Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lilacs and Chrysanthemums at Twilight

—Photo by Christine Murphy

Sometime in the Fall, the crows moved in. They came in a dark flock and landed on one large, bare tree, looking like black leaves. They held a conference, and the cawing could be heard until sundown. The next morning they surveyed the town, flying in ones and twos, taking note. Another conference was held in the tree. They seemed to reach an agreement, because the next day they moved out across the town, each crow stopping at a different house. By the end of that week we all had our resident crow. Mine has been here since then, keeping an eye on me. When I take a walk around the block, pairs of beady eyes follow me from rooftop or driveways. I'm not sure what their plan is, but they seem to be following it.

—Catherine Weaver, Palo Alto


—Catherine Weaver

In the old world,
Curled up in a ball,
Tradition sleeps.

The nest is warm
And lined with dried moss,
Keeping out the noise of the day.

She is comforted
By porcelain and grace,
And the brown smell of old things.

I visit her now and again
And bring her a gift of lavender
In a cedar box.

In return she gives me
a blessing
and some ballast for my shoes,

so when I go soaring
through uncharted skies,
I know which way is up.


—Catherine Weaver

I enter between the thorny vines
But refuse their love as they entwine
My legs and elbows desperately
Whispering a heartbroken plea.

Ignoring them, I grasp their fruit
My blood-red stained hands clutch the loot
With my arms scratched red and raw,
I pop their babes between my jaws.

The succulent juice stains my lips
But as I turn, my sweater rips
Thorns hold fast to my shoelaces,
Hair, sleeves, socks and other places.

I cannot exit from between the vines;
They refuse me as their love entwines.
I cry and struggle desperately,
But am ignored my whispered plea.

—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

My puppy pulled me downcreek. Bare
trees dancing in white bloom, first fair
day of spring. She dashed in puppy care-
lessness of water leaping the stone stair-
steps, splashing rain back into air.
Such a water-works of sparkle-flair!
I aimed my camera, clicked. But where
was Loki in all that flash and flare,
movement lens-struck, vision-glare
of sunstreak silver-sable, dash & dare?
Here's no puppy photo I could share.
Some mythic mis-shape from the lair
of life-light streaks escaped. Beware
of eye-tricks and wish-blinks. Stare
into memory and dream. She's there.


—Taylor Graham

Just stretch. You had a flying mane
of hair once; you raced over plain
and ridge. You're never young again
but sunlight's ageless, and falling rain.
Just breathe. Earth and sky remain,
and rattle-song of sandhill crane.


—Taylor Graham
A summer's moon-snow on the lawn,
and spring grass brittled to the awn;
a traffic-savaged three-legged fawn
you couldn't save—each regret drawn
across the midnight. Then comes dawn
with promises. Its minutes yawn
and stretch to hours. Old wives pawn
their flowerpots as salmon spawn
and die. White petals are the faun
of woods enchanted and then gone.


—Michael Cluff, Corona

In the shadows of some Septembers,
it was a good month for water,
ash trees and polliwogs
before their turning into adulthood.

The dogs would live in tentative
accord with felines
which walked on two as well as four paws
as the boiling skies reached into reserves
and dumped all it onto the plains.
The bamboo and begonia would seek recourse
yet would reside with it
until October or even November
came along and shade would be more.
And cats darted as they were disposed to do
between a choice only they and the ash
and the frogs of the new coulees
rejoiced and indulged in


—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove

The lilac
Will lose its blossoms
Already, the branches
Move in the wind
Like a young girl
Shaking out her hair
After loving
In the long grasses of spring.
As though she knows
This must be
The last time.


Thanks to all of today's chefs! Jane Blue's daughter, has published a book aimed at tweens called Gold Dust, with anime-influenced illustrations by her daughter, Kyra Weaver. Find all the information about it at See also the book's Facebook page ( Cat Weaver has a blog at, and today she has sent us these two photos by her friend, Christine Murphy, whose photography can be seen at

By the way, if you type "Catherine Weaver" into the white search bar at the very top left-hand corner of this blog, today's post will appear; if you scroll down, you'll see a wonderful photo of Jane and Cat, along with some of her previous poems that appeared on Medusa.

The rest of today's contributors are working on our SOWs, and Taylor Graham sends us not one but THREE monorhymes. Thanks, kids! Kevin Jones asks if the wilted flowers need to be chrysanthemums, and I said no, of course not; the SOWs are just there to be triggers, not rules. We all know Medusa does not, after all, play by ANY rules. (Actually, I called her a lawless bitch, but this is a family blog.......) 

Speaking of which, James Lee Jobe has sent me some erotic poetry to post in future days. Stay tuned for those!


Today's LittleNip:

—Catherine Weaver

In the twilight, the hills of the valley take on a lavender tint—the deep blue of the sky mixing with the rosy glow of the sun's last escaping rays and reflecting off the golden grass; and somehow this melange gives the entire landscape a royal hue, blessing it with a glowing purple kiss. 



 —Photo by Christine Murphy