LIGHT OF GOLD
at the old Stamp Mill
The sound of the stamp mill was alarming
back in the day, the docent in Black Bart guise
the stamps pulverizing ore to tiny glinty
stars in slurry. Mercury and gold-flake come
together—a hell-broth, I guess, mercury being
But mercury vaporized away,
only gold was left. Melted, molded to ingots—
Imagine its lantern shining in enormous
darkness, caverns of desire tempting people
to do almost anything to get it.
Black Bart—our impersonator docent—
assures us he was always a gentleman
bandit, clean of speech, carrying a shotgun
with no bullets; handing back
a purse to the lady who dropped it for sheer
He only stole from Wells Fargo
for revenge, which might be its own dark light.
Who knows what passes,
Leaves in autumn plumage,
birds that fly.
Morning in kaleidoscope’s
Is it a horse’s lot to
So solid on his hooves—do
See how they’re dancing
in his eye.
leaves turning red on
the vine and, overlooked, these
dust-purple grapes, sweet!
slanting sun back-lights
morning glories on the fence—
pure blue translucence
STILL LIFE WITH QUESTION
After Ekphrastic Seed of the Week, Medusa’s Kitchen,
White porcelain saucer thin as ice set on the table
between them like a question.
Beneath the surface? Monster of deep silence,
a napkin let slip; tiny silver pitchfork
for spearing olives, scissors to snip the fated line.
Afraid? the heart pulsing on a platter
like sturdy black high-heel shoes percussing
a flamenco beat. A trick question.
EARLY THURSDAY MORNING
Of two deer inside our fence,
one doe made short work of leaping out—
over stockwire onto one-lane dirt
and out of sight. The younger doe, of
less acquaintance with man’s things—
earth the solid truth of her body,
and blood like spirit unfenceable as water—
bonded my eye to her own so briefly,
her thoughts to my surprise. I,
dumbstruck to own so brief
an attachment. Man’s fingerprints
get all over everything.
In an instant, that young doe
glorious in her leap
from temporary involvement
with human stuff.
PRIZE OR BLESSING?
How many points for
this buck in falling season?
He blends so well with
native buckeye winter-brown
and gone so quick my lens blinks.
AT FORK LIFT
A dark hour when
someone spilled a bag of dog
food on parking lot—
bonanza for Brewer’s black-
birds and unnamed inland gulls.
Many thanks to Taylor Graham for today’s fine poems and photos, including her response to last week’s ekphrastic Seed of the Week!
Sacramento Poet Brad Buchanan has a book of poetry coming out from Finishing Line Press: The Scars, Aligned: A Cancer Narrative. Info: www.facebook.com/thescarsaligned/?modal=admin_todo_tour¬if_id=1541554760133467¬if_t=page_invite/.
Wellspring Women Writers Poetry & Prose Prompts writing workshop takes place today from 11:30-1:30pm at Wellspring Women’s Center in Sacramento. Then tonight, Winters Out Loud open mic meets at Berryessa Gap Wine Tasting Room in Winters at 15 Main St., hosted by Deborah Shaw Hickerson, 7pm; and Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe in Sacramento presents featured readers and open mic, 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.
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