Monday, October 26, 2015

The Trees of Heaven

Old Dog, Old Tricks
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—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


—Robert Lee Haycock
Backyards full of broken
Paused in our headlonging
Toward agreement
Fox and I
Eye to eye
What are you doing here?
I am living. hay
What are you doing?
He’d like to know.


—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

 —Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—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.

Word Key: 

inam:  gift; a common name for a child
guru:  a spiritual teacher

 —Photo by Katy Brown, Davis, CA

—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove, CA

It is the color
Of rust—at last, seen, at last


Golden Retriever’s
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. . .
October sunset.


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.

 —Photo by Katy Brown

—Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA

Rugged mountains gentle into meadow flowers,

birdsong, and a river in meandering flow reflects

sky. Clouds against horizon. Sun arc’d through
its daily motion rising setting in postcard colors.

All night I tried this road and that, I stared at the

dream-image but earth kept spinning under its

heaven and I kept walling-out at dead-ends and

cul-de-sacs, battering at the door of each house

individually wrapped in mosquito-netting or

gifting-cellophane with the attendant principle

of keeping something in/something out. Gray

figures bent as in longing, watching the most

beautiful landscape on their screens.

ice on the bucket—

above willows at first frost

the trail goes trekking


—Taylor Graham

Winter’s coming. We practice for long sleep,

you napping the hours, I with my books:

one poet found his dying father deep

in dream; another wonders how death looks.

My pup roisters with a bone;

flips cartwheels, crackerjacks the prize

from leaf-fall piles,

barks me come outside.

And see, the tree of heaven bright with fall.

A weed, they say; nerves of green all thru drought.

What do we know of heaven? Slanting light.

Winter’s coming, we practice for long sleep. 

 —Photo by Katy Brown

—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento

The house in San Francisco sits on a hill.  It 
smells of old electricity and newsprint.  From 
the chandelier hangs a ceramic pig in the 
middle of a quaint room.  A window lets in 
light and opens to an opposite hillside view.

The hill-house in San Francisco is old 
electricity and natural light.  Both chandelier 
and sun contribute to a nostalgic ambiance, 
as does the breakfast nook. Outside, sparrows 
twitter as the ceramic flying pig spins from a 
crystal chandelier in the antique sitting room. 
Newsprint tells of an earthquake disaster, its 
date obscured by a hawk feather bookmark. 

San Francisco radio news: Weather today is 
sunny with cool breezes…  The opposing 
hillside sports two redwoods, one Coastal 
and the other Sierra. Patio birds chat their 
own brand of news, as radio speaks of 
seismic activity off the Pacific coast. A fly 
lands on the rump of the ceramic pig 
dangling from the dusty sitting room 


—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.

 —Photo by Katy Brown

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!


Today’s LittleNip:

—Carol Louise Moon

   “Do not cast your pearls before swine
    whereby they will be trampled under foot…”
                      —THE BIBLE

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.


—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock