James A. Pearson

Writing is how I read the world.

Category: Poetry

The Volvo XC90 Sport Utility Vehicle

Who is the man who buys himself
The Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle
Fire truck red
And keeps it spotless against the desert winter
On his way back to New Mexico from snow-white Flagstaff, Arizona?
And who is his God?

You Take It With You

Remember that you take it with you
All of it
Even the fuzzy and forgotten parts
It’s all there in the way you breathe now
In the questions you never would have thought to ask
In the new sense by which you navigate the world outside
And the world within
The legacy of every moment beats within you
Fifty, eighty, one hundred times per minute

[this one is dedicated to my friends Scott and Julie, who recently moved back to the US from Uganda, and to the many friends I’ve left and seen leave over the years]

A White Bird

A bird banks against the wind
Of an oncoming storm
The tops of its wings so white against
Charcoal clouds
That my camera finds no data there
A blank spot in the storm
A soaring hole thru the darkness
To let the light back in

Invisible Trails

Follow the invisible paths
Walk upon the high places
The sides of mountains
The edges of planters along the road
And when the trail gets too narrow to walk
Keep your knees bent
And your feet light
And your eyes on what calls you
And dance along its dangers


You wear your beauty like a crown
You wear your crown like it’s a sword
You wield your sword like it’s a shield
You hold your shield like you’re afraid

Afraid the world is after you
Or even worse, it’s not

The Longest Chase: A Caper

“Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had spent in doing it, and again, all was vanity and a chasing after the wind…”
-Solomon, King of Israel

I gave chase and chase
I followed it through the shedding trees of a brick campus
Into the dark closeness of Friday’s theater nights

I gave chase and chase
Across the yearly stage and bound it in a leather scroll
Sealed with the shake of a stranger’s hand

I gave chase and chase
Up endless falling stairs to the highest window in a gleaming tower
A dead end in the cornered office

I gave chase and chase
Finding its secret jet streams across the globe
Brushing it like the shoulders of 1,000 languages

I gave chase and chase
Straining to the thinnest peak where it bit me and fled
And I watched it cavort in valleys that it’s known for all time

Spinning the dust that used to be rock and bending giants
That it carried once as seeds
And confusing the few hairs of a grandfather whose grandfathers’
Ancestors gave chase like me

And the wind escaped again

© 2015 James A. Pearson

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