—Photo/Poem by Ronald Edwin Lane, Colfax
—Trina Drotar, Sacramento
Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill is what
Grandma used to tell me, but I never saw any
molehills at her old Victorian, not in the backyard
behind the dahlias that housed the earwigs she
always told me would climb into my ear, but she
never explained why people might wear wigs
on their ears, and I never asked if it was because
their ears were cold, and I never suggested that
they wear ear muffins to keep the cold out, and
I never saw any molehills in the front yard under
the bright blue hydrangeas that frightened my
little cousin, and the only mountains I ever saw
surrounded my home, and the only mountain I
ever climbed was where the 4-H club once housed
cows and where I once crawled beneath the fence
to retrieve my basset hound because he’d decided
to make friends with the cows, but the cows did not
want to be friends with either him or me, and I wonder
if that is what she meant by not making a mountain
out of a molehill, and I never asked her whether a
molehill could be made out of a mountain.
MATH PAGE 329 #’s 1-35 ODD
Doing my math page 329 #’s 1-35 odd
This is my front, just another facade
Mathematics will guarantee a whack-o-matic
all those numbers defining inside your head
you’ll have schizophrenia before you’re dead
Parabolas and hyperbolas become the slides
the ups and downs, the plastic ones you use to ride
mathematics define the hidden truths
the ones you discovered on magic mushrooms
when you thought you were a witch on a broom
ZOOOOOOM, ZOOOOOM, ZOOOOOOM
flying by, passing time, and you wonder why
wonder why life is not worth it unless you try.
It a mathematical equation, waiting to unfold:
life basically just holds the secret of being bold.
OVER THE MOUNTAIN!
—Tom Goff, Carmichael
Duino Elegies done! This, Rilke’s cry
to all his friends and lovers in blissed-out ink…
now I too feel the primordial “mountain high,”
perched watchtower over my own just-scaled long heart-sink
upslope brutal to thighs, heels, shins, knees, ankles.
So nearly lost, so many times bruised, made lame:
gust-beaten twists, leg-braced torques up chimneys, at angles,
slips into the void avoided up slant moraine
broken as my eggshell scuffle and scramble.
Spread calm soft over my soul, pretend how vain
was the climb, or that this was all cat’s paw, goat’s nimble.
If I let amazement ricochet through this frame
joy goes into the gorge. Don’t undermine
what’s left. Be valley, be grape. Hold tight to your vine.
AND THAT FOUNTAIN A VOLCANO CAULDRON
likes to idle.
He idles then tornados his red-ripe Italian motorcycle
all the way up the strong stone mountain.
Atop it, he pauses. The top is all fountain
and that fountain a volcano cauldron.
You’d have to be rich to peer into this cauldron,
an independent cabrón like Seidel,
someone we easily class with the idle,
yet seldom just sidling through a slow idyll.
He cyclones right into and out of the fountain.
A shower of red sparks? red water? falls on him,
he machine guns the hand-tooled máquina Speed
past his last truffle-snuffling depiction of deeds
he’s done just this forenoon with lady Lust.
Pneumatic bliss, to him, isn’t her bread-dough bust,
but each magnificent tire of that ridewindey beast
best resembling that magnificent hombre
Seidel idling centaur alongside the feast,
then streaming flat-out in anthill-flattening stride,
his combustion velocipede rearing voluptuous wheelies.
Now Seidel’s in smooth level no-gravel glide,
then rubber-burns ecstatic fratricide.
Still charging that fountain-top mountainside.
MATRIMONY, MOLEHILLS AND MOUNTAINS
—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA
Darren and Donna divorced
over his inability
to place coasters
on the teakwood table
to sop up sangria slips
or from not trimming
the lawn exactly
she wanted him to.
He refuses to bicker
the days are too beautiful,
short, silent sentries
allowing only the most pliant
to fully enjoy the fulsome
scents and spices
each breeze will gladly aim
one's receptive, non-rancorous way.
The barnacles enjoy
it makes them feel much, much better
about themselves and how time
has favored their ilk;
it would me too
if I was built
in that one way
But God and grits
when served on the same platter
in El Dorado, Arkansas
or Bowling Green, Kentucky
or even New Haven, Connecticut.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROAM
is what my father always said
when we got lost on our Sunday drives.
There was no discussion, no suggestion
to look at a map or stop by a gas station.
Just look at the signs.
—Sandy Thomas, Sacramento