Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Feels Like A Poem

Robert Burns' Desk
—Photo by Maureen Hurley, Marin County

—Robert Burns (1759-1796)

Of a' the airts the wind can blaw,
I dearly like the west,
For there the bonnie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo'e best:
There wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And monie a hill between;
But day and night may fancy's flight
Is ever wi' my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair:
I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air:
There's not a bonnie flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green;
There's not a bonnie bird that sings,
But minds me o' my Jean.

Burns House, Dumfries, Galloway
—Photo by Maureen Hurley


Happy Birthday, Bob! Today is Robert Burns' birthday, and you can celebrate with the rest of us at The Book Collector tonight, 6-ish til 9, 1008 24th St., Sacramento. Poetry, food, libations and good cheer—it'll all be there, so you be there!

Dawn DiBartolo sends us her musings about wishing she could write a poem, so let's take her up on that for our Seed of the Week: If I Could Write A Poem. Send your yearnings to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline on SOWs. And thanks to the rest of today's contributors!

wish I could write a poem
(after reading Joyce Odam)
—dawn dibartolo, citrus heights

I wish that I could write
like the music of the day
dancing in the shadows
with my tired woe.

and I wish I could write
that the winter moon, sagging
low and sallow on the horizon,
is the light by which I see
into myself.

and I’ve dreamed of writing
tomorrows in a white gauze expectant
of the healing wounds inflicted
by the falls that are always
accompanied with a rising; I rise.

I wish that I could write
red-red valentines and whole-
heartedly sing the falsetto melodies
of the foolishly enchanted.

the chilled sun of January
flirts with my spring emotion
and my inks bleed to be heard.
it's been a lifetime, but
happy feels like a poem.


—Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento

Once you have cold symptoms,
you take anything you can
to deal with it.

Same thing goes for Kleptomania.

The secret to being a
Sacramento Kings fan
is to embrace the game
of Solitaire on your
home computer.

It doesn’t matter if you
make a wrong move,
or lose far more than you win.
You can just start over.

People in authority cannot
all be trusted…
Especially those wayward
souls in the California Youth

I don’t suit up and play football
or by tickets for stadium seats,
but I’m looking forward to Super Sunday
for the good company and wonderful eats.


Argyll, Scotland
—Photo by Maureen Hurley

—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento

rain gaze meeting mine
shocks, yet I return
famished, parched, I
dive into the bay of your eyes,
your life brushes against me
realize I love you
hearts’ affirmation
constant ground bass
counters the coming
cataclysm, visible from here
I run toward the cliff
cry I love you
words held in my mouth
wind in my face smothers
race side by side
regardless of the
depth of the gash
we must span


—Ann Wehrman

tightly corseted, blue blooded
conscience loosened
by middle-aged, abstainer’s mocktail
late dinner blends seamlessly into midnight snack,
deep bowl of granola, raisins, milk,
look no further, on the desk,
beneath fingers flying under excess’s influence,
it all comes out, at least begins to
work its way out of her throat,
slides down, rhythm of the sea,
confessional, spills out,
not quite last call, no bartender’s towel
lapping at the edges of her
almost unconscious revelation;
here at home, it’s discreet, respectable,
brutally alone, love locked within her
proud heart, may never see him again,
unable to tell him, I want you, I love you,
fingers spill over keys, tears drip,
the radio quietly accompanies


—Ann Wehrman

despite all this love,
it's not me you hold,
at least not tonight

two notes seem the same,
but consider the difference
between A flat and G sharp
the infinite space
between here and there
does not, in truth, zero divide zero…

the actual name of God is still unknown
thus, we cannot speak it aloud

there is a difference
between what we have felt,
and your lips meeting her flesh,
between my body moving
as I conjure yours, and
her body and soul trembling
under your fingers


—Ann Wehrman

(After David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars)

Inside my tree, worms writhe,
bugs catch in my hair.

It’s bright outside, and
you don’t want me there.

Snuggle within old blankets and leaves;
your love—more real than reality—
fuses my core.

Lightening blackens, scours,
followed by rain.

My face peers out through matted snarls;
you walk by without a nod.
I cower, rot, within this hollow trunk,
niches in its bark packed with wild, bitter loam.


Today's LittleNip: 

When you lose,
don't lose the lesson.

—Dalai Lama



Robert Burns, 1759-1796