A new poem by one of our Firebird Rising authors, Jim is the poet laureate of Keizer, OR.  In this time of Covid-19, perhaps the theme of proximity strikes a poignant note.  (RW Klarin)

Do you notice the sun on

your back, the sun as a neighbor,

an intimate? It’s a heat-sending force,

reaching down to arrive at the surface.

My cheek, forehead, my hands.  And it

goes under the skin – it’s potent, causes

cancer without enough shade — without

huddling together.  Young mother with babe

in the shade of her stroller lights up a smoke.

She doesn’t notice or cares not.  Proximity is everything. 

The children, their parents—every little boy,

every prancing girl—the tattoos, piercings,

the phones, games in the phones. Fashions

the tattered jeans, the sheer leggings—close

to the skin, bodies touch bodies, shapes

on display.  Everywhere I go, I see a thing

revealed.  The closest things reveal the

bold brash beauty, of proximity.