Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Words Sprouting Under the Oaks

A Scrub Jay, blue and gray, mostly, with brown eyes
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


—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 layer.


...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
mock me
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


 Oxford oak sheltering sheep
—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Under the great oak
under April sky,
centuries of leaf-
fall and growing grass—
for six sheep dozing.


—Taylor Graham

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.


Today's LittleNip: 

—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



Chibi Kieth digs under the mighty oak
—Photo by Sam the Snake Man