Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday on Planet Earth

Sleeping Olmec Woman
DeYoung Museum, San Francisco
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Dewell H. Byrd, Central Point, OR

Dawn scrolls back the night
invites the wee tail of a rainbow…
glory to these old, sleepy eyes.

The stirrings of morning
nudge night’s silence into activity
greeting the casual spring shower.
A squawk somewhere beyond
my window demands attention.
Squawk, squawk, panic.

Crows swagger with authority
on the humming power lines,
challenge a small intruder.
A pin-feathered robin hops about,
calls for its mother, ignores crows
that make false bombing runs.

A feral cat slinks along the gutter,
tail twitching. The three crows
turn on the bigger prey.

Mother robin escorts her baby to flight.


—Caschwa, Sacramento

(I just bought a walker.  Added a gun rack.
Now it's Walker Texas Ranger.)

Somewhere distant
on a planet like Earth
women sit by while
it's men who give birth

to great nations
nude women on canvas

collateral damage
culinary shortcuts
burning the instructions

worst jokes at the worst times
buzz cutting all the pets
shoes with growth hormones
catching fish with hair nets



I write down lots of ideas
in the form of poems
some I send in
some of those get published

Others get filed:
Hold Until
Submitted and Waiting
Once I've Been Discovered
Scrap Heap
Not Picked
Maybe Later

Some of my ideas don't get written down:
silent triggers of discontent
verse sung in the shower
epiphanies while dreaming
spontaneous musical creations
outright imitations
personal stuff I don't care to share

And then there are those form letters:
thank you for your submission
one tooth on the gear
has to mesh with other teeth
on other gears
in terms of size, shape, pace, tone
and some other element
we won't tell you
because we don't know
what it is yet.

If a soloist has an agent, is he really a soloist?



When one plays in Las Vegas
it is not about coming in first
or being the first
it is about beating the odds

When one is making waffles
it is not about what to mix first
or who gets served first
it is about beating the eggs

When one runs a marathon
it is not about being first in the lead
or being chosen to run first
it is about beating the pack

For summertime recreational swimming
it is not about being first in the water
or the first to tag some landmark
it is about beating the heat

But first is sure nice!

 Mayan Dog Jar
DeYoung Museum, SF
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

In the trunk of the car, remnants
of meteor come down to Earth, detritus
of a shooting-star that never meant
to end up on a planet like ours, in a dry
creekbed, then stuck in a trunk
and driven here, Peddler Hill,
where your boots grumble
over decomposed granite, splinters
of wood—cedar, fir?—shining silver
in sun; random debris
of chainsaw and weather,
under equinox and solstice, long
after you've found, or not,
whatever lode you were looking for;
loaded up and driven on.


—Taylor Graham

I'd go with you but it's so long a drive.
I'd go but shade keeps winking under oaks.
The sheep are sleeping and the dog's awake,
the wagon's resting on its rusty spokes,
and honey bees are goldening their hive.

I'd go with you, if just for old-times' sake,
but it's a Wednesday, there's so much to do.
The earth is singing, I forgot the words;
the clouds are passing, and the sky is blue—
its poem calls me for a stanza break.


—Taylor Graham

He guides on lines they painted years ago.
So sure his progress, steady, it will last
through weather, speeders, deer, and traffic flow.
He guides on lines they painted years ago
that make our road fit tight; a chute, a show
of double-yellow rule, future as past.
He guides on lines they painted years ago.
So sure his progress; steady. It will last.


—Michael Cluff, Corona

On this planet of ours,
Isabel was content to dance
however she wanted to
with only her flowerhorn
and potbelly silver mollie fish
in attendance;
if they could think human-like
they would have appreciated it
without critique.

On this planet of ours,
Sharon wanted equal patience
from a boss
who demanded
no negative words
about himself
but always of others
even including Sharon as well
in it all
and to reserve the worst of the ripostes
for herself alone.

And on this planet of ours,
Horace saw that the ocean
had not risen incrementally
for at least this summer
and that was good enough
for him...
and Sharon...
and even Isabel.


Thanks to today's poets for fiddling around with various Seeds of the Week and forms. About her poems, Taylor Graham says, I guess these qualify for a planet like ours. And here (I hope) is an Envelope Quintet (along with a Triolet—that centerlining machine this morning just seemed to beg for a Triolet).

In other news, Richard Hansen's surgery was a success! Follow the progress of the intrepid co-owner of The Book Collector (Home of the Snake) by clicking the link on our green board at the right of this (under Poet Nooz). While you're there, check out the other Nooz, including the release of Squaw Valley Review 2010.


Today's LittleNip:

—Michael Cluff

On this day on this planet,
thunder is heard by the jittery dog,
a piece of inbetween fruit strikes
some young lover on the head,
and peace amongst colleagues
is tentatively obtained.


 Ancestor Skull
West Coast, Africa
DeYoung Museum, SF
—Photo by Michelle Kunert