the poetry knook, the poetry of stephen m. james

Poems with the tag ‘longing’

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.


Time in a queen’s single slough

The one time, I’d give up time–twice,
as fast as chlorophyll leaves fall
to the ground: blood. Oranges coupled with bitters,
the saving grace: incoherent post-midnight mumblings of the past
day passing, air calms, (eupnea)
Leviathan to break free, locked up in this Loch
Lethargy desiring, to dote its anti-dote, anticipating
the smearing of oil, and the anointed,
return the plastic clamshell, tearing away,
thermoformed around a thermometer’s rising crescent,
carmine colored by parasitic spirits leaving,
into veins cautiously cauterizing
a brand. New. Return to each single second
is not difficult to imagine place to serve,
time in a queen’s single slough, tossing,
turning slowly-recalling at once,
upon a time.


I was mistaken (or that pain was post-orgasmic marriage glue)

Oh, to be a rational Epicurist! A sun spotless mind-cleaner (than)
a Pope for one more franchise will burn my body by a Steak, ‘n
Shake a SRI index fund’s pointy finger, at my 401-Kilo-calories
it reads on the fast food prospectus–just ’cause a prophet didn’t write it
doesn’t mean it’s untrue, Mo’ and mo’ years, the more I choose
beside my Jesus burger, I need more media, more YouTube
feeding tube is not enough!–need mail on phone, music on TV,
hybrid corn, a fructose I.V., a fourth meal of midnight tacos
drive-thru lines of closed eyes show ads on clothes and signs,
other’s behinds walking right to left, left to right–usness: the risk
worth taking this half field of nerves and flipping coins to kick
or be kicked on the other cheek bones protected by dead bolts,
car doors, live wires, meds, and noise canceling headphones ring
interrupting disrupting sighs: our stones, diarrhea, and UTI’s.


There is no animal

There is no animal
except in the coal
powering this magnetic platter
only minerals in this production
seduction on plates of
power, porn, and politics:
creativity on a shoestring of abstract bits and
pieces spinning around, around
for there is no memory of before, random
access from any phone, wall, lap:
shuffling forward, backwards, waiting
as a vegetable, unmoving,
for the next quest for new


What if boot camp was what it was all about

the pendulum swings and
college slides
down the bunk bed post,
debunked of passion,
penny loafers, worn, on ice rolling
credits shower mortarboards
the newly commissioned officers
grow beards in battle
and salute the retail mercenaries
and baristas in berets


Will they love me if I comment?

I will love if she comments (so many)
times and sights un-seen,
climbing mountains and sipping beers Flickr before my eye
and ewe sit behind a webbed and woolen curtain
following, descending, my stumbling Bloc,
stares into a liquid crystal reflection,
for nuclear arms are easier to hug than bloggers.


Hug buddy

another couple’s caress
is a “love is a dove from above” poem,
reserved in a library,
checking itself out it scribbles in the margin
-tly the lights fade,
the librarian says “We’re closing,”
my eyes bring no catalog of goddesses, but the book-next-store
to need me and feel me,
up to no good
-nested in this contrived world trying,
not to envision prostitutes
carrying on conversations about
Myers-Briggs, MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
by hour, do I need a pay
“meant to be?” she asks when the long
walk ends the girlfriends
gather eyes tell it all,
“he said we weren’t dating.”


We yelled for the sake of yelling our favorite songs

warm and cold is the life.
The blue LCD lingers even with friends,
my friends-my (saving me from the) screen
savers, freezing, cold, heartless–
the silence of mp3s and IMs,
the rock concert, the heavy metal hanging from the lashes, lulling to sleep–
s l o w i n g
the beams of light from reaching my eyes:
the red cheeks of winter night out glow fire and wash over the goodbye with a
“goodbye” faded with l o n g i n g,
for the radio interferes with the conversations
and with the passenger-seated soul
beside me
gliding down the interstate, the back-roads, the melting, the remembering


Go fish. I don’t have the cards you’re looking for

Don’t tell them who I am:
preconceived ideas–damn it!
I had to deal with those when I got called–oh, so long ago.
You thought I was going to make things better:
give you a mansion by the seaside?
All my talk of mansions isn’t here, you know,
to keep you warm and cozy by the fireside.
Go and save the world, and oh, and by the way,
break your grandmother’s heart
she’ll only see you every 2 years.


Dead plant on the countertop

Her angst minces my onions,
carves into the skin
and out the flesh
and into a nice salad
to serve to company;
after church, of course.
Eat me! There’s no whittling today,
this is the county fair “devour your plate and fork and everything else, too” consumption contest.
He’s not a savory sap,
but I’ll remember that the next time I spend years on a commode
just thinking about Him–after dinner that day–it was great!

(Cry / cut / sever / fingers gripping me: the dead plant on the countertop.)



© 1993-2024 by Stephen M. James.