Two Poems by David James






Our Pandemic Blues

my friend Jack tells me about
this new syndrome called surge depletion.

it’s like
our human batteries are running low after working so hard to stay
in place due to COVID, economic collapse, an election
that resembles a circus with albino bears riding bikes
through town, promising to give us a piece

of the pie,
lying out of every orifice possible. it’s all i can do
to get out of bed. i’m in a capture-and-release
program but never released. i’m a kite in the sky
with no strings. i’m a yellow mask without a face.

what’s a sane
person to do? grin and bear it? eat more gummies?
camp out for hours in front of a computer and embrace
your digital self? it’s our first pandemic, people. we shouldn’t blame
ourselves for surge depletion and ambiguous loss.

i say wake up,
drink some tea, watch the sun crack open an autumn sky.
hell, buy yourself some down time and forget about the cost.

What We Learn of Faith
for Nick Bozanic

is to trust the heart.
It’s like a trout in the river,
swimming with ease
and confidence, hunkering down
under the fallen tree
to rest.

Sometimes it breaks
the surface, leaping into sunlight,
splashing back
into the water,
gone, quiet, invisible,
but there. Always there.


David James has published five books, six chapbooks and has had more than thirty of his one-act plays produced in the U.S. and Ireland. He teaches at Oakland Community College.

Image: Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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