Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bleeding Spring

—Poems by Ann Wehrman, Sacramento, CA
—Photos by Katy Brown, Davis, CA


step out, let wind dry my hair
finally feel something
hamburgers grilling over charcoal
perfume of dry grass

oh, this still matters!
trees I watched shiver all winter
now have leaves, filled out
almost to summer’s span
their green, a deep field of welcome and joy

scrub jay blusters, chases robin away
tang of pine needles baking
my skin expands in lassitude
warmth tempered by breeze

too long inside—
the blue screen
the narrow desk
the endless deadlines

 Stacked Hats


the tree at the college bus circle is my friend
her broad, green leaves
like tissue paper fans on flat wooden handles
keep me cool, twist this way and that in the breeze
or lie flat, buffering summer’s blazing sun, as I 
sit, comfortable and out of time, under her branches

worn wooden bench at the bus circle, over decades
seated students, lovers, friends
solitary townspeople changing buses
journeying from work downtown
cradled homeless who wander
the park-like campus in daytime
stretching out some nights on the bench
after last bus of the night—
the tree shelters us all

tonight, the sky blue-black, translucent
after freak hailstorm, afternoon rain
clouds scud, new moon still not risen
bus will come soon—
I made it on time
high from power-walking across campus
I rest on the gentle bench

breathe deeply early autumn night
thank my tree for her beauty, for being my friend
for adding oxygen to rain-washed night air
hear her voice in my mind responding,
yes, thank you, too for exhaling,
and I understand
feel the connection
life energy, breath, and love
from the night
the soft wooden bench
my beloved tree

 Angles on a Bright Day


spring, and the earth
aches for children
camellias already droop, brown
white roses blow open

freshly turned soil
an open wound
soft, wet air
dim with morning
overcast, wan

warmer, longer days
ground littered
with cigarette butts, trash

stained by fracking, radium leaks
Mother Earth raw, bleeding

 Broken Windows


most were not actually sordid
merely pared down, temporary resting spots
some edgy, perhaps unsafe
some simply sad—or I was sad

crashing on a dorm hallway couch after It’s a Beautiful Day
women’s restroom floor in that Kentucky park
our mobile fundraising team side-by-side in sleeping bags
the front seat of the van
on the floor in a sleeping bag in hundreds of Motel 6s

sleeping draped over pushed-together chairs
in Mom’s granny-house’s kitchen
she slept in that narrow cot on the screened-in porch
Dad alone in the bedroom, his tiny TV
nervously at my brother’s friend’s

on the floor of my apartment in Culver City
as the Rodney King riots raged
sleeping fully dressed, supplies in a backpack
ready to evacuate if necessary

after six decades, I now sleep on a day bed
in a dusty, humble flat
jumbled with my writing, books, music
sleeping spaces over the years crowd my memory
nights pile upon nights, melt into a river
loneliness, companionship, fear, relief

all pale in the light of
touching you, lying cocooned in warmth
talking through the night
cheap hotel’s heater too loud, sheets rough
ill considered, perhaps hopeless
my heart a lotus, opening in your love’s sweet water



ninety degrees at 11 am
fragrance of rich grasses
seeds toasting
ants mass and work in sidewalk cracks
feed on spills by the park
grass grows long stemmed
to red-brown seed tops
that bend and wave in the breeze

could I gather them, crush to make flour?
entirely ignorant, my romantic
fancies imagine living on the land
watching the birds for guidance
on which berries are safe to eat
maybe trapping a bird for meat
could I bear killing it?

deciding I could not,
child of grocery-packaged meat,
I walk the Earth depending on others
for food, for the work that pays me
beneath the sun kissed grasses
as Sol’s warmth melts my back
knotted from online work

am I just a visitor on this Earth,
a superficial inhabitant
ignorant of how to feed and house myself
dependent on others to shelter and heal me
even for basic survival at root chakra level
out of touch with Earth
ignorant, untrained
my feet in tight city shoes
my days spent indoors, away from the Sun


Today’s LittleNip:


—Ann Wehrman

after the storms
strong breeze
air like purest water
from holy spring
tastes like clean, new hope

what is hope?
battered, oppressed,
we still ask through tears

holy morning’s
pure majesty
life still exists
earth, wet in my hands
raw material for change
rebuild our hearts
the city, the world


—Medusa, with thanks to Ann Wehrman for her fine poetry on this what-used-to-be Memorial Day, and to Katy Brown for her fine photos!

When Pigs Fly
—Photo by Katy Brown
Celebrate poetry! (And hope for rebuilding…)

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.