set in black pools beneath white feather brows,
snatches walnuts with a sharp black beak,
a thrust of wings, and a scosche of trust,
on a sunny day in spring.
—Ronald Edwin Lane
THE CARDINAL'S CANVAS
—Ronald Edwin Lane, Colfax
It’s a fine morning with so many blooms,
so many fresh green leaves still stretching, and
the promise of so many blooms yet to come.
The Wisteria flowers that hang in showy
pendulous racemes in the quad are now shattering
into a regatta of violet boats on the grass and
bricks and path, some already smashed.
Tomorrow a leaf blower will ruin their fun,
change the canvas. Cardinals smother the
cotoneaster by the Quonset with their beating
wings, plucking red berries free, the ground littered,
a red reflection of those still clustered above.
Tomorrow a leaf blower will shatter this mirror.
I suppose they, the groundskeepers, prepare
a clean slate on which the season paints,
but I’d rather they let the days linger longer
...and i can't do a thing
—Giselle Rodriguez, Davis
Thoughts of that night still run through my head
playing different scenarios over and over...
his hands caressing her face
his lips on hers
their bodies against each other
he's holding her like he held me the day before and the day after
images that i now imagine
spit in my face
slap me a thousand times
drag me across the floor
and I can't do a thing
I can't do a single thing
—Taylor Graham, Placerville
Under the great oak
under April sky,
centuries of leaf-
fall and growing grass—
for six sheep dozing.
I sit dreaming beside
my puppy, under the big old oak.
Is it the tree who tells me
the secret of flight?
Cut loose from your vowels,
a voice says. Kick
off your boots, take a deep
breath, swallow sky.
Throw off the ballast
of grammar, and re-imagine
alphabet, its curious letters.
Cling to an ascender—f for flying,
with those graceful tail-letters,
y and g, as stabilizers.
Lift off from the roots
of language and syntax. Soar
above treetops, looking down
on all those human words.
POETS AT NIGHT
—Patricia Hickerson, Davis
all night long
and down to the sun’s rise
poets are working
words sprout from their pens
spring from computer keys
a b c radiant to the touch