Fugitives – Dominic James

below a tall, stark sky

Dominic James lives in the Cotswolds and attends poetry meetings along the Thames Valley. His collection, Pilgrim Station, was published by SPM Publications in 2016.


With elder bloom and hawthorn sheaves
a better place found to grieve,
fresh in the morning sun:
let blossom shed by apple trees
bathe my eyes, let tears come. 

Troubles have I known.  Move on.
I still believe warm drops, dissolved
can separate the single soul 
from a wounded heart – a sleight of hand
bruising to the fragile ribs, 

pinches at soft tissue, muscle –
I could win back my willing half 
but after so much shared and lost,
to find another’s turned away, 
shrugged me off: I’m hollow.

Blue-finned, the magpie struts and hops 
his vine-entangled, fence’s row
much as he skips from love to love,
merciless, our native crow
contrasts zip to sorrow.

If charity lacks value then
the fugitive’s well understood:
once stolen off and gone for good
seeks brazen reassurances.
I offered those as well.

            Cock robin on a limb
pipe up and sing Poor Me, in shade
below a tall, stark sky
no sign of rain to prick my eyes,
make tears come, not me.

Dominic James

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