Thursday, May 08, 2014


Today's Crop
—Poems and Photos by 
Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch


It is night
Beside the graveled shoulder on a curved road that was never there
I discern fresh scat of some harmless predator
The new lambs scatter among the shining trees in an impenetrable wood

It is night
Behind the polished desk in a shingled house that was never there
I peruse recent catalogs of unwanted tools
The young postmistress laughs at flocked arabesques upon brocaded wallpaper

It is night
Before the locked gates outside a shuttered factory that was never there
I squint in the growing light of darkening lamps
The adolescent mastiff licks at nervous fingers on his endless tether

It is night
Beyond the barbed wire atop a chain-linked fence that was never there
I smell the dead water of dammed rivers
The ancient sturgeon fly near the deep margins of unseeing eyes

It is night

 California Stop


Kite tangled in the balcony 
Flaccid and useless 
Set soaring in the dark starless sky

He was absurdly old 
Had taken a shine to us 
Promised to teach us how to transmute matter

Meanwhile the Creature from the Black Lagoon 
Neared like Burt Lancaster pool to pool 
Looking for me

 Thereby Hangs a Tail


They had hidden weapons inside the tomb 
I refused the rifle that was offered me 
Reluctantly I took the rusty sword 
Kicked the weasel out of the back of the truck 
Over and over again 

I had to move the party from the basement 
Where the polka dancers were out of control 
Move it to a destination that wasn't given 
We were celebrating my brother 
Suddenly a youngster again 

The circus came to town 
Tarps piled high with feathers and sequins 
Covered the lawn 
Unmarked boxes stacked everywhere 
Aerialists had commandeered the restrooms 

The tree house was crowded 
So I rode the Ferris wheel 
Wondering why you were still here 
Plants were cut down to decorate floats 
They planted corn in the front yard



I was that book 
I was your breast 
I was a hunter of ghosts 

You were that ring around the moon 
You were a broken finger 
You were my last resort 

You were always right 
I was never there 

I was too big for my britches 
You were too small for the funhouse



Jesus ran out of gas and disguised himself as a young black woman with big round eyeglasses. 
"Hey, mister," He whimpered, "I ran out of gas.  Could you buy me a couple dollars worth?" 
I confess I hesitated and then I nodded. 
"Which one are you?" I asked Him. 
"The red one there at the pumps," He replied. 
I paid for my beer and cigarettes and asked the clerk for a gallon and some for #8 on my tab. 
I didn't tell the clerk it was for Jesus but I think he knew. 
"Thanks, mister!" Jesus shouted and waved when I walked out.   
I sure hope He will remember me the next time I see Him.

 I am not worthy

Today's LittleNips:

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
—T.S. Eliot

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
—Leonard Cohen

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
—G.K. Chesterton



 Upon Reflection