Monday, July 27, 2015

Honk If You Missed Me!

CSUS Dragon Made of Recycled Materials
Calif. State Fair, 2015
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento
I will look into your eyes;
I will look at you,
raise my head
even though you may strike,
raise my breast
to your cold bite.

I will
look into your face
as I seem to hear you
beg of me,
as I wish you would beg
standing close before me.

Tell the truth this time.
Your cold words pushed me away,
but your tears told me
you lied.


—Ann Wehrman

taller than she
by a head or more
he must bend
she must reach up
yet their movements
are as one
through the unbroken circle
of their bodies
his broad hands
a warm caress
on the small of her back



licks his white satin socks
saucer eyes glow yellow
satisfied belly sways
patrols his domain
young enough to carry
too much chow
swaggers, though spayed,
jet coat sparking at my touch
mind-melds, head butts,
unashamed begging for
the last of my cereal’s milk
heavy affection
asleep on my shoulder
black hairs left in my bed

—Ann Wehrman


—Ann Wehrman

friend, protector
you lit a fire under my complacency
dried up my depression
I was no longer alone

wisecracker with round golden spectacles
long, lanky hair
eyes lit with mischief
lips blue from exhaustion

your friendship
saved my senior year
a lifetime ago
still feels like today

 Still Life Feathers
—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA

She takes pictures of aftermath.
That back corner of garage where paint-
cans exploded—who knows why?—
leftover colors of walls that once made her
happy. Bird feathers she found among
rocks in the woods, evidence of hawk-kill.
She arranged them but the wind
kept rearranging, wings without flight
at the brink of hill. One day
she scattered pages ripped from her
journal—Life doesn’t explain.
She likes the lie of promises torn in
halves, word-shards. Tatters of feather
on stone.



—Taylor Graham

Shook his head at the spoon, hungry

but not for pablum. Grown up before he was

a baby. He’s the pattern she might find

in a novel, figment of a border-

mind, fiction truer than textbooks.

Dance of early animation, a birth that hit

the ground running. He tries so many words

at random, chasing after the one
he loves; then rolls in the inexact greens

of grass under clouds burdened

with what he wants to say. Might he

explode his father’s paint cans for their un-

expected color-patterns on the wall?

 Lion Dancers of Hebei, Cal. State Fair
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Tom Goff

The goddess dark-featured, the goddess sheer white:
we fear, we exult, but with her we must deal.
This goddess who opens the gate of all light
on day-of-death-fated-dark bolts that gate tight.
Aloof or most urgent, the One truly real.
She’s rock and air, water and turning millwheel.
The goddess dark-featured, the goddess sheer white:
we fear, we exult, but with her we must deal.


—Tom Goff

Primal things Graves describes, old Celtic poems
called pied verses, words double-colored.
Enigmas in squat, dense columns of gnomes,
foreground-background / face-front-again forms,
homely and comely, sharp-edged and shuttered,
forthright, deceiving quick syllables uttered.
Primal things Graves describes, old Celtic poems
called pied verses, words double-colored.

Acrobats, Cal. State Fair
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

I had a dream where I saw a park with an ice skating rink
    and I was wearing a bathrobe—
    it was one of those where, if I’m not naked, I’m inappropriately dressed     
    When I came to ask to skate there were workers declaring it closed
    “You’re too late,” they said
    Then the rink shrank and turned into a pile of snow
    and the workers shoveled it up
    I guess I then decided to wander into some large house
    It claimed to be holding an estate sale
    only it was claiming to be of things people had “lost”
    I went inside and saw nothing familiar in the piles of stuff
    then I saw, on a dining room table, my deceased orange tabby cat Morris
    Morris loudly purred as he scratched the table top
    I told the lady attending there he wasn’t my favorite
    since he would bite, and he chewed and shredded towels and blankets
    If this place could bring back cats from the dead
    it was Morris’s well-bahaved brother Sunny I really want back
    She apologized that she had sold Sunny to someone else
    I was irate as I showed her Morris’s tag and license on his collar
    “Sunny had a tag on like this one with the same address, and you sold him to someone else?”
    “Oh they were so fond of Sunny,“ she explained
    I recall she went on to say, “But you deserve to have Morris…” 

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

 Acrobats, Cal. State Fair
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove, CA

Grandmother awoke to the sound.
Thought, no, no pickles
This season or the year before.
But had to find out: took the
Golf club, the cane,
The shillelagh (there’s
A difference, you know),
And started to the cellar
To find out.

Got there to find
Grandpa huddling
Behind the furnace,
WWI Doughboy helmet,
Garbage can lid
As shield, watching
The last of his
Home brew bottles
Go off.

After the last one
Popped, he stood,
Smiled, assured
(Always the charmer):
“Don’t worry, Edie,
Next time, I’ll
Get a better capper.”

“Next time you get
A thirst, you’ll go down
To the Shamrock Tap.”
And so he did.


—Kevin Jones

Came time to paint
The upstairs bathroom.
Mother chose
One of the unidentified
Cans that came
With the house.

Didn’t look too bad:
A sort of pearlescent
Pinky grey.  Was my
Primary bathroom,
Could live with it,
Even thought it
Might have a certain
Charm if I ever got a date
That far upstairs.

Father was
“Too girly.  Next
She’ll have us
Taking the Playboys
To the garage,” and
Opened a couple
Of other cans and
Began mixing.

Next morning,
All a little high from
Old oil paints,
We looked it over,
Tried to name the color.
Lilac?  No.  Hyacinth?
Not even close.
Grink—a sort of
Gray and pink?
Nah.  Maybe girple?
Just then, my grandfather,
Whose hearing was
No better than my
Own is, appeared.
“Pimple?  No.
Gotta have more red.”

 Acrobats, Cal. State Fair
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

Today’s LittleNip:

—Tom Goff

Water disturbed subsides from foam.
Splash where you like, its form returns.
Bright earths in paint hold shape like loam.
Water disturbed subsides from foam;
watch paint upend. Permanent swirls & burns.
Clear liquid calms by a going home;
water disturbed subsides from foam.
Splash where you like, its form returns.

—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors on this day of The Return of the Medusa after a week's vacation!

 Rhony Bhopla at Sac. Poetry Center's 
"Unbarred Words" reading July 13
—Photo by Michelle Kunert