A Poem by James Grinwis

James Grinwis

James Grinwis

James Grinwis is the author of The City From Nome (National Poetry Review Press) and Exhibit of Forking Paths (Coffee House/ National Poetry Series), both of which appeared in 2011. The founding editor of Bateau Press, he lives and works in Greenfield MA. His poems have appeared recently in Bennington Review, Packingtown Review, Pembroke Magazine, Poetry Northwest, Hotel Amerika, and Rogue Agent.


It was dark in the wilderness.
The goats had this huge estrangement about them.
A light out of the clouds was extinguishing.
It is on occasion this way
when I walk into someone imaginary.


The music is a discus.
The rhino with its horn cut out
scrambled in brambles.
My neighbor sighed with me.
Life was difficult this time of year.
When a handout is fed to you
it is a sign of hope.


The innocent was not so.
He was sort of porky looking.
There are times the earth
turns on itself, or someone else
does it. Seven deer charged the field,
the thunder of hooves like faces
of those you have loved.


It is lucky to be loved,
or have this thing inside you that might
not sing but very clearly hums.


Towards the end one
may go with one’s enemy,
when one is worried especially.
Don’t worry about it.


In the end of the moment was another section.
A heartbreak song
depends on you.
Sometimes like an ice sheet,
living piece by piece, hard.
There is the tough snowbird,
you can hear her calling out
great joy through the woods.