Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best Famous James Lee Jobe Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous James Lee Jobe poems. This is a select list of the best famous James Lee Jobe poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous James Lee Jobe poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of James Lee Jobe poems.

Search for the best famous James Lee Jobe poems, articles about James Lee Jobe poems, poetry blogs, or anything else James Lee Jobe poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also: Best Member Poems

Go Back

by James Lee Jobe |

Eternity

  for C. G. Macdonald, 1956-2006


Charlie, sunrise is a three-legged mongrel dog,

going deaf, already blind in one eye,

answering to the unlikely name, 'Lucky.'


The sky, at gray-blue dawn, is a football field painted 

by smiling artists. Each artist has 3 arms, 3 hands, 3 legs.

One leg drags behind, leaving a trail, leaving a mark.


The future resembles a cloudy dream 

where the ghosts of all your life

try to tell you something, but what?


Noon is a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy.

Midnight is an ugly chipped plate

that you only use when you are alone.


Sunset is a wise cat who ignores you

even when you are offering food; her conception

of what life is, or isn't, far exceeds our own.


This moment is a desert at midnight,

the hunting moon is full, and owls 

fly through a cloudless sky.


The past is a winding, green river valley

deep between pine covered ridges;

what can you make of that?


Night is a secret plant growing inky black against the sky.

When this plant's life is over, then day returns 

like a drunken husband who stayed out until breakfast.


A smile is a quick glimpse at the pretty face of hope.

Hope's face is framed by the beautiful night sky.

Hope's face is framed by the gray-blue dawn.


This is your life, these seconds and years

are the music for your only dance. Charlie,

This is the eternity that you get to know.


by James Lee Jobe |

Richard

 It's mid-winter and the sunrise knows it, and wakes me 

with a shudder; I'm just a man. 


For 5 cold mornings in a row, the beautiful pheasant 

has come to our patio to steal some of the dry catfood, 

sometimes right in front of my cat.


The house is still, and I enjoy the Sunday newspaper 

with strong, dark coffee; the smell of it dances 

around in the early darkness.


Driving to church there is bright, eager sunshine, 

and the shadows of bare winter oaks stripe the lane 

like a zebra; shadow, light, shadow.


At church I pray for my favorite aunt, Anna, her clock 

seems to be quickly winding down, dear lady, widow 

of my favorite uncle, Richard; mostly I just pray 

that she finds her center.


The pheasant is a male, strikingly colored, 

so beautiful, in fact, that I've begun to scatter extra catfood 

to draw him back; we have become his grocery store.


I tell my wife that if he comes a 6th day, I'll give him a name, 

Richard; but he never comes again.


by James Lee Jobe |

Redbud Trail - Winter

 It??™s two muddy miles from Highway 20,
just past the north fork of Cache Creek,
across the broad meadow, through 
blue oak woodland, up, up to the ridge,
and back down to the creek bank,
the crossing point, me striding with
mud caking my old hiking boots.



For a millennia the Miwok people walked 
these canyons and ridges. Pomo, too.
Gathering acorns to trade, the sweetest 
was said to be from the Coastal Live Oaks.
Or bringing down a mule deer, a Tule elk,
meat for everyone, garments or a drumskin
from the hide, tools from the bones,
a knife, a skewer, thanks given
to the beast??™s soul for its gift. 



Once up on the ridge, the view takes me,
Brushy Sky High Mountain looms above 
like an overanxious parent, the creek sings 
old songs for the valley oaks, for the deer grass. 
Less muddy, I kick my boots a little cleaner 
on a rock that is maybe as old as the earth.



I used to come up here and cut sage for burning,
a smudge to carry my prayers to Her in smoke.
I grow sage now at my home, but still I come,
eating down by the creek, building a medicine wheel
from creek stones, in winter spreading a small tarp 
across the mud to eat and sleep on. I make prayers
for my mother, to fight the cancer inside her,
for my children to know peace and plenty,
prayers that I might find the right way.




The Pomo, the Miwok, the Patwin
were all basket-weavers, makers
of intricate designs from White Root,
Willow, Oak sticks. Gathered here,
at this crossing, century after century.
Medicine too, from roots, bark, and nut,
prayers and songs offered up, thanks given. 
Here. Medicine that healed the hurts 
the Earth caused, but could not ward off
the diseases the Europeans brought.
The people died by the thousands;
where are their spirits now?
At peace with the creek, I hope,
and I send a little prayer to them, too.



I take an apple from my pack,
bought at a Davis, California grocery store,
where the Patwin village Poo-tah-toi
once flourished. Children ran
and played, families grew, all gone now.
There is a little opening at the base
of a Valley Oak, I imagine that it is a doorway
to the Other World, and leave the apple,
a snack for whatever may find it,
a raccoon or deer, a lost spirit,
or maybe even The Great She.



You can cross the creek here, but in winter I don??™t.
Two more miles through the Wilson Valley links
you to the Judge Davis Trail, which snakes
up the spine of a long ridge on an old fire road.
Too much mud this day, so I just nap 
until I get cold, pack up, the friendly weight
of my pack on my back, down to Highway 20,
down to the other world. Redbud Trail. Winter.


by James Lee Jobe |

Moon In Virgo

 You are not beaten. The simple music rises up,

children's voices in the air, sound floating out

across the land and on to the river beyond,

over the valley's floor. No, you cannot go back

for those things you lost, the parts of yourself

that were taken, often by force. Like an animal

in the forest you must weep it all away at once,

violently, and then simply live on. The music here

is Bach, Vivaldi; a chorale of children, a piano,

a violin. Together, they have a certain spirit

that is light, that lets in light, joyful, ecstatic.

"Forgive," said The Christ, and why not? Every day

that you still breathe has all the joy

and murderous possibilities of your bravest dream.

Forgive. Breathe. Live. The moon has entered Virgo,

the wind shifts, blows up from the Delta, cools this valley,

and you are not beaten; the children sing, it is Bach,

and you are brave, alive, and human.


by James Lee Jobe |

WHAT I DID IN THE MOONLIGHT

 I planted my grief
in freshly turned earth
A tree grows there now
You should see the size of it

I filled my wheel-barrow
with all my pointless regrets
I put them out by the curb
A truck will pick them up on Thursday

I spent some time following my cat
She led me all around our yard
stopping to rub her face in mint
I rubbed my face in mint, too

The moon shone on and on 
climbing higher above the park across the street
"Who can stay awake longer?" I asked her
as she began her long arc back down


by James Lee Jobe |

Quietly

 Quiet! Today the earth tells me, be quiet.

Ssh! No talking now. Our soul

is listening to tiny things, almost silent.

This is a language that you feel.

Our soul, says the earth, hears every little sound.


by James Lee Jobe |

SPROUT

 It could be Valley Oak or Snap-bean,

Elderberry, or Cattail rising out of the creek;

all began the same, a spark of life inside,

the need to be coaxing their will into action.


Seed and pod, nut and bulb, cajoled awake, called 

by the warmth of the sun, moisture in the soil, 

swelling them, filling their hearts, beginning 

the slow push against the dormancy of the husk.


The earth itself helps, offering its richness

to eat, till one by one each plant claims a soul,

and bursts free into the air, breathing, giving breath,

living in the sweet light of the distant sun.