—Taylor Graham, Placerville
On-ramp to the freeway's blocked
by flashing red. I pull a U,
that's running high to catch the wind.
Wipers can't match rain, rain
that plumps the grass and flowering
mustard running wild
in fields, and blossoms wild-plum waving
on the shoulder. Such a wind
by fits and winding of the road,
a palm tree fandangos
for a farmhouse. Wind's running
'cross rain, waves across
road, a break
in clouds, flash of sun-shaft rain-
headed for words in this jubilation
of weather—what's road, what's
rain, what's river?
lost where I was going
giddy with language, fisselig—where
word pour down from? I'm flying
kites—fisselig fis-selig spring-
in my little car.
Thanks, Taylor Graham, for exploring our Seed of the Week: Fair Winds and Following Seas, and Carol Louise Moon for more sound explorations (last week's SOW). Remember, no deadline on SOWs; we can't be responsible for when the Muse hits us. And, as always, thanks to today's photographers for gracing our pages with color and light.
My inbox is full of Ophidian submissions which I'll get to today. And, out of the softness of my head, since Snakebytes went out yesterday and today with reminders, I've extended the deadline through today. So it's not too late to send your poems, if you haven't already done so. Go to rattlesnakepress.com/the_ophidian.html if you need guidelines.
Shameful, to sit inside our winter's
walls. Air and woods and mossy stones,
even earth's a-swirl with Van Gogh
brush-strokes—waves and spirals,
see that hawk, two vultures wing-tilting
dark to show the shape of sky.
Don't say this is just an episode
and soon enough it's Wednesday.
I've got my boarding pass to daylight.
I'll step aboard, and gaze awhile,
and feel as light and free
as a shearwater skimming sea.
SAILING TO A NEW OLD WORLD
At the very moment when he stepped on board, he heard
the joyful tidings announced that there should be no war.
—Mary Howitt, “Memoir” of Elihu Burritt
It's June, 1846—Spring in New England,
when you board Hibernia, ship whose name
sounds Winter. But her cargo is Peace.
At last, the Oregon Question is settled; America
won't go to war with Britain.
What Springtime waits across the sea?
You'll walk a countryside where skylarks rise
out of upland fields—you never knew
a farmer's soil could grow such rapture.
An Angel of an English country inn
bears tidings: universal brotherhood,
friends across borders; the blessing of man-
on-earth saying “no” to war. Congresses
of Peace. It will be a lovely
Summer. And the harvest? For now,
Hibernia sails across the bluest sea,
its waves white-capped like
flags of peace. Each league she travels
shortens the space between once-warring
shores. Her rigging glitters in the sun.
HOT PINK AT 11:00PM
—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento
Hot pink—it’s comin’ at me.
Hot pink—it’s all around me.
All I see is hot pink.
All I did all afternoon
with all those hot pink beads
was make hot pink bead necklace
after hot pink bead necklace
until my mind is pink.
I think my mind is pink;
at least, I think too much pink.
I close my eyes
my hot pink eyes,
and see all those hot pink beads.
I feel the necklace around my neck.
The hot pink necklace is not
a necklace I should be wearing—
at least, not wearing to bed.
MILFRED AND MOLLY
—Carol Louise Moon
Molly Munsford made a mudpie
for the man whom she might marry.
Milfred Manly marched with many
marksmen in the month of May.
Milfred made no merry music
with his much-loved mandolin,
moping much and missing Molly
most, the middle of the day.
Milfred marked a map for Molly
mainly meadows to the mountain.
Through the mists of melancholy
Molly Munsford made her way.
Meeting Milfred on the mountain
on a misty morning Molly
made a date with her mate Milfred
to be married there next May.
—Carol Louise Moon
Sarcastic and biting? Not me.
I’m just biding time by the parking meter.
You said you’d meet me here
at the Hour Glass Store.
That was a half-hour, or more.
The more I wait, the more impatient I get.
I see two patients in an hour
for a half-hour each. Each day is the same;
the same way you keep me waiting.
It IS a weighty issue!
Let’s not make light of it
in broad daylight, on Broadway.
Look, make it quick. You see how quick-
tempered I am. We’ve got to temper
this parking plan to just plain parking
our van at the office. Then we can walk
the two-block distance to do business
in the business district by two o’clock.
—Carol Louise Moon
Deserted, you and me,
Down on our luck, but free.
Don’t mind the company of
Desert fox and fennecs.
Dark evening finds us down,
Difficult to see, on the
Dry, dusty desert floor.
Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.