—Taylor Graham, Placerville
Past the gym, between classroom bungalows,
my dog’s tracking our quarry. Across grass
to tennis courts, along the shady treeline. Then
whoop! Cowboy cuts south, the wind’s full
in my face and behind my back, hide and seek
of sky and my dog swings wide and happy.
Head high. Forget that step-by-step trail
of evidence, every wrong turn the “lost man”
made. This dog was born to range unfenced
give-him-land far from the road give him hills
and valleys, green grass of a playing-field
on summer break, he’s moving too fast to tell
where he’s going, he intercepts scent free-
flowing on the morning breeze. Straight to his
quarry, the wrong way, who cares? He’s old
enough to be retired. To lie at your feet
and dream. Just for this morning, let him lift his
nose off the ground and inhale the sky entire.
DECORATING FOR A SEASON OF ICE
Why should she put up green festoons against
the atrocities of winter? Her dawn winces awake,
bundling itself in ice-fog. Long ago the molten
sun shipped out, skimming the south horizon
far beyond her sight. She used to think the stars
were brilliant, but they burned themselves out.
DRAWER OF DREAMING
I know the history, fabricated of despond.
All those months of research,
recyclist of things that grow in meticulously
labeled cabinets, enclosed spaces—
the worm that eats at the dark
of a wildrose wood, that multiplies
in the interim when we’re not watching.
You handed me a dish on which lay
the worm, quite dead. I carried it outside,
flipped the dish to give the worm
back to earth. Mid-flip
it took wing, a hawk—not of the dead at all,
but of breezes, flashing its blue pinions
to disappear in the courageous sky.
I visited Locke once
And was treated very nicely
The mayor even gave me
The key to the city!
Then I learned that
Locke was just an
Sold the key on E-Bay
When I die I want
A simple ceremony
Closed harmony fanfare
Played by a Dixieland band
Hire an auctioneer to
Conduct the rituals
Get it over with
Then strut away
While the band plays
Visit a diner
Eat well, laugh
in no mood for dancing,
sitting, as he is, in rattan.
A tall woman waves a hanky
as she sallies up to his gray face.
Her suitor chooses to ignore her.
Sitting, as he is, in rattan
his patent-leather shoes
as she sallies up to his gray face,
a tall woman waves a hanky.
Her suitor chooses to ignore her;
his patent-leather shoes
in no mood for dancing—
standing, impatiently tapping.
—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento
—Carol Louise Moon
When one first absorbs Sepia
there is a settling at the center.
I suppose the emotion is best
described as a settling in.
causes confusion, an unsettling
of the settling.
I have often wandered away
from Sepia into a desire for
complicated color, a shaking-up
of my focus, and a misguided
guiding of my direction.
Without Sepia, my Compass,
I am simply lost.
LAST TIME I WENT SKATING
—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove
It was almost spring—probably
The last time for the season.
There was a sign at the edge
Of the pond, and naturally
I went over to read it.
Sign said, in about eight-point
Type, "Warning: if you’re
Standing here. . ." Didn’t
Get to read the rest. Fell
In. Was completely soaked;
Nobody would give me a ride.
But I warmed up on the jog home.