Wednesday, September 24, 2014

One More Mountain & a River of Bone

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

an inconvenient excuse
—Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch

paper boxes floating on a circle of blue
broken wings as soft as dawn and incense
locked doors that time will not open
dry streams in which many will drown

the language of trees
a home that used to be
quickly we must be gone quickly

unsown fields ready for harvest
unsown fields already burning
unsown fields surrounded by water
unsown fields buried in birdsong

the armor of clouds
a lie you never heard
quickly we must be gone quickly

ten good reasons not to
far horizons that will not stay away
one more mountain and a river of bone
hungry telephones barking barking barking

the end of desire
an inconvenient excuse
quickly we must be gone quickly


better than nothing
—Robert Lee Haycock

we feast on dirt served up with knives and forks
we used to burn but now we stop the rains
nothing is better than nothing

we wind our voices through straws and reeds
we laugh at pretending but only smile at all the blood
nothing is better than nothing

we are getting nowhere too fast and too far
we can start over but never often enough
nothing is better than nothing

we tear the hills down to build holes that fill days
we once saw God in the most obvious of places
nothing is better than nothing


—Robert Lee Haycock

The Moon races ahead through the high voltage lines
And waxes and wanes new to new again in a day

The street lamps have set the sky above to smoldering
And night never comes then again it never comes

The ferris wheel can only be ridden from 12 to 6
And Fortuna is grateful for a chance to rest

The tumbleweeds are more than happy to hide us
And we can blow away when we are ready

The gutters swallow everything that comes along
And the pin boys are bored with themselves

The last all insist that they must be the first
And have forgotten how a zipper works

She is waiting there for me
And she is still smiling

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

This morning as we balance between
light and dark—a summer moment
falling soon to tip the unseen scales—
you say it’s the seasons’ formula
for change, earth tones slipping leaf
to stone. I say it’s metamorphosis
of spirit, stove-bound fire, a denning
of the home. “Woo-woo!” sings
jubilant my dog at edge of woods.
She curves her spine, pirouettes and
grins. She leaps and bows. Dancing
on earth, she beckons me join in.


—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove

About this time of year,
Father Crowley would
Commandeer the school’s
Bus and (The term bat out
Of Hell comes to mind)
Drive us across town
To Old St. Mary’s Cemetery.

He’d herd us across the lawn
And in an uncharacteristic
Whisper, explain “This place
Is holy: it has the same
Status as a church.” I did
Notice the wide aisles,
The cross towering
At the far end, the orderly
Rows of permanent
Parishioners, waiting
For something.

“This place is beyond
The law,” he went on.
“Tradition holds you
Could seek Sanctuary
In a Catholic cemetery,”
His voice rising more
Typically to sermon
Level: “The police
Couldn’t enter; the
Police couldn’t
Take you out.”

While I wondered
How he knew so much
About such things, the
Idea of Sanctuary
Was always comforting
To me during my outlaw
Years, such as they
Were, growing up
In rural Illinois,
In the early sixties.

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Richard Hansen, Sacramento

Oh my soul!
My soul my soul my soul
Oh my soul
My soul My soul my soul
ya know?
Oh my soul
My soul My soul my soul
Oh my soul
My soul My soul my soul
Balloons and butterflies
fluttering wings!
the butterflies not the balloons
flashing tiger eyes
changing the minds of robins
thinking of eating them
Oh my soul!
My soul My soul my soul
Oh my soul
My soul My soul my soul
a child's birthday party!
they're growing up too soon
what a fuckin' annoyance!
plus we invited too many of them
he gets what I always wanted
never got
a complete set of The Rock'em Sock'em Robots
in perfect condition


Today's LittleNip:

—Caschwa, Sacramento

An opinion can be
Similar to an onion
With different layers
That need to be peeled away
Like an unwanted bunion

In some cultures women
Are forbidden to express
Opinions or milk in public
But they can peel onions
Almost any time or place

Right down to their ions
Which is what nerds cry
When they peel apart their
Hallux abducto valgus into
A pile of layers hard on the eye


—Medusa, reminding you that each equinox means a new Canary, the Bay Area environmental poetry magazine. See

All Together
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock