Monday, February 03, 2014

Not Yet On Empty

Barn Wood
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

My gas gauge slipped toward empty
on the long, deserted, dead-end road. But
we had a tail-wind that brought us
to a gas-pump petrified in time. Winter
wind down bare hills, through the boarded
doors remaining. I hoped for a bit
of magic here, of mystery—but there wasn’t
a soul, at least none with a body.
Silent balconies, broken stairways.
In shard-sheen of a storefront window
an ancient doll, dead; and a small bright
sphere like the moon glowing with wonder;
a face—a child? Gone to moonlight.
My dog pulled me the other way, winter-
bare hard into the wind. At hilltop
she sniffed, taking in whole histories
of scent. Moving slowly across horizon,
a man bent to the wind, tattered coat
color of soil; a shadow across the mouth
of knowing. He beckoned or was it
wind in my eye, sun-glare? Gone to earth.
Slant sun-sparkle like coin-metal
shattered, scattered on dirt.
Those whispers were wind; they held
stories, but withheld all the endings.
My gas-gauge magically not yet on empty.

—Michael Cluff, Corona

Time to sleep
in lavender sheets
paisley wool blankets
on the second-floor patio
with forget-me-nots
dwarf pineapple trees
and a pure white trellis
with thorn-less roses:
all this for however long
I wish.
The soft non-acidic rains
of Corona never touching me
in this permanently paid-off
part of a valley
that has gone hidden again
except for happily pondering
fair-minded people
who view bolts on doors
government internet spying
Dobermans for protection
and police overuse of bullets

Pony in Yard
—Photo by Katy Brown

—Michael Madigan, Santa Rosa

A fence, chains pointed, separating the
cupped sanity from obligation's
quills.  Once humorous, now a
strangle.  How it loves to see me in
this figure, they, those bats.

Even the air around me
notices, the off chords—
a new song, barely, a
tree looking back

from the other half
feeling sorry for me
but cheering.  Me: grin.

Travel from block here
to corner here.

Agreeably incensed.


(for Poet Mary Rudge, 1928-2014)
—Claire J. Baker, Pinole

Mary, after the poetry gathering
where images of you whirled,
crashed, rose upward & crashed again

I'm home. Your "Poem Garden" slim books
silky white, staples like twin page-kisses,
gaze & gaze at me. One cover a pink

water lily photographed in China—
the other your collage from a photo
of your great-granddaughter in pink tutu

& ballet slippers, standing
in circle of a flower wreath,
favoring you around the cheeks.

Child "Jennifer" is holding a huge
fluffy flower, a repository for
poignant phrases you left us?


Today's LittleNip:
—Claire J. Baker

I foolishly tried to
walk in your footsteps.
Upon finding my steps
I forged
my own path
as you would want.

(An earlier poem for Mary Rudge
from a 40+ year friendship)


—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors, and a reminder that there are some poetry events coming up in our area; scroll down to the blue box (below the green box) in the column at the right of this one for all the happenings. Warning: there's an "e-flyer" going around advertising Sable & Quill, the Sac. Poetry Center art event curated by Jennifer Pickering, that says it's happening on Monday, Feb. 8. T'ain't so: February 8 is SATURDAY. So the event is this coming Saturday. Check it out!

—Photo by Katy Brown