The moon up and sky clear lay the nightscape
In arrangements of frost hardening
The cast of light, sharpening the loom of shadow.
What relief can emerge
From this dry brook’s carve
Scoring its deeper dark like a gorge bound across
The stretch of the landscape’s lonely frieze,
What something shift to escape the shadow cast
Of the moon’s muted shining,
Or silhouette admired in the tangled up crush of
Desert fettle move to mystify the still?

Then present like a reply not yet aloud
A sustaining figure congeals from the field
Of stars and shatter of stones being the one
Organ of the place still pulsing not to confine but render
And abandon the obscure night hold of the runoff cut,
To reveal itself
A dog taking shape flickering
From the black brook bed to the claw clutch of yucca
And terror splash of prickly pear down to its details detaching
And re-attaching from the dark
As if it were a source.


James Bascom grew up in Kansas City. He graduated in 2008 from the University of Dallas with a degree in English. He learned a deep love of poetry from his parents and a handful of influential high school and university teachers. It was while studying under Dr. Andrew Osborn that he first began to write poetry. After a mostly nomadic decade post-graduation he finds himself back in Irving, Texas, with his wife and five children. With a love for exploring human movement potential that rivals his love for poetry, he now teaches Physical Education at a local charter school.