Mascara’d vegetation bats its green
audacity and amplifies the breeze
singing through new-lingering day: cool-jazz suite
backing the birds. Kinetic blooming. Keen
riffling. Cobbled ruffling. Flimsy blanket-billow.
Cavalier matins began the scramble
under porcelain, moon-lit cumulus,
velour milieu still cloaking my pillow.
Resurrected spring re-relished refutes
whichever well-heeled cons are in cahoots.
—first published in From Whispers to Roars
Barred borders form erosion zones, discrete
estates complete but porous. Subsequent
perimeters contract to craft pockets
of hollow incantation, mutations
of exhaled grace notes, incomprehension
within syntax meant to cloak like smuggling
rings. Armor—archaic clay— propagates
the nationalistic disconnect deigning
make-shift shacks as snuggling too close, not for
shelter but paltry future’s subterfuge.
—first published in Waymark: Voices of the Valley
We wink at the crooks, our remnant like that
anvil we keep tossing each other, our
residue like saluting. We clutch the
banner of a warrened world whose tunnels,
unsolvable, incarcerate, swelter,
and incinerate us. Observe the birds
who nimbly duck and pitch. I dreamt of an
arrow arced over rooftops. My lens was
contoured to renew, expectant of some
flexing. I lash my spiked pulse to that view.
—first published in Southern Florida Poetry Review
Recently retired from nearly 40 years of teaching college writing, literature, and peace studies, D. R. James lives, vegges, writes, bird-watches, and cycles with his psychotherapist wife in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan. His latest of ten collections are Mobius Trip and Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2021, 2020), and his prose and poems have appeared internationally in a wide variety of print and online anthologies and journals.