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 Mar 2020 James Floss
We've come to tell you
We've fallen in love
She's going away with me
We respect you too much
To leave you hanging
You've done so much
But this is farewell
We've fallen in love.

What could I say?
"Thank you
Thank you
Thank you
You've saved my life
I'll see you again sometime
Somewhere down the road."
 Feb 2020 James Floss
I'VE been crying

JUST quit hurting

TRIED to live on

TO you

FORGET the hurt

i've just tried to forget
 Jan 2020 James Floss
Why oh why does the song sing
Why oh why does the sun rise
Why oh why am I?

Why oh why am I alive
Why oh why does my ear ache
Why oh why do I feel so sad
Why oh why?

Why oh why Mommy
Why oh why Daddy
Why oh why my brother
Why oh why my sister
Could you love me so well
And hurt me so bad
Why oh why?

Why oh why is the sky so blue
Why oh why do I love you
Why oh why do you love me too?

Why oh why am I getting too old
Why oh why am I still so young
Why oh why is there time?

Why oh why is there slaughter
On an microscopic planet in the milky way among billions of galaxies
Why oh why?

Why oh why is the darkness
The perfect screen for the imagination?

Why oh why does the poet know
And I don't know nothing at all.

Why oh why, you probably have your own
The timer is ticking down
Why oh why, time to go.
 Jun 2019 James Floss
The hound dog sings the blues again
Jumping into the probability  continuum
Finding bliss or frustrated suffering
Gotta keep moving
Cutting our losses
Honoring commitment

Of winners and losers
Letting the cards fall where they may
Finding peace where we can
While the hound dog sings the blues again.
 Jan 2019 James Floss
 Jan 2019 James Floss
All her poems she writes
Pour out of her heart
As if a secret that was
kept for years
 Jan 2019 James Floss
When you are swept over by sorrow
And your night is forlorn
When your hours are reigning pain
My compassion will be there.

When everything is taken
And your attachments are all broken
And you've squandered your daily bank of seconds
My compassion will be there.

When rage and retaliation strike home
Alienation, isolation sings loud
When the thoughts are like a spinning whirling twisted train with the most perverse of engineers
And the tracks lead to endless night
My compassion will be there.

When love has slipped through your fingers again
And you're in the deepest hole you've ever known with only a shovel
And your fingers can't grip
And it can't be fixed without a ladder
And there is no ladder anywhere
My compassion will be there.

Whether you're too young or too old
Whether your world is
Expanding  or contracting
My compassion will be there.

Countless life stories
Many echoing rooms
The human condition played out
In infinite permutations
When I have nothing else to say
And nothing else to give
As best I can
My compassion will be there.
 Dec 2018 James Floss
The rain finally comes
The spring rises up to greet the sun
On the long river highway,
The road is long
Past the brook
Past the stream
Along the river
Beyond the lake
Past the lagoon
The wetlands too
The highway a ribbon unfolds
Out to the ocean the road goes
With the promise of deepest
 Nov 2018 James Floss
I don't want another Vietnam,
Iraq or Afghanistan

I don't want another wild fire
Flash flood
Or hurricane

I don't want another mass shooting
Circumstances which are dire

I don't want to hear
All these cries
I don't want to hear
All these lies
I don't want to know
All these scams
No, I don't want to come over
And hold your hand
I don't want no stinking badge

I don't want a see a magic
I don't want to wake,
Out of this slumber

I don't want to know
What I'm supposed to do
Supposed to see
Supposed to be

No, I don't want to
be your friend
I don't want to have to extend
No, I don't want to have this conversation

I just want silence
And the end.

What then?

Blessings they come everyday
In everyway
There is beauty in the lullaby in the winds
The starlings, a river flowing
From this tree to another
The woods green in the fall sun

Which way is it going to be today?

It's going to be
What it's going to be

I don't know

I don't want to know
But it's all a blessing
So they say
Which is it going to be

Surely one more breath and to our present,
We'll keep on fighting
while we
 Oct 2018 James Floss
I'M MAKING nachos in your toaster oven. The chips fall in the pan without a problem. Beans, evenly distributed (if I do say so myself.) Salsa- good to go. Then the cheese. Generic brand shredded cheese blend. I dangle my (washed) fingers into the zip-lock bag, grab a generous pinch and rain mild cheddar down on my gourmet meal. And I feel the tears building. "No," my conscious scolds, "you will not cry over shredded cheese." I add another pinch for flavor, then another to assert dominance. I slide the pan into the tiny oven- triumphant! But the next task breaks me. I freeze when I try to adjust the heat setting. I hear your voice so clearly, like you're still calling from the next room: "you have to press the TOAST button, it cooks much faster."  The tears start to roll. I think about how excited you were when cheese bubbled perfectly- "just a little brown, ever so slightly crispy." We would joke about your persnickety preferences, likely a product of your superior taste. Of course, you would have appreciated anything I made for you, but it was always better when the dish matched the idea in your head...when I made it like you would have made it (if you were only well enough to cook for yourself again.) In the present, I poke the TOAST button and flee the kitchen as to not cry in front of the smothered chips. I sit on the sofa and break down, gasping in childish sobs. "I miss her," I wail to an empty house. Warm tears coat my cheeks in the air-conditioned room. I feel so small. I feel so foolish for crying over stupid, little things. I feel so... so... A bell dings in the kitchen. I wipe my sleeve across my face and traipse back to the toaster. Hand into oven mitt, mitt onto pan, pan onto table. I grab the plastic tubs of sour cream and guacamole from the fridge and a spoon from the drawer that sticks a little when you try to open it. I pick the non-wilted bits off the head of lettuce and rinse them under the faucet. I finish the recipe. I pull out a chair. I sit down to nachos for one.
Grief is such a strange emotion/process.

*Oh my! Thank you all so much for your support! I wrote this back in June when I needed to get it out of my head and had no idea it was chosen as a daily until I just logged back on and thought there was a glitch with my notifications number. I was slightly mortified that a piece of my mourning got exposure but after reading your comments I'm glad that I documented something many of you identified with. I've since journeyed a bit farther in my grief- slowly overcoming my initial instinct of trying to instantaneously analyze every feeling to determine whether I'm "allowed" to have it. I went to a group bereavement meeting offered by the hospital that treated the loved one in this poem and the nurse running the session made a good point- no one can fully understand another person's relationship with an individual who's passed on. Interpersonal relationships are unique and so is grieving. Being gentle with yourself (especially in times of struggle) is woefully underrated. And with that, I send love, gratitude, and positive vibes to this wonderful community
 Sep 2018 James Floss
Cannabis Cannabis
Are you my friend?
We've  been asking this question
Since who knows when

From the bedroom
To the bathroom
To the den,
Sitting out on the porch
Or out on the back deck
Out by the cactus
Out in the pasture with the brook running through it
Or in
The redwoods ecstatic in the moving fog
With the walls closing in
To the poetry within,
Contentment, lethargic exhaustion, anxiety, with the music moving,
self consciousness exquisite,
ego disintegrating
Remembering, forgetting,
Back again
Oh, cannabis cannabis
Are you my friend

We've had the dance
I can't deny
From stems and seeds
To Humboldt flower dispensary
Many stops in between

You've played with my mind
Sometimes I wonder who I would have been

Cannabis, oh cannabis
Are you my friend? (Old friend).
As Traveler Tim told me many moons ago, "It's poetry, not autobiography"
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