Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mike James- Three Poems

My Coat

my long grey coat doesn’t hold
quite everything

still, it’s nearly filled

a small spiral notebook
with red cover and
a thousand odd notations

five pennies and
a canadian dime
not enough for bus fair
or coffee
or even a phone call
if a pay phone could still
be found

a half-pack of wheat
cheese crackers
stuck in a side pocket
twisted tight
probably stale

i’ll keep them a while
longer though
in case i’m lost in a
snow storm
worried about being found

there’s also that stain
on my collar
older than my oldest son

the stain, deep as winter,
marks a time
when i fell and fell
and thought to stay there

The Bridge To Paradise

also has an underpass
that’s, truly, a graffiti library

it’s a great place to sit
among new colors and old words

you can watch the sun
never set

(a blood orange
that can’t be drained)

you can eavesdrop
on travelers
those who make it in move quickly
those turned back are slow

the slow ones are the ones to listen to
as they shuffle and talk

they know what they have
even if they don’t know what they’ve lost

Theory of Flight

you walk every field for miles

never see a bush burn with
more than autumn

the sky follows you
like a habit

you try to be invisible
that never works

so you pick up every shiny rock
to wish on

the paint by numbers kit
you want for your life
never arrives

so you look for treasure
in roadside hub cabs

you look for faces
in the tarnish
of wrinkled leaves

there’s no cocoon
you won’t crawl inside

beneath your jacket are dark wings

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