Thursday, June 21, 2012

Here Be Dragons

Napa Frog
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

filled with his eyes
her hot secret burning her up
knew his eyes
filled with them
saw everything
he was all eyes
she saw it all
caught by surprise
his secret look
her eyes/her secret


—Patricia Hickerson

you, you
who have set me on fire
like sunlight igniting the color blue
I’m now a passion tree
poems flaming along the branches
I’m all my own color
red hot
a new ignition of words
holding the lit match to the tree
you the ignition  


—Patricia Hickerson

it’s best to say it’s over
no more fever
tossing in the night
grasping at what isn’t there
temperature dropping slowly
enjoy it
to hear there’s someone else
to look over your shoulder at the other
trees not so green
lights not so bright
sidewalk harder than it used to be
you touched and ran
couldn’t take it
couldn’t make it
cool you, not so cool after all
in that brief minute you were hotter than hell           


—Patricia Hickerson

did you wonder where I was?
I’ve been around
hanging with friends at the corner
on a stool at my favorite bar
under an apple tree in someone’s orchard
smoking dope in a stranger’s luxed-out van
walking my dog at midnight along the waterfront
lying in bed at night
dreaming of people still to meet
places still to reach
since you and I said goodbye  


—Patricia Hickerson

why did I have the feeling
you rode a Harley
and belonged to Hell’s Angels
when Sonny was president, 
had parties at his clock-jammed mansion
in the Oakland Hills?

no? not with Sonny?
not on a Harley?
more like a moped?
with sticky wheels?
writing poems on a notepad
wedged against the pens in your shirt pocket?

now I get it
that was just the Angel face
you tattooed on my brain  

  Poetry Snake, Bath, England
—Photo by Katy Brown

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Sweep your eye from side to side,
every crevice in granite. The lightest
step might wake the dragon
in its den—black pit under rocks—or so
you're taught.
            Watch how the second girl in line
follows quick, as if sensing
a serpent stirring, uncoiling diamonds
on its spine. Or is that just pebbles
she sets skittering? Just nerves.
                     You've been told
what seethes in the dark under boulders—
evidence of ancient warfare
of the gods and nature, good against evil;
dragon-snakes who sleep
on heaps of gold and rubble, ready
         to grab the next little girl in line.
Read the old stories, how
snakes strike with fang and terrible
rattling tail.
                      If you spot a snake,
see if what they say is true.


Thsnks to Patricia Hickerson for a wee poem cycle—kind of a condensed version of a hot love affair—and to Katy Brown for some mighty fine pix. Yesterday I accidentally chopped the tale off of Taylor Graham's wonderful snake poem (it happens sometimes with computer cut-and-pasting), so it's re-posted here. Such a fine ending, too!—it's great to have an excuse to repost the whole poem.

The NorCal poetry community will be saddened to hear about the closing of Java City in Midtown Sacramento (see Java City was the site of our three Poetry Marathons, in 1986, 1996, and 2006, spearheaded by B.L. Kennedy (see, and we appreciate their support. Guess we'll just have to go to the Homerathon happening in Land Park tomorrow night!


Today's LittleNip:

A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love.

—Friedrich Nietzsche



Java City
[for more photos of Java City, go to 
the green board at the right of this and
click on the thumbs-down]