Monday, August 20, 2012

Blackberries and Dragonflies

—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Early morning August, I'm following
my puppy following the scent
of an old woman gone searching
for lost berries. The trail's laced with vines—
thorns strung across our path. My pup
stops, looks back at me. Are you sure? I tell
her “track.” Running shorts through
worry-beads of knives, through berry-tangles
behind my dog who's game for anything.
Her very first summer. Blackberries
unripe among the plump and wizened,
spiked with thorns. We come out scratched,
scrapped bloody on the other side.
And there sits our quarry, mouth stained
with sweet trespass. Berries
wink blue-black from the bramble.


—Taylor Graham

Remember in another season,
how day's end flares from the heart
of oak. We borrow heat, fall from summer,
age to age, like words—ancient,
foreign words truer for their strangeness.
Chill of ancestral tales whispered
across waves. Did Beowulf ever get
the blues? You've been reading
from the tablet till we lapse to silence,
listening. Celtic, Sanskrit,
the speech of lizards, breath of bees asleep
in their hives; wind's own language
of longing, fluted to the flames. Blue ash.
Above our roof, stars—you find
them mapped on your screen.
All these facts, figures, fables
at our fingertips. I stare into the fire
at a single blue flare
speaking from the heart of oak.


—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento

Dragonflies that skim the skies
flit over blue summer pools.
That one, dainty and red
flies into the western
sun beyond the palm,
then flickers eastward.
His day not yet complete,
he contemplates the lemon tree.

(first pub. in Brevities)


—Carol Louise Moon

Gray and busy, he is planting;
he has found his nuts aplenty.
Digging up the neighbor’s garden
he has buried his good treasure.
Climbing up a tree-bark ladder—
bushy tail so quickly follows.
Looking out, his eyes are searching
—sentry from a high limb lurking.

(A Finnish form, the Kalevada is composed in trochaic tetrameter,
resulting in feminine line-endings of eight unrhymed lines.)


—Carol Louise Moon

From this green cliff I watch the boats
skimming across a blue-gray bay.
White gulls dip down as if to play.
I come at noon to watch what floats
and skims the rocky edge till goats
who pasture right nearby come stand
to survey the grand parade. And
So I am—rapt—and so content
to know my aging days are spent
with goats in ice plant, salt and sand.


—Michael Cluff, Corona

Lived under a boardwalk
or several at a time
between 23 and 25
until every one
corroded into the black heavy sea.
The sand was now a lack
of nutrients and allusions
to precivilized times.
At 28
he had underdone Kafka
became a student of tofu
wrote a book about
it all
and called the piece
an organic type
of philosophy
was as hamfisted
as any brown-washed bay
in late winter.
Now at 39,
he sells
herringbone sports coats
striped ties
mismatched underwear
and mastodon-weighed wingtips
at any of three desert outlets
ringing the ingresses into LA
working underfoot
to put palisades
near any viable ocean, lake
or mud-made reservoir.
Last week he drove a Porsche
until it became a Honda
of blue sorts.

(Imagine a world where)

the average person
has no problem
remembering a rooomful
of odd names

the ruling class is
double jointed
and expects everyone
else to be, of course

hierarchical relationwhips
need no introduction or
explanation, it's just
common sense

personal memories
cannot be shared without
the advice of legal
counsel, for a fee

the Census taker takes
your children to the airport
where you're lucky to
get the same ones back

people who look up
crossword puzzle answers
are struck by lightning
for cheating

vampires running for
office must provide
their tax returns
for 500 years

the torch of liberty
was locked in a nation
of laws, bylaws, and
standardized tests

—Caschwa, Sacramento



First, put all your good
high octane, unleaded
ready to burn thoughts
in the tank

Then cap it
so there are
no leaks

Next pump some out
in carefully measured amounts
to the carbeurator (lucky guess)
over by the engine

Inspect the lines
so there are
no leaks

Spurt some to the spark plugs
in the manner of an adeolescent
escalating an ego founded on
hormone overload

Chewing sunflower seeds
spitting out the shells
like it was an Olympic event

Some energy will go
to power the engine
some for accessories
some to forever recirculate

As those old
in archives

Silly rumors
in the jet stream
homeless orphans
disowned by reason and logic

Rust alert!
Leaks imminent
Shut down everything.


Thanks to today's contributors! Here are a couple of new books from SnakePals:

Jane Blue's daughter, Catherine Weaver, has published a book aimed at tweens, Gold Dust. The best place to find all the information on it is at Amazon: The wonderful anime-influenced illustrations are by her daughter, Kyra Weaver

And Paul Lojeski, who posts with us from time to time from The Other Coast, has a new comic novel, The Reverend Jimmy Pup, which is also available now on Amazon:


Today's LittleNip:

(What do Alex Trebek's long running quiz show
Jeopardy and the New York Times Crossword
Puzzle have in common?)

I knew that
Everyone knows that
I should have known that
I couldn't care less if I ever know that

Education is the key
No question is too hard
With my BFL degree
Said the Bald Faced Liar bard

The world is a stage
And all the people
Are stage hands
Looking for an agent

Does New York boast
An insurance
Company named
Niagara Falls?



 How did you celebrate National Honey Bee Day 
last Saturday?