Monday, September 05, 2011

As The Season Turns

Photo by Trina Drotar

—Trina Drotar, Sacramento

Dust clouded the view of cars and trucks
driving the highway by the river where
people camp, skunks roam in search of
whatever they may be in search of, birds
help control the insect population, and
where a white dog trudged in the mid-
afternoon heat and lagged far behind
his charge of hundreds of working
sheep while we drove past the sheared
bodies that never stopped moving.


—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento

neighbors away
leave water pristine
dangle feet, legs
water cold despite caressing
sunlight, clear golden rays
plunge in, shock
met with strength, yielding
break surface
laps’ rhythm
geese fly overhead
alone, I feel autumn
pull leaves from trees
turn, twist, stroke through water
counter aging joints’ pain
banish lonely, sad mood
can love survive
packed away in fantasy?
this water will soon be too cold to swim
another summer
millennia away


—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento

The village dog has already announced
the coming of day. The cavalry has blown
the bugle. In stupendous array the horses
are adorned. Birds have taken to their
respective perches, the hawk to his post.
The blacksmith has fired the forge in his
smithing shop.

The village dog takes a bone from the
butcher's hand and enters his little house
at eleven o'clock am. The cavalry retreats
to barracks, horses are stalled. Birds have
flown to their nests. The farmer greets his
wife indoors for noonday pot roast. The
blacksmith falls asleep on his bench.

Village streets are silent as the high noon
sun hangs above it all. Listen! The village
dog barks yet again, running across the page.


—Carol Louise Moon

I escape the creeping near despair.
Telephone and office tyranny
ring far from me, and I don’t care.

Telephone and office tyranny
seem far from me as I lay here
secluded on this rooftop, bare.

Far away from here, as I lay nude,
the moon shines down a moonbeam stair
for me to climb if I should choose.

The moon shines down a moonbeam glare
to bathe me in this cool night air.
I’m free from hearing daily news

bathing in this cool night air;
I’m twinkling star in evening dews.
A moonbeam stair—a night so rare!

A night so rare with moonbeam stair
for me to climb if I should choose!
Secluded on this rooftop bare,
no ringing ears, and not a care—
I’m free from all that daily news.


—Carol Louise Moon

In my yard beneath blue skies
where you’ll find yellow butterflies
grow several Birds of Paradise.

A scene of beauty such that brings
elusive black bugs out to sing,
to see these birds with browning wings

and golden beaks, and crowns of brass
that look like hair, or tawny grass,
by brick-lined path where I walk past.

I now step down a brick-lined stair
to sit beside these birds. Austere,
they stand as portrait—still as air.


(A Summer Sonata)
—C. Piper, Napa

(tranquilo, magico)

an arrhythmic sough,
sighing slow water,
bug thrum rising
with the rising sun;
a chorus of Black Rails,
paired semi-breves
and shirll breves altissimo:
ki-ki-krie overlapping
keen answering ki-ki-krie
cattail percussion,
damselfly dronings,
sudden flutterings
and ticking pecks
of Black Rails feasting . . .

a doe’s hooves cautious click
upon smooth river rock;
undertones of sough and rivulet;
light rattling taps
of three fawn following
in careful counterpoint
to cattail rhythms;
the sipping of the deer
at the streamlet’s major chord;
the Black Rail chorus dissolving
in a subtle scuttle
of scritching avian claws—
little birds racing afoot for cover . . .

a clash of dry grasses,
the cougar bursts from the brush,
the doe’s bolt splashes
clattering oval stones,
fawns’ hooves accelerando
echo the doe’s startled phrases
a beat behind at an octave,
a beat ahead
of cervideaen shrieks . . .

padding lionine footfalls
drumming terrors’ tempo;
the runt fawn darts
a double-time tattoo;
a shush of reeds,
a soundless paw
extending claws
that rip and hold
a spotted hide;
cougar and fawn
atumble en crescendo—
the plaintive scream fortississimo,
a crunch of jaws . . .

(grand pause)

the sough rebreathes the keynote;
the great cat pants unevenly –
gnawing feed, puffs, grunts,
a warning growl,
husky huffs allargando;
the Black Rail chorus tacet;
the insect thrum rebuilding;
the stream song theme sotto voce;
the warm sough rising, falling away . . .
warm sough rises and falls away . . .

(diminuendo al fine)


Today's LittleNip: 

I will take the appaloosa
and divest the need
to conquer and tame her
back to the earth
the sky and the stream.

I hope she will do the same
for me, when she stops
at the crest of the sagebrushed and yuccaed hill
and looks back
near me
for a couple of minutes
and then lets me
and her go
where we now will.

—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA



Photo by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove