When the cry from the hills broke the stillness at noon
Like a scream piercing out from a blood-splattered wreck;
When the cry echoed down to the valley below
It was gathered like grain and thrown to the wind
To loosen the warning of doom’s early call.
When the cry sounded loudly over flatlands and farms
The chaos that followed was so like the danger
That none could escape the one nor the other.
As the water arose through the silt and the sand
And covered the ground with the blood of the land
The children were killed and the women were drowned
And none but the dead could remember the sound
Of the onrushing wave that again cleansed the earth.
(originally published in Santa Barbara City College
BUCK MOON'S WORK BOAT
—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento
He's moving fast now
spin right, back left
back right, tight.
I see four cleats
like anvils on a large
He needs ropes and chains.
He's got a rope looped
on his anvil. He's got
his hands full.
Leaping onto the yacht
got caught up, or not;
tied up a neat knot
on the yacht. Then
Buck's back on the boat-barge.
Engine winds in reverse
to traverse the winding river.
He's doin' the math.
Ropes and angles, angles
and ropes, he hopes.
It's all by degrees.
(Speaking of degrees,
I hope he wore his
sunscreen.) Now I've seen
one more yacht he got unstuck
from the muck and the reeds—
too tight of a turn
with daylight to burn
on the Petaluma River.
MIGRATIONS: PILLBUGS IN MULTIPLE PLEIADES
—Carol Eve Ford, Kenai, AK
Morning awakens each one.
murmuring gently, coaxing
merrily at its closed doors.
Muttering, each stretches, groans,
mumbling about aches and pains.
Mildly disentangling its
multiple limbs, each glides forth.
Moving pleopods wave like
Mouthparts tucked primly, he glides
methodically across the
morning blacktop, crossing roads,
marching forth to seize the day,
moving out, ready to roll.
Many wonder: why does the
modest pillbug cross the road?
Maybe he knows it will be
much too hot later. Perhaps
more danger lurks among the
mulch than the safe, empty road.
Most likely he seeks something.
More suitable digs, a new
mate, greener pastures, perchance
more roughage? Humble, stolid,
miniscule armored tanks in
multitudes, crossing both ways.
Mapping the commute, they
march on hair-legs. Vision quest?
—Carol Eve Ford
also known as “Pillbugs;” Group:
animals, Isopod class,
and crustacean family, such
as, crawdads, crabs, lobsters, shrimp,
and water fleas. They roll up.
—Carol Eve Ford
Morphing is commonplace now.
Most children have seen it a
million times, for heaven’s sake!
My word, people! Butterflies
may have invented it, but
modern methods far surpass
mere tedious miracle!
It is just an ordinary bridge
Extending the highway over a river
To carry commuters from
Point A to point B
Though from time to time
It rises to yield way to traffic
On the waterway, going from
Point C to point D
It is someone with their ears plugged
Talking, texting, dialing, selecting,
Almost looking in your direction
When it is your turn to speak
It is a collection of musicians
Each playing their separate parts
Reaching the section that takes them all
From one chorus to another
It is that part of the neighborhood
Outside the family, outside the home
That provides a village of experiences
To move one from childhood to adulthood
It is everything a blind person “sees”
Through their other keen senses
And it is the first turned page of
Music, art, or poetry.
And then it is gone again.
OF MENTAL BALANCE
—Tom Goff, Carmichael
Ah the world and its languages ripe for misreading,
where “At the mercy of” means No Mercy,
beautiful saber edge of a place where to live
is to cast Virgilian lots with every message.
I trailed a truck whose rollup back door read
Time Buyer…until the elaborate curlicues
resolved into Tire Buyer. Oh well, if all this
truck has to teach me amounts to how the world
tires the buyer of selling and being bought…
But I was once a buyer of time, and would love,
would ache to purchase just a wee bit more,
clean or begrimed. Buy me some time, I’m gonna,
and once I’m a famous Buyer of Time, I can
once again stunt-ride my high flyer, my beloved
Schwinn Timecycle along Time’s birdwire.
Slide me wheelwright along that orange-red
sling of a Golden Gate cable, Enabler Time.
I’ll take my Brodies off the acrobat’s thin slick
longcopper, bounce right back up undead,
ready for one more singing wire, one more,
one more, one more shuddering, quivering
test of mental balance…
Birdsong wing of a woman in life,
Tell me you have not gone far,
My silent once-comfort in all strife,
Tell me why now, quick as a knife,
you’ve bladed your glide toward a darker star.
Birdlong wing of a woman in life,
Tell me you have not gone far.
—Gene Avery, Sacramento
that will be the Story
when all is said & done
that will be the Glory
when all of us are gone
...with thanks to today's contributors. Buck Moon is Sacramento Poet Carol Louise Moon's brother; Carol Eve Ford is her childhood friend, and they now correspond between Sacramento and Kenai, Alaska.