Monday, May 08, 2017

Fragile Blessings

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch, CA

An argument of flowers
—Robert Lee Haycock

Out back
The apple, the lilac and the red bud
are engaged in a heated debate
about St. Joseph and the Golden Legend.
The geraniums just roll their red eyes.
Out front
The rose, the lavender, and the sweet pea
ornery after months of dark wet dreams
are getting up the neighbors’ noses.
The dandelions can’t help but giggle.



—Robert Lee Haycock

I can only hear the edges of your words,
The frenzy of the moth at the lamp.
Do you understand?

 —Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

My oubliette
—Robert Lee Haycock
Fences mended I
Painted the sky blue
All in a day


—Robert Lee Haycock

Light’s diaphony
Conjures a dead afternoon
You were almost there

  —Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Robert Lee Haycock
There was no excuse
Just a ghost inside his hand
Who had known his name

—Photo by Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA 

—Taylor Graham

What a wind this morning! a wind
of years ago, telling tales of what was once
a town, with homes, families, graveyard.
The wind has stirred a lone
bay horse in pasture, as people pass along
the old eroding road.
A horse-drawn wagon on wooden wheels
creaks by without a nicker.
The lone bay horse trots to his fence
but vision fades over an old bridge spanning
the creek from beyond its memory,
and a gnarled old living ghost of willow
that knew the tribes here
as the wind was blowing and it all
passed by.

 Traces 2
—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham

Wildwood—gnawed by winter storms, a dirt
track running through fields of lush spring
grasses, rip-gut brome, thistle bound by twining
vetch, so recently-tender sprouting plant-life
now a green explosion out of control—someone
mowed the shoulder exposing wet soil, a small
bog weeping on the side of the road.
A week later, someone cordoned off the spot
with yellow caution tape. Who knows
what springs underground? sinkhole
or bottomless cavern, crumbling foundation
we build on, or just a gush of living water.

—Photo by Taylor Graham 

—Taylor Graham

Where are the birds? you ask.
Such a quiet’s on the field, as if to try

our patience, our belief in birds.

But inside this box, look! a neat
grass nest topped with finest dog-hair,

and deep in the cup, five titmouse babies.

And here, in a box hung from the oak
six tiny nuthatches, fast asleep, bellies full;

yellow bills making a six-point star.

This morning’s fragile blessing,
nestling birds.

 Traces 3
—Photo by Taylor Graham

                painting of the Sierra Nevada
—Taylor Graham

Do I know this place? Morning leaks
through misty blinds of sky. The same
mountains I’ve hiked, but as if dreaming

in and out of cloud charged with water
and light so I don’t know if the glowing
comes from snow on peak or quiet lake,

iridescence trapped in ancient rock-fold
upheaval—transparent, reflective, crystal.
Living streams drained from canyons.

Even the deer are bronze statues.
Landscape of romantic luminescence.
I’m lost. As if earth and weather

were a single element of sky rock,
over- and under-world transposing yet
imprisoned by his brush to prevent

erosion. No hint of ions in the air,
no siphon-wind nor dark twist of cloud
toward thunder, no storm flower. 

 Traces 4
—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham

Duet of sunrise and wind through spring
grasses. Sky’s streaked bloody over the eastern
hill, whose owner keeps tight fences,
creosoted corner-posts and stockwire stretched
just so, allowing no passengers of the night.
Here, across the border, red-sky morning
fades without a fire-storm. An hour of weed-
eating ahead; and then I’ll walk our tattered
field where yesterday I saw one
butterfly in its assumption-gown flitting
over the brittling seed-heads.

 Outside the Garden
—Photo by Taylor Graham

Today’s LittleLick:

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

It weighs about as much
As a newborn baby
A lot fuzzier, maybe

Climbs up on your chest
To reach the best place
To lick your face

There is no snooze button
So on and on it goes
Touching nose to nose

Totally your equal
Not a bit judgmental
Pure love, elemental


Many thanks to Robert Lee Haycock, Taylor Graham and Caschwa (Carl Schwartz) for today’s poems and pix!

My apologies to Sac. Poetry Center if I’ve failed to pick up on their reading tonight—if they’re having one, that is. No posting on their calendar, and no email alerts. They do have a posting for the Second Saturday Art Reception this coming Saturday.

Also happening this week is the Poetry Off-the-Shelves read-around in Placerville at the El Dorado County Library, 345 Fair Lane, 5-7pm. And Thursday is, of course, Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe in Sacramento, 8pm. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about these and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


 Celebrate poetry!

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