it cannot be new and improved

rummaging around the ruins
of a failed system
with nothing left to buy
and even less to sell

worrying about the weather
and the dow jones industrial index
as if it matters to our souls
and whether they can still be saved

these fallible indicators
are not merely implausible
but are “out of time”

when false gods
ruled through commerce
and promises of a better life
the buying and selling
of currencies currency

ultimately believing in a technology
that would deliver us from evil

we can only hope
there be nothing left
after the final fall

giving us a clean slate
like a blackboard
with the remnants of the old methods
and now dead ideas
floating
as chalk dust in sunlight

then
finally
we can begin
as sentient beings
neither to be bought or sold
but simply to be
in the world

(D James)

it is not a straight line

I went
as far as the road
would take me

then continued on

I followed
the wind
as far as it did blow

then went beyond

I walked
to the peak
of the mountain

then reached up and touched the sky

I dropped
to the bottom
of the ocean

then dug down to the center of the earth

seen the sights
rode the rides
had loves
and losses

watched the line between
the beginnings and endings
blur
then bend

into a circle

and I can either
go round with it

or waste time
fighting against the flow

(D James)

cream of the crop or scum

we are now all
self-promoters

trillions of trilling shouts
hoping for a moment of attention
before dying out in the next roar
of the billion millions

no longer restrained
by the gatekeepers
we have run amok

in the greatest free-form
distribution experiment
known to mankind

as the vast melting pot
comes to a boil
we’ll have to wait and see
what rises to the top

(D. James)

to sleep no more

staying up late
to watch the moon
crawl across the sky

the darkness
filled with possibilities
that the sun washes away in the morning

makes me want to hold on to this moment
embracing the night and never letting go

I don’t want
to go to sleep
tonight

but there’s no way
to hold back the sun
or stop the coming day

so for now
I’ll rest a few hours
then wrestle with the demons
in the daylight

until the sun goes down
and another moon comes up
when the possibilities arise
in the shadows of night

(D. James)

getting lost with intent

it has been too long
between here and there

and always
it seems
there is further to go

the stops
along the way
are but brief

and though I grow weary at times
the movement remains constant
if not consistent

each day does not feel new
but merely another in a string
from sunset to sunset

blurring together
until it’s time to sleep again

finally something bursts
like the sun on the horizon
a bright warm day ahead

then nothing seems like it was
and I forget my name

(D. James)

how to write an internet poem

string a series of words together
evoking images
representative of emotions

be sincere or snide
or real
or just plain stupid

be occasionally slightly
offensive

come up
with a clever title

give it a few tags
then send it into the ether

(D James)

a fight is a fight and nothing more

today
everyone has a cause

they want us to
sign their petition
vote for their candidate
pray to their god
click to donate

“buy my book”
“see my movie”
“watch me shout
at someone on TV”

everyone thinks
they fight
for what’s right

but in the end
a fight is just a fight
and nothing more

and we
we are no longer
individuals
but demographics
grouped by

geographic location
browsing preferences
tweets and posts

tracked
analyzed
followed
“liked”
and “shared”

in the midst
of all this noise
and data
the bits
and gigs
the shouting
and being right

it is all too easy
to get lost in the created confusion

so we must remember
to look another in the eye
and say hello
share something genuine

and let go
for a moment
of the crush of
information

and be human

(D James)

for Joe Cap

the rate of interest is at an all time low

always too loud
always too much

often out-of-place
often out of time

never doing
what I’m supposed to

saying the wrong thing

frustrated
living someone else’s life

unsure of the next move
the right move

going back to where
it started
where I started

always too loud
always too much

out of money
out of time
out on a limb

out of my mind
out of patience
out of sight

some day
this will all end
and I’ll surely miss it

(D James)

beyond exceptionalism

what if
we weren’t
our thoughts

what if
we viewed ourselves
as others do

or better yet
as who we are

without judgement
or emphasizing the negative

what if we strived
to be
acceptional
instead of exceptional

what if all the words
meant nothing
and so we stopped using them
to explain our life

and simply lived it

(D James)

getting to nothing

everything is something
even nothing
is something
if only in word

anything that can be labelled
becomes something
in language

as the mind can
imagine
beyond the edge
of the universe

whether there is light
or microwaves
energy or matter
there is something
even if that something
is nothing

