing to do
Is to swallow my fear
Offer my foot to the void
And trust in that which offers no trust.

Nothing is assured.

Friday, January 13, 2017

We Also Wait

Boughs of oak
Ash and maple
Strands of willow
Patiently await whispers
Of wind
To awake
To stir them once more.

The breath of earth
Is surely coming.
Soon it arrives.
When the leaves move
In shimmering light
When the birds of the air
Take to flight
From formerly sleepy branches
Joy will resound
From the valley.
It will sing from the hills.
It will dance down city streets
And swirl through school yards
To delight in the embrace of lovers
And rejoice in the innocence of children.

And so, we also wait.
Wait for the trees
The boughs
The leaves to awake
To the yawning of the earth.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What the Lion Knows

Waiting in the wild
Hiding in the trees
I listen to the vultures
And shiver in the breeze.


The whole expanse of earth 
Stretches wide and grows
While I listen to my breath
Wondering what the lion knows.

I have always been the hunter.
I have never been the prey.
But that may change at nightfall
With the dying of the day.

Too soon darkness falls
And I huddle in my fright
Because I cannot see well
And the lion owns the night.

The River of Life


This stinking creek bed

Is the sheltering of angels
Holding me
Among its bush and tangle
Of exposed tree roots.
I do my best
To look like everything
Around me.
  
River mud
Cakes my face
Arms and hands.
I settle among fallen leaves
Bones of long-dead fish
And small frogs.

And I wait.

They are coming
I know.
I hear their soft steps
Trying to not disturb
The jungle floor
Trying to not alert me.
But I smell them
Their cigarette breath
Their unwashed skin
They even carry with them
The slight smell
Of breakfast fish and rice.

So I wait.

I am one.
They are many.
If it comes to shooting
I cannot prevail.
I hug myself and press hard
Into the soft mud.
I restrict myself
To shallow breaths
Fearful my own breathing
Will betray me.

Tucking my .45 into my chest
I thumb off the safety.
I think of the destroyed sanctuary
Of my Phantom.

They are closer.
One says something
And another softly laughs.
An officer quiets them.

They are close.

I shut my eyes
Squeezing the lids down hard
An unconscious denial of what is coming.

Their bayonets prod the brush.
I want to become the river bank.
I stop breathing
Holding out as long as possible.

They and I have one common goal.
We both want my heart to stop beating.
But they want it more than I.
  
I think of my wife and kids
Safely home
Sleeping in warm beds.
I think only of them.

I hope this is the River of Life.

Death Sentence


There is pain beyond 
The stabbing of the flesh 
And the burn of nerves.
 

There is pain
No doctor may treat
That extends from the
Mind and heart
That not even time
May abate.

It is a contagion
Spread from contact
Of fingertips
Arms and lips.
It is a virus of the heart
Causing the lungs
To restrict breath
And the stomach
To refuse food
The brain to recycle
Endless spools
Of memory.

There is one remedy…
To have no loving contact
No embrace
No surrender to desire
To recluse oneself from
All worldly affection.

In other words…
It is a death sentence.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Expectancy

All of life is waiting.
Patient expectancy
Is the fuel of apprehending
The best possible.

Strength
Of body, mind and spirit
May be had
If one labors
And waits.

Love
Is that blossom
That fragrances our years
But is the product
Of expectant waiting.

Promotion
Is life’s sweet reward
And falls like ripe fruit
Into the tender’s open hand
If patient expectancy
Maintains the orchard.
 
Even as the infant
Requires time in the womb
So all good things come
In the quiet of expectancy.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Bitter Truth


I have learned 
A bitter truth…


When you forge an enemy
In the furnace of derision
You may never retract
From that fiery kiln.

Efforts of reconciliation aside
There remains on the face
Of the matter
That old scorn and contempt
Upon which the struggle commenced.

Forgiveness may be sincerely extended
But in the deep dark of night
There is ever that glowing ember
Which ignited the old conflagration.

Such is war
And it ever remains
Until God alone
Makes all things new.