Monday, May 11, 2015

Of Sleep and Caprice

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch, CA

—Rhony Bhopla, Sacramento

Mini gongs, heaving ceiling hung bells
Bharatnatyam dancers flood the milk soaked floor

       Mother: binds sari, sky blue silk, gold spun elephants
       I hide between soft ruffles—forehead against her knees

Dances spin about this musk filled morning
and soft child hands, simply follow arcs to song

       Mother: mixes liquid butter, bubble pop vat
       her arms pull her body everywhere with the ladle

Dancing children sweep the landscape, darting
from statue to adorned statue in temple

       Mother: Her silver anklets summon me
       eyes directing, watching her child stand awkwardly

Free from the scene, I move with no cadence
palms together, open, then over fire

       Mother: washes my face with its heat, all eyes closed
       into the bronze plate, a coin falls, clink—one less thing

Love, soon to extinguish the butter lamp
we are severed again, both pushed-pulled

       Mother: dips our hands into saffron blushed water
       it splatters us—nature reddens our lips

Word Key:

Bharatnatyam = Indian classical dance
sari = 6-yard fabric worn by women from India


Happy Tree
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock 

—Tom Goff, Carmichael, CA

“The Wanderings of Oisin”: one quarter-turn
of the cover you make strain from its spine,
bulging the inelastic dust jacket. Next,
a quickly creasing turn past table of contents.
Now, young Bax, you are lost, oh, lost entirely
in epic headlong chaos, spearsmen and riding,
barley, honey and wine in and out of their proper
barbarian bowls. Forever captured for rapture:
kidnapped, beamed up to the island we now know
is an alien space vessel. Soon you will rise and go, and go

to Donegal, to Connemara, go to Aran, go
to Cork and Carna and Dublin. You will know
in the flesh the bard of that most special verse-legend,
you’ll meet the woman of his frustration and desire.
The great man will even praise you for a poem
of the Easter Rising—all this lovely approbation
from Yeats, from Æ, from Padraic, from composer
friend Moeran, so many men; and it’s true,

you’re a good and masculine elf-friend
to men. You identify with Cuchúlain, drawn sword
swordblading against the humankind ocean:
indifference to genius, rapture, and unsolemn instinct.
And Cuchúlain is WB himself, and the sword is words; but
what really softens your heart is the egret swivel
and torque of the graceful neck, the gliding-winged hips,
of a girl. And not even this the melting that takes you
farthest: witness your permanent and total dissolve

into a liquid medium of late twilight over West-of-Ireland
ripple and raindrip—so shot through with gold
and silver intonations, you could write it in short score,
the infinitely far language of a mother beyond
your lovely human mother: matriarch of your spirit-race.

Just one trace element in you, one wee fragment
of peat lodged like a microchip in your heart,
makes you yearn for the firelit hovel, the ungainly
room-filling smoke-smother a summons for Dana,
Eire’s paramount velvet-green goddess.

 'Most Home
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Robert Lee Haycock
Time sits in my favorite chair
Space sits in her lap
Ignoring me

Turtle dove is here again
How lovely it all is
She cries


—Robert Lee Haycock

Sidewalk wet with lies
Lurid suns will dry them
Who shall remember

I am not afraid
What was not given
Cannot be taken


—Robert Lee Haycock

No magic in the words
Until we uttered them
Water turned to wine
Lead became gold
Nothing we feared
Mattered after all


Today's LittleNip:

—Robert Lee Haycock

The Dawn had her reasons
Though we thought them capricious
She rolled over and went back to sleep
Today would just have to start without her

—Medusa, with thanks to today's fine contributors!

Below and Above
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock