Ashvamegh Issue XI: Candice James Poems: December 2015

Candice James has been selected the featured poet on Ashvamegh in December 2015. Enjoy her poems here. You can also read an interview of Candice James here.

Introduction to the poet:

Candice James Poems
Candice James

Candice James is New Westminster’s Poet Laureate, serving her second 3-year term.

Her first publication, “A Split in the Water” (Fiddlehead: 1979); the most recent is“Merging Dimensions” (Ekstasis Editions 2015). She is Founder, Director and Past President of Royal City Literary Arts Society; Past President of the Federation of BC Writers; Founder of Poetry in the Park, and co-founder of Poetic Justice. She is the recipient of the Bernie Legge Artist/Cultural Award 2015 and the recipient of Pandora’s Collective 2015 Citizenship Award. Candice is also a visual artist and a singer/songwriter/musician. Further info can be found on Wikipedia




Read poems by Candice James:


DRIED FLOWERS OF YOUTH    © 2012  Candice James

( for Rex Howard  -BC Country Music Hall of Fame)


Dried flowers of youth crushed between pages.

Forgotten utterings of ancient sages.

A whisper and scream and the drama between;

Life unravelling at its seam.

A young man running through early chapters,

Hobbling toward final ever afters.


Slowly you’re slipping and sliding away

Into that nether world of yesterday,

Time finally catching her elusive prey.

You leave this world more every day;

And oh that I could follow you there:

To leave behind this worry and care;

To build with you castles on the beach

In that world you visit when you’re out of reach.


Whispers and memories of your sweet song

When you were young. When you were strong:

Before the years made your bones ache;

Before the your hands started to shake;

Before you had to be wheeled in a chair;

Before time left you nothing to spare.


Dried flowers of youth are crumbling now,

Gracing the stage in their final bow.

Your frailty of heart will soon set you free;

And far, far away you’ll fly from me,

To a place where roads are paved in gold;

Where dreams cannot be bought or sold;

Where music never ceases to play.

It will call to you softly and take you away;

And as you leave this world behind,

The best part of me will become undefined.




© 2012 Candice James


The bittersweet taste of  summer wine

Passion polishing love to a shine

Reaching Nirvana then past the brink

Watching it fade like invisible ink


Promises crept away on scarred feet

Stumbling down a dark dusty street

Crippled  by vows we didn’t keep

Love bowed her head and fell asleep


We limped away with wounded hearts

Victims of our own false starts

We let the lies we kept within

Chafe at our hearts and wear them thin


Beneath a burnished sky of  stars

We hid inside our wounds and scars

We watched the flame grow dim, burn out

Locked in the shadow of a doubt


Passion stripped off her mask and disguise

Revealed alibis, secrets and lies

Love on the rocks.  Paradise lost

Words turned to dust, music to frost


Teardrops scarred a scarlet moon

Eclipse of the heart.  Midnight at noon

A silent song, a wordless rhyme

Two poets dancing out of time


An angel sighed.  Stars fell from above

Somewhere  east of Eden, west of Love.



Poets’ Dance  

~ © Candice James, Poet Laureate


Hazy circles of possibilities

Vibrate and float haphazardly touching down

Onto the squares of quiet desperation

That invade every-day existence.


We remain unanswered questions

Inside this massive silence

That holds all the answers.


          All things pass away

          Then come to pass again.


Do not wait to step into

The shadows of your soul;

The best part of you is beckoning you

To dive into the pristine white waters

Of the poets’ surreal dance:

Where unfinished songs seeking completion

Find their long lost keys

And become seen and heard:

Where liquid, quicksilver lightning

Shakes the foundations of the mind

And rocks the questing heart

In the cradle of great expectations.


The wheel of fate keeps spinning toward you,

Waiting for you to claim your dreams.               .

Follow the path of quills and ink stains

That penned the broken letters of death

Onto the well-worn parchment of life.


All things pass away

          Then come to pass again.


