—Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch, CA
Her powder box chimed “Golden Slippers”
His Bay Rum insinuated itself
Frowns when I banged up the stairs
Smiles when I played piano in church
Carnival glass chicken full of horehound
Punch bowl full of Chiller Diller
Fireworks in the front yard
Desert snow on Christmas morning
Looking out the back window of the car as we drove away
Gammy waved from the balcony
After Papa died
SOMETHING ABOUT A FOX AND A TRAIN
—Robert Lee Haycock
Backyards full of broken
Paused in our headlonging
Fox and I
Eye to eye
What are you doing here?
I am living. hay
What are you doing?
He’d like to know.
OF VUILLARD AND OTHER THINGS
—Robert Lee Haycock
How many times I sit here
Figures populate the same linen plane
Refusing to touch they broadcast
A green ground
Shimmers of simplicity
While in the next room come
To melt a cone or two
Bisque the most beautiful things I’ll never make
Hollow spheres of wet hurtled mud deleted
By custodians in a fit of critique
Through this door is an open casket
A smiling once upon a man
Gammy and Papa crying more
Flowers than I’ve ever smelled and
Ice cream on the streets of memory
—Rhony Bhopla, Sacramento
Strung cobweb wires against paint-stripped building
walls, least wanted, fixed with tape stretched, broken.
Passing adverts claim a phone call costs
Rupees. Gandhi remains folded in
a passerby’s pocket. Both unaware
of the growing entanglement of lights. Dangling
bulb bursts, daylight sun showers, nothing is
on fire—yet. Haphazard wraps around, under
other wires. Sometimes, they hang from trees,
tortured by auspicious chants. Under Punjab’s
clustered canopy, a future guru sits,
eyes closed, pierced tongue reverberates:
The tree gesticulates with long,
inelastic branches. At tip, knobby
fingers point at the ominous
future of our electric snarl.
A perfect table squats at shop entry, covered
by an unraveled, sheer turban, tied
to the knees of its legs. Underneath, brown
legs zigzag in dirt. Boy’s eyes closed, unstirred.
inam: gift; a common name for a child
guru: a spiritual teacher
FAIR OAKS VILLAGE, CA
—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove, CA
It is the color
Of rust—at last, seen, at last
Coat, all the more vibrant in
The early dawn light.
Jack the Yellow Lab
Never had a bath, but he’s
Bright, grinning. . .fall sunlight.
Brandy, my Irish
Setter, never so stunning. . .
The yard cats, mostly
Black longhairs. . .summer tangles
Gone by the first frost.
Down by the river,
Wintering Mallards start
To fret. . .They’ll bring bread?
Out on the trail, the
Coyote sniffs. . .Knows that change
Is in his favor.
A time when change is
In the air, and when rust
Is a color that rules.
—Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA
Rugged mountains gentle into meadow flowers,
RITES OF FALL
—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento
The house in San Francisco sits on a hill. It
The hill-house in San Francisco is old
San Francisco radio news: Weather today is
WHEN PIGS FLY
—Carol Louise Moon
There is a fly in the house in San Francisco
which flies near the chandelier.
The ceiling is painted light blue
to match the sky.
The fly alights on the rump of a flying pig
which dangles from the chandelier.
I wonder why, and I wonder when.
The crisp ocean breeze that blows
through the house on the bay
whispers in reply:
When pigs fly, flies do too.
Our thanks for today’s hot breakfast of poetry and pix, and a reminder to check out the green box at the right of this for workshops (a couple of new ones), submissions opportunities and poetry contests (lots of new ones), a wonderful website to enjoy on Webilicious, and a reminder that today is Sacramento Poetry Day!
Then scroll farther down to the blue box under the green box and take note of what’s upcoming in NorCal poetry for this week and beyond, including a new reading series for Seniors, hosted by those lovely Straight Out Scribes on Halloween!
PIG’S REPUTATION SAVED
—Carol Louise Moon
“Do not cast your pearls before swine
whereby they will be trampled under foot…”
Patty’s pearls meant the world to Patty.
But one day Patty threw the pearl necklace
down at the feet of a pig. The pig looked
at the pearls, then looked at Patty and
walked away. Patty’s pearls lay broken
and scattered on the ground—a lesson
for Patty, which failed her miserably.