Three Poems by James Lee Jobe


Vale Raking Light by Laura Boswell


You’re asking who knows the truth.

                “One may move so well that a foot-print never shows.” – Lao Tzu


Step into the corner of night, the edge of the blue-steel future,

step into those things that you have hoped for, but haven’t said.


You are a field left fallow, an unanswered question, a small slice

of winter that was hidden and saved for the long, slow heat of summer.


Where are your foot-prints now? What is it that you have hidden,

buried deep somewhere? How will you move at all, so badly wounded?


You are the sum and total of your every experience, your every thought.

And this is the boat of your life, slicing through a choppy, shallow bay,


the dog that just walked away, the river that laughed at the bayou

and went where it wanted to go, the sun that burned and ravaged the land.


Step into the corner of night, the edge of the blue-steel future,

step into those things that you have hoped for, but never said.


You wanted to know the truth? Friend, the truth is inside of you.


You are the only one who ever knew the truth.



Wonder in the most unlikely of circumstances.

“Existence is beyond the power of words to define.” – Lao Tzu


Because sometimes shazam just isn’t good enough.


Because horny cosmic gases have sex in the emptiness of space

and through a massive orgasm shoot freaky particles of life

across the length and width of the universe.


Because something in the seed wants to live and it struggles

and pushes against that hard shell husk until a sprout bursts out

and begins moving through the moist soil, reaching for air and light.


Because one can find wonder in the most unlikely of places,

the most unlikely of circumstances.


Because nine dozen starling change directions in mid-flight

at exactly the same moment, going exactly the same direction.

And then they do it again. And then again.


Because even the most broken human will struggle to stand.


Because a beam of light through a window will illuminate

the dust particles floating in the air, and we are hypnotized just a little,

as if we were watching a perfect ballet, and so we are.


Because a child is born to us and we love it instantly,

and that child loves us; no words need to be spoken,

no deeds need to be done. And so love begets love.


Shazam. Shazam. Shazam. 



Life from the light from the sun, joyful.

Life from the water that falls and flows, joyful.

Life from the air in each breath, joyful.

Life from the fruit of the earth, joyful.

Life from the fire that gives warmth, joyful.

Life from the love within us, joyful.

Let my thanks be joyful also.



James Lee Jobe has been published in Manzanita, Tule Review, Pearl, and many other periodicals. His online publications include Convergence, Knot Magazine, Poetry 24, Medusa’s Kitchen, and The Original Van Gogh Anthology. Jobe has authored five chapbooks, and his blog is at He has lived in Davis, California for many years.

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