Wednesday 22 March 2023

Three Poems by j.lewis (Jim Lewis)


to live again in snow


i want to live again in snow

in the high desert of new mexico


not for the thrill of car-on-ice

or the sting of frost on my cheeks


nor for the swirling mists of breath

or the crunch of dry snow underfoot


and still not for the silent grace

of a white day and whiter night


i want to live again in snow

for the simplest of selfish joys


to rise each morning bragging

that i am not defeated by


the biting cold and bitter snow

in the high desert of new mexico


nobody leaves without singing the blues


congress in chaos

blatant liars being seated

right there in the house of reps

worse liars vying for more authority

and a bigger platform for their lies


bomb cyclone hitting the west coast

people still recovering from the

holiday travel disaster that is Southwest

and that's not even fifteen minutes

into the evening news


what's an old poet like me to do?

what else indeed but sing the blues!


put on a backing track in a-minor

pick up my guitar and just noodle

around the neck, not caring how good

or bad it might sound because heck-

it's in a minor key and any wrong note

is only a hammer, slide, or bend away

from being the right one


what if all the problems in the world

could be solved just like that

everybody sings the blues

in a minor key, where every mistake

is made right just by changing

how kindly you treat those wrong notes


blue sky falling


i wonder if the sky had been cold and grey

the day that chicken little cried out

would it have been a fragment of cloud,

or a bit of hail that nailed her


instead of the alleged acorn

which no one, not even she, had seen


i wonder if the sky had been orange

with the promise of the rising sun

if it could have been a thread of night

some vestige of darkness falling away


instead of the alleged acorn

which no one actually saw, no one


i wonder if the sky had been aflame

with pinks and lavenders, fiery rays

of sundown, daylight falling away

might it have been the tiniest of meteors


instead of the alleged acorn

which henny-penny chicken little didn't see


i wonder why the fable coloured the sky blue

that fateful day when something hit the hen

and set her off on a frantic mission to tell

the king. what could have tumbled from that sky?


nothing, except the alleged acorn

which chicken little felt but did not see


so what am i to think, when under the bluest sky

something like the alleged acorn, hits me

just like my brother used to thump my head

when we were younger and he not dead

j.lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, nurse practitioner, and the editor of Verse-Virtual, an online journal and community. When he is not otherwise occupied, he is often on a kayak, exploring and photographing the waterways near his home in California. He is the author of four full length collections and seven chapbooks.

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