PASS OR FAIL
University students in the digital age
Where computers code everything
Either 1 or 0,
Are sometimes offered
The choice of taking classes for
Pass or fail
Instead of being graded in the
Traditional alphabetical or numerical
In the case of a car on a rainy street
Passing is a cause for joyous celebration
As opposed to a car failing on a rainy street.
Driven more by appetite than safety concerns,
Drivers who either pass or fail,
Using cars that either pass or fail
Stop at eating establishments
That have either passed or failed.
And it isn’t much better when the street is dry.
WHOMEVER AND EVER
(Inspired by Saturday’s Question of the Day)
The agent for Who worked very, very hard
To remove Whom from our vocabulary
So now Who gets all the gigs
Since the retirement of the Bard
While poor Whom is left with but nary.
—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento
Very potent, this plant, this vernal
vision of delicate flower, this orchid.
Verdant yellow petals with viridescent
vernation, leaves a lighter green on
verso. We seek the deep flavor of its
vermiform bean. We delight in orchid-in-
vase, the Veronica of Jesus’ face.
YOUR HAZEL EYES
—Carol Louise Moon
Give me the color hazel
from your eyes that I may say,
“We were the same.”
Give me the color hazel
so that I may look and see
the world with you in it.
Give me the color hazel-green
(a refined hazel) that only you
and I would share.
Give me the color of your eyes,
the hazel of your words, even
the hazy-hazel memory of you.
For I have loved you
much deeper than the color
just as you have loved me
with the ever green of your eyes,
your words, your life.
IN THE COMPANY OF GOLDCRESTS
—Carol Louise Moon
We speak in mists of feathers,
as birds cluster in high nests.
Nature hears our words, whether
we speak in mists of feathers or
bring lofty thoughts together
on wings to fly—like Goldcrests.
We speak in mists of feathers
as birds, clustered in our nests.
A SCRIM OF DUST ON WATER
—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove
The sun is reflected but it is tired,
Hours to go before evening is even
An idea. It too is a nomad today,
The shadows on the trees, the cool
Dark beneath the eldest willow, a slight
Lipper in the water and the hopeful
Sound of a bee traveling the dry fields.
Soon it will be show time again
With the leaves beginning to move
In their soft dance, the scrim of dust
On the water breaking up and the sheep
Coming down the slope to loaf beneath
The tree and feel the coolness of the
Water on their dark muzzles once again.
Where is the poem?
Too tired to put its little
Feet on the rungs of the ladder
In order to reach the place where
It can finally see over the top
Of the wall in a quiet neighborhood
Where the twilight shows tiny points
Of light, lamps being lit in windows
So soft that melodies come from
Them like sighs or glances taken
In leaving some loved place
For the last time.
The million mistakes we make
Trying to find where it can go next
And then seeing it sleeping next
To us in bed, late in the evening
Breathing the breath of the lover.
I had a dream but it was not
My own, but part the tossed
Off skin and jumbled bones of
Another’s vision, an unknown home,
A further coming of the night
Into my sleep, gathered from an
Immortality not mine yet
Not an accident, a circumstance
Where one who has abandoned
Time or time abandoned one
Became a universal history, where
Our very blood inherits music
Or reflections from another childhood
Saying a phrase that waters the living
With the cast-off moments of one
Long ago alive, who is now
Completely unknown to them
Slips quite easily into
The form of dreams finding itself
Flabbergasted again in a life
And is worn again as poetry might be,
A garment, a forgotten country, a tree.
Water on our lips. We look for
The sake of looking and are happy.
Now in the valley we watch the moon
Creep into a delicate sky.
Tonight it is round and pale
And full of the unfolding one finds
In the harness of what we choose
To call loving. Smiling at the
Minotaur, knowing it will not
Be remembered in the morning,
We have said goodbye to this
Mind so long ago we can dance
In forgetting what is past.
It hurries by and we will only watch.
All the sound of water here
Again. All of the books that have
Been written, destroyed and are
Here again. We have rewritten
Each and every one of them. The ink
Made of the carbon of our bodies.
The ink made of our blood and the blood
Of soldiers in endless armies.
There are no longer any secrets.
When you whisper in my ear
The cyclone blows across the pampas
And the dry deserts, across the
Dry husks where love used to live,
Lifting its perfect dust until
It is impossible to see the sun at all.
I had always imagined Paradise as a kind of library.
—J. L. Borges
Thanks to today's contributors, including D.R. Wagner for the LittleNip, and Jane Blue for the photo of Viola Weinberg's poem at the (now we know the name of) Peace Park on Riverside Blvd. in Sacramento. Don't forget to check Medusa's Facebook page for the rest of our Peace Park Photo Safari photos, if you haven't already.