—Ronald Edwin Lane, Colfax
Bug-Eyed Jack hopped from grass to path, paused, sat back, boxer-pawed the air, looked right, looked left, looked straight ahead and sniffed, listened, relaxed, licked paws, both front and back, and then boxer-pawed again and paused, and then licked the fur around his derriere. A magpie flew past and Bug-Eyed Jack stood erect and boxer-pawed his threat, “Don’t mess with this hare, or I’ll boxer-paw your ears.” I doubt very much if he would have flashed paws at a hawk or a fox, but he was a tough old hare I’ll grant him that, or he wouldn’t have lived for so many years. He then inchwormed up the path, shifting weight from front paws to back, to then stand erect, pause and sniff, flash boxer-paws and lick. And I could tell he truly had a lucky foot, for Bug-Eyed Jack’s right ear was notched and shorter than the other, the result of a brush with death, where this hare barely escaped by the tip of his ear.
THAT OL’ CAROUSER SUN
—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento
The Sun looks refreshed this morning
after a full night of carousing on
the other side of the world.
His ogle strikes a note of curiosity,
for which I wonder about his
pandering among the stars.
Has he encouraged a galaxy rave
with careless talk of light speed? Has he
drunk the gin of meteor showers? Who’s
to know, except residents on the other
side of the globe? —they, too busy
carousing in their nap-dreams to notice.
DYING (non-syllabic Pleiades)
—Carol Louise Moon
Dreaming has its advantage:
dancing, like toe dancing. My
deceased father never saw me
dance, but now in my
dreams takes a center-stage seat
directly in front and watches my
“Dying Swan.” His eyes guide me.
—Carol Louise Moon
What is to be known of the honey-comb?
A frightening look at over-crowding.
They come to this tribal gathering in robes,
wearing slippers, newsprint on their thumbs.
Coffee farmers. Coffee roasters. Coffee filters.
Coffee beans and water. Steam rises.
Affection awaits the cat, whose attitude, carefully
adjusted, has decided to stay off this couch.
Thoughts couched in good intentions are fruit
falling from an over-ripened tree. Prunes.
It is summer, yet the weather remains cool.
I’ve not switched the calendar page; still April.
Tomorrow, let us fly the rainbow kites of our
minds, entangling kite tails.
The poet has written another ghazal…
another day of poetry… in her dreams.
—Ronald Edwin Lane
Color blind, blind to color, black and white, white and black, so cold, so narrow, so phony, so dull, so less than ordinary, this view, this focus, this sameness, plainness; in a world so insanely colorful and gorgeous.
ORPHEUS OF THE WAVES
—Taylor Graham, Placerville
A bed swirls in eddies of dark water
blind as music. Umbrellas bob like whitecaps
on the current, the rain drawing every-
thing downstream. All night, rain shook the roof,
swirled new waterways to sea.
We waded waist-deep in the flood, tides
of a perilous other-language.
And on that midnight emptiness of water,
a bed floats—white sheets
unwritten; pillows fluffed, as if eyes
of the dead or the just-born
weighted with coins. A few bright words
among the debris that clogs
the culverts, overflows the road. Small
branches, a chair, a hat-rack on the current.
You tell me, even our spirit is caught
in the tide. But look—a pump-
organ rides the waves, holding its sheet-music
tight. And that bed—a flame-lily rises
on its birth-stem loosed
from bedsprings; floating on loss.
Most fragile of flower-trees
springing from the ear. Gift of words
borne on the water's drone.
Blessed rain bearing the burden of song.
That Bighorn ram by dawnlit sky—
I had no lens to aim that high,
to fix his image. Just my eye.
It all passed by. It all passed by.
How capture in a word, a line
the shiver of a full-moon shine—
a crimson trail-side columbine—
to make it mine, to make it mine?
That passing thought I sought to nurse—
was it a blessing or a curse?
Blank paper is an empty purse
without a verse, without a verse.
How shall we toast, tonight? you ask
as if we had some hidden cask.
Your smile, clear water in the flask—
beloved mask, beloved mask.
sonnenizio on a line by Patrick Kavanagh
From green and blue things and arguments that cannot be proven
we walk out in a world insanely green,
greener for this storm soaking thirsty ground
so new springs gush out of placid green slopes
bearing spring-green debris downstream along
with last summer's rubbish mud-green, clogging
the green current that swirls eddies to block
our culvert. In green slickers we're raking
water; and wondering at God's green ways:
good earth promised along with green thistle;
mowing hay under charcoal-green thunder.
As sheep lie down to rehash their green cuds,
you bend to pick, from the green-growth between,
one leaf of miner's-lettuce heart-shaped green.
THIN LINE GRIP
—Ronald Edwin Lane
Outside, a heart beats, still, free within a cage of cold steel wires, gripped, in the tick tack toe struggle, of a day of the dull and the sharp, of the light and the dark, of a yin yang winter-spring morning, holding on for life.
THEY COULD HAVE JUST
SENT A BLANK SHEET
—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove
My favorite rejection slip
Scribbled on the back
Of a Marine Corps
Go out of business
Any of your crap.”