D. R. James’s latest of nine collections are Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2020), Surreal Expulsion (The Poetry Box, 2019), and If god were gentle (Dos Madres Press, 2017), and his micro-chapbook All Her Jazz is free, fun, and printable-for-folding at the Origami Poems Project. His prose and poems appear in a variety of anthologies and journals, including The Galway Review. James and his wife, psychotherapist Suzy Doyle, live in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan, USA.

Slackening Observed

A cardinal, its heaven’s sound, the winter’s
effervescent rag with salutating
gait. Notes etch, sun foils, and cathedralic
miles enlarge the whispering. To center
oneself, to murmur, to intercept the
synchronizing run that’s rioting, is
as longingly still as the slope outside
the city’s heaves, the barn-red-confetti’d
woods, the uniform crisp of autumn days,
shallows iced to the shoreline, valley’s dream.

—first published in From Whispers to Roars