James V. Anderson has been writing poetry since his first publication in 1960 in the quarterly journal of the National Poetry Society. The poem was about an exhausted soldier watching his cigarette burn slowly down to his fingers. The ordinary has always fascinated Jim as the most extraordinary medium from which to create word imagery. He loves to write about the sudden insight from any moment of a day and reflect it from a mirror that addresses the common experience. Jim believes that we are all part of the same consciousness, and poetry is one of the places where we converge.
If Jim's poetry may be categorized in a word, then let it be compassion. Compassion sounds so much better than Contemporary Metaphysical Poetry from the Taoist Perspective. His love of the Chinese philosophy of Taoism has merely opened a dual portal for him between Western and Eastern spiritual understandings.
This is the stuff that Jim thinks good poetry is made of. Ironically, he feels that his earlier years in the US Army 18th Airborne Corp, Military Intelligence, the 249th Artillery, working in lumber mills, and planting trees for BLM created the hard core of compassion. From these experiences, he developed tremendous faith in ordinary people, and believes in what Lao-Tzu taught in his Tao te Ching: Trust people, leave them alone, and they'll always do the right thing.
Jim has written and published four volumes of poetry, and is currently working on a fifth book of poetry as well as a short novel. At 70, now he claims to feel some weariness of the exhausted soldier he wrote of 50 years ago. The soldier was himself, and the cigarette snuffed out. The many miles left to go are facilitated now by good friends.