Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Spells, Dog- and Otherwise

—Photo by Frank Dixon Graham

—frank dixon graham, sacramento

swim by, sleepy fish.
the evening water
cools under the bow
of the bridge.
bend to your lips.
a reflection leaves
in ripples.
beneath a lotus blossom,
you are fins and bubbles.

you, along the beach
—frank dixon graham

and when i say you,
i mean all of you—
each one, of you.
your tiny prints
trace the wave's comb
against sand,
once tattoos on the skin
left clean by the sea.
your feet are in the water,
then out.
in an ocean's breath,
you dodge surf,
find that brief yawn
to dip in.
you are never fooled.
you tempt with stillness,
then, last moment,
break in flight
—go this way,
then that.


—Kim Clyde, Sacramento

Bedtime before seven at night
Too hot to wrap the pillow over your face
Tossing and turning, sheets muggy in the dog-breath atmosphere.
The airless room closes in while the whir of the box fan
Churns dust bunnies out of their hiding places.


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Rough gutturals more ancient than
human speech, but quick as
magic her tongue. A spell. Yet how

do I explain the graves
under oak trees, old dogs who left
without a word? Spells

of dogs moving sleep into dream,
their eyes shining
stones, their tongues magic.


—Taylor Graham

Make-believe: playwright of her life.
Chase fireflies, forget it's gotten dark.
Thunder gavels a picnic to adjourn?
Always carry pen, paper, and words.
Catch a raindrop, concentrate the rainbow.
Seashore camping, you wake up swimming.
Poppy in pavement crack: a poem.
A household revolves around the cat.
One crow paints a whole landscape.
Moon walks the deck. Such dreams!

Thanks to today's contributors! If you've checked our current Form to Fiddle With (over there at the right, on the green board), you've noticed that it's based on a recent Sacramento Bee article which talks about using just six words to write a story. Taylor Graham expanded on this for her "60-Word Bio" by making each line a six-word story that could stand on its own and then stringing them together with a very loose thread. Interesting! I told her it's almost like a type of ghazal, only each line stands alone instead of each verse.

Trina Drotar sends us a link to her latest review in Sacramento Press, this one of books by Sibilla Hershey of Davis and Ray A. March of Surprise Valley; see

Speaking of Surprise Valley, TODAY is the deadline to sign up for their September conference—and the CPITS Conference in September, too. See "More Food for the Brain" on the green board for details.


Today's LittleNip:

chrysanthemums hammered out of raw iron
that cloud gone now like my father




—Photo by Frank Dixon Graham