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)

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)

over before you know it

where does it
go
the time

seems like it
used to crawl

now I lose
track
of the days

and memories
are like stories
someone once told

I’m not even
certain
I’ve not written

this poem
before

(D James)

old flame same heat

a cold wind
comes through
like longing

how many years
before we’ll be together
my love

will death
take me
before I see
your eyes
once more

feel your skin
breathe you in

is there no
relief from this
yearning

is this to be
yet another
unfinished story

all those miles
all those years
all these trials
all these tears

don’t we deserve
a break in this life
or do we have to wait
until the next one

(D. James)

unrequited love on a virtual platform

I look for you
or the virtual
approximation
of you

the pull
so strong
the emotional
distance bridged
through half-sentences
in a tiny window

we abbreviate
and emoticon
our way through
complex emotions
rooted in a past
long before
any of this technology
existed

years go by
and then suddenly
you are there again

always reconnecting
always
at the wrong time

perhaps we had
our chance
back then

and it won’t
come around again

wishing
it were any other way
won’t make it so

but I still try

(D. James)

this is this

this is bad
this desire
this wanting

this is not me
this is not you
this isn’t even who we think
this is

this is some evil
this
this twist
this pain

this feeling
this ache for you

this is just a dream
this nightmare
this remembrance of you
this haunting

this stillness of still wanting
this with you

this ending that never ends because I don’t want
this to ever end never wanted
this to end always wondered why
this did end
this always ending
this

(D. James)

jump in … the water’s warm

looking
for what I want
in places I will not find it

thinking
look again
it’ll be there
this time
it’ll be there
now

check now
what about now
not yet
what about now

keep looking
in the same dead place
waiting for my life to begin
when all this time
it’s been right in front of me
waiting for me to see

(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)

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)

more of you

in bed
your head
on my chest

I want
to write
my name
across your
smooth white belly

to mark you
as you’ve
marked me

afraid to say
what I truly feel
for fear
it would
scare you away

then I let go
of all that
and am with you
in a way
not possible
before

and all
I want now
is more

(D. James)

storm clouds passing

what do you
say

when it doesn’t
go your way

you fight
to make
a pointless
point

then you
feel bad
about
the things
you said

finally
you let it go
or
you let it
destroy you

the choice
is yours

(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)

no matter how much you try to kill it, my love won’t die … I’ll just take it with me as I say goodbye

pick up
and move
to a strange town

change my life
to want
whatever you want

find myself
by loosing
who I thought
I was

I could
love
like that

did
love
like that

still do

I’m just
no longer
waiting
for you

(D. James)

expression for a new way of being

Doing
what needs
doing

being
right where
you are

Nothing broken
nothing to fix

even when
the world
seemingly tells
you so

Just remember
that everything
everything
changes

(D. James)

Christmas for Atheists

what can we
give

on this day

that can truly
be called a gift

not something
bought

or even made

but something
of ourselves

to look someone
in the eye
and let them
know

they are loved
and appreciated

to leave
them
feeling
as if you know
exactly who they are

not who you
think they are
or need them
to be

but truly
who they are

(D. James)

everything

Another time
in another city
when I was
someone else

And she
she asked me
“what do you want?”

And I
I had no answer

Now here
in this town
I being me
and all things equal

She asks me
“what do you want?”

And I
I answer
“everything”

To which she
she has no reply

And I
I am left
wondering
why this question
keeps coming up

(D. James)

why a poet writes so many poems

to write something
of import

just once

a line
truer
than the truth

that makes
someone
think twice
pierces
their heart

it may be
in me yet
have to keep
searching
keep writing

to find that phrase
that stops the world
from spinning
if only for a moment

(D. James)