Saturday, June 05, 2010

Shadows Don't Mind Waiting

Sun Puddle
Photo by Ann Privateer


where my eyes cast
light ricochets off a puddle

where mud curves glisten
at the apex of a curb,

where last years leaves
blunted and broken, swim

where the sun's face
falls back to earth

where distance seems
small and delicate and strong.

—Ann Privateer, Davis


—Allegra Silberstein, Davis

I’m driving down the frontage road.
Suddenly caught in my lights—
a brown nebulous form.

Faint with fear
I slam on the brakes
feel the light thud of impact.

Gradually vision clears,
terror loosens its grip
and breath comes full again.

It’s a giant tumbleweed
caught on the front of my car.
The tangled stems, wind driven,

had rolled through the night
like some macabre beach ball
on this dark deserted road.

Backing up brings release
from the humungous weed
but some seeds stay with me.

I too, might tumble
into the blinding light.


—Allegra Silberstein

The sun gives the air a golden glow,
leaves a silver sheen on the olive leaves and gilds
to luminosity the brown-edged walnut and oak leaves.
Occasionally a leaf flutters its way to the ground.

My friend, an organic farmer who tasted the earth,
ended her life last week with a shotgun she used to kill rodents.
The memorial service was Sunday. Today another friend calls
to tell me of heartache so deep she feels she is dying,
her crying like wild laughter.

Shadows come as dark clouds, their upper edges still shining,
cover the sun bending closer to the towering ash and houses to the west.
Now, for a few moments the sun breaks through.
My cats are waiting for their evening meal.
I need to get the mail, bring in the garbage cans.


—Allegra Silberstein

A child asks: Mommy,
where was my shadow before I was born?

Her mother smiles
hesitates between realities—
uncertain boundaries:
She needs time to think.

Let’s ask Nonny.

They go to the patio
where grandmother sits
in a rain-weathered rocking chair.

Nonny, where was my shadow
before I was born?

Nonny closes her book and smiles.
Child, you ask too many questions.

But, Nonny, Mommy said to ask you
where my shadow was
before I was born.

Well, then, I suppose your shadow
was in the same place where
mine will go when I die.

But, Nonny, my shadow is here
and your shadow will be sad
looking all around for mine.

Don’t worry, child,
shadows don’t mind waiting.
Mine will be riding a silver horse
with a silver shadow.
We’ll wait for you at the border.


—Ann Privateer, Davis

conversations move to orchestrate
some fun but do not stay inside
their own boxcar of freight

so much, he said then she said

because conversations can collide
flirting with every man, woman,

and child, scoffing at flirts
with tobacco pouch drawstrings
jumping one boxcar for another

praying mud will cushion the fall
rolling into another town
jumping or praying, or both

while the conversation dies
like bird feathers, silence
smoking into the whirl.

Photo by Ann Privateer


Today's LittleNip:

She withdrew into herself,
First writing just for one,
Then touching thousands.
She incarnated ghosts, hurt, and joy
Into paper-and-ink stories of wonder.

—Deng Ming-Dao