Poetry by James Phoenix
Early Morning Moon

Still the lessons of history are lost on us.

How we forget the human cost of war and calculate that ends are worth the means?

The poem just below was written and published over 40 years ago.

It came to mind as the world is plunged into misery once again, by forces out of control and people delusional and self-destructive.

the tired cry

of an infant

crawls its way

through the rubble.


the grown child of five,

hears it, between her

own sobs and tears,

her fingers cut and bruised,

her cheek smudged wet and skinned.


she hurts holding the baby

across her chest

and bloodies its cloth.


with a mother’s eye, this woman

squints to survey

the new landscape.


a man of eight runs

to her side, takes the infant,

and they scramble across

the war-torn town

of their birth.




Published in Poet Lore, Vol. 74, No. 1, Spring 1979

The Toll of War

Sometime ago, I read Ron Chernow’s biography of Grant. The aftermath of the battle of Shiloh reminded me of my poem, "collect their souls," a requiem for the fallen. It seems more than relevant once again in the current era. Click below.

emmoon 210407 b

Early Morning Moon

I borrowed the title of this poem as name for my website in homage to the new day that greets us everyday and the new moon that follows the waning crescent which I take to heart as symbol of fresh oportunities that await us.

was it the american dream?

Early Morning Moon

Welcome to the Online Collection of My Poetry

I have named the site after a recent poem in which I tried to capture the unique miracle that is our earth; how precious the planet and how important the opportunity that we mature as a species in order to preserve our habitat.