Poem 121, day 134: Knotted



I don’t understand the tangle.

The strands that pull and get caught;


It doesn’t even make for a story.

I watch him attempt to draw the back view of a figure.

Frown at the restriction of paper.

His mind sees nothing else, whereas mine,


Mine wells up at the touch of an old keyboard.

Brims with memory not worthy of thought.


He loves me. So does she, so do others.

Surely it must soon unravel.

The drawing is finished, he places it down.

My eyes won’t move off the misplaced line.


~ S L. James



Poem 120, day 132: Falsely Quiet

Falsely Quiet


Surely such a large space should be louder somehow.

Fields stretch like time, pigeons sleep with heads buried in wings,

Cyclists pass like soft cloud.

Noise is lost beneath figures that lie flat and lace their fingers with grass,

The squeal of childhood trapped in swing chains and echoing no further

Than dry fence posts buckled by heat.

In fact everyone talks; dogs yap, twigs break, but you wouldn’t know.

Right now the distance is too great, and all that speaks is movement.


~ S L. James

Poem 119, day 131: The Home

The Home


He led her small, child- like

Figure from room to room as

She whispered she’d like a cup of tea,

Raised his hand to conduct the notes

That sprang from her lips

Like an unexpected knock at a door.

She’d forgotten his name

Yet grasped his hand,

Her head just above his hip.

Their footsteps held

Almost two hundred years between them.

As they walked, smiled, nodded,

They exclaimed at the softness of

Carpet; new, fitted just the other week.


~  S L. James

Poem 118, day 130: The Trick

The Trick


She smiled to an empty room.

The scent of polish clung to photographs,

Gaps of shelf, the television stand.


She never did lift the candles and

As for the books, there were far too many.

How long would it take to dust each one?


Hours, perhaps, and anyway,

Who can know if it’s hidden, if the

Space beneath the lampshade


Remains untouched. Others will

Smell the polish, see the smile

And believe that the blush of cheekbone


Was never faked. All the while

The stubbornness of fingertips

Refusing to do more than they wish.


~ S L. James

Poem 116, day 126: For Now.

For Now.


When I was around fifteen years old

I watched my first real crush hold hands with another girl.


In an instant perspective changed.


That puppet turn of head in the playground-

The glimpse of her chin dropped in laughter,

His palm cupped at her waist,

Felt like the worst heartache in the world.


All will know those times;

Lived, forgotten.

In later years swept aside for a true concept of love.


I hold him as though a sea of china would smash if I didn’t.


Many will know the linger of the snap of tongue;

A stain scrubbed at, fading, almost, but not quite.


On the walk it starts to rain and tree bark dampens.


The dog raises her tail and chases the stick-

Leaps at it, grabs it, tosses it up.

She won’t bring it back, she’s distracted by

A jogger, by the thud of feet.


I need to hold him like that, when

Pen won’t touch paper and everything jars.


Some will know.




~S L. James


Poem 114, day 119: Music



A few notes,

A familiar strum of strings,

Sometimes all it takes is

A single piano key.


The temper of childhood

Recreated, the little box

Hidden in a jumper in

A wardrobe to make sure.


When words mean everything,

Simply because

It never is possible

To sum up yourself.


Our heads lay side by side.

The music offered dimensions

We’d forgotten; yet

Too easily recalled.


~ S L. James