Monday, March 07, 2011

Building Houses & Watching Light

Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

I’m building another house
beyond the one I’ve just abandoned

this new one is almost constructed
set in a forest of leafy cinquains
surrounded by shady stone sestinas
branching pantoums
carved from mahogany sonnets
surrounded by sturdy quatrains and stanzas
furnished with haiku and iamb
fires burning in every rhyme
under sky blue verses and cloudy couplets
stretching for endless pentameters

it’s a house in perpetual progress
tentatively called:
Villa Nell in the Wood
named for a great aunt I once loved
my grandfather’s sister
she was a poet…
for you, Aunt Nellie


(Filipino revolutionary poet,
        jailed in the ‘80s by Marcos,
        now a Manila English professor)

—Patricia Hickerson

a soldier was once sentenced to sit alone
gun emptied
bullets buried in concrete

she was left to embrace her own tomb
till her arms grew stiff
broken under their own weight

she was left to carve out a window
where there was none
to sculpt a bird from darkness
to plant in its throat a voice
filtered with the soldier’s own song
lifting the soldier’s own wings
in the voice of the bird

her song sent it up thru the window
out across the world


—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA

In his tweed coat
Timothy wishes for succor
a spot of soil
that is not controlled
by sand and pudding.

Millet patches
are souring the staple
corns and meals
which dash the banal up
with a savvy sense of succotash.

And Luisa is pregnant
by unknown means
even Mary of olden days
would have recognized
in minor contretemps.

In his blue tie
the same color as his tongue
Timothy recoils
wear wingtips he wants
made of real mockingbirds' wings


—Michael Cluff

On a certain Wednesday midspring night
Libby waits for the right rays of moonlight,
when they arrive, she sets her course
to the corrals to dance with the horse
a young palomino called Jibber-Jabber
the waltz and reel they will collabor
until each step is perfectly executed
and their teamwork never disputed.

It is a lovely world they have created
the judges in old Vienna proudly stated
she was the queen of this specific ball
Jibber-Jabber just ate oats and malt out in his stall

And people on Deputy Evans Drive
took it all in their cantered stride
that's the way it is in Norco
west of Riverside.


St. Vincent De Paul thrift shop gets plenty donations of church organs
I told them likely from the same who threw out "old" hymns
replacing them with trendy praise written by pop stars
who noticeably often repeat over in their songs "I" and "me"
which seems to miss the entire point of church worship

—Michelle Kunert


—Ann Privateer, Davis

We stand beneath the surface
of the land, together, yet apart,
hands deep in pockets or clutching
the daily news, backpacks,
snowboards, ignore the fetal
figure on the floor, out—near
the trash bin, under an art
poster on the wall of the Metro
with miles of track and so Midtown
travelers change the scene
except for the one on the floor.


—Ann Privateer

cascading ripples in a stream
like minnows that ricochet, dart,

then disappear. Colors glisten
above the rocks, changing motion

with each curve and shadow, mirrored
by trees swarming a turbulent sky.

A perfect day for fishing. Soon, rain
slicks the dock, fields tremble waiting

for harvest. His mind, once a mosaic
of thought, gives way to the focused

clean surface, practicing treading water.


Today's LittleNip: 

If you could be invisible for one hour, where would you go and what would you do?



Photo by Ann Privateer