Friday, September 07, 2012

Dreaming, Wishing, Child's Play

—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

at five, in love with 12-year-old Johnny
looked like an Indian
black hair swooping over forehead
intense dark eyes
sat up in the window of a garage
with coiled rope
she stood in the driveway
thumb in mouth while he whirled the lasso
lassoed her below
she cried
he laughed
rope lay at her feet
she stood there as though trapped
he laughed you can get outta there
she stared up at him
another day he wrapped her in a rug
put out to air
spread wide and long on the grass
her mother came running
get outta there, get outta there
reluctantly she got outta there
she didn’t want to get outta there


—Patricia Hickerson

age 6, first grade
she and Alfred
walked to school every morning
two blocks from her house
stopped to play in the brook
a block from school
arrived late to school
teacher took off their wet shoes and socks
hung them on the radiator to dry
she smelled Alfred’s socks
smelled like stinky cats
they strolled in the playground
other kids chanted “Alfred is Patsy’s boyfriend!”
they walked home together in zero weather
snow mounted high at sidewalks
they took the long way home
extra block or two
Mother at the window
what’s taking her so long?
it’s freezing; has she frozen to death?
oh here they come
hand in hand
strolling slowly as though it were a day in May
Alfred and Patsy

was it cold?  they hadn’t noticed
another day
warmer day
Alfred asks Mother if she can come home with him
but she can walk to the end of the block
up to the railroad crossing, then come back

they walk to the crossing
she stops now I have to go back
Alfred says why? she said yes
he nods his head yes
did she?
they walk across the tracks heading for Main Street
Alfred lives in a big house with an iron fence around it
her uncle comes running after them
she sees his long legs scissoring up to her
Mother’s very upset; she wants you to come home
at home Mother spanks the hell out of her


—Patricia Hickerson

third grade
first taste of jealousy
Harold is indifferent
he likes Alice the new girl
in front of the public library
corner of Main Street
best remembered contact with Harold
his sturdy shape his brown curly hair
she enters the conscious world

—Photo by Katy Brown

—Caschwa, Sacramento

I lay on a pleasant field of silence
birds at rest, no planes, no phones
just a mild breeze
perfect for napping

Along come the urbanites
land title claims, boundaries
mapping every single inch
of that perfect field

Pavement, walls, laws
traffic, squabbles, bells
campaigns, leaving not
one square inch of silence

Even in the library
click, whirr, stamp, "Hush!"
ding, books clunking,
dropping into the return chute

Now the birds are awake
escalating the breeze
complaining about something
disturbing my nap

I hear screams as I feed
each unwilling bird into the
jaws of the return chute to
avoid that dreaded "Overdue"

Then I awaken in the
library parking lot with
two birds screeching, fighting
over one square inch of silence


—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove

There must be some mistake.
In my real world,
I'm a prince; my parents
Are royalty.  Someday
People will realize this
And send me back 
To my rightful world.

Meanwhile, why am
I out on this parking 
Strip with a sign duct-
Taped to me, "Gypsies—
Please take this kid.
Will trade for a six-pack
Of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Doesn't have to be cold"?

—Michael Cluff, Corona

Ivan has enjoyed
spring fever since 1973
always wears surfer shorts
and thongs to work
when neutral dress shirts
heavy drab oxford leather shoes
and subtle ties were preferred
by the power
full-of-it people.

Today he is as happy
as ever he can be
even though he is
three-piece suited
tight brown belted
and neck-choked by
perfect dimpled paisley cloth
that joins collar to waist
in a Freudian blatant way.

He is interviewing
for a new position
somewhere overlooking
the shifting blue to green
to brown sea
far from the pollen that does pollute
his internal system but comes from plants
and flowers that pepper and delight his soul.


Today's LittleNip:

—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento

They say that silence is golden.
Who says?       They.
Why did they say it?
If silence is golden, then why
didn't they just keep quiet?
Because "they" want us to know
how important silence is.

Take these pictures on the wall...
No, really, take these pictures
on the wall off the wall...
Why?     Because, as they say,
"a picture speaks a thousand
words," and I'm tired of hearing it.
Now who's "they"?

—Medusa, with heartfelt thanks to Leigh Dragoon for clearing up our recent (which hopefully you didn't know about) problems with posting. We were having all sorts of font and spacing problems; Leigh told us to stop putting poems into Word before trying to paste them into the blog—and it worked! You da best, Leigh!

 Dawn over Lake Huron
—Photo by Katy Brown