In The Quiet Beyond The Edge Of The Universe

my hand cut the sky
making the rain fall

my eyes saw the deepening darkness
which stopped my heart

pretending to be something
made of stronger stuff
waiting out the storm

I travelled a hundred hundred miles
in just under a thousand years

and ended up where I began
forsaken
forgiven
forever

in the quiet

(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)

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)

thinking thoughts of shouldn’t sayings on Sundays

whispers
of things
I meant to
say

when long ago
I watched
the sun rise

now the moon
is full

and my heart
sinks

the demons
smoke cigarettes
behind the gate

waiting
in darkness
to be let out

(D. James)

whatever you do … don’t

don’t take this
away

it’s the last
small joy
we have

like a slender shaft
of sunlight
through the basement
window

don’t take it
away

we won’t
know what
to do then

waiting,
like refugees
under a rain-soaked
tarp

hoping,
for what was
what might be

so please
don’t take it
away

they’ll be
nothing left
to say

(D. James)

after the end

the power of night
the black and white

lithe and still
darkness falls

bringing the final
moment

nowhere to go
from here
but to the end

fast and painless
eyes open
but the light gone
out

those years
gathered up
then scattered
by the wind

a billion specks
of light and sound
swallowed
by darkness

then nothing

not even
the black

(D. James)

life in the city of cities

the subway rises
from the mouth
of darkness

pulling cars across
metal track

to the top
of the mountain

the skyline
like a picture
postcard
at sunset

a symphony
at full tilt

a mass of steel
and glass
thousands
of lighted squares
and twinkling
red lights

reminds you
that this city
in its ebb and flow
was here before you arrived

and will remain long
after you are gone

(D James)

loss of balance

it could break,
a mind,
from the pressure

all those thoughts
of what I should
be doing
what I did
wrong

asking why

the grace and ease
so longed for
seeming far off
impossible

hoping
for change
and then
don’t want
the kind that arrives

realizing
finally
it is not an answer
I seek
but a way to live

to think thoughts
and take action
generate some
confidence

take some
responsibility
for my life

because if I don’t
who the hell will

(D. James)

cycles

out the kitchen window
the late afternoon light
plays like a sax solo
against the building
across the way

cloud wisps
catch pink
as the sun hits
the horizon

the azure sky
goes darker
by degrees

evening comes
stealth and still
like a beautiful lover
passionate, intense

another night
lies ahead
awaiting the dawn

(D. James)

wanting more than the gods will allow

waiting
the night out

feeling
my way
in the dark

hoping
the morning
won’t come
this one time

keeping
the fantasy
of being with you
longer than just tonight
alive for one more hour

as light
lines
the horizon

I take
one last look
and like Eurydice
you vanish before my eyes

(D. James)

blap

there are
all these words
and feelings
and messy things

spilled out
on the floor
like blood

seems there’s
no place
to put them all

can’t swallow them

try stuffing them
back into your gut

but they
no longer fit

feels like
you’ll die without
them

seems like
you’ll die with
them

where will you …
how will you …
what will you …
why would you …

go on?

(D. James)

tusnami soul

alone
in a room

darkness
of your soul

moment
of madness

you rage
and cry out

“what does
it all mean?”

like a wave
it crashes
over you

washes
everything
away

then subsides

you are left
standing
with nothing

and now
you can begin

(D. James)

a side of me

there is
a side
of me

I do not
like

a part
that feels
unheard

it rages
and I am
in its grip

lost to
madness

there is
a side
of me

I do not
like

and
I have
to live
with the
consequences

of my actions

cannot erase
what I’ve done

there is
a side
of me

I hate

and wish
never to see
again

(D. James)

where’d it go

Bourbon and cigarettes
late-night hookers
down dark alleys

What doesn’t kill me
costs more than
just money

Turning fantasy into reality
shaking with adrenaline
getting kicks from anticipation
feeling more powerful
than any man should

Someday
I’ll get off
this merry-go-round
but I can’t seem to find
“someday” on the calendar

Maybe it falls on
February 30th
two-thousand-and-never

(D. James)

undecided

I saw you standing
on the edge of a shadow

in the space where
sunlight and darkness meet
in the endless battle
of night and day

waiting
for something
in yourself
to appear

but the struggle
was too great
and you remain
undecided

(D. James)

dark mood of night

Some nights
are darker
than others
not in moonlight
but in mood

The narrow stares
of strangers
too many loud
angry sounds

The usual
evening birds
are absent

My blood
goes up
as I wait
for a fight
that never comes

A lone cricket
chirps into the darkness
breaking the tension
reminding me
that life
is good

Even if
my mood
isn’t

(D. James)