Poems by J. Lewis

old friend

yesterdays were rich and full
hours of quiet talk
spent savoring our favorite meals
never the common mill-run fare
no, we wrapped friendship
in the aromas of aged asiago
on poached egg
traded opinions
like bites of garlic toast
or soft-ripe avocado
an occasional exotic
like venison sausage
to pique us
test us
tease us into laughter

today in the open market
the softly pungent odor
of hard cheeses and fresh garlic
peeled away the layered years
brought me back to our table
to your tears and mine
to that day of famine
when the last bite was gone
and friendship died hungry


miles davis
permeates this small room
with music i never thought to like
until i had enough age
spilling over my belt
to understand what soul
really is
and here i am
examining mine
objectively of course
in the cold and distant way
that only the real occupant can

for those who subscribe to the stars
i am libra though i feel
more like an ancient persian king
weighed in the balance
and found wanting
always wanting

by the numbers i should be fine
count my name and see
five and four
and five more
makes magic twelve
and two left over for luck

but i believe in neither stars nor numbers
and in this small room
filled with the muted jazz
that only miles can play like himself
i toy with the ghosts of my past
puzzled at the depths of error
and the heights of joy
that drift past for review

what a strange thing i have been for me
stranger still for you


j.lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, and nurse practitioner. His poetry and music reflect the difficulty and joy of human interactions, and often draw inspiration from his decades of experience in healthcare. When he is not writing, composing, or diagnosing, he is often on a kayak, exploring and photographing the waterways near his home in California.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: