until the dawn

it is the nights
that are most difficult

waiting
wanting

for the morning
that brings your voice

it is the nights
that are long

sleepless
restless​

hoping for a world
where 1+1=1

it is the nights
it is the nights
it is the nights

when darkness
grips my heart

renders me incapable

until the dawn
returns you to me

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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

this doesn’t happen

to live
for a great love

something imagined
but never attained

a moment
in time
regained

an improbable
second chance

do you defy
the odds?

or is it all
rash insanity
fools folly

destined
to self-destruct

in the end
do we care?

not if we are driven
by our desire
think
this is our
destiny

perhaps then
we make it so
or burn in the fire
set so long ago
suddenly too close

(D. James)

love at dawn

wanting
to hold someone
at the end of a long day

not just a body
but someone to love

curled up in my arms
breathing quietly
the smell of hair
and warm skin
mixed with clean sheets

someone to wake up to
come the morning light

someone
who calls me baby
in a way that means
the world to them

can’t a man want
these things
and not think
he has to hide
his feelings away

I’m just asking

(D. James)

everything there is … everything

I want
to write
on the walls

spell out
all the
ideas
emotions

color
outside the lines

black pen markings
beginning in one corner

not stopping until I’ve planned out my whole fucking life

filling ten rooms with the words of my mind
the work of my soul

not stopping until it is all out of me
like some monster some wild thing

only then can I lay down to sleep
knowing when I wake it will all
still be there
but exposed out in the open

nothing to hide

(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)

what will I do tomorrow without you tonight

haven’t slept
in my own bed
all week

now it’s later
than late
and I’m faced
with the aloneness
of being alone
in this bed
that’s just
a mattress
on the floor

I miss
your green
eyes
your red
hair
your pale
skin
your
attitude

the way you look
straight at me
in the morning
like a child
who has yet
to learn fear
or know the difference
between themself
and another

and your laugh
pure abandon
in that ha ha ha
the complete unbridled
expression of joy

how will I make it
through the night
and worse
what will I look forward to
in the morning

(D. James)

life may be empty and meaningless, but don’t tell that to my heart

don’t know what
to do
with these feelings

when the woman
you love says
it doesn’t mean anything

like your love
doesn’t matter
like you
don’t
matter

it isn’t what she means
it’s just how it sounds
to you
in the moment
as she says goodbye
for the last time

what do you do
knowing she’s already
calling another man
lover

do you give in
to the rage
let it consume you
or can you find a way
to let it all go

as if it really
doesn’t matter

(D. James)

nothing between us

in the silence
before dawn
I breath in
the scent of skin

rub the nape
of your neck

run my hand
along
your waist
to the pale belly

you roll over
stare straight
into me

seeing
who I really am

not who I project
to keep the world
at bay

but who
I want to be

who I am
when it’s safe

you smile,
revealing
your true self

I don’t know
if you do that
with others

but to me
you are always
an open door

inviting me
to step through

and I’m curious
what, if anything,
I do for you

(D. James)

burn for you

wanting
to burn
for another

feel
her missing
from the sheets
when she’s away

be
in the warmth
of a gaze

wake
in the silence
before sunrise

stare
at her body
lying in wait

get lost
in the smell
of her hair

pull
her to me
knowing
that’s always
what she wants

(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)

nothing more than love

waiting
for the call
which never comes

the one
where she says
all is forgiven
I love you

she says
please come home
we can work it all out

she says
come to me

and I do
and we do

but the phone
doesn’t ring

and everything
reminds me
of her

cup of tea
a bed
laughter
dark hair
sunlight
dogs
tears
children
laundry

I think
what should I do
with all these thoughts
in my head

afraid to let go
that that
would be
the end

and I keep
wanting
another outcome

the one where
the phone rings

and she says …

(D. James)

wonky compass

you head north
I follow

then east
and I follow

to the west
then south
north again
and I follow

your shifts
of whim

until
my bearings
are lost

and I am
swallowed
in a sea
of emotion

you go on
leaving behind this
reckless wreckage

now
there is
nowhere
to go
but
down

(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)