Poetry Issue 10

   Issue # 10: July-December 2008

Thomas James



The Stone Season


      In the greenhouse things are happening—
      I am all thumbs. They are splendid emeralds,
      They work against the withering,

      A world outside white with cold,
      Frost manipulating all the leaves.
      Mixed in air, bigger than a wheatfield,

      A mossy fragrance. Things come alive
      After centuries of drowsiness—
      It is like opening a grave,

      Exhuming the competent, the serious,
      The fern uncurling its swan’s neck,
      The cabbage opening like a rose,

      Durable blossoms that will never break.
      I am the sorcerer’s apprentice.
      I am wide-eyed, I watch things wake

      And stiffen under countless panes of glass
      Where the old magician glides in a dirty smock,
      Tuning the roses in, coaxing the lime trees,

      Which wait like children in the morning dark,
      Each with a name tag, twelve displaced persons
      Whose nerves grow sensitive to the old magic—

      Buds swaying out of ancient bones,
      The brown bug waking in the table top.
      I stretch my arms into a stone season.