James Jackson

A Raccoon Knocked Over A Garbage Bin

The daddy longlegs cantilevers from Styrofoam

to sidewalk. Beetles, red-handed, scurry from a brown banana peel,

and as my gloved hands rake the dregs of recent days to neatly seal

in a new black bag, I think of how much we lose

in a week, or in the span of a second, some wayward glance,

a hush in a waning tide … no moon, no sun, no, merely

the space between … wrinkles slink into our faces.

I would give you wings, but you have risen,

already, high into infertile sky. And in the morning,

without sunrise, I will swear

the wings were broken, were never there, or were crushed,

in some tiny state of insignificance.

Nothing Makes Sense And I’m Glad We Understand That

Wait for the sun to shine past noon.

Palm trees quiver in a vortex of goosebumps.

The universe revealed itself

as a skeleton in the sky.

Vertebrae wisps, stoic.

Jets soared through bone rings

and whispered softly to faraway swans.

Gaze into the galaxy – golden

stalagmites in deep caves – we understand

that we scatter like gulls

only to congregate again

and dance above the sea

all the swirling rainbow colors

in the reflections from puddles

Unravel the universe

from a spool. And as

thread slowly sways,


what we understand.


I learn the mechanics

of fingers, the recess

into runaway clouds, teetering

on the exosphere–

another tiny fraction of the universe,

decimal place moving to the beat

of our tectonics? How they callous

in interminable waltz; still,

when we waltz, time

does not grant that to us.

Displaying IMG_20150926_113351.jpgJames Croal Jackson lives for art, adventure, whiskey, and music. He has been widely published and his poems have recently appeared in The Bitter Oleander, LEVELER, and 99 Pine Street. He moved from Los Angeles to Columbus, OH in the middle of a 48-state road trip. Find more of his work at jimjakk.com


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