LOVE, HOPE, SOUL
—Ann Privateer, Davis
were you not born on the first day of
Love, the perfect rose;
flesh beckons, our moles press
close, producing a son
then a daughter; the rose
dries, the petals fall.
You won’t believe what happened (change)
I put my foot down this time (stress)
We are trying to figure it out (change)
I hope that it will work (stress)
I’m keeping important things on the back burner (change)
So, hey, whatever works (stress)
Stuff comes up, like, ok, good to see you (change)
Yea, settle down, take a deep breath, good to see you too (stress)
Hope takes a holiday,
sets prisoners free
for a while,
hope builds a smile,
due for a come back
in fall. Spring
winter hopes it will
not be late. Stay hopeful;
when light shines,
Soul, enters the yard.
WHAT HAPPENS TO OLD BOOKS?
—Trina Drotar, Sacramento
Every time I close the door
New books appear
Old ones never stay
Unless they’ve been
Genial to neighbors
Hidden two rows away
hand-crank food mill
sugar, cinnamon, jars
and, of course,
Tart, sour, no good for eating.
Buy only in August.
Use in September.
Grandmother’s hands still
core each apple with deft movements.
Once cored, each apple then quartered
placed into pans of boiling water
atop her gas stove.
Boiled down, ready for mashing.
Child’s hand cranks the handle,
slow and hard.
never more than a few slices,
forced under the blades,
through the holes.
Still beige apples ooze and drip
into the bowl beneath.
Back to pan.
Back to stove.
Just enough to taste.
Grandmother hands the child a spoon.
—Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento
At once minding and manipulating the forces
of nature, we tunnel through mountains, change
the course of rivers, answer cancer with rigorous
therapy, aggressively develop replacement body
parts, and continuously wield tremendous forces
on each other for better or for worse.
On the roadway, bumps, lumps, humps,
undulations, and speed tables don’t waste any
words explaining what the consequences are
for driving too fast: they just shake and scrape
your bottom as you cross them to create a
To protect one’s property it does not suffice to
merely follow the academic exercise of posting
a sign that legally advises No Trespassing in
bold red letters on a black background. For
compliance to rise to the level of a statistical
probability, we must also erect a tall, strong
fence topped with barbed wire, electrify it with
killer high voltage, add a team of armed guards,
mean dogs, security lights and cameras, and of
course install some beefy locks.
In the shadow of all these power plays the deeper
wisdom of those who whisper is lost to silence,
much the same as for the deafened soldier who
has run out of ammunition and now stands alone
and dazed alongside a cooling cannon, unable to
hear that the conflict is over.
—Sandy Thomas, Sacramento
—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento
your touch, your voice,
your eyes, your body moving
over mine, within mine
I will never be sated
passion will endure
rich our union
boundless our love
face to face
a gentle bow
a simple grace