the poetry knook, the poetry of stephen m. james

Poems with the tag ‘anger’

Something’s in the water

(A meditation for Mother’s Day and Christmas)

“Something’s in the water.” Chuckles surround.
“I’m due. Get ‘em out with spicy Thai.”
Down in straps infants spit-up over shoulder and lapse
the recurring flow–before nine and after one,
suckling two, singled out, like the single ones so few
within the stained. Glass. Body–broken.
Created to create, duty to do, should we adopt, a different view?
Turn a cheek when asked if trying instead of
shoving our Brothers and Sisters, sighing:

A gleam in God’s eye, a moat in mine.
Doused at a shower: games and pastel flower
present from the eye, a tear, ducks out early dashing hope
upon the rocks by Babylonian stream, the placenta’s quite salty,
but ’tis sweeter than bare melancholy.

Christened: yet another granny or grandpa’s claim,
last week’s was not averse to holy, genocidal names–
ache and money enough can get triple the glow, the pound,
the flesh, the ounce add up every week, you know, weighing down,
C-cups runneth over to nursery wants ten more
fingers, ten more toes, to fight the battle
in the basement of babies booming below.

Impregnated with fertility in winter–in spring:
proud pistils sing standing up theirs in-carnations
on Sunday two of–May the un-mothered run away.
But no matter the year, we worship a child in the end:
bowing to our cherubs in bathrobes, tiny babes in bulletin,
sliding through choruses on the backs of asses to Bethlehem.

For God so loved the world that he sent an advent series
every year to remind the shepherdess, in her barren fields,
to treasure up these things and ponder them.


You’ve stopped up my pen

my well, my pad, you’ve stopped up my pen, for I scribe on you every night,
pinning my anger to the ground, you hold fast

my million pieces, my puzzle, curiosity arousing me over and over
the horizon of this sparrow’s eye,

my perfect, my storm, I am wall-eyed and hooked wallowing
in the night so young an infant, the day still suckles with

my revelation, my special–burned into, an image, cloth
buried in a broken body

my mouthwash, my goodnight, I may never brush my teeth,
and gum your neck at thirty,

my lion, my lamb, doodles on the page became your name,
the softest thorns of the vineyard snag my skin,

my friend, my lover, your experiences, story, and knowledge
poured over an altar for me.
and all you get is I
will love you more than knowledge,
more permanently, more pertinently than life,
for life, for you.


Release: scribbling on hotel paper

it’s hard scribbling letters–much less letters
with hangovers on hotel paper
to escape our cameras: mine, yours,
photographers we subscribe to
and checkout line flip-throughs–
the price of gold and platinum–
I’ll tell you: rich with anger
the fuel, (that) fans, the flames, (of) the famous
wanting to release like the millions moshing.


Like paparazzi

Hiding in music you breathe your anger with-
fear-you try to steer clear.
It’s haunting like paparazzi
till you crash.


More than a Movie

We await green saucers hovering in the smoldering sky
But no aliens show their ships:
They are our species, of our sickly kind.
The Persistence Of [our] Memory is
Surreal, as I fell asleep wishing it all away by Manhattan morn,
Wanting to see twin sentinels guarding over the city again,
Not rubble under its cityscape.
We search for culprits and casualties
In the fog of destruction.
Waiting for the credits to run
So we can run out and kill the director, the scriptwright, the producer . . .
For we will “make no distinction.”

We are orphans crumbling of Babel:
Towers tumbling, imploding, upon themselves
Anger resonates as planes plummet,
Yearning for arms to hold us up
From attack from inside our country,
And from inside ourselves.


For You

Surrounded by those not knowing
What God has been showing
To this desolate planet beneath
Deluged in disbelief.

What can I change of me
To change some part of you?
Cycles through my brain
And I can’t contain, these thoughts of you.
This anger roars
And my temper soars, to new heights
As I face this question one more time. . . .

Lost they call you under the steeple
You’d never carpool with those people.
You don’t hear a voice and look away
Hoping Heston might ring someday.

What can I change of me
To change some part of you?
Cycles through my brain
And I can’t contain, these thoughts of you.
This anger roars
And my temper soars, to new heights
As I face this question one more time. . . .

Not amazed at your daze due to your past
So tortured, I try not to ask
But truth is truth and we’re all frail
Too much riding on this to fail.



© 1993-2024 by Stephen M. James.