Friday, November 06, 2015

Magic Carpets and Serendipity

—Photo by Ann Privateer

—Ann Privateer, Davis, CA

jagged blue shadows
against a darkening sea
sharp shadow shards

define a porcelain sky
openings part, show
the way fog percolates.

A lid stands where algae
wobbles, life-like
for a thousand years.

We weigh in, it could be
another minute until it
shears off imploding

the tiny one-man skiff
and yet, we stay, transfixed.


—Ann Privateer

the joy of water compares
with the joy of sound

both surround the body
sometimes penetrating

each orifice, reverberating
the chest, sending thrills

and chills that wiggle
up and down, binding

the next nexus
and there you are

flattened and smoothed
eyes smiling radiantly.

 —Photo by Ann Privateer

—Ann Privateer

we run with scissors
hang on for dear life

go in all directions
to become friends.

you know when to let go
when to habituate

when to not budge
so you go around

in circles, resting
while the ocean

sleeps warm or cold,
no comfort, so deep

let go of places
that habituate.

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock 

—Tom Goff, Carmichael, CA

(Symphonic poem by Arnold Bax in tribute to
the Irish revolutionary,
executed after the Easter Rising, 1916)

One meeting was all you had to take the measure
of this odd poet-schoolmaster-warrior, carved
so the whole face seemed scenting, with its curved
stark-angled delicacy, for that air-treasure,
no sooner minted than lost upon the wind
(spirit) and sunk down deep under a cairn
(body), where none’s to discover it, gone blind:
just how many bodies and spirits yesterday bairn
did Pearse lead to a Falstaff’s honor in Irish dust?
Not even a coat of arms to rub with rust.
Yet you found him sympathetic, sorrowed for him
in music more fitting a Beowulf on a barge
atop soft sheaves of flame, as if it bore him
onto, not off, a thundering shore whose margin
slaps first life-shock into heroes. Just one rann
Pearse wrote foresees everything: in one brief span
he invokes the soft-spoken king of blackened clay,
wants sleep in the keep of no grain, no face, no day. 


—Tom Goff

I’m bad today: I skipped a college meeting
and the ensuing doughnuts, muffins, juice.
Enough, I swore, with the undersong of greeting,
the buzz of hover, status-check, and ruse
of busyness about plans. If I were to go
to any sad meeting, it would be to see you,
my much-missed joyous seeker of nothing faux,
desiring to know how you fare in the quest to free you.

We carry like cages around us history,
we’re shackled to bars at each bright chakra point.
These iron cubes, an invisible mystery
to prattlers outside the pain that cramps each joint.
But you are too young not to escape that jail.
Signal me soon with your gaze you did not fail.


—Tom Goff

Here lies one whose name was writ in water.
No, I think not. The mask shows one whose face
the water is writing on. So, with the grace
of icicles in spring, we see the daughter-
delicate features melt away to breath,
thinning, attenuating, vibrating
the resonance of molecules whose ring
stings truest upon the escapement-lift of death.

Oh the life mask was also a lovely thing:
moved, we compare it to the sheath, ice-wet,
that glories the large-eyed features of the pup
seal who’s broken the breathing-barrier yet
keeps for one instant more the shine and cling.
The liquid swarms outside—it is—the cup.

 Magic Carpets and Serendipity
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch, CA

Her face is veiled in earthshine
But for a catty crooked grin
As Mars and Venus are undone
In their adulterous dancing
And the peacock screams


—Robert Lee Haycock
Glaze of dawning brushed
Across unsullied ground
I set my back to morning
And leaning at my cane
As if on a mahl stick
Scumble my sandy-eyed shadow
Onto another day's canvas
Stretched from too early
To the west too far

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

Today's LittleNip:

—Robert Lee Haycock

Cheshire grin of a crone moon
Cacaphony of the spheres
Lonesome lunatic
Morning way too soon
Flames of grass
Pall of fogs
When dawning comes
Where do dreams hide?


Our thanks to today's fine poets and photographers, and congratulations to Tom Goff, whose series of Bax poems has been posted on the Sir Arnold Bax website! See under “Essays and Articles” at


—Photo by Ann Privateer