After the Gale

bark black and white hardwood oak

Ivory spines disguise the oaks’ south sides,

slivers of sunshine lightening their rough

trunks. What furrowed pallor, what dignity:

spires anchored to all others underneath,

delight clad in the plucked bones of winter.

What diligence, what staid bystanding: a

throng of distinct ascetics, enmeshed horde

of collective loners. It’s as if they’re

avowing how steadfastness, soon resumed,

enroots in you your essential locale.

            —first published in MORIA

Poem by D.R. James

Recently retired from nearly 45 years of teaching college writing, literature, and peace studies, D. R. James lives, writes, bird-watches, and cycles with his psychotherapist wife in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan. His latest of ten collections are Mobius Trip and Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2021, 2020), and his prose and poems have appeared in a wide variety of print and online anthologies and journals, including Tiny Seed.