Two Poems by James B. Nicola


At dawn they start to disappear
but still there’s not a single one
not over me, and each a sun
    to subjects that live near.
What use are they? If gravity
obtains though they exist so far
away—and there is not one star
    not shining over me—
then each of them is drawing on
me, more or less—the close ones, more.
And likewise I draw on them for
    an imagination.
They twinkle as they talk, I think
like chatty souls of bygone love
who’ve cast each other there, above
    us. Look—another blink.
Personified as we invest
them, only, but what light they give!
And we’ve all day and night to live—
    Let stars have all the rest.

Scott Simon

On Saturdays I dial a faceless voice
on radio from eight a.m. to ten,
the host who bursts in laughter now and then
as free as the most innocent of boys.
Over the years there’ve been occasions when
I’d listen to an interview and pause,
his interest infectious, and because
the guest had flabbergasted him again,
contrary to our ordinary laws.
Surprises, as in love and turmoil, can
impede the voice, but also make the man
whose serendipities, like his guffaws,
seem humble. But as he’s an able host,
the pauses last but moments at the most.

James B. Nicola’s seven full-length poetry collections (2014-22) are Manhattan PlazaStage to Page: Poems from the TheaterWind in the CaveOut of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists, Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond, Fires of Heaven: Poems of Faith and Sense, and Turns & Twists. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His work has received a Dana Literary Award, two Willow Review awards, Storyteller’s People’s Choice award, one Best of Net, one Rhysling, and ten Pushcart nominations—for which he feels both stunned and grateful.

One thought on “Two Poems by James B. Nicola

  1. Good to see James B Nicola – a wonderful poet who has written some brilliant pieces, and here too: Stars especially is magical and the last line – Let stars have all the rest. – is so resonant and powerful in its ambiguous use of the word ‘rest’. This is real poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

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