Friday, May 10, 2013


—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch

the shadow
—charles mariano, sacramento

saw some shadow pics
‘while ago
shadows on a wall,
and on railroad tracks,

danged if it wasn’t me

most of my life
holding back, lurking
a chalked outline
on a sidewalk,
a ghostly shimmer
behind a moving curtain

had lunch last Monday
with Rudy
years ago, a mutual friend
kept pushing for us to meet

“you gotta meet this dude,” he urged,
“he’s really…”

“meet him?” Rudy said, “can’t even find him,
damn guy's invisible”

our dear friend died
last year
and somehow we followed through
with his last wish,
became friends

still reclusive,
there, not there…mostly
but lately,
been seeing more

like today,
these pictures,
a mere shadow
of myself

definitely me


—Katy Brown, Davis
She ricochets across hillsides,
a fracturing shadow
—pure energy, seeking release.

Loki: The Trickster—
magic shape-shifter—
learning the ways

of hidden-things,
studying illusion.
She traces a strand of scent

through witchgrass,
rehearsal for tracking
a scuff of shoe leather—

these sunburned hours
chasing wind-shadows through
owl clover—mere practice

for learning the ways of the lost,
learning to follow a thread of air
all the way to its source. . . .


—Katy Brown

You see it in her look—
this fur-and-bone creature
taking, for the moment,
the form of a young dog —

her sable eyes, alive
with earth-magic.
They betray her—
her attention shifting

from thing to thing,
noticing details.
When you glance away,
she becomes:

the shadow of a hawk
racing across meadow grass;
the calm stillness
of a lichen-crusted boulder;

the silver shimmer
of the mountain alder.
In her dog-form,
the pure puppy-energy

splashes through creeks,
bounds after grasshoppers,
teases poor old Cowboy
taking his nap.

When she collapses in sleep,
she keeps her canine form—
but you can see it—even at rest
—this ancient, mischievous spirit:
Loki. . . .

—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

The street is filled with memories. Hibiscus
and crimson roses embroidered as garden
on the black of a shawl—or is it a print
from a book of children's stories?
Algerian songs of longing fall out of a delta
breeze. Glisten of cobwebs under a balcony
where a girl waits for the lover who may
not come at all. Beyond wrought iron,
small birds have ceased their serenade
and quieted to roost. Beware of too much
happiness. A mother's voice stitches
flowers like petals of blood, solace of time
consuming details in deeper twilight.
The street fills again with memory waiting
for its words.


—Taylor Graham

“Cheap! Cheat!” She yelled at me
from somewhere out of sight.
I peeked again at the tiny urchins
huddled in a crib of fleece and straw.

“Get out of here! Cheap cheat!”
I looked around—where was she?—
and slipped the door shut
without a sound. Rustling overhead.

I'd better disappear before she calls
the Woods Police. “Cheap
cheat!” I guess she means, Don't
mess with Mother Bird's babies.


        (based on a quote from Katy Brown)
—Taylor Graham

This cellphone photo taken at first light—
a shepherd-dog, dark sable charcoal-gray—
the day so dim, and yet her eyes are bright.

A land of lichened granite, dredged from night
by unseen forces, earth's spine on display.
This cellphone photo, taken at first light,

has caught her briefly amid flecks of white,
the brittling grass in seedhead-disarray,
a day so dim and yet her eyes are bright

attention; you might say, a beacon-light -
not sparks, no red-flag warning early May.
This cellphone photo taken at first light

bodes a strange alchemy, or second-sight.
How elements combine: water with clay,
and day-so-dim with eyes so startle-bright

as if to leap like sunrays into flight
as flame seeks sky; as she will run, today.
A cellphone photo taken at first light,
the day so dim. Look at her eyes a-bright.


Today's LittleNip:

—Olga Blu Browne, Sacramento

Unsatisfied wants become evil

in this shaded edge of my

wicked words echo, passion
and promises fade,

love turns to ashes, shadows
slip away.



—Photo by Taylor Graham