Teaching Emergency Awareness

The smaller the room the better.
A medium-sized cardboard box will do.
Hand the equipment in to me
through a flap pulled down open.
It’s quite roomy, really.
Oxygen tanks in the corner,
examination table centre front.
High pressure sodium lights warm us
while recuperating as in being nursed,
vital signs monitored, paper graphs.
I’m no doctor but we have
dealt with this before,
a continuous desire to leave
when confronted by an impasse.
That simple primeval
fear of being alone.

Disproving Infinity

My eldest forever
stepping into holes
that aren’t there,
claims to have discovered
a unique conspectus.
He demonstrates for me,
sets up several facing mirrors
until a continuous illusion is created.
“Do something about that!”
I would, but gravity has
compromised my insides
since my recent preoccupation with
their reckless importance.

A Comparison to the Particulate

When there is no one about
we dancers take our lunch outside
on the north side of the studio
sit at a circular oak tree bench.
From here we can observe every possible approach,
even the top of the rail trail
leading down to the painted sea caves.
I often dine on local greens
drink hard water from a paper cup.
I could wander off if a garden maze
were near, lose myself despite familiarity
in the indelible confidence of acclimation.

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Colin James has a book of poems, Resisting Probability, from Sagging Meniscus Press. He lives in Massachusetts (U.S.).

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