Monday, August 26, 2013

Zumba to a Pleiades!

Sebastopol Cemetery
—Photo by Cynthia Linville, Sacramento

—Janet Lar Rieu Pantoja, Woodinville, WA
Daisies and dandelions
decorate a grassy field.
Dare we condemn such beauty?
Do they not enhance the view?
Disrespectful gardeners
drive mowers that mutilate—
destroy flowers—call them weeds!


—Janet Lar Rieu Pantoja

Potentially addictive.
Pull open shells to get nuts
packed with nutrition such as
potassium—tasty, too.
Pretty soon the bowl will be
piled high with empty nutshells.
Pressure is on to refill.


—Janet Lar Rieu Pantoja

Zeroes in on cardio:
Zumba-ites exercise
zippy Latin melodies—
zesty beats. Rhythms inspire
zealous to flail arms, move hips.
Zulu natives would be proud;
Zens appalled, would meditate.


—Janet Lar Rieu Pantoja

           Variety’s the very spice of life
           that gives it all its flavor.”
                                 —Wm. Cowper

Picked: a wide array with some
poems of this, some of that
put all together to form
poetic mixture of spice—
pleasant aroma…diverse
potent stars of Pleiades…
palpable imaginings.

Sebastopol Cemetery
—Photo by Cynthia Linville

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

My dog led the way up a logging road
cut through toyon, pine, and cedar

to a firepit—thin drift of smoke flirting
with a bed of ashes. Recent boot-

prints up a skid trail. Sun hot enough
to strike sparks without a flint.

Spent cartridges in a dusty clearing;
and wooden laths lashed together

to form five crosses in a row, old
towels for headdresses secured

with duct tape. Human effigies—some
taller, some meant to be children.

Targets for practice. Three buzzards
sailing high lazy spirals overhead.


—Taylor Graham

The old saloon harbors ghosts
abiding under mother
lode-blue sky, and an oak tree
hung with effigies of gold
rush years. Farther up the street
you'll see the bell that still hangs
recalling flame and ashes.


—Taylor Graham

At Home Depot I'm drawn to
a display: claw hammers' steel
glow. Innocent of years and
misuse—my father's, kept with
care for decades; not rusted
or splintered. I hold this one
in its wistful place, my hand.


—Taylor Graham
One gray squirrel leaping across
oak tops electric high thin
sky—one slip out of grace, short
circuit to glory flash! and
the lights went out, we sat at
table in gathering dark.
Our lambs fearless with wonder.


—Taylor Graham
From the parking lot, where do we start? Roads
begin, then part, disappear in smoke.
A cancer on the lungs. Catherine's scent floats
on haze, spent then billowed where flame spoke.

They saw her in the schoolyard yesterday,
they guess, playing with summer gone. Ash
of dawn. Wind brings wordless burning news, and
scatters clues. Where is she? Blowing trash,

silence. The birds have flown away to blue
sky. We pray to breathe. Catherine's gone—where?
Through smoke, a wan ghost black as char, now near
now far, wavering on hot, dense air.

Smoke fills every crevice, absorbs the sky,
those orbs of sun, moon, each burned-out star.
Without trace they disappear in gray,
in fear of inferno from afar.


Our thanks to today's contributors for their poems and pix, including some Pleiades and 49ers, our current Form to Fiddle With! Janet Pantoja's last poem is the signature poem of the Pantoja Pleiades Circle Anthology for 2012, Potpourri of Pleiades. (Send for your free copy at The circle is working on their new end-of-the-year anthology, due out by December.  (According to the Pantoja Pleiades Circle, the Pleiades is also a 49er!)

You may've noticed that Taylor Graham's poem today, "Hollyberry Ridge", was also posted last Friday. Medusa's mistake: the last stanza was left off. Today's post is the correct version. And her final poem today, a response to DR Wagner's "Catherine Wheel" on Saturday, is a Toddaid—more about that later. 

And thanks to Samira Noorali for the LittleNip, and to Cynthia Linville for the photos. Cynthia spelled "cemetery" correctly with all e's—be sure you do the same. Those wily snakes of Medusa have been known to throw an "a" in there for the final vowel. Hey—here's a coincidence! We currently have an album of Katy Brown's photos of Sylvan Cemetery on Medusa's Facebook page! Must have cemeteries on the mind..........

Today's LittleNip(s):
peasants sink into
a gravelly, charcoal street
that pulls like quicksand. 


sift for gold nuggets
and rare, perforated swiss
on a littered beach.

Samira R. Noorali

(first appeared on twitter:




 Sebastopol Cemetery
—Photo by Cynthia Linville