—Claire J. Baker, Pinole
Relaxed, we sip
the tea of miracles.
Our essence evolves
as real as breathing.
Expansive, we add
oxygen to the air.
In these rare moments
we are each other.
a straight line,
THE SCARY THINGS
Has anyone told you
they love you
I’m trying to
remembering to say
NIGHT SHADOWS IN THE GARDEN ALONE
(the first love poem of her leaving)
—William S. Gainer
In the shape
of a sparrow
trying to find
from the crotch
of the branches
I miss them
LOWELL'S BIRTHDAY RIDE (3/1)
—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA
In the distance
of his red eye
when first lights
up every cause
of a young poet
steeped in history
of the most disagreeable
chapters of his past
diffused by sunshine
along the Charles River
hurling cigarette papers
from the rain coat
a no-named soul
at a one-night stand-up
at a Cape Cod club,
of the river
preoccupied by images
of that silent film
about the whale
luring words out to you
off the Coast
of New England,
into the past time
of troubled ventures,
as a luxury of shadows
around a kiosk
of all kinds of newspapers
in Harvard Square,
oblivious to a March cold
but not to new foliage
of reddened orange
in an already seasoned face
holding his small suitcase
full of garbled notes,
his frozen breath
a dressed down
unwilling to turn back
from any young reaction
at a union for peace
with his missionary zeal
NONNY'S ORANGE-PEEL BREAD
—Taylor Graham, Placerville
Yesterday Ina gave me two ripe oranges
from her tree. I ate one, but neglected to
save the peel for grandmother's-bread.
The other orange rolled off the sink. Loki
ran to grab it—a ball? It smelled wrong.
Last week, she would have bitten into
fleshy skin, puckered up her puppy face,
and squirted juice onto linoleum. Now
she's a lady almost grown to manners.
So she left it untouched, and lay down
with a bone. I indiscreetly tore the peel
off with my fingernails, bit into paradise,
juice dripping on linoleum. Nonny knew
I never would grow up to be a lady.
I've known one who could levitate three shoes
from bedroom closet to the entry hall,
to show how long I'd left him in the blues.
On goat-trails winding above canyon wall
I've known one who went trotting on-the-seek
abracadabra at sheer edge of fall,
what trick to tight-walk a wild-rushing creek.
And, days when all the world stretched barren sand,
I've known one who could make the desert speak,
draw water from mirage by sleight-of-hand,
and not attach it to a balance-sheet.
I've known one who made home a wonderland.
They say that trust in magic's indiscreet.
Here's my dog, magic lying at my feet.
—Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
Been hearing impaired for as long
As I can remember. Hoped, really
Wanted it to be due to rock ‘n roll,
But the diagnosis was just genetic.
So always heard the word as
“in the street.” Then I saw it
Written out—“indiscreet.” But still,
What better place for it?
—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove