Photo: James Hunter

You can walk your trail and tap your feet. Call the birds by name, even use their tongue as your tongue — their clicks and “coowiez” can be yours for an afternoon amongst the trees.

I sit sometimes on the porch at night, smoking into the speckled- starred sky, all out of focus. From there, I can use the ancient leaves, the fire, and the buds to see beyond my knees.

To listen, one must be quiet. To see, one must also be quiet.

Your heart
will break
into a
various shapes

but none
will be

and those
little pieces
are the ones
which put
you back

The headline reads that

spiders travel hundreds

of miles on electricity.

That’s it.

That’s what

we’re missing.

Between dragonflies

and the speed of light,

sit the tips of Tao.

Rockets, then A-bombs.

EVs, and then pulsars -

we’ll ride microwaves

to Saturn by lunchtime

if we can succumb to

our numb tendencies.

Ghost Forest in JAX, Fl — photo by James Hunter
Ghost Forest in JAX, Fl — photo by James Hunter
Photo by James Hunter — location, Ghost Forest, JAX

Is anyone surprised?

With a network of
microbial weaving,
they share stories
and antidotes.
They conspire
and flirt.

Sometimes, you walk
into their orgy
and get a nose full.

The junipers are
doing it now.
Is anyone surprised?

j.h. 12/7

Photo: James Hunter

I am a winter cigar smoker.
I have never been addicted to a substance.
It may have been mom’s smoking habit
when I was a kid,
but that gene in me is burnt out.
I’ll forget I smoke these
for months at a time.
Then I’ll think of bourbon.

If you give a man a drink,
he may ask for a smoke
and if you give him a smoke,
he’ll want a seat to go with it.
Once you give him a seat,
he may write you a poem.

I bought this little ashtray in Paris.
On it is a little…

I’d like to write a book of poems
where I ultimately apologize to my wife
for childishly complaining that my needs
weren’t met while she mourned her
father’s failed mind and eventual passing,
her nervous breakdown, and menopause.

But I won’t, unlikely to stitch
the stringy thing I broke back together.
It wasn’t, isn’t, won’t be mine to mend.
To give rest, harmony, and kind comfort
now, with venturing encouragement;
back into the world of bees, butterflies,
and swirly things. She’ll mend — as we do,
as I too have done.

If I wrote her a poem, I would celebrate

Sometimes a poem and a hit off the old Sharpie is the medicine needed to get through the day.

Bones in the Yard

My wife encouraged my fat and hid me behind a beard.
I developed a rash after a while, and the only way out
was to shave the beard. Also, Covid-19 was raging
and a beard inhibited the snug fit of a safety mask.

I’ve shaved the beard a few times after a long growth.
Once out of spite, I bagged it for her so that she could
weep on it if she ever felt the need. Somehow cruelty snuck
into the marriage. It’s not something I’m proud of.

I posted a picture of my freshly shorn chin and cheekbones.
One of…

James Hunter

OG Seattleite photographer, poet, and publisher now living in the oceanic estuary of a North Florida preserve. Art City Books & Ghost Forests = passion projects

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