James C. Hopkins

the blue door

having passed through
the blue door
of the pool's deepest end
we hover
in its turquoise room.
in these liquid moments,
suspended in the glistening,
we abandon
our sciences
and selves.

we sink or rise
with the prize of breath,
give way
to the gentle horizontal.
we encounter
our new bodies
in stroke and ripple,
and converse
in murmur
and eep.

the kindness of water
is its closeness
to death,
and the drowning
that we don't have to do.
the truth of water
is in its sending us sunward,
back up
through the glittering blue door.
we hold tight
to the edge
with our fingertips–
a momentary
warming of the skin.
but the towel stays folded,
the lawn chair
we breathe,
and let go again.
night heron
in the marina,
the river
is like a mirror.
the powerboats
lie still
on black water.
not a breath.
not a ripple.
no sound.
this shadowy,
floating world
is held together
by dream.
in the moment
where rising
meets falling
the seam
almost intangible.
a night heron
on a wooden piling
cocks her head
as i pass.
i wave my hand
in the air
like a wand,
but she doesn't
desert her post.
a movement,
a shadow,
has caught her eye—
into the light.
she folds her wings
to pierce
the dark surface,
and drops
out of sight.

James C. Hopkins
James C. Hopkins was born in Washington, DC ,and raised in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Potomac Review, Baltimore Review, Carriage House Review, and Heliotrope. He has written three books of poetry--a chapbook entitled The Walnut Tree Waits for Its Bees, and a full-length collection published in 2003, entitled Eight Pale Women. His third book of poetry, The Blue Door, a collaborative experiment with the Japanese poet Yoko Danno, will be published by The Word Works in May 2006.  His poems in this issue of The Innisfree Poetry Journal will appear in The Blue Door.  James is  now living in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he is studying Buddhist philosophy and Himalayan languages in a Tibetan monastery.



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Norma Chapman

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Yoko Danno

Barbara DeCesare

Donna Denizé

Julie Enszer

Colin Flanigan

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Martin Galvin

Barbara Goldberg

JoAnne Growney

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James C. Hopkins

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Donald Illich

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Judith McCombs

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Miles David Moore

Yvette Neisser

Brent Pallas

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