—Poems by Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA
niche’d in an upper window—if I crane
my neck at him I go dizzy. Wing’ed dog or
trollish angel, he gazes down with stony
grin or grimace at our human History,
how Justice was carried out somewhere
behind his back. He guards the shuttered
alley as Commerce goes on below him.
People park their cars and drive away.
He stands wing-spread, four-square ready
for anything but just waiting.
ABOVE THE ALLEY
There he hunkers, as if a sorcerer cast the spell
that left him not an iceberg, to melt like tears
down the gutter spout, but, without pity, stone.
A dog, perhaps, with wings that won’t fly;
jaws clenched upon the axle of rolling time.
A gutter-guard dare not relax his watch,
but should be silent. Can’t you hear,
between the rush of traffic, a tolling bell?
I’d ask the cause for stone to sound so mournful.
JIGSAW OF MOUNTAINS
From that morning, I try to put the photo
back together with its missing piece. A dark
mountain under clouds that rose higher
but withheld their lightning. Landscape in gray—
sky over scattered scree; on the ridgeline,
conifers dark as char; stringer of scrub
in the foreground. Air electric. This photo—
no, you can’t see him. Climbing in search
of treasure; inhaling sky in this child’s game
of hide-and-seek, to make his find.
I meant to catch him in the frame but there’s
only landscape in and out of gray. Darking
as the limits of a life. Beyond accident—
sometimes I call it angels, some days, pure
chance; unsolvable puzzle for the mind.
Map of earth and sky unreadable.
Spirit—the piece we can’t see—lifted
past thunder, to fly. Gone clear as a drum-
beat released. I fit the puzzle around
this gap, its missing piece.
Imagine him waiting all these weeks
while Life, the train, went whistling outside
the walls, shaking foundations—or
was that the wind whispering its songs of far-
away? His room devoid of stars—maybe
it was a castle. But look! Someone
raises the garage door, and he and his brother
s tumble out into the heat of June. Without
being told, they roll on soft green, a blooming
weed like clover, in shade of a tree
these pups didn’t even know existed, except
by instinct or imagination. Now,
he goes to sleep to the whistle of the train
of life and dreams of stony roads
through flower fields and the winds
that ride them.
—Photo Enhancement by Taylor Graham
to get through this day and then the next—
this infinite realm of heat called summer—
not just a pair of double-digit days
standing sentry at the door, a week or more,
a month, the dogs laid flat out panting
on the floor, looking ahead to November,
December, maybe rain with sleet and thunder,
we’ll bundle safe inside these walls
and—can you believe it—remember, fondly,
You want bacon & eggs?
We’re out of eggs. No bacon either.
I googled it. A guy reported some growing
in a mobile home park
just up the road. Come on, I’ll show you.
Orange & yellow blossoms
edged with bacon-red—scrambled eggs
on clover. Good for bees.
A legume, great forage. Sheep like it,
too, for breakfast.
—Medusa, thanking Taylor Graham and Katy Brown for today's meditations, including their gargoyles!