Monday, March 09, 2015

Painting on the Wind

Ghost Ship
—Anonymous Photo

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

As many blueberries as we could steal
when the Grizzly wasn’t looking—crowberries
and one King Salmon that fit perfectly in your
hip-boot; as many hours of storm in a canoe
as there were loons thundering the lake; as many
breakdowns in the old VW that bore us
off the map; more fisherman’s floats than we
could carve to chess pieces; as many hammers
nails wrenches as it took to build by hand
a house to live in; willow thickets for you to lose
us in—the briefest flower meadow; Mountain
Chickadees to fledge from our open palms;
all this and more than I could count but
as in fairytale, where numbers are emblematic
and don’t really matter compared to
what we forget and what we remember.


—Taylor Graham
You wake from dream—you were newborn
bummer lamb. Now, the flock has left
the dark shelter of barn, headed for pasture.
Listen for a tiny bleat from the far high
corner where roof meets hill; deep scaffold
of cobweb and rafter. Crawl up through loose
dirt where only abandoned little-ones would go,
you find him warmer than living
earth, bleating hunger. How did he survive
the night? He’s tough. Extricate him. Bring him
back. He pulls at milk like he’d drink the world.


Now, he lies camo’d among rocks the color
of himself. The great owl has flown back
to the dark of dreams.
On all sides, daylight sparrows sing
Spring so loud you can’t make out the words of
your thought, when you listen to your head.
The newborn bummer is hungry
again, forever hungry. He’ll follow wherever
you go. How can you escape your animal?

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

You trudge the steps, young student, slow.
I didn’t know these steps were steep.
Young women carry, with their glow,
a private burden no girl should keep,
stiffening limbs, a strange arthritis.
Your bluejean thighs hold pounce and spring
—and glumness too: that odd detritus
class only compounds. The boredom thing
tends to bend your neck and shoulders,
to double-slow the slowest gait:
lethargy squared, quadruple the boulders.

I mount the staircase just below you,
two steps below, to be precise.
I want to steady your load, not throw you.
I’m not just wishing to be nice.
My two imagined hands could reach,
caress, your denim-strictured hips,
a gesture you’d read as a breach,
a palm-to-breeches total eclipse
of law or sense.
                                    Yet this is love,
not sex, that drives my astral self
to play this grabby game and glove
your thighs with handholds, shelf to shelf.
I simply wish to steady you,
hoist you as a partner will,
coaxing the not yet ready you
onstage for our duple bill,
ballet body double, pas de deux.
You turn; I see the lit device
(both Internet and phone) you palm,
contrivance locking you in ice,
so potent is its spell to calm
your treadmill tread to funeral.

No, you aren’t distressed, not hurt:
your cyber- dead march holds you in thrall.
I leash the thoughts I want to blurt,
lest you think I patronize.
I dip my gaze to an upheld paper,
so’s not to be caught in my own lies.
Our backstairs conference is vapor.
My sweet Blue Jean, what distant wound,
what background pattern lights your screen
yet disappoints, while unattuned
you’re left with lostness, in the mean
time, unattended to…as college?

Or am I lost? What salve will soothe
your youngling discontent with knowledge?
Could this be your truth? What says your youth?

Rise as you may, in sync with your
Sweet Jeans, may you reach the topmost step
            in all good stomp…

 Phantom Exposed
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Robert Lee Haycock

I don't need to be prompted
By that fellow twixt the limelights
To remember my lines.

I know that I love you.
I know that I need you.
I suspect that you need me too.

Are we not method actors?
What was I doing?
What were you thinking?

Are the curtains rising or falling?
Is this intermission or finale?
Is it time for my soliloquy?


—Robert Lee Haycock

My cousin drowned while his Dad watched
His mistress introduced herself to his wife at the funeral
"We'll both miss him so much"
Methinks Steve died more than once

 Tapestry Verso
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Robert Lee Haycock

A dog named Cat
Four of the seven seas
Apricots drying in the sun
Where now they write in code
Much too much television
Orlando before Disney bought it
Cocaine and cocaine and cocaine
Bob Marley
Bob Dylan
The dead bagged and hauled away
My children born
I am weary
What next?


Today's LittleNip:

—Robert Lee Haycock

I paint on the wind
With words dressed in gossamer.
What was I thinking?


—Medusa, thanking today's contributors, including Taylor Graham, who writes that one of today's poems of hers is "a poem I wrote in February that seemed to go along with Robert Lee Haycock's on Medusa [March 5]."


Tapestry Verso
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock