Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sieves of Time

The Covered Bridge on Honey Run Lane
—Photo by Katy Brown

—Katy Brown, Davis

I find myself thinking
that I pass through or over time,
in one direction, like crossing

the old covered bridge on my way home.
But time flows
all around the bridge,

like water when the creek rises
—like sunlight and rain;
or the laughter of boys

swimming in the icy rapids.
Inside the bridge, creekflow
and the swish of wind

catch and echo against
cracking boards.
This bridge is a sieve of time,

straining the barred light
as it passes through deliberate
spaces in the siding;

capturing shadows of tourists
who wander into history
out of summer.


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

The sky is a different blue now,
but the same knifing wind I remember
off the high ridges, across alfalfa

fields…. No fields now. Just condos
impervious to weather. Freeway
where used to be the tunnel-road—

I'd canter bareback
after school, I was Lone Ranger,
last of my breed.

On the wind a scent of canyon.
Handful of hay for a big black mare.
Lost years ago.


—Taylor Graham

So small a thing, just a pinprick,
but it itches like fate.
You have no memory of how it came

but it itches like fate—
a premonition, a shortness.
End of summer verging to fall,

a premonition. A shortness
of time, of breath. Could it be
the black widow with her hourglass

of time, of breath? Could it be
the bug that kisses men to death?
You've listened to so many stories—

the bug that kisses men to death…
a chill like winter in its sting.
Lie down tonight with your dreams:

the black widow with her hourglass.
You've listened to so many stories,
end of summer verging to fall.
You have no memory of how it came.
Lie down tonight with your dreams.


—Taylor Graham

This forest—do the trees shine silver,
or dying-leaf-golden
in a slant of light? Impossible to know,
as if monks were singing
in the language of another world.

I call, but there's no response—just
the image of you beckoning
as you disappear among trees,
oak leaves like gold coins, firebirds
in shimmer-flight.

As in cycles of dream,
I couldn't follow you. I search
my pockets for a fragment.
Why does light seem closest
just before it's gone.


Today I was walking through a graveyard and I discovered a tombstone shaped like a book
What a wonderful idea I thought this was, for what describes life more perfectly than a book?
Meeting someone for the first time is the exposition
general and vague
sometimes interesting and sometimes not
As you get to know them there is a sort of rising action
character development
internal struggles and antagonists
Resulting in a climax, the moment in which you love them more than any other
I believe this occurs with everyone we meet, even if we don't believe we love them
there is a single moment in which we do
Sometimes books have a happy ending
but sometimes they don't
They always end though
it's sad when they do
and it's hard to put a good book down
But that's the most important part, when the book in its entirety has become a part of you
and you are now free to read more books
and although those books will end
and the ending may be happy, but it may be sad
it will always
be worth the read
* * *

I sure hope someone is clever with my tombstone.
Not a book of course, that would be too obvious.
Something far more original.
Perhaps a stone toilet.
The lid can say “He was a tough one, but he finally dropped”
and as a footnote, “loving husband, always left the seat down”
and of course
bonus points if the toilet works

 —Dillon Shaw, Davis


Today's LittleNip: 

—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA

Towers can only completely contain
the bodies of people

their souls
and spirits
the rise and fall
of such structures

and is
as it should be.


Thanks to today's contributors. Katy Brown has a new album about the Covered Bridge on Honey Run featured Medusa's Facebook page; be sure to check that out, along with her description of it. About today's TG poems, Taylor Graham says "this is where Brigit Truex's Tartoum led me," and about his poem, Dillon Shaw says, "Here's a matching pair of poems I wrote, partially inspired by the old SOW, 'Argument/debate/dueling poems: two poems w/contradictory ideas.'"


—Photo by Jane Blue, Sacramento