—Taylor Graham, Placerville
Sailors gave the sea
a few gold flecks rippling underwater,
small coin, ancient jars scattered
on the bottom: long-necked,
hips flaring wider than the shoulders,
all stained by turquoise water; one
with painted eyes, a goddess's perfect-
moment gaze. With this image
of the luck of drowning and treasure,
you could make your fortune below
the waves that swell foam-white horses
running out to sea, shipwreck
artifacts on the shifting tidal floor.
—Tom Goff, Carmichael
Blessings on thee, little lamb,
babe with cheek of black and tan!
(Or hast thou, biter of grass and sage,
jowls more truly black and beige?)
But “thee” is three, so I should speak,
one for each midmost day of week.
First, Tuesday’s child, offsprung with Wednesday;
then, bringing up the rear, sweet Thursday.
Freckles mommed these wobbly lambs
midwived to stouter strength by Grahams.
You precious imps, so small portrayed
in photos, make free to abrade
whole lawns now sweet green, now quite frayed.
On Fortune’s cap the wool-clad button,
each garbed and marbled in soft mutton,
you’re clothed too in the finest nap
of sheepspun likely to plush a lap.
Ye tiny whelps, O spritely lambkins,
seem cupped popover in three wee ramekins.
Happy birthday and welcome, eanlings,
cuter than girls in pearl earrings!
Full leg cast
now a pleasant ride
generous offers by
classmates with cars
Eagle Court with an
overabundance of terrific
food yet at clean up time
we packed the leftover
into cars and vans
and made a surprise
visit to a shelter
warmed the heart
Artistic verse quickly
disappears into the
ether of poesy
from whence it
reappears in print
or speech or fire
or lunar cycles
steering the tidal
flows of great oceans
—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Moves slowly through Old Sacramento,
Pausing, halting often. The
Beauty queens’ convertibles are
Stalled in front of the saloon.
The queens smile wanly, give
Weak waves: it’s going to be
A long day. Out of the bar
Comes a biker all leather and
Denim, ZZ Top beard and
Jailhouse tats, stopping by
One of the cars. The crowd
Gasps. “No, No, Miss.
You’re doing it all wrong: you
Have to roll it.” And he gives
A wave so regal, so perfect,
You can hear the Corgis barking.
She tries, he nods and lopes
Back into the bar. The parade
Jerks to life. The queens all
Wave, properly now. The crowd
Exhales, then cheers.
gray morning, the house
alien, a tunnel under
snow. You asked
for bread. I kneaded, punched down dough
with chopped chives; baked you a loaf