by D.R. James
She died, her wake’s gravity dressed like space.
Steady labor had hacked weeded gardens,
knees splayed in unceasing oak-coating shade.
According with her roots she could wield hell,
pleased to turn red, shaft you for lost buttons.
Her best pressure: mean blanket, dry machine.
Her last war ducked, pounded her underfoot.
Family pictures calmed everyone’s game,
cremation’s vapors, dilemma island—
granted, the sole jury was hung logic.
Great Lake Shore in Winter
by D.R. James
The concentric silences of phantom
isolation splash unscented across
caked ice—expanse framed by violent but
muted thundering of the congealed. Edge
of weather razors faces, encircles
eyelids, and its grimace arcs like light’s blue
sigh. Still, one’s stitched tongue bawls outward in a
brawling prayer, in bottled shouts to the wind,
and names all the luxury gathered here.
Here, one’s peace fronts one’s own ferocity.
D. R. James has taught college writing, literature, and peace-making for 35 years and lives in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan. Poems and prose have appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals, his latest of eight poetry collections are If God Were Gentle (Dos Madres Press) and Surreal Expulsion (The Poetry Box), and a microchapbook All Her Jazz is free and downloadable-for-folding at the Origami Poems Project. www.amazon.com/author/drjamesauthorpage