New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

3 poems by Jim Bourey

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Jim Bourey is an old poet living on the northern edge of the Adirondack Mountains. He lived in Delaware for thirty years before this recent move. His chapbook “Silence, Interrupted” was published in 2015 by the Broadkill River Press. His work has appeared in Gargoyle, Broadkill Review, Double Dealer and other journals and anthologies. He was first runner up in the Faulkner-Wisdom Poetry Competition in 2012 and 2016. Jim is active in promoting poetry at readings and events throughout his home area. In Delaware, he was an adjudicator for the Poetry Out Loud competition for two years. He is currently working on a collection of poems about people and places of the North Country.




I said Those are very nice puka beads,

as I stared at them,

hanging loosely in a long strand

on her naked chest.


They almost match your eyes

though I wasn’t looking

at those dark brown wonders. I moved

my gaze to the scar

where her right breast used to live.


I wanted to run

my finger along that vivid line but was afraid

she might think

I was intrusive, or even macabre.

Aloha I said.

She laughed. This was how it began.




Rooms We Cannot Die In


“We have all been in rooms

We cannot die in, and they are odd places, and sad.”

                                                           James Dickey


She didn’t want to reveal her secrets,

and they were many, but I wished them

out of her. Dark rooms (though some were light)

became brief stops on a frantic journey,

where time was a demon


as fierce as our need. And the shape

of my world was distorted,

bent at odd angles, as we tried

to make things mesh into normalcy.


Caustic lies

followed one upon

another easily.

I basked in their heat,

amazed at my creative

skills. It all fell

apart, as these things must.

It was a sad day

and joyous too.




Bone Riff


Think of all those small bones;

phalanges – three kinds

in fingers and toes, the wrist

with its acrobatic trapezium

and geometric trapezoid,

and the ear sheltering the body’s

tiniest workshop names – malleus,

incus and stapes. In long ago

school days we memorized hammer,

anvil and stirrup ~ imagining a smithy

of anatomy. How small a pile

those bones will make in a future

graveyard dig, when an archeologist

works her gentle trowel. What stories

will their ossification or deterioration

tell a forensic questioner?



this ancient man couldn’t hear.


the hatchet that dealt his death blow

was wielded by his frustrated wife, tired

of his blank stares and nonsensical


Or look at the small bones of his

ankles and knees. A walking man,

gripped by a need

to move on, motion wearing away

at joints and cartilage

until he had to lie down and rest

here in this boneyard, finished

with it all. Or not quite.


Do small bones float

to the top of the pile, pushed up

as skull and femur and tibia and three

piece pelvis sinks deeper in the worm

softened soil? Layers sorted by weight.

A handful ~ a footfall ~ an ear full.





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