local_library Almost Early Spring

by D. R. James

Published in Issue No. 255 ~ August, 2018

Fern moods flicker within this rain’s haughty coven—

in its strange calls to sleep and mosquitos,

and to the thoughtless trillium—


and I’m playing No Regrets on my fingers

with an unbroken and forgetful studiousness.

(If whispers peg me a god’s monster, ah, well.)


This time I’m turning my face forward toward

the green volcanoes building in the trees,

whose scheduled dimpled buds will duly jolt me.


We’re half a dozen months from apples again, which

doesn’t matter to the hot stars that trail their cold light, yawn,

dock beside the house—true and bored—unmistakenly—


in unquested silence. I open my mind and trade out

their strung-up nonchalance for waterfalls of sunshine,

for clay pots of basil, cilantro, for barrelsful of the red fruit.

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D. R. James has been teaching writing, literature, and peace-making at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, for 33 years and lives in the woods east of Saugatuck. Poetry and prose have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, and his newest of seven poetry collections are If god were gentle (Dos Madres Press, 2017) and the chapbooks Split-Level and Why War (both Finishing Line Press, 2017 and 2014). When not cycling with his wife, psychotherapist Suzy Doyle, he divides his free time between staring at the woods from a recliner and staring at the woods from a deck chair.