Monday, December 31, 2012

Talisman: Let Us Begin Again

Frozen Sea
—Christina Sandefur, Rescue

—Timothy Sandefur, Rescue

Here was the brink of all they knew:

In the hollow sky and teeming blue,

All time and law, all mass and space,

All faith and reason terminates.

On rigid cliffs, obsessive waves

Mold the aeons out of days,

And crumble epochs into years.

Holistic oblivion; the boundless sphere

Of the sole and solipsistic sea

Dissolves us in eternity;

Where all is all and nothing's else,

We find no bond with another self.

But then the kanaka crossed the strand,

Followed newfound stars to land,

Became the first to cleave in two

The unitary solitude

Of heaven. Knowledge has its start

In separating light from dark,

And waters from the firmaments

Where life is born in difference.

Meet on the beach to make again

That fathomless journey from if to when

Find the equator, and call once more

"Aloha!" to Janus waving on shore.


—Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Tehama  

The silent bell tolls
the last hours of the year.
A kestrel keens across an ice-blue sky.
In the sycamore grove a great horned owl
calls the night in soft murmurs.
The big white dog turns limpid eyes
on invisible walkers near the live oak tree.
From the rough roadbed a perfect round stone
splotched gray-green with lichen maps
pulls me.

(First pub. in Rattlesnake Review, 2007)

Daisy's prints in the snow, Port Sanilac, Michigan
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

You imagine
with a perfected
ear drum
at seeing my task
in my solitude
of voice
drawing a blank
on a space
of snowy
trying to recall
what intention
rounded my
orbit of words
crossing my notes
with the sound
of syllables,
waiting to be scanned
and read out
of the existence
on a gag of lip
hungering for
cold apostrophes
at burning language
in my gnarled mouth
catching eyelashes
of proverbs
and a spectrum
of wrangled notes
with a patch
of tiny adjectives,
imprinted commas
nagged in
an arrangement
on a doubtful page
of vagabond labor.


—B.Z. Niditch

Opening files
for the new year
on a mouth
left open
to flesh out
the past
swallowed in time
to know
how it happened
before the war
after a plane crash
or scandal,
keep it simple
it says on
your holiday shirt
as a memory
was once created
and imprinted
in all of us. 


Today's LittleNip:

—Olga Blu Browne, Sacramento

Let's go behind this hour, and
let yesterday begin again.

Never till today did I dream
of tomorrow.



Another frozen "sea", Lake Huron
—Photo by Katy Brown