Monday, January 26, 2015

Imagine Gladness

—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis, CA

—Loch Henson, Diamond Springs, CA
Silvered hair in braids that
were anything but simple,
the woman with the wrinkled
apple cheeks watched
as the Rose Bowl Parade
floats lumbered along a street
on her television.

“That must be some place,
California,” she told her
first born. He looked at her.
He was still hungry from the
night before.

She wrapped her shoulders
in a shawl with long tassels,
and picked up her basket.

“Too many red ones today,”
she muttered as she tried to
arrange the carnations to her

She came back, after hours
in front of the cathedral, with
fewer flowers, a loaf of bread,
a wedge of cheese,
and a new-found interest in
parade floats.

 Chandelier, Pier 39, San Francisco
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Claire J. Baker, Pinole, CA

My soul went
Had long time
Cream color
Likes to cuddle
Sorry no  photo
Won't bite
Please call
No ??? asked.

(next day):

We found your soul
In local park
No leash
Lonely but friendly
Meet at park pond
9 AM. We'll wait
Not seeking reward.



—Claire J. Baker

God, what is so elusive
about lasting peace,
the same in any language.
There is always great need.

Lie down beside us.
Whether we sleep, reach out
or whisper all night
our blood flow listens.

Surely, God,
you can hear us
shaking mountain tops
with our listening.

(first pub. in Pudding Magazine)

 Chandelier, Pier 39, San Francisco
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Richard Hansen, Sacramento

When I feel the most intense sadness
I enjoy the rain

When I feel the most intense sadness
I enjoy the rain

When I feel the most intense sadness
I enjoy the rain going pit pat on my head
look at clover with lush green leaves
covering the ground

When I feel the most intense sadness
en joy

the rain

When I feel the most intense sadness
I enjoy the rain going pit pat
say to myself it's just circumstances
no one's to blame
no one's to blame

When I feel the most intense sadness
I imagine gladness
used to sit on the couch for hour and hours and hours
couldn't get up
didn't feel this sad
must be

a good sign

When I feel the most intense sadness
I enjoy the rain going pit pat on my head
makin' strands of hair coagulate into
thin limp brown icicles I

brush to side of my eyes

Anonymous Photo

—Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA

Don’t ask her what these flowers signify,
what myth or legend, arcane symbolism.
The woman’s just a peddler of bouquets.

Don’t ask her where the name comes
from, whether corone (coronation,
garland) or carnis (flesh, incarnation).

Don’t dither about colors—do white
carnations mean pure love, or luck?
do pink carnations recall Mary’s tears?

Don’t ask if carnations are meant for
weddings or funerals, sorrow or joy.
Don’t even ask if she loves carnations.

Just ask the price of a bouquet, and does
she take plastic (don’t bet on that; she
likes living cash for real-life flowers).


—Taylor Graham

Pyramids of gilded apples, lemons and limes
keeping their tang inside puckered jackets.
Arrow-quivers of green onions, bouquets
of cauliflower. Celeriac, full of pith and fiber.
Beets and kale and chard, such plenty
and perfection, see, of grass-green sun-gold,
as if each crop were self-addressed to your
kitchen. The challenge, what to take home
today? What vegetable as necessary minor key
to a plebeian table whose centerpiece will be
homegrown hen who just stopped laying,
or mutton tough as the land you live on?
Arms full, you’ll pass the old woman who sells
carnations—as if the whole open-air market
weren’t Eden’s flower.


—Taylor Graham

Fe, the hard faith of Crusader swords.
The uncorroded Iron Pillar of Delhi, India.
A miscellany of legends.
Atomic number 26.
You stepped out of anemia and fell in love.
Necessary to life, it binds to flesh.
An iron-man climbed Earth’s high crust,
by fusion of stars searched out the secrets.
Human hopes and history,
their arms are inscribed by the blade
as water rises in rusty pipes,
runs red to soil as if a sword, a battlefield.
Hammering, grinding, a kind of music.
From forebears, that iron bedstead.
Steadfast, a girl says her flickering prayers.


Today's LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham

Open sea without a coast,
in every direction the tiding horizons,
blistering cold & heat,
imaginary ships, angels of cloudless light,
a sandy shoreline where a tree
rises in the eye, whatever in the mind
without a coast, a limit.



How to Catch a Lizard (with a blade of grass, of course...)
Katy Brown reading at The Other Voice in Davis, Jan. 23
—Photo by Dr. Andy Jones, Davis, CA