(D James)

down deep

it’s been said
time is an illusion

not the hands
on the clock

the other time
that exists in the mind

yesterday’s
and tomorrow’s
time

it’s been written
that all we have
is right now

and it only takes
being here right now
to reveal the wonders of life

too simple an answer
for us to comprehend
too easy for the mind to reject

and yet
if we stop for a moment
let our thoughts be thoughts
no more true forward than backward

there is a chance
to be present
and find who we really are
if only briefly

(D. James)

future unknown

where to begin
from here
or much earlier

how will it end
in some sudden unknown later

perhaps
by the hand of another

or drawn out
over time
by some mutated
cellular replication

the future is
impossible to know

what is known
what is certain

is that someday
it will end
or we will
at least as we appear now

what happens after
the form is gone

only the dead
know for sure

(D James)

right now, right now

all the yesterdays
behind you

leave them there

all those unfulfilled
wants and desires

let them go

the worries about tomorrow
and tomorrow’s tomorrow

forget them

whatever supposedly came before
or might happen later
is not now

right now
is perfect
right now
is present
right now
is all we have

be with me here
right now
in the only moment
we have

bring your true self
the one of love
compassion
peace

into this moment

watch the leaves dance in the breeze
the birds take flight
feel the earth turn

be one with the 7 billion
who share this place with us
experience life as a single entity

can you feel it?

(D James)

searching in the dark

darkness falls
sudden and silent
like the end of days
or the beginning

the evening goes deaf
as the black crawls
across the sky
into and through spaces unseen

dots of light
on a velvet canvas
and the new moon rises
reflecting nothing

on the other side of the world
it is winter
and a new day breaks

standing at the shore
uncertain
unready
unsteady

inviting the unknown
or futilely looking
for a place to hide

we either step
into the ocean of fear
or it will crash over us

will we be washed away
or cleanse our spirit

break our heart
or break us open
to find a deeper sense
of who we are

(D James)

the write time

waiting
for silence
to rise

for words
to pour out
like water from a pitcher

stopping
then typing
wanting
then trying

failing
then beginning
again

the dam breaks
when the thoughts
of can’t
and not good enough

are abandoned
ignored
left to die
of starvation

or simply put aside
while the typing
becomes writing

and hours
go by
unnoticed

(D James)

gravity helps

everything is everything
and the world
will not stop turning

until the stars
fall from the sky
and the universe
collapses in on itself

but they say
that won’t happen
for another 5 billion years
or so

and before that
though the planet may unburden itself of mankind
like a wet dog shaking off water

we have a little time
so
hold on
spread love
and laugh
long and loud and hard and often

because no matter who you are
how much money you have
the color of your skin
your gender
or what you think and feel

in the end
we all become dust

(D. James)

everything everywhere all at once

right now
somewhere
a child is breathing
its first

and someone somewhere
is taking their last

right now
somewhere someone
has fallen
and another has risen

somewhere a storm rages
somewhere a gentle breeze

right now
someone is speaking hate
and somewhere else
someone
is falling in love

in this moment
all over the world
life is happening

and all the things
before
and all that will come
after

from before the big bang
to after the big crunch
is all connected

whether we experience it
or not

we are everything
and everywhere

all at once

(D James)

everything in the moment of nothing

each morning
the task
is to get present

the day cannot really begin
without being present
to this very moment

I’m aware of being present
when a smile
stretches across my face
for no reason at all

though there are plenty of reasons
to smile
there are equally enough invented reasons
to frown

the smile I wait for
is the smile for no reason at all
the smile for this very moment in time
when I am connected to being alive

not the world
and my place in it
but all life
yours
mine
the 6 billion others
the trees
the bees
every blade of grass

as well as
the life we can’t see
underneath this one
the cells
and their nuclei

and who knows
perhaps even life
on another planet
in another vast galaxy
far beyond our imagination
or the reach of current technology

this is what happens
when I get present

life expands beyond comprehension
and my worries, fears, judgements, and opinions
all fall away

and I am left with nothing

a blank canvas
to create anything I want
in this very moment

(D. James)

back and here again

going through
the days
of process
and habit

feeling like
a reflection
of myself
in chrome

buried under a sea
of fear
and fretting

my conscious self
sleeps the sleep
of the walking
talking
dead

until
stopping
on a street corner

I look up
at a brilliant
blue sky
dotted with bright
white
clouds

suddenly
awake
to the possibility
called life

not just mine
but all of it
swirling
buzzing
humming

from here
to every corner
of the earth
and back
again

(D. James)

identity

man
son
brother
friend
boyfriend
lover

funny
generous
temperamental
lazy
aloof
afraid

writer
novelist
poet
reader
seeker
blogger

student
bartender
bouncer
technologist
manager
real estate agent
coach

white
tall
thin
bald

agnostic
socialist
biker
smoker
aries

negative
positive

everything
nothing

(D. James)

where is the living

wake up
into patterns
of unconsciousness

go through the day
asleep with eyes open

and react
react
react

taking direction
from the small mind
playing safe
surviving

the true self
buried
under all the thinking
thinking
thinking
and the doing
and the waiting

then
for a moment
looking up
past the tall buildings
at a sliver of blue sky
life opens up

now I’m awake

(D. James)