Thursday, March 08, 2018

Snow Angels

February-March, Between Storms
—Poems and Photos by Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA


Familiar road, dusted white at the edges.
The higher I drove, boulders crusted, icing’d,
and then the drifts. At the turnout, no tracks.
Silence pillowed in snow.

My dog danced leaps-and-pirouettes
with her new partner, Snow.
Where was the trailhead? lost in white.
Every boulder looked alike.

Crisp air tingled soundless with invisible
bells. My dog set off sniffing for snow-
buried spoor; then flipped on her back,
flying. Snow angels! 

 March 3 Forecast


Fireweed in the meadow where we walked
last winter, scanning char for signs of life here.
We listen, and we scan the sky.
A hawk circles. Here’s hoof print of a deer.

This pine-oak forest we thought was lost,
last winter. Our dogs range out ahead
through woods that burned the year before.
Just char. Now fireweed pushes through the dead

where we marked our path among skeletons
with flagging tape as pink as fireweed—
the same bright hopeful hue that’s bursting
over meadow. Such promise in winged seed.

 March 3 Morning


In first light, colorless
as if morning forgets its palette,

how light embraces grass to make green,
and sky to make blue;

and red, which has a lesser claim
on our land, disappeared completely.

Shall the day be monochrome?
Imagine white like wild-

plum blossoms on the ground
the taste of every color.

 Late February Oaks


Blackberry, bunchgrass, oak and thistle—
I’m finding my way to the unknown.
There’s an unseen bird’s warning whistle

through city outskirts all overgrown
along the undeveloped fringes.
I’m finding my way to the unknown

past flip-flops, tarps and rusty hinges;
beyond where homeless set up their camps
along the undeveloped fringes.

Beyond the muck and the trampled damps,
beyond vinyl fencing—post and rail;
beyond where homeless set up their camps

I’ve seen a hawk like an unfurled sail,
great wings bearing some urgent news
beyond vinyl fencing. Post and rail,

where’s a way out? Here’s for me to choose
blackberry, bunchgrass, oak and thistle;
great wings bearing some urgent news,
and an unseen bird’s warning whistle.

 Molten Golden Hardened


Brother and sister stand staring up, way up.
They’re dwarves to the rock twice as tall as they
are. Quartz pocked and polished as if it rode
great waters down geologic ages. It reminds
the girl of Granny’s butterscotch stirred in a pot,
she’d like to lick it with her fingers till they’re
clean. It would break her teeth. Her brother
knows it’s a giant golden treasure rock
from a pirate’s hoard kept in a dungeon
for a thousand years. It shines a path through
the dark of rocks. The boulder doesn’t care. 

 Fungus Done


Do you remember the incense of cedar
and how the pines formed a cathedral arch—
a trick of perspective, how they seemed to lean
toward one another as their crowns pointed
to heaven. And the medieval raven black
against storm, as wind sang a shatter-glass
soprano. And the deep-high of cranes passing
over, intermittent through cloud. You in your
washed-out Henley tunic bringing wood
for fire—hard work’s available bright flame.
You don’t remember the cranes or Henley,
or any color of those years? How could you
forget? or do you only remember by
your own images, from your perspective?

 Mystery Blue

Today’s LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham

The shot should be artless enough—
sun shining through a leafless oak.
I clicked my iPad off-the-cuff—
the shot should be artless enough:
still-life, light/dark, black on buff.
What blue ghost spooked my lens? a joke?
The shot
should be artless enough,
sun shining through a leafless oak….


A big thank-you to Taylor Graham today for poems and pix about being up here in the foothills and beyond, along with her usual effortless handling of forms and "A Touch of Color" from our recent Seed of the Week. 

Tonight at Luna’s Cafe, Sac. Poetry Center President Bob Stanley will be featured, in addition to open mic, 8pm. 1414 16th St., Sacramento. Host: Geoffrey Neill. Free, but please partake of Art Luna’s fine food and libations!



 —Anonymous Photo
Celebrate poetry!

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