final destination

assumptions made
plans set
though no one
told you

the day arrives
car all packed
you ride off
not knowing
where you’re going

the road stretches on
for years

stopping occasionally
in one town or the other

you sometimes wonder
how you will know
when you’ve arrived

(D. James)

learning to ride a bicycle

a man lay in bed

last days
he knows

dying from the struggle
to live

the nurse
does what she can
to make it easier

through the morphine
induced fog
a moment of clarity

he says

“I never learned
to ride a bike”

too late now
she knows

too late now

(D James)

suite for frustration in D minor

stuck
in a one horse town
that is the dark matter
of the mind

worrying the night
like an old string of beads

cold wind
blows darkness around

til the dawn
which
brings no warmth
or understanding

just another prelude
to another night

and on and on
until the ride stops

(D James)

morning luck

long shadows
rush around
in straight lines

bundled against
the early morning sun
that gives off light
but little heat

another day
for the many lucky enough
to have made it through the night

yet who among us
thinks of the new day that way
before the first cup of coffee
if at all

(D. James)

certainty

a state of being
closed off to other
possible outcomes

a place of right
might
fight

where trouble lurks
and there is no soul

a safe place
where one finds
simplistic comfort

only in its opposite
is there any hope
or chance of stumbling
upon the world as it is
and not as we want it to be

(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)

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)

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)

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)

why doesn’t matter

the rain doesn’t ask
why it falls

the sun doesn’t ask
why it shines

the tree doesn’t ask
why it leaves

nothing
in all the world
asks why

except us

because we think
what we think
matters

and it does
but only to us

so what if
we let our thoughts
fall away like rain

what if
we shined like the sun

what if
we let our false-selves go
like leaves from a tree

what if
we stopped asking
why

what if
we just admit
we don’t know
and never will

and what if
we didn’t
make it mean anything

(D James)

life in 75 words

waiting
for something
to happen

like life
or something similar

wanting
to be free
from fear

or at least
push through

needing
to take action

but bored with
the supposed options

stifled
by the thoughts
of past failures

though there’s nothing
to be done about them now

avoiding
hard work
and difficult
conversations

instead
I’ll write
and smoke cigarettes
make a life
out of words

because in the end
that’s all any of us
really have

(D James)

letting go of yesterday

woke up this morning
in yesterday’s undone
tasks

as if under a pile of stones
at the bottom of the ocean

dragging my head
out of bed
caught up in a web
of thinking about
broken promises
and all the
“should haves”
that I didn’t

and today looks like
another repeat of that show
with the same commercial breaks

“and now a word from our sponsor –
are you tired, listless, rundown?
need something to pick you up?”

no

what’s needed is to let go
be ok with right now
do what can be done
leave yesterday in yesterday
and make today anew

(D James)

knowing this won’t get you here

what’s it like?
what’s it feel like?

rarely
what it is

so we talk about

as if a description
of a thing
is the thing
itself

this isn’t how I feel
these are the thoughts
about how I feel

judgements
on a theme

proximity
of an approximation

but what is it
moment by moment
this thing we call
life

I don’t know
but I can tell you
about it

for hours
and get nowhere

or instead
keep silent
find the moment
in the moment

because it’s happening
it’s always happening
even when we’re struggling
to understand
or explain it

it’s happening
right now
whether we’re aware
or not
whether we understand
or not
whether we agree
or not

it’s happening
even when we’re
not here

(D James)

messages

what if
there were
messages

lessons
something
to learn

what if
there were
spirits whispering
in your ear

what if
you could hear
the sound
of an angel’s heartbeat
in the dreams of a lover

would you rather
drudge along
talking about
what’s impossible

or
spend your days
listening for light
in the flutter of a bird’s wings

(D James)