Monday, September 26, 2011

Ready For Change?

Picture-poem by n.ciano, Davis


focus on a point—imagine
a bowl of glass hovering midair,
holding moonlight. Become
up-gazer: in the bowl, the tail
of a comet.
Lift your arms—look,
they're covered in feathers.
Wings. The bowl fills
with sun, floating.
Staccato of plucked
strings. Let your feet pick
up the rhythm.
Just out of reach, the bowl
holds a transparent
heart, it runs clear with life-
blood. Be window,
inside/outside your body, kin
to dawn and twilight—
any kind of light. Breathe.
Keep moving.

—Taylor Graham, Placerville


—Taylor Graham

They walk single-file as if in sequence
up the dark corridor. The first with her moon
in a casket, an unlit lantern lacking oil.
The next, with a knife to punctuate
the darkness, but held tenderly as a small
bird, her voice pale. The third
with arms outstretched bearing a chalice
fashioned from a sieve. They whisper
as they move. They might be nuns or seers,
chiaroscuro lovers, or keepers of a music
whose meaning is in spite of the words.
How life shoots swift through all
the lightened limbs out of dark and
distance. The divinity of where it goes.
How their hands only seem


—Taylor Graham

What obscure dialect kept repeating
in your dream? A syntax cut off
from its neighbors; born of mountains,
the long ages of stone. A tongue
gagged by guardians
who wouldn't understand it.
In your dream they tried to keep
the heart-syllables
from crossing a child's lips at play.
What is language but a soul?



Looking into the mirror
I saw a reflection—
it was me
but I wasn’t myself
I was plagued with some horrible disease
I closed my eyes hoping I’d awaken
or be able to see
but when I opened them
I was coming out of myself
right out of my mouth
and I put my hands to my throat
and when I fell to the ground
I rose from my body
separated by mind
and as my chest rose with a final breath,
I felt relief.
But it was not over
for my rebirth was about to begin.
Watching from above
I re-entered my limp frame
and stood up and looked back in the mirror
I didn’t look the same—
I was beautiful.


—Caschwa, Sacramento

Sexual overtures by a
Disheveled and quite possibly
Mentally unstable person
From a lower station

Petition solicitations
Right outside the supermarket
Requiring split-second decisions
On long-term major issues

Submissions to a publisher
By a previously unpublished author
That don’t match the prevailing
Style, theme, form, or market trends

Any political candidate who
Proposes to raise taxes,
Favor an already favored minority,
Or make heavy use of smear tactics

People who are diagnosed
With terminal illnesses
Who outlive their doctors
By decades.



I sat down to write a lovely poem
About the charming location of
Bouquet Canyon, California

When you read a news item about
Police firing off dozens of rounds
And the suspect still gets away…

Here is where they practice that
Over and over again
And then some more

Filled with the sweltering aroma
Of sizzling cartridges and
spent gunpowder

The sight of a hodgepodge variety
Of major kitchen appliances
Filled with large bullet holes

A bunch of guys all wearing
the same plaid shirt, torn a little,
With that angular posture of cello players

The sounds of firearms firing, while
Their shooters are discharging
Disparaging comments about
Missing the target


From close range.



One leaf descending, soon many more
Parachuting, diving, downhill racing,
Burrowing under to hibernate

While children pretend
They are catching snowflakes,
Fall in the leaves, giggling
And celebrate their safe landings.

*** *** ***

A space heater has a short cord
So you won’t trip over it
And hurt yourself

But so do bananas.

*** *** ***

It is time to unpack the Winter wardrobe
Sweaters, jackets, hats, gloves, scarves
For some, a pretty sizeable investment

Why not just buy a plane ticket
To where it is warm and sunny?

*** *** ***

Buttons are depressing
Telephones are flipping
Fresh hot coffee
Ready now for sipping.

Your order is soon called
The name is misspelled
Good brew to be savored
A warm cup to be held.


Today's LittleNip: 


Everyday I tell myself,
there is no other option,
you have to love yourself.



Bill Gainer and Bob Stanley at
100 Thousand Poets For Change in
Sacramento on Sat., Sept. 24, 2011
—Photo by Trina Drotar
(For more photos and Bill's comments on the event,
go to Medusa's Facebook page. To read Sunday's
Sacramento Bee article about it, click the link
on Medusa's blue board at the right.)