Friday, May 25, 2012

Lost and Found

—Photo by Katy Brown

The ring of fire hung in the sky

as if the god of omens tossed a fiery quoit
into a stand of pines;

as if Shiva lost a bracelet dancing
among the stars;

as if a monster-slayer devoured an eye
of the demon who dwells in the sun;

as if any myth that tells of this
is more fantastic than the truth . . . .

—Katy Brown, Davis


—Katy Brown

The rapid fall of light
and confusion of a flying crow:
confirmation of dramatic change—

a perfect place to watch the eclipse
here at the bottom of a lost ravine.
I’m here to photograph the moon

swallowing the sun
in this other-worldly glow—
and my mind turns to annihilation.

No one knows where to look
if I don’t come back.
The world is getting cold and still

with the dark growing all around.
Science tells me facts
about the shadow-world forming here.

Yet, a chill and sudden dark—
the quiet in the woods around me—


 —Photo by Katy Brown

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

5:06 a.m. The bed shakes.
Shards of light
through the screens. Something
hits my elbow. Sharp
edge of tooth or claw. Cold
against my neck, heavy breathing.
All night her heart's
been ticking. 5:
07, It's time! Loki says
in Dog. Dawn shape-shifting
sleep to ignition.
Debris of dreams and dinner,
yesterday's dull
lessons. Time, bright trickster
in disguise
of a sable puppy. Grenade
under my pillow,
a neon-green ball. Loki's live
and set for Wednesday.


—Taylor Graham

Follow a trail of apricot pits, cellophane
wrappers, gas receipts—up rough stone
steps like a ladder to the clouds, or at least
a view worth climbing for. Cascades of
snowmelt whipped into misty foam, the
current carrying hikers' litter down to sea.
Everything's connected. At a junction,
pumpkin-orange traffic cone, a white-
No fast food on this trail, not even a slow
hot meal. But tectonic plates are shifting
under the mountain. Was that Earth's last
water going over the falls?


—Taylor Graham

A garden of real toads, yet green
as an enchanted emerald seen
through tinted glasses—why should I
put down my tools, just let them lie, and sit between

the gate and dripping faucet? Look,
here's a toad actual as a book
of wonders. Hungry bugs beware
this warty hunter in his lair; his tongue's a hook,

and nothing's simple as it seems
on a spring morning. Sunlight streams
fermenting on the compost heap
where old squash rots and microbes leap to gardeners' 

Taylor Graham has a treat for her veteran
search-and-rescue dog, Cowboy.
—Photo by Katy Brown

—Katy Brown
I’ve marked a winding path through weeping pines,
giant redwoods, and owl clover― my latest
coiling track through twisting choices.

Especially as I scramble down the steep hillside―
slipping on rolling pebbles, slick as ball-bearings―
I know the way home demands a hard uphill climb.

I’ve come through nutmeg trees and sugar pines,
through cedars that thrive on this hillside
and skeletons of trees, bare as spinal cords.

I’ve circled back to nearly where I started
and wait on a little stone bridge.
Today, I’m trying to get lost;

pretending to be turned around,
I lay a trail for rescue dogs.
Today, I will be found.

—Katy Brown

Loki chases rainbows on the lawn,
snapping at mist, digging for spray―
a kindergartener among the graduates.

There is nothing like a sprinkler
to cheer a puppy who’d been left behind.
First Cowboy, then Gina trot from the parking lot

following a phantom of scent
lingering between the pines.
To Loki in her crate, it was a snub.

Cowboy and Gina already know
to trust the trail they find in the air;
to track that scent wherever it goes―

Loki will learn to trust her nose
in a game of dash-and-cover
when everyone’s back.

A young search-dog’s game
of hide-and-seek: basic
as the alphabet song.

 Loki in sprinkler
—Photo by Katy Brown


Thanks to Taylor Graham and Katy Brown for whipping up a Kitchen full of delights today! Katy has been out and about lately, and she brings back fine poems and photos of her adventures: a trip to be a "victim" for El Dorado Search and Rescue dogs Cowboy, Gina and trainee Loki's practice; a spontaneous ride up to Whiskytown (above Redding) to view the solar eclipse on Sunday; and a photo safari to Sacramento's newly-refurbished McKinley Park Rose Garden with Annie Menebroker and Kathy Kieth on Monday. For more of her delicious photos, see the new photo "album" on Medusa's Facebook page.


Today's LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham

shade with birdsong in between
fanned leaves, fanning feathers' breeze
through deep trees, the dim unseen.



 Resident heron in McKinley Park
—Photo by Katy Brown