Three Poems | by James Fowler


The summer evening presses down
with trills of robins sunset songs,
the scents of barbecues, the glow
of half a moon. Along the streets,
the lights come on. I head for bed.

A single pop, a warning shot,
and my neighbor brings this night alive,
with rocket rounds and spinning flights
whatever else they let him buy.
He does outdo the charcoal scents,
the songs of birds, and tempts the moon.
The moons too bright to make response.

The reps from town and state all say,
he has the right, it is his land.
A crowded neighborhood, my house
down wind, my fragment-littered lawn
dont mean a thing. Its down to rights.



The old woman ahead of me at the check-out whispers, I only have $20. Please stop there.
The cashier rings up: 6 cans of cat food, 4 cans of beans, a 2 lbs bag of potatoes, a dozen eggs, a two-roll pack of toilet paper. She stops at 19.48. I offer to pay the 2.97 for the 3 boxes of frozen peas left on the counter. The woman points a finger at me.  If Id wanted handouts, Id have gotten food stamps.
The woman behind me tells her, shes earned the right for assistance. She should apply. The old woman screams, You dont understand. None of you will ever understand.
She grabs her groceries and stomps out of the store.
As I drive out of the parking lot, sunlight
strikes my windshield. I cant see, its so bright.


The wind whispers to the old man
who stands upon his favorite rock
and sees the world washed gray and tan.
The wind whispers to the old man
sends him to when colors began,
before loneliness, before clocks,
before wind talked to an old man
who stood upon his favorite rock.

The world has been washed tan and gray
that yesterday was shades of green.
He hears bird songs, but blue of jay
is like the world, washed tan and gray.
Is it his eyes, the woods, the day
that makes him think hes stuck in scenes
where colors are washed tan and gray
that his mind says were shades of green?



After 25 years, I retired from the US Navy as a Senior Chief in 1994, and used my GI Bill to get a masters degree in Environmental Science majoring in Nature Writing from Antioch University New England in Keene, New Hampshire. I edited Heartbeat of New England: An Anthology of Nature Poems (2000 Tiger Moon Productions) for my final practicum. I have been a judge for Poetry Out Loud.
Over two hundred fifty of my poems in various forms have been published in such journals as Bitter Oleander, Sentence, Connecticut Review, Worchester Review, etc. and on line in such places as, Scapegoat Review, Rats Ass Review and In 2012, Finishing Line Press published a chapbook of my Japanese forms, Connections to This World. My latest book Falling Ashes is Volume VII in Hobblebush Presss Granite State Poetry series.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. macaw51 says:

    Your poems are incredible, Jim!


  2. Ingrid Bruck says:

    You capture what’s human and divine in these poems, I like your feisty old lady who stands on her own feet and the gray-brown rock man. Great writing!


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