Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Scents That Smell of Truth

Coffee Beans
—Photo by Sue McElligott

—Sue McElligott, Nevada City, CA
It took about 10 minutes
For her to say what she needed to say
There was clarity
There was a feeling of finality
And the written words would
Have taken too long anyway

The garbage truck comes by
And the recycle truck comes about
40 minutes later

There is comfort in these
Noisy waste vehicles

The coffee pot spits out
Its obnoxious ‘beep’ that
The coffee is done

She whispers under her breath
Three words

I need this.

 Reservoir Ramble
—Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch, CA

—Lelania Arlene, Sacramento

Keeping a Question alive, Existing in a world of names.

Where is our Eucatastrophe? Will eagles dare to pardon?

In finding the sweet spot, where others deign to touch, to claim,

Only there will I forgive, be present in the ugly rock garden.

Rings to marry the world outside of us and within, what remains—

Behind a bamboo curtain, a wind chime of the misshapen, must not harden.

What remains is a larger heart, open to the point of banning shame.

I can absolve those that kill me, perhaps not those that gift me a coward's burden.

Defy to touch the flawed, to embrace not in a loathsome game,

You will exist in bigger waters, vexed not as much, not so much uncertain.


—Lelania Arlene

Living blood runs over our secret scars,

Like rocks in an underground river.

Forever an organ grinder, an orphan marred,

Cauldron fermenting, roiling, sweet, bitter to deliver.

Who shall care if my cuffs are drenched wet? 

Aching, unhusked, never ask to know—neglect.

Your lagniappe, head high, the tip of a whip,

Eternally a callous middle negative, NO of a lip.

 —Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Lelania Arlene

I am chinny with mirth amongst the lupines on Figueroa Mountain.

The poppies and blue-flagged fields are a relief from the shale.

Peeling Manzanita bark is a soothsaying practice. 

The tang of lemon berries with their suede fuzz on my fresh tongue.

The earth warms me, releasing fertile scents that smell of truth.

My finger strokes the belly blue of a fence lizard.

With pollen brushed cheeks... and pinon scented breath, I scramble on big boulders,

Each a friend with its own charms.

I follow the damp fastness, the Fir Canyon Creek is my anchor. 

Sycamores, bays, oaks and conifer are my siblings.

Small yet safe under cover of deer-brush chaparral,

I’ll never be bigger as part of life, I will never be smaller unless I forget.


—Lelania Arlene

Where are Gozion’s Rings

Do they hide and sing in the pepper trees?

Where are Gozion’s Rings

Do they giggle and distort amidst succulents?

Perhaps Matchka plays with them now,

He knows nothing is lost, not the true things.

They just roll and ring and open for our eyes to adjust.

Where are Gozion’s Rings

I see them now, do you see too?

She told it herself lookit for the Hobo’s passage.

I hear their peals, warmth of silver in the twinkle lights leaf bringer,

Up high with Daddy, you placed them there with working fingers.

Where are Gozion’s rings?

They are only to be fetched with wonder, skew and the work that lingers.


—Lelania Arlene

I don't know that it will not always be the same.

Stubborn girl with neglect ringing thin arms, in a party dress and Buster Brown Patent Leather shoes.

Agile, gamboling amidst and atop boulders and stones.

Under every rock, a cave.

Every cave a potential new home or friend.

Water sliders glide on creek waters, barely dimpling the surface. 

I am envy....

Dozens of waterfalls tumble over every slick brother rock.

Squatting, the feathery fennel brushes my cheek.

I grasp it and pull it towards me, fragrance wafts.

I chew, licorice, water from the white, cupped in hands that are likewise scented.

There is nothing more than this.

In and Around the Lake
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch

Roadblock laughs spinning lights
Red and blue
Red and blue
Red and blue

Feather boas run over bloodied limbs
Bullheaded man vomits up his teeth
Passersby sit on jersey walls
Holding heads in hands

Empty shoes
Broken toys
Someone's dresser
Schoolhouse on that hill

Farmer and his two sons
Standing in their too, too green fields
Stare longingly at the highway
Far away from here


and tomorrow
—Robert Lee Haycock

The stars still wheel across the sky but the moon and the sun are gone.  No shadows darken the constellations where they ought to lie.  I do not like the feel of the ground under my boots and we worry about the flames in the windows high above us.

 —Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Robert Lee Haycock

When the refugees began stealing
Candy from the children we decided
It was time to leave but the bus was full
And wasn't going anywhere anyway
The roads were rife with giants and highwaymen
Who only asked that we be brutally honest
While in the movie studio runaway trains rained
Down upon the gambolers in the forest below
The judge wore a mask of clay that the man
With the flower in his beard broke open
Drawing a stone out of his mouth and
Although the carved jade soldiers told me
I had once worn a uniform just like theirs
I couldn't believe it yet what do I know


—Robert Lee Haycock

My dreams are much
Too loud and full of smoke
Chinese opera and putty noses
Blood everywhere
But everyone brings gifts
Offering to help
Call the knacker's cart
If only I knew where I am


Today's LittleNip:

—Robert Lee Haycock

Our prayerbooks are stacked and
Anointed with ghee and flame and
The stars dance up with the smoke and
Tonight the sky is on fire and
I might find my way home



Plain and With Mustard
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock