Monday, July 08, 2013

Hell in a Boot

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch

In the catwalks above the stage
Ballerinas circle admiring their
Breasts one at a time but how
To get to the orchestra pit where
My handlers wait to spirit me
Away to a conference at which
I am to simultaneously present
My proof of 4 Color Map Theory
And sing a song by Hindemith?

The countertenor range does not
Concern me but sightreading all
Those accidentals is such a bother


—Robert Lee Haycock

Two gates the silent house of Sleep adorn;
Of polish'd ivory this, that of transparent horn:
True visions thro' transparent horn arise;
Thro' polish'd ivory pass deluding lies.
The Aeneid by Virgil

I dream of waking
I dream of dreams
I wake from dreaming
Or so it seems


—Robert Lee Haycock

My brother is painting wondrous poems
Like bullet holes on lonely roadsigns
Leaving other treasures in Boo Radley's tree
And I can smell sandalwood burning
On retreat in the hills above the sea
My daughter passes by with her friends
Going to a party at Kurt Vonnegut's cabin
And I am not invited to come along
Riding home in the back of my Ranchero
I hear voices coming from underneath
A secret compartment with no one inside
And I find danish that are delicious


—Robert Lee Haycock

Morning swam up the east from the bottom of night seas
Burning the clouds that wound around the dawn's yawning arms
I stole a swift drink of coral bracelets
Treasured there in my mother's jewelry box

 —Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Claire J. Baker, Pinole

Here at this liberal church
no scary immersions,
no pourings over forehead.
Instead, the minister dips
a white rose in water, blesses
baby's hands, feet, eyes
with white petals.

The child's name is given.

A white rose for innocence
as soft as baby's skin,
a white rose for surrender
to a garden of open arms.


—Claire J. Baker

Shelley and I rest in a meadow
where mountains shoulder
snowy clouds, snowy peaks.

A breeze ripples her fur,
stirs wildflowers, pines,
the poems on my lap.

Shadows reshape boulders,
tree trunks, Shelley's
white paws, mane, tail tip.

Lines from Omar Khayyam,
Kahlil Gibran or John Muir
drift by and come back.

Before such a sweep
my camera clicks away
without a touch.


—Claire J. Baker

Sit here if you like
or there...Let us face
each other closely,
our eyes' electricity
fueling the nearest star,
the one that is always

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

It's the heat
of a hundred degrees
even for a Beat poet
when he jumps
in water, head first
then knees and feet,
he carefully writes
"Doesn't the dawn show it
with so much pollution
in our once cool air,"
"Try my mint julip"
a tourist offers me one
from Beloxi, Mississippi,
another from Norway
picking up yellow tulips
from my sunny yard,
"Try red salmon,
it will make your day,"
a large fellow
while playing tennis
here on the Cape in Dennis
says to me,
"You may die for
sweet liqueur drinks
or 'fish' for a card
or backgammon."
It's the heat wave
of a hundred degrees
in the West or in the East,
off our Coast
it's not best to boast
for babies,
man, woman or beast.


—B.Z. Niditch

Across the Bay
when I was ten
the neighbor's kid
use to play soldiers
most of the day;
mom made us
peanut butter and jam
and told us
not to rough house
but to play;
once the cops came—
Sven had made
a bomb
the authorities said
out of clay;
in the teen years
I chose soccer,
Sven said to me,
"That's European
you're off your rocker
that's for fools,
there's no team
at any of the schools,"
so I made my own rules.
Later on Sven got a letter
from Uncle Sam
he thought nothing
was better,
dad said damn,
but Sven
was sent to 'Nam
never came home
except in a body suit,
now I in the paper
his cousin Sven
named after him
is missing in action
in Afghanistan
his dad said damn
war is hell in a boot.


Today's LittleNip:

—Robert Lee Haycock

I dream of travel
But here I am where I was
Always meant to be


—Medusa, with thanks to today's "Bay Area" (both this coast and t'other) contributors! Robert Lee Haycock's photos from his "At the Crack of Dark" series can be enlarged by clicking once on them.

And be sure to check out the article about midwifery in California in today's Sacramento Bee at Click on the photo gallery for pix of Rachel Hansen!

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock