Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Playground Keeps Shifting


Cracks line the paths and
Danger lurks within the shadows,
As I pass unarmed
Through this desolate wilderness
In search of water and my soul.

—Ronald Edwin Lane, Weimar


—Claire J. Baker, Pinole

"Shine, dear one, shine"—
a phrase one might whisper
to a lover,
to a baby at christening,
to a beloved who has
just passed on,

or phrase to keep
within, near the surface
to kindle kindness, like

hear me, believe me
when my eyes urge,
Shine, dear one, shine.


—Claire J. Baker

We flew the origami
doves you made for us
one yellow, one red

we taped together
and placed in
our dashboard cup.

The wings grew shabby,
the beaks got bent.
They had to fly

beyond our dashboard
sky. We wanted you to
know they flew for years.


—Laura Baumann, Fair Oaks

Dredged from the depths,
shivering memories
like sunken treasure.
Recognize them.

Never again will you be
brave as you are now.
This couch—this room.
One witness records your life
but alone you search time.

Vacation where the bodies are buried:
tasting the taunts
inhaling the shame,
your loneliness.

You may never love your life,
but you can claim it!


—Laura Baumann

Wear these clothes; pick the
right Trapper Keeper; and
buy brightly colored pens.

Will that make it better?
It never matters much.
The playground keeps shifting.

The popular girls wear
down vests, powder jackets,
Levis and Adidas.

They take gymnastics and
all have haircuts just like
Dorothy Hamill.

Dr. Pepper flavored
Bonnie Bell lip smackers
make their mouths lipstick red.

They talk about Jaws, the
shark movie, but how can
they go? It’s R-Rated!

I like Jimmy Carter,
but must bite my tongue—
they prefer Gerald Ford.

How did they learn these rules?
I never did. I just
watch them chew Bubble Yum!


—Charles Mariano, Sacramento

i wrote a song

well, not a song
a dumb-ass song

started out
rattling in my head
while driving

it was
i-done-her-wrong kinda song
only i didn’t,
not really

jotted the first line
on a napkin
while driving

hummed a few bars
of the chorus:

“i don’t got no money,
she don’t give no honey!”

ripped a guitar riff solo
some serious drums
then a big
head-boppin finish,

“ohh babyyy,
you’re the pain
that drives me
on the plane,
in the rainnnn!”


Today's LittleNip:

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us.
Cats look down on us.
Pigs treat us as equals.

—Winston Churchill



(Thanks to today's contributors, including Katy Brown for finding the silly cat on the 'Net.)