Thursday, September 13, 2012

On This Planet in September

Critter, Chalk It Up Festival, Sacramento
Labor Day Weekend, 2012
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Michael Cluff, Corona

Luisa explores the life
of succulents near the Salton Sea closely
below the spit-in-the-road berg
named Mecca.
Greg is hoping to leave
the beige-peach skies
of California
for the greyer attitudes
of Alabama.
is exploring
the redwoods
in place of the vaccine
stations of lower California.
And Michelle Marie
stares at the traffic
in the Cajon Pass
and wonders what
all the hubbub
is about concerning seismic shifts.

The bear with the white muzzle
will continue dancing
by itself
when no thing, no one else
the world
is around.
It is content
but not quite happy
with its fate
since briars and bamboo tips
are not utilized as extensively
as before.

The acrobat is limping
from frostbit ankles
and heels too broken
the elbows are no better
but muscles with ease the ache
served with a stout port or rye and branch.

—Michael Cluff



A confessor asked the professor,
is it better to give good reason
when wrongly accused of high treason
or keep one's lips tightly sealed
no answers thereby to wield?

Said professor to confessor,
Here silence is not golden
show the cards you're holdin'
you have to say something
even if it's a dumb thing

But what if I confess all
and suffer execution?

I don't profess to know all,
my major was elocution.


(Inspired by Joyce Odam's poetry and
photo enhancement on Medusa, 9/11/12)
—Caschwa, Sacramento

at first glance I thought the image
was a tropical fish in an aquarium
when I looked again it was
a red leaf among greenery

further looks brought introspection:
do I really know what I'm looking at?
am I witnessing something anew
or imposing old recognitions wrongly?

the poems about silence
were likewise educational
they didn't explain a thing, but
put the reader in deep water

groping through blurs to find
a wall, a ladder, the bottom
any hints of direction
any tools of navigation

merely reading Odam is rote
like copying Morse code
the words come letter by letter, while
underlying meanings hide in the sand

I lift my pan and shake out the
water, silt, algae, gravel...

Eye of Horus
Chalk It Up 2012
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

That small package I found
On the edge of the porch said
It was from you but I doubted it.
There were clipped ends of days,
A sudden coolness over everything
That could not be explained by Summer
No matter how hard it tried.

I pulled a few of the shadows from the bag
Dragging them out into the the middle of the day.
They had a heft to them that hinted of rain,
The names of the wind changing as it rounded
The corner and began to lift leaves from the trees.

Finally, I noticed the shattered glass pieces
At the bottom of the bag.  You said they
Were part of the clear sky but then said they
Were a figment of the mind, yet here they were
Sitting in a bag, on my porch, a faint glow
About them.  The note ended ‘From September’.


—Taylor Graham, Placerville
All those years of instants captured
by shutter-click, a lens between
eye and world; never lose a moment.

But what's this picture on facebook,
you're tagged with a second cousin—
where, and when? A slat-side truck,

blue mountains in the distance.
Both of you in khaki trousers, sun
hats. Caption: September Shadows.

One late-summer moment seized
as Sun moved on toward Fall. One
moment kept; all its memory gone.


—Taylor Graham

A chain of meadow, creek through willow
and wild grasses. The last flowers recall
snowmelt over lava. Some volcano blew,
ages before we came here with our film
and lenses, our aging eyes. Shall I weave
you something with my hands? Wrinkled
petals, late September brittling to fall
among lupine dried to pod. Let's rub
larkspur into muscles that ache with
the lavender of distance. No topo map
shows how much trail we've left to go.


Today's LittleNip:


Dear publisher
enclosed are my
heart and soul
bared to the world

If you recognize
the value of these gems
pay me a handsome royalty
each time they are printed

If you are some yaya who doesn't
know hyphens from balderdash
then put them in the SASA
so another can spread the gaga

    Ha Ha



Anti-Bully Drawing, Chalk It Up 2012
—Photo by Michelle Kunert