Monday, November 29, 2010

Always/Never Enough

Photo by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

—Ann Privateer, Davis

Am I not your mother,
were you not born on the first day of
my maturity?

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,
the road
sets prisoners free
for a while,
hope builds a smile,
invades, retreats,
recedes again

due for a come back
in fall.  Spring

blooms eternal,
winter hopes it will
not be late.  Stay hopeful;
when light shines,
Soul, enters the yard.


Thanks, Ann, and the rest of today's contributors. Ann Privateer is tweaking Medusa with her use of words that last week's Poetry Trap warned about—words that can get sentimental in the blink of a gnat. A.R. Ammons used to say that the minute he hears a rule, he sets about to break it, and Ann is following in his footsteps...  And rightly so! And having fun doing it.

Lots to ponder this busy week; see the b-board on the right for a boatload of poetry readings! Davis PL Allegra Silberstein will be here, there and everywhere, and she celebrates her 80th birthday on Saturday, too! Happy Birthday, SnakePal! And don't forget to send in five lines for the book-length renga SPC is putting out called The Sacramento Poem; deadline is Wednesday, which is also their Annual Fundraiser at the Millers. It's all there on the b-board.

The rest of today's poems are for our Seed of the Week: Enough. The first two are from Trina Drotar, Poetry Now Editor, whose broadside from Rattlesnake Press will be coming out in February:

—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


—Trina Drotar

Copper-bottom pans
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.

Cooked apples,
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.
Add sugar
and cinnamon.
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
memorable experience.

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

the spirit

the temple

sky roof
the mind

—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento

your touch, your voice,
your eyes, your body moving
over mine, within mine

I will never be sated
loving you

smile, knowing
passion will endure
rich our union
boundless our love


Today's LittleNip(s)

—Sandy Thomas

two palms
face to face

a gentle bow
a simple grace



Photo by D.R. Wagner