Wednesday, March 28, 2012

There Were Daffodils

Old Abandoned Stairs
—Photo by Robin Gale Odam

—Robin Gale Odam, Sacramento

I have been considering this next page.
I have been hearing a rustling of dry leaves.
I have been measuring time with soft breathing.

My daughter is getting married.
They took engagement photos on a rise of
old concrete stairs in an abandoned lot.
He is handsome. She is delicate.
There were daffodils.


—Tom Goff, Carmichael

Oh silent, silent, silent, silent, silent.
Page in my mind, no, my entire book,
best book of my heart, if you should ever
learn someday how much I adore you,
I foresee you will reject, utterly repudiate me.
For is what my kindness if not ulterior?
But what am I to do but love you
by helping you—help you I will, then go
drown my mental tempest,
my distraught sex and senses,
in transparent anguish, in clean silence.

My chapter of you makes up one mute page.
In a novel of Rome, a future emperor urges
his friend to write in milk on the whitest
of parchment. Fire will caramelize
the inscription, bring it back burnt and burning
with dangers we carelessly term words.
When sweet you and sour everyone else
overlook my supposed tomb inscription,

what will it say of our darling reluctance?
Will it not speak of me—or of you equally—

Here lies one whose name was writ in milk
across the one parchment the fire left unkissed?


—Tom Goff

My lady, you see me and smile:
a double rainbow, downside up,
a heady cup
of love, all lip.

Infuse my drink with a mere sip,
and my lips curve and loft to kiss.
But here’s the thing; when we both smile,
our duple pair of lips turns one,

we two on this side of one kiss.
So, in our bliss,
our lips brush only light, or air:
our blended mouths yearn out toward—where?

To kiss together stars and moons,
kiss far, far planets, new Neptunes?

Our never-touching lips
melding, melting on a dare
—we, teaching the angry sun
a newer, far more perfect flare!


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Time is a page with nothing on it—
Excalibur rusting at the bottom of the lake
whose surface giggles under sunrise
and stars; a herd of goats browsing the swale.
Tall grasses sway, then stop as all things
do. A band of men in kilts goes by, piped as
if to war—or is it men in armor or fatigues,
who will or will not return. Time is a page
so often written, overwritten; a voice
across the water that riffles and erases
words. Time turns a blank page.


—Taylor Graham

Forest Sanitarium?—I mistook the words
in translation, forgetting the magic
of wooded mountain and thin air to work

their changes, sleight of time and syntax.
I thought you were lost inside walls,
caught by the lungs, breath over-frosting

vision. Ice-fog on glass. Nurses came
and went on soundless feet. Time
passed with click-ticking of pulses,

non-retractable nails on linoleum.
Time is a page with nothing on it. Only
numbers. Deficits, remainders.

Charts, red lines on graphs climbing
and falling with ambiguous
interpretation, commentary, diagnosis.

But from the woods, animals were
watching, eyes soft with healing. Sky
rises higher than a fever burns.

When you woke to daylight,
it was already tomorrow.


—Caschwa, Sacramento

Toddlers stray off sidewalks
Where treasures vast unfold
Combo pizzas, combo locks
Mysteries of sex untold

Backpack full of metaphors
Denied the light of day
Yack yack that cannot open doors
To jobs that really pay

No epitomes of epiphanies
Nor nebulae of knowledge
Tested at class and parties
A struggle all through college

Numerous nuclear submarines
A host of bald spots too early
Odd smelling peculiar tangerines
But all are safe for us, surely

Now it is time to pick a plot
To mark a life that’s ended
Toddlers return to the very same spot
To find bugs they once befriended


Medusa has had her snakes in a tangle the last few days with a monstrous flu bug; so much so that I just didn't have the focus required to come up with a Seed of the Week yesterday. But today, while I am by no means healed, I have been inspired by Robin Odam's photo of the abandoned steps. Where did they lead to at one time? Was it a happy home, or was it destroyed by its own pain? Where do such steps lead to in our own lives; what are some of the "steps" you've abandoned over time? Anyway, write about these poor, abandoned steps and send your thoughts to

And my mail bag is bulging:

•••Cynthia Linville writes: The Spring '12 Issue of Convergence is online at  Look for work by Abbie Amadio, Anne Babson, Eleanor Leonne Bennett, Myles Boisen, Katy Brown, Holly Day, J de Salvo, Teresita Garcia, Carl James Grindley, Patricia Hickerson, Keith Moul, J. Alan Nelson, Allyson Seconds. In addition, Editors' Choice pages and photos throughout the website are updated monthly or bimonthly, so stop by often. Kara Synhorst is Cynthia's featured poet this month. Go to

•••Trina Drotar writes: 1. I have a piece that was accepted into the Tower at Beatnik show. The photo title is "Ceiling Lights in the Tower Lobby". There is an opening reception (plus pub crawl for those interested) this coming Friday on the 30th. (I'll be at the reception but not at the pub crawl.) For info, go to!/events/339272839452656

2. My nonfiction story, "Little Orange," will be published in an anthology titled The Dog with the Old Soul this fall.

3. The Crossroads Reading Series has a Facebook page at!/pages/Crossroads-Reading-Series-at-CCAS/307059609360186

•••Todd Cirrillo writes: The following is a Six Ft. Swells update front the news desk. 2012 appears to be gearing up for a big year for our little press and we would like to invite everyone to the party. Please take a moment and help us help you by going to our sites below and subscribing to our website to receive updates, our blogs, poems, notifications of events and party invites. It's easy and free, just put your email in. Also, if you have Facebook, please go to our page and "like" us. You will also receive update from the SFS crew. Do both if possible. Please join our support group as our little ship sets sail. Big announcements soon to come: and


Today's LittleNip: 


Some may say that
Playing solitaire is
A good example of
No pain, no gain

Then how come
After all those games
It hasn’t kept
My weight down?

(Silly is the chisel that shapes a cold, hard block of profound.)



—Photo by Joyce Odam, Sacramento
(Mother of Robin Gale)