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Water Wild

Water is life.
So drink.
But in the stream

Water Wild is dangerous today,
not with the sudden storm, rapids, flash floods,
and volatile changes in heat and its drastic withdrawal;

not only these, but with new unseen germs

and older, louder ones polluting all
requiring potions only poets, in the short run,
can provide. In the long run, of course,
some seas of impending blood to match such fury
will take care of the fire and dismal din.

But till then, boil your water first, or drop the pill
that kills the sickness. Then
and only then, when in the woods
or wilderness, can you and I
drink the water, today,
and partake of discourse, friendship, even life.

  James B. Nicola__

One Day Years Ago

When someone said that we, or you, or I
were made in His image, this someone did
not mean a simulacrum of, well, Him;
rather, an idea He entertained
that entertained Him, one day, years ago

as a child might make a castle of the sand
on a beach and watch it, or not watch it, go;
or an emperor build a city; an artist
or architect, a masterpiece; a thinker,
scribbles of dreamt-on verse, from time to Time.

Of course, with stanzas, verse becomes a house
of rooms, and with a book of verse, a city;
with several books, an empire might be born,
far-sprawling, then forgotten. That is why

I loved discovering on the beach, one day
years ago, the old man who told me he
had been a poet, and loved helping him
concoct a castle and watch the gentle waves
of a lazy rising afternoon tide wash
it over so it glistened in the foam
until, by dusk, all three of us were gone.

I now wish I had asked the man his name
so that today I might track down a volume
of him, and images he had one day
years ago, worthy of creation, then.

The thought of him still haunts me as an im-
age, though, of the sands at St. Augustine,
where I played in the sand, once, years ago:
particularly when I’m on a foam-
washed beach, with children playing, some old man,
and me, and not a castle’s to be seen,
and the gentle rote makes every sand-grain

  James B. Nicola __

A Writer to a Lothario

You’ve got your tricks
for getting chicks,
I’ve got mine
for hatching them
with a valentine
in every verse
to bribe the Shroud-’n’-Sickle.
Had I a nickel
for every line
I would have succeeded
and wouldn’t have needed
to worry. The curse
is the blessing, though,
which is not to know
if what’s been done
will be enough
at the visited time.
Meanwhile, I live
in hope, and so
another one—
a poem, a love—
of unfirm form,
content, or style,
to sit on awhile,
and give.

  James B. Nicola__

[If I could describe the world around me]

If I could describe the world around me
so you could see the world around me
i'd describe the world around me
and you would see the world around me

If I could describe the world I know and feel
so you could know and feel the world I know
and feel I would describe the world I know
and feel and you would know and feel it too

I can't

The difference
is the distance
between us

A distance
we can celebrate
not knowing
not feeling
not describing
but being


even without meeting

Like this

  James B. Nicola__