—Taylor Graham, Placerville
It must have been the wind
that told me—just like you always rode
alone. Private words for your buckskin horse,
and the wind down dry washes;
your hands working magic
with the reins. One day you left the horse
at home; hiked halfway to nowhere,
a seep in a gully; waited silent
as noonday shadow until they came.
Wild mustangs flicking their ears, sampling
the sky. One mare held you with her gaze
before lowering her muzzle to water.
You stayed long after they galloped off.
You told it in a poem. But
now the magic of pencil on paper
has slipped from your fingers.
You need no name for the rim-
rock place where,
without touching foot to earth,
you could wait for the wild horses.
MEMORY AT NEW YEAR
—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA
on a bedside vase
by sunlit water
of an uncoiled past,
as cabin fever
removes the coldness
we opened up
the linen closet
of a recoverable past,
a screen of colors
—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove
I was trying to remember if it was
A long time ago that I saw you.
It was in the April time, I’m sure
And then again the leaves were falling.
I was waiting by the waterfall.
You were walking on the shore.
The sky was dressing itself with great clouds.
I was waiting by an open door.
There were dreams all about the camp.
There was magic in your hands.
There were songs. We both sang them.
There were words we could understand.
It was like this forever, I recall.
It was never this way at all.
I only know that it was you I loved.
I never knew you at all.
THE TREES LEARN THEIR STANDING
From her unwavering gaze
And rivers, their kindest of moods
From the arch of her eyebrow,
The turn of her lips to smile.
The sun pulling itself above
The greeny hills, spends its
Entire morning looking in her
Direction as do I and the
Birds, the wind, the gathering
Clouds lost there too.
May the night forget its way
This evening. We have this
Cup of time only. Do not
Envy us a few poor words.
Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don't think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You'll look ten years younger. Don't be afraid to say, 'I love you'. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.