Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Bug-Catchers Sublime

La Golondrina

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Last gasp of sunlight
as if Tuesday packed its suitcase—

as if that old clock watcher, August,
was crossing off another deadline.

The swallows, having fledged their young,
are gone. Flown south already?

Trust Time to tear down every lovely thing.
Except, in one nameless

uncounted instant, a dragonfly
red-amber hovers over heavenly bamboo,

shade filigreed of summer, and
disappears in light.


—Taylor Graham

In the pasture, stripped to dirt by sheep
and drought, a fieldwire fence snatches dawn-
light glitter, precursor to the full sun glare
that glints a slanting, prefab sheen—solar
installation guarded by the fence. Sheep will
eat most anything. And by that solar glory,
sun's rays transform to dishwasher churning
suds to scrub away last night's dinner.
What does magic have to do with pastorals?
But how else shall I explain it? The sheep
meander past, heads low, in search of forage
as, this morning, sun shines dingily through
clouds. Sheep churn up dust. Everything
is veils—the clouds, the scum of suds, residue
of gravy on stoneware, scrim of adjectives
and nouns, shimmer-daylight as clouds
dissipate. Sheep kneel to meditate in oak-
shade made golden by the sun. Could it reach
105 degrees today? The sun will cool us
as it burns. Trading one thing for another.
Let us sing the sheep, the sun, this magic.


—Taylor Graham

We're crazy in the good old summertime
with ceiling fan, fly swatter, insect sprays.
We need some swallows, bug-catchers sublime.
We're crazy. In the good old summertime,
mosquitos buzz the beat without a rhyme.
It's dizzy humid-hot, we're in a daze
and crazy in the good old summertime
with ceiling fan, fly swatter, insect sprays.

 Aechmea Faciata
2012 Bromeliad and Carnivorous Plant Show
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

I thought my problem of smarting off to defense lawyers' questions
  would be enough to dismiss me permanently from being called up again for public jury duty
  Last time I said to an attorney "Hey, look here, I am not the one on trial here..."
in response to his searching for a jury for his client who sat in court in handcuffs
  for being caught violating parole as well as for violently attacking a woman;
  the lawyer apparently didn't want any women who had been "sexually harassed"
  because it would undoubtably mean such a woman would express bias
  Yet here it comes in the mail with the detectable id badge
  My stomach goes queazy
  Oh what shall I do?
  they can come after you and put you in jail if you don't show up
  and I don't want to give up being registered to vote
  (the pool from which they draw names)
  but for jury duty nobody will pay for my missing a day of work
  and I could go downtown to just end up spending the whole day in the jury waiting room
  being frightened about what I might get into if they call my number…

—Michelle Kunert


—Caschwa, Sacramento

Solar lights still glowing
Nightly breeze slightly blowing
Hyacinth reruns, non-stop
Keeping up appearances

Lawn wet with dew
Weeds now more than a few
Info-mercials aim their claims
to the sleepiest part of our brain

Pundits boldly declare
their opponent's acts are unfair
Some team somewhere
won a ball game, hooray!

Traffic tie-up, fatal crash
news reports are driven by cash
That special car will be hard to replace
One less driver, ho hum

They took patterns
Off the TV screen
And forced them onto poets
Till their faces turn green

We play with the words
Earnestly striving
Wasn't that Mars lander
Texting while driving?

Starving children
crawl into the pig pen
unable to wait for
their feed of the week.


—Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Tehama

In the small hours of the night
she dragged a lawn chair into the open,
settled herself,
cast her eyes
at the sky.

Despite an almost-full moon
spreading its swath of pale light
she watched for Perseid meteor showers.

Long wait,
three shooting stars,
long wait,
more stars streaking,
one lone plane
red lights winking high.

Her body melted into the chair,
she watched, half dreaming,
remembered nights
when she was young
saying as each light
laced the sky,

He loves me,
he loves me not,
please make him love me.


—Patricia Wellingham-Jones

The five-year-old was told
to take care of her baby sister
for a short while.
Not to let her out of the house,
out in the street, out of her sight.
Baby sister promptly set forth
to big sis’ wringing of hands,
quiet begging and loud threats.
No use. Little one kept going.
Big one trailed behind
until both children were lost.
Happy ending, daddy’s safe arms,
mommy’s tears and swift swat.
Foretaste of future.


—Patricia Wellingham-Jones

Clad in gilt,
Dim in cave black,
Edged its golden light
From dark to my vision.
Grab me, it whispered my name.
Hand me down from this wasted space.
Insured I am so no one wants me.
Jiggle me not for I am most fragile.
Kneel when you feel my heft, carry me gently.
Lift me under the lamp, examine my gold seal.
My liquid is the purest wine, my color sublime.
Never was such ambrosia, that’s why I’m hidden.
Open with gentle hands, tilt over a glass.
Paradise is yours with only one sip.
Quaff me with tender lips, enjoy me.
Relish my rich red aroma,
Savor my complex earth taste.
Tease your tongue with me, do.
Use me, don’t hide me.
Vary your life.
Why not? See,
It’s easy.


Thanks to today's contributors for these epicurean delights, including long-time SnakePal Patricia Wellingham-Jones from upstate, who sends us some fine poems, including an abecedarian (see and a heartfelt wish for cooler weather! Go to to see a poem by PWJ on a dandy blog (scroll down to August 2).


Today's LittleNip:

—Patricia Wellingham-Jones      

May our feet waken the Rain God
May our drums call him forth
May our dance please
May clouds form and bless the earth
May rain fall and nurture our crops
May puddles form and lakes fill
May the Rain God bless us




 Las Golondrinitas
for the Cave of Swallows in Mexico]