Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spring Seeds Sprouting

—Caschwa, Sacramento

(Inspired by dawn dibartolo’s leather jacket & boots)

Such a delicate touch
The world at his fingertips
He was very, very self-sure
Excelled at his art
Not too hard to reach
It is good he stayed above the law
Not too hard to reach
Excelled at his art
He was very, very self-sure
The world at his fingertips
Such a delicate touch



Mother Nature tears down trees
With forces far fiercer than
Chain saws

Re-routes rivers without
All the discussion and delay
Of committees

Keeps life going despite immense challenges
And plucks it away
Quite easily

Gives us a cornucopia of
Food and colors and tempers
When she feels like it

So we are left to read between lines
That are constantly changing;
Wonder what she meant by that?


—Michael Cluff, Corona, CA

Cursed by numbers
before civilization established them,
twenty-six miles out of Long Beach,
twice thirteen,
the native fox
of Catalina
is now in better stead
than before
thirteen distempered
nearing extinctual years
now mercifully
let to rest.

Introduced by rabid dogs
brought over from shore
by dodos of men,
nature takes command
and balances the ledgers
for fauna
this one rare time.


—Michael Cluff


The cheeky breezes
bromides hiding prejudice
in social
intellectual insults
unsettled Noelle
much more
than the wild winds
of plasma
shooting off
the sun
a boiling brontosaur
which never hides
behind homilies
traditions, any isms
and the three-piece
pinstriped suit
her professor
almost always
dons at dawn.


The cheeky breezes
tap out my boredom
and boorishness
a battalion of possibilities
prance outward
to defeat
the draughts of ideas
that hold me under
a pool of pruned promises.

The wild winds grab
the released me
carry it into
the corona
of the solar balloon
that tints the inviting
indigo and iris of the
liberating dusk
sliced off
from the numbing
of noon.


Camille texts me
her paper
was blown over
the car
into the still soppy drainage ditch
lost to the acts
of a capricious nature.

Having had my loose
new silk birthday necktie
ripped from my unbuttoned-down collar
make me mellow
towards her
not myself
for planning
to wait until
I reached my office
to create the perfect

The wind does not care
one way or another
it just howls
joy accenting
the final notes
of passing.


The clarifying
occurs when wild winds
scour out the residue
of what the skies
unwillingly inherited
from the actions
of 21st-century man

and the cheeky breezes
slap at the hems of dresses
the ties of men
the kites of kids
and the wings
of fighter jets
to establish
who will win out
in the end.


Cheeky breezes
drive me to the balcony
and then
play rehearsal.

the wildest winds
will have to step in
and bluster and impel
me back to work.


—Taylor Graham

A cottage paved with knees of sheep
laid joint-to-joint a shank-bone deep.
Think of the lambs that used to leap—
how newborns on their knee-caps creep,
then sweetly by their mothers sleep.
What odd economies we keep.
If tiles are pricey, bones are cheap;
just pick them off the garbage heap.
Floors of scrolled ivory—hard to sweep,
but most attractive. Bones we reap.


—Taylor Graham

This stiff wind,
tickling-whim wind,
dim first-light bird wind,
cliff-high fling-wind—
it's itch, hitch-this-wind
wind, it flirts &
clings, trips, sings, this
bright whirligig
kiting wind, night-lightning
wind, this winding-
this I'm-its-kin wind.



blew you here, off-course
from the road to Halsted? You're looking
out to sea and those rocks
named on the map—The Manacles—
corruption of a Cornish word. This sunny
afternoon, shearwaters skim the tops
of waves whose sparklers flare and flicker.
A sea-breeze beckons divers.
What treasures glitter
below The Voices, The Minstrel,
Carn-Dhu—where old sea-wrecks lie
scattered on the bottom?
Those rocks have bound so many men
to doom. From shore you imagine
voices—ideas of water and air—or
maybe it's an ill wind whistling
through distant cliff-caves
so it sounds like moans
of drowned sailors,
cold fingers fumbling riggings
in a storm. Or is it
the soft song of mermaids
beckoning, while the sun is high,
to swim out to those sparklers
that light the surface
as if reflecting, from below,
jewels of the dead.

—Taylor Graham


Thanks to today's chefs for some tasty fare! Their inspiration seems to have come from here, there, and everywhere.

Where do you get your inspiration? Taylor Graham says her monorhyme ("Rustic Husbandry") is based on something Elihu Burritt saw on his walks at Bicton in Devonshire—a cottage floored with 76,000 sheep-shanks for “a delicately-sculptured surface of great beauty.” Medusa tries to fan a few flames for you with Seeds of the Week (currently "Wild Winds and Cheeky Breezes"), Forms to Fiddle With (right now it's the monorhyme), and our new feature, News-Seeds—keep up with all of those on the green board at the right of this column. Carl Schwartz (Caschwa) and Mike Cluff were moved to poetry by the article about the rebound of Santa Catalina foxes.

It's also fun to see poets inspired by other poets: DR Wagner, Taylor Graham and Katy Brown have been writing to each other on these posts for some time now; today Carl Schwartz was inspired by dawny-D's boots (see yesterday's post)—but not in the way you think... Cool form that he used; is that a tuanartsa?


Today's LittleNip: 

A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.

—Catherine the Great



 Welcome to the world, Riveter and Boomerang!
—Photo by Taylor Graham