We are all searching for the God particle

Pulsating at the edge of our existence

Quite unaware that we are the God Particle.


Look inward angel…

Step into the poets’ dance!



The Wind


The benevolent wind

Touched my cheek,

Turned my head.


I saw you standing there,

Resplendent in white satin robe

And diamond studded eyes,

Displaced in time and space

To linger with me awhile.


We spoke of many things:

The colour of water,

The texture of sky,

The height and breadth of spirit

And why time passes

In uneven intervals.


And it was enough…

Until it wasn’t enough.


Over time

Your robe soiled.

Your eyes dimmed

And time and space collapsed

Into the mundane crater of reality.


A harsh wind

Stung my cheek.

I didn’t turn my head.


I couldn’t bear to see your face

As I walked away.




©1987 Candice James


Time winks,


And folds,

Now and then.


On the white capped lip of an Ocean wave,

The sun dances

With diamonds

On a rippling turquoise mirror


In this crystallized moment

Clouds sigh through the puffed moist lips

Of a slow breathing sky

Gulls cry on high

White doves centre,

Then scatter in flight,

Bleached origami pillows

Flung onto powder blue sheets



A lost dream,

Is winding its way home


Inside the Eternal Now

Time winks,


And folds,

Now and then.



Wounded Directions


A bull fight

Couldn’t have been as brutal

As the ring we voluntarily entered:




And bleeding,

We did not die

In each other’s arms

As we’d planned.


We lived

To limp away

In opposite wounded directions.


The Song

You walk in dark shadows

At the edge of night

And softly climb into my dreams;


And then the music plays.


We slow dance

Through the haunting notes,

Writing love letters on treble clefs

Suspending chords

To augment the mood.


There is a silence of voices throughout

As we search to find the lyrics that define us;

Side-stepping toward the keys we lost.

As we grasp for them

They dissolve at our touch.


You fade into the shadows

At the edge of night,

And climb out of my dreams once again;


And then the music stops.


I cling to the silence

Seeking solace,

Trying desperately to remember the song…

Knowing full well I won’t.



© 2013  Candice James

And now…

The final journey begins.

I walk through powdered rose petals,

On a stretch of silver sand,

Travelling with ghosts from my past

And familiar angels

To the Inn of The Seventh Tranquility.


Under a metallic translucent sky

The coo of a dove drifts

On the whisper of the waves.

Beneath a forgiving sun

I see the star-dusted pathway

To the Inn of The Seventh Tranquility.


I can see clearly now.

Through the years of indecision,

The moments of indiscretion,

Faulty choices and wasted days and nights,

My compass point has remained magnetized,

Drawing me unwittingly, yet relentlessly, to my destiny.


Through heartaches and tears,

Laughter and smiles,

Successes and failures;

From the depths of despair to the heights of success

Coming full circle and repeating again.

Karma and fate’s wheels of precision

Carry me onward to the Inn of the Seventh Tranquility.


At the last steps, weary and fragile,

I am lifted by a flurry of wings,

From the veiled mists of life

To the Inn of the Seventh Tranquility

Where I rest in the arms of the angels

As the final journey ends.



© Candice James, Poet Laureate

I pressed nights and moons

Into blazing poems

Whispered through the lips

Of a hard edged star

That shone your kiss into my face,

Slapped my ink into words,

Glued my page to that moment.


Mesmerized and speechless

To the twenty-seventh degree of fascination

Your arms encircled me

And pressed the nights and moons in your eyes

Against my heart,

Against my breath,

Against my death.



There were moments like these

Disguised as blessings

Before we ripped off their masks

And laid their bones bare

On the sacrificial blaze of doubt.

Our hearts grew cold.

Years dissolved into days,

The days into seconds.


The moments burnt out.


And now,

I press darkness and tears

Into stone cold poems:

Bittersweet like lemon frost;

Stinging like deep forest needles;

The flavour and texture

Of broken words, torn pages

And burnt out nights and moons