Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Winds From the Other Side

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch

I forgot to tell you
I remember when I made you cry

I forgot to tell you
I remember when I made you laugh

I forgot to tell you
I love leaving while you sleep

I forgot to tell you
I hate leaving while you sleep

I forgot to tell you
About the feel of your wedding dress
About being never so young before
About growing old again together
How afraid I always am
How you make me brave
How little I've ever known
How much I've forgotten


—Robert Lee Haycock

I remember when the train sang a sad melody night after weary night.
I forget when it started to improvise in Phrygian and Mixolydian.

I remember that the houses dreamt in their blue-windowed sleep.
I forget that they ran away over the faulted oaken hills.

I remember the lovely knives for slicing open the pages of a new book.
I forget the ugliness we found when I had finally opened myself to you.

I remember those first kisses.
I forget those first lies.

 Weather Report: In Like a Lion
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Caschwa, Sacramento

Years ago I came across a raging bull
And made him a win-win offer:
I would not chase his cows if
He would leave my women alone

To this day we have honored that
Agreement like true gentlemen
Unlike many politicians
There is still hope

**  **  **  **

I had a notion before I was ready
To entertain any notions
Like getting puppies or kittens
Oh so cute

The notion grew exponentially
Until it was bigger than my house
Labor intensive
Out of control

At board meetings when they
Decide to table the motion
There is the notion
Under the table

When ships are readied
To sail on the ocean
There is the notion
Giving voice to dolphins

When you watch late night TV
And they’re selling a potion
There is the notion
Working the teleprompter

When a football lineman
Is called for illegal motion
There is the notion
Keeping score

Would you like to adopt a notion?

 —Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

I brought this puppy cradled
under my collar. Just weeks ago she swam
from Poseidon’s mindless deep
to this wild frontier, Life.
The vet’s office. In the waiting room,
I watched two women in black
urge a dwindling collie through the door,
dog no weightier than a decade of shed hair.
Now on the exam table,
my puppy wears her sable fur with one
small hole—already damaged goods.
But listen how she purrs through the wish-
bone of her body,
so happy for our hands.


—Taylor Graham

Set the needle to the disk
and take the tempo, wander-itching
of a heyday tramping song.
Past the quick-stop, pool rooms, strip-
mall, vast asphalt deserts, eternity
without a star. Off the side-
walk. Feel vibration of a living earth’s
foundation to your stride.
Breathe so deeply
that the wind takes hold and any-
where you go becomes frontier.


Today's LongerNip:

Archibald MacLeish
   First there is the wind but not like the familiar wind but long and without lapses or falling away or surges of air as is usual but rather like the persistent pressure of a river or a running tide.

   This wind is from the other side and has an odor unlike the odor of the winds with us but like time if time had odor and were cold and carried a bitter and sharp taste like rust on the taste of snow or the fragrance of thunder.

   When the air has this taste of time the frontiers are not far from us.

   Then too there are the animals. There are always animals under the small trees. They belong neither to our side nor to theirs but are wild and because they are animals of such kind that wildness is unfamiliar in them as the horse for example or the goat and often sheep and dogs and like creatures their wandering there is strange and even terrifying signaling as it does the violation of custom and the subversion of order.

   There are also the unnatural lovers the distortion of images the penetration of mirrors and the inarticulate meanings of the dreams. The dreams are in turmoil like a squall of birds.

   Finally there is the evasion of those with whom we have come. It is at the frontiers that the companions desert us—that the girl returns to the old country

   that we are alone.


—Medusa, who notes that the Graham puppy is okay—just a small sore on her back.