Oct/Nov 2012 Poetry

Three Poems

by D.R. James

Autumn Maple

One third as red
as the ruddy Malbec
we shared last night over
shish kabobs and
Persian white rice.
One third green, still
teasing me about summer,
how I'll have to wait again.
One third all the other colors
we only see with a closer look,
like Monet's Japanese Bridge
in the museum from three feet.
The whole tree veined
like each mottled leaf,
inter-mapped in mono-black
in this gauzy light.
And as morning dawns,
the local paper
thudding low against the door,
small log of bad news,
a kaleidoscope skews
and reskews the colors,
its windy bursts leaf bits,
like the explosive spray
tinted pink and sullen green
that sheens our winter beach,
the deadly months ahead.


A Theology

Until this morning, infinity
had never listened. My heart,
which nearly died five years ago,
the blood slacking
gradually but surely

in the geography
of my brief body,
always hesitated to hear
what alone held it
in time's bald gaze.

Then, this morning, four a.m.,
a bird, his Ee-oo, oo-Eh
echoing off brick, unanswered
over Pacific Avenue,
taught my heart to listen.


In the Blue Light of the Television

In October once, late evening,
after a long-weekend's hideaway
where a lake had licked
my mind into submission
and a steady wind had advanced
the ancient dunes their micromilimeter,

I sat in the blue light of the television
and heard the words that numbed
then freed me to myself—
I'm leaving you
and one of us said, "It will be for the best,"
neither knowing it was already the truth


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