Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pain of a Poem

Photo by Frank Dixon Graham, Sacramento


can be an annoyance
can be a death

it is easy to find poems in roses,
swaying pines, hummingbirds

the problem is, how to hate
and honor the soft cages

that thicken more slowly
around us, humbling structures

the glue of phlegm, spit, sweat
sticking us to where we always are

—JoAnn Anglin, Sacramento


Thanks, JoAnn! Wow—our first mucus poem! JoAnn Anglin reminds us that Los Escritores is having a special presentation next Wednesday; see the b-board. And while you're scrolling around down there, be sure to check out all the goings-on at Swan Scythe Press!


“Other guests were expected.”
—W.S. Merwin

Other place settings, washed sheets,
swept porches.
Puffs of dust in the distance were given
Fresh fruit sliced and arranged.
Money was spent, the air freshened.
The dogs were quieted and the cars
were polished, the bad child shaken.
Rehearsals were frequent: playing the
scales, stretching, conversations
inside the head.
Glimpses came from the corners of eyes.
A sound that sounded like knocking.
Cobwebs did not last long, nor weeds,
nor cursing.
Lists were written, invitations sent,
the tablecloths ironed again for the
expected guests.

—JoAnn Anglin


—Richard Zimmer, Sacramento

I cried for madder music
and for stronger wine.
—Ernest Dowson

Music was his wine. It brought
him fleeting moments of joy.

He’d be lost in the swirling sound
of the waltz, floating
freely in a world without bounds.

He’d be lost in the soft music of
Brahms' Lullaby, enchanting him
with its quiet solitude.

He’d be lost in the music of the
Sleeping Beauty waltz, and not
wanting it to ever finish.

Beautiful Dreamer evoked sweet
memories of friends who passed
on. Music was his wine.


—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

when I wake
to the warning moan…
the 3 a.m. train you loved,
I dream you are no longer
boxed ashes in a closet
but an impatient spirit
hurried across singing rails
to the New York sunrise
where you were born


—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

Getting out of the way so I could see
The children once again when they
Were babies. Able to pick them up
Hold them, say things to them in
Secret language and fly them
Around the room as if they were dreams.

Hello kids. Here we are again.
Shall we go for a walk and see
If we find any tigers or elephants
Tonight? Don’t let the watermelons bite.


—D.R. Wagner

Whatever went wrong went
Terribly wrong. The road just
Ended. No signs at all, no rails,
Just stopped as if there was something
Much more important to do than
Be a road any longer. It was only
About a third of a mile long and
Had begun to attempt a passage
Through a small wooded area.

It looked as if it hasn’t mattered
Much, that no one had come that way.
There was no garbage, no dumping. Just
A stopping, a way of saying that this
Could happen anywhere just as unexpectedly.


—D.R. Wagner

Trees, trees, trees and still more
Trees. They are everywhere we
Look. In some places the trees are
So thick the sunlight must strain to reach
The plants on the floor of the forest.
Trees press against all of the space.

This poem was supposed to show
A small herd of deer, two does, three
Fawns and a buck who steps carefully
As if testing each move against the ground.

But we can barely see them. The trees
Are so thick these deer can stand right in the
Middle of everything and unless we are
Truly looking they will be lost to us.


Today's LittleNip:

—Patricia A. Pashby, Sacramento

Sight of the variant blues of a mountain lake
scent of a pine forest after a spring shower
sound of a loved-one’s long awaited call
taste of the salty tears of euphoria
feel of wrap-around hugs
pain of a poem.



Photo by Frank Dixon Graham