Sunday, January 20, 2019

'Yolo County, Sacramento Valley.'

Yolo County, Sacramento Valley.
Light in the winter morning,
A gray glow through the tule fog,
A fog that sits low across the bottom lands,
Hugging the creeks and blanketing the reeds and oleander,
A gray sunrise that is just barely kissing the dawn,
And the silver sky is low, all is still,
An easy light, gentle and  gray,
A love, a thought, a hope.

And the creeks themselves,
Cache Creek and Putah Creek,
Dark and cold and fast,
Rinsing the earth,
Washing away the dust of summer with winter's bath,
Like dancers to a wild Spanish mambo,
Sisters of the rock and bone of living,
The blood veins to the body of the valley,
As strong as gods, full of life,
And full of death.

The valley is a marsh,
A garden for herons and waterbirds,
A green grocer for any who would tend it, love it,
Treat it like a mother or a daughter,
The soil made rich and sweet from the centuries spent under water,
When this valley was a great sea,
From water to soil to table to stomach,
Worked with love.

It is winter,
It is morning,
Another fine day in our valley.

                       -for Don Saylor-

James Lee Jobe

Saturday, January 19, 2019

'If you cannot forgive yourself'

If you cannot forgive yourself,
How can you possibly forgive anyone else?
Would you let your sins become an illness?
Must they follow you even to the grave?

Wake up.
Everything you ever needed
Has always been there, waiting.
Waiting for you.

James Lee Jobe
19 July 2018
19 Jan 2019

'Some are called low born, the poor'

Some are called low born, the poor,
But that is a lie,
An illusion.
Some are called high born,
To the manor born.
Also illusion.
All are equal in the void.
The famous senator,
The fool,
The smooth river stone.
The day of perfect sunshine
When the people danced
Is exactly the same as the day
Of the perfect and bitter winter storm
When so many perished.
What is reality?
The weeds that died
And fed the soil for next year.
The love that lived on
With the people who survived
And carried the good thoughts
For those who did not.
The way the smooth river stone
Skips across the water
As the child throws it just so
Under a purple sunset.


Friday, January 18, 2019


It can mean, almost mean, or not mean at all.
That's up to each of us.
The honesty of it is only what we ourselves add.
And not just honesty, but kindness as well.
We can put the kindness into language.
It’s the same with a life;
What’s there is largely what we put in it.
I was considering this today
As I walked through a beautiful grove
Of redwood trees. They were magnificent giants.
Waking up, I put away those those thoughts
And just moved slowly through the trees.
A squirrel played beside the creek.
There was a duck and her ducklings
Sliding into the green water, one at a time.
I startled at an egret, and she took off,
Flying low above the creek, and away
Out of my sight. A turtle sat on a wet rock.
Why fill my old head with foolish thoughts
When the green giants above me reach the sky?

-for Josh Bulriss-



Thursday, January 17, 2019

'The mind is a Trickster, fools us - ' ///

The mind is a Trickster, fools us -
The breath is true right up to the end.
Which one will you follow?

17 Jan 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

'Li Po, Hanshan - I keep their poems handy.'

Li Po, Hanshan - I keep their poems handy.
After hundreds of years passing by
The poetry still shines like new.
The same with the blues - I still listen
To the same Muddy Waters records.
Howlin’ Wolf, John Mayall, Mississippi John Hurt;
Those notes still bend the sadness.
Then my wife says,”Look at those old shoes!
Honey, you need to buy some new ones…”
Don’t worry, feet. I know what feels best.

16 Jan 2019

'Today, a long, long walk.'

Today, a long, long walk.
Tired, hot, and thirsty,
I saw some workers lounging
Under the shady branches of an old oak.
I chose a spot nearby, but not too close.
Both water and a thermos of coffee were in my pack,
Along with a book on mindfulness.
Water first, including some on my head,
Then coffee and a good read.
Be fully present.
That’s the point of this book.
So I took off my comfy old-guy shoes,
And leaned back against the tree.
Finches pecked at the ground,
The workers had scattered some crumbs.
A tiny hint of breeze came up from the South.
In the sky, just sky. Blue with white clouds.
I didn’t see any planes at all.
Breath in, breath out.
This is my body.
The workers left and so did the finches.
And so I was alone in a busy city,
Tucked away in a quiet corner.
Why not? -- I thought, and I began to sing.


'Yolo County, Sacramento Valley.'