Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back to Then and When

Photo by Robert Lee Lane, 1970

—Ronald Edwin Lane, Weimar

What thoughts had I
As I sat
Upon the rocks beside the pond
Upon the mountain

As a boy?

Did I, the boy, die?
Or is he, me, the boy
In me still alive?

Can he sense
The man I am
Looking back at him
Knocking at his brain
Saying “Let me in”?

Are we one in the same?

Can I transport that boy
From the past
Into the future
In my brain?

Or better yet

Can I, the boy before the man I am stand
And reach out through this photograph
And take my hand
And pull me back
To then and when, and
Then the boy I was
Could keep the man I am



sit here waiting for the
waiting for the news
waiting for the news of
your death

waiting for the hiccup
the sneeze
for the turn of a card
roll of dice
end of race
phone call
mood change

wait for the wave
to the shore
the leaf in its fall
for what you said
it will happen, you said
in a half breath
not tonight but soon
I’ll do it, you said
wait for the

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis


—Charles Mariano, Sacramento

don’t want to get into
it felt so damn bad
that we were poor

i wore ugly shoes
and pants
that fit too big
with holes

that brown duplex
on 12th and K
we lived in
government housing
for those
woefully without

it bothered me
when i drove by
saw every building
an empty lot

i stopped
took it all in
the air
hauntingly quiet

it’s all gone now
like mama
and my childhood

nothing’s forever

family gatherings
mama cooking up a storm
in that small kitchen
the black neighbors
the Harris’s
the McDaniel’s
magnificently poor
like us
shared tables
best friends

a variety of music
Trio Los Panchos
Nat King Cole
James Brown,
out our windows

the sweet smell
of capirotada
and barbecue
wafting, curling

a framed picture
of JFK,
next to the Virgin Mary
a lit candle
in the middle

Thanksgiving, Christmas,
countless birthdays
that ugly house
filled to the brim
with warm memories
every loving inch

don’t want to get into
this empty lot
bothers me
why my chest aches
for every last
precious piece

i see mama
at the window
her foodstained apron
hair in bobbypins
her scarf
wrapped tight around her head
like Aunt Jemimah,

waving goodbye


Today's LittleNip:

—Patricia A. Pashby, Sacramento

there is that hollow place
between them needing you,
you wanting them—

you pause, wait awhile,
then walk together
through the many myths of each other.


—Medusa (with thanks to today's contributors. And yes, Pat Hickerson's poem does end on "the". Leaves ya waiting, doncha know...)

Even in this modern age
This valley has
Its lazy days

—Photo and Caption by Ronald Edwin Lane