Any Poem

James Tipton



Any poem

worth its salt

must have

the sea in it

and at least

a pinch

of sweet flesh,

and it probably

needs a couple

of stray dogs

and some green

jazz, and

those huge rocks

behind the house

we thought

were ordinary

until they surfaced

in our sleep,

and a poem needs

love, but simple,

like coarse mustard

on muenster cheese,

and some light,

like the first cell

that began

our bodies,

and some darkness,

like the center

of bread

before it begins

to rise,

and two strong legs

willing to run off

without us.


James Tipton lives in Chapala, in the tropical mountains of southern Mexico, where he writes poetry and enjoys village life.  His work is widely published, including credits in The Nation, South Dakota Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Greensboro Review, Esquire, FIELD, International Poetry Review, Christian Science Monitor, Mountain Gazette, American Literary Review, El Ojo del Lago, Lake Chapala Review, Living at Lake Chapala, and Mexico Connect.   His most recent collection of poems, Letters from a Stranger(Conundrum Press, 1998) , with a Foreword by Isabel Allende won the 1999 Colorado Book Award in Poetry.