Sunday, February 28, 2016

James Babbs- Three Poems


James Babbs continues to live and write from the same small Illinois town where he grew up.  He has published hundreds of poems over the past thirty years and, recently, a few short stories.  James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013).


I Just Write Poetry

so far
I’ve been able to fool them
but I’m not sure
how much longer
I can keep it up
I think
they’re starting to get suspicious
I don’t know
maybe
I’m just being paranoid
but that’s what happens
when people start following you around
oh yeah
I’ve seen them
pretending not to notice me
young mothers with their children
old ladies in the checkout lines
counting out their change
teenagers
congregating in front of schools
and lots of men driving trucks
acting like they have some place to go
I don’t know who they’re working for
probably
some secret government agency
maybe
for some foreign country
nobody’s ever heard of
they must think
I’m getting close to something
why else would they be doing this
they’ve probably seen my writings
plastered all over the internet
they’re convinced
I’ve written secret codes
into every one of my poems
and they’re worried
impressionable young minds
are somehow being influenced
I’ve been labeled a subversive
a menace to society
I’m certain
they’ve put it all down in their files
they consider me dangerous and
all of them agree
I need to be stopped


I Was in Love With a Beautiful Woman

I was in love with a beautiful woman
but it doesn’t matter
now
at night
the stars continue to shine
above me in the sky and
I understand
the moon’s not made of cheese
but I keep driving the same roads
almost every day and
I watch the crooked trees
under a harsh gray sky
I’m afraid it’s going to rain
before I make it home again
half bottle of whiskey
sitting on the table and
eight cans of beer
waiting for me in the fridge


The Sky Soft and Gray Like a Piece of Canvas Stretched Overhead

it’s March and
there’s a cold wind blowing
the sky soft and gray
like a piece of canvas stretched overhead
I enter through the gate and
walk past one of the graves
covered with fresh dirt
on my way to the back of the cemetery
where the older stones are located
some of them leaning over
some of them worn away and
no longer easy to read
some of them broken and
the pieces
lying on top of each other
I’m looking for the grave
of my great-grandfather
I know it’s around here
somewhere
because I’ve seen it before
but its been a long time
nearby
there’s a pile of discarded decorations
that have been taken from the graves
in order to get the cemetery ready
for another mowing season
right now
the grass doesn’t look too green
but I know it won’t be long
there’s always another summer
it’s only a matter of time


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