James Grabill


Let’s make this as quick as it can be.  I don’t believe
in the donkey of clover when everything parks a car
on the back of a molecule, if that’s what it does.  
When what weighs is what might float, and the weight
of river water allows for the newly tamed next electrons.  
When a person lights the room, and the walls can finally
become themselves.  When what a person cares about
deposits a wreck on the beach: health care, dollars,
the Statue of Liberty, good films, etc.  When in shadows
of Farm-All iron wheels, a man in Ohio sees root muskets
glowing darkly under the rapids.  And I think this even
if suddenly everything breathes when anything breathes.  

For I believe in the one only person, the next one only,
and a next, and a next prayer-beaded, sweat-salted
exchange when a dragonfly reaches an overgrown field.  
Daylight has already known nothing and made its will out
to a body that readily shows its ancestors, not to mention
the spiral brain tower in Barcelona or elephantine gymnasium
before us.  Buddha prayed as a human, because he had to eat
or die.  Quickly he lived for free.  I believe he saw
that when we take too much for granted, prices rise
and at once the cost of honest breath is suffering.

James Grabill’s poems have appeared in numerous periodicals such as Willow Springs, Poetry East, Ur Vox, Field, East West Journal, and The Common Review.  His recent books of poems are October Wind (Sage Hill Press, 2006) and An Indigo Scent after the Rain (Lynx House Press, 2003), and he has two collections of creative nonfiction, Finding the Top of the Sky (Lost Horse Press, 2005) and Through the Green Fire (Holy Cow! Press, 1995).  He lives in Portland, Oregon, and teaches writing, literature (Beat Lit, Creative Nonfiction, & Shakespeare), and sustainability.



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