Thursday, January 03, 2019

New Days

—Poems and Photos by Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA


Sleeping dog and cat
on our bed early rising
in a full moon mist—
from dreaming of owl and dove
I’m slow to turn on the lights.


This pared-down time of year—
early afternoon but the sun’s aslant,
trees almost leafless,
new grass barely boot-tread high.
A chance for starting fresh.
We see things we never noticed.
Maybe they weren’t there, by autumn
light or late last summer.
Things that make us wonder:
a stretch of two-strand wire
fence across a swale that isn’t
pasture. Who put that up? why?
A puzzle for the new year.
So many stories only partly told
by January slant of cold light.
And here, prints impressed in mud—
bigfoot? bear? human?—
off-road tire tracks breaking
soil where driving’s not allowed.
So much can happen
when we’re not around.


Now is the winter of our lessened days
made easy by the paving of our road—
our neighborhood rutted, eroded way
from county two-lane up to hilltop home.
I liked it like that, bucking the breakers,
the bedrock risers and iceberg boulders.
It kept out strangers and salesmen. It kept
us to ourselves and our land. Now it’s paved,
life will be easier though every chore
grows heavier with passing years. We should
be glad, our road graded, spread, rolled flat
as anywhere else in the paved gray world.

for the Rev. Charles Caleb Peirce

He was born on a pathway and so he lives
with what possessions the fire spares.
Light of the Lord is a cleansing flame—
oh, a Gold Rush town is flammable!

With what possessions the fire spares
he follows his Master and he travels light.
Oh, a Gold Rush town is flammable,
the stuff of parable, of instruction.

He follows his Master and he travels light
about the countryside, God’s land
the stuff of parable, of instruction
on river and ridge, the joy of His earth.

About the countryside—God’s land—
light of the Lord is a cleansing flame
on river and ridge. The joy of His earth!
Born on a pathway, this is how he lives.


When the wolf’s at the door,
do you close it? But it’s already shut

behind her. Out on the street,
long skirt black against snow, last

night’s fall already trampled
by the day’s traffic, dirty soles.

Bare hands, she holds some-
thing close. End of an old familiar

year, its known intersections, street
numbers. Vestibule of what’s to come.

Too cold to just stand there
for the lens. Time to start walking,

pad softly, wolf-dog at her flank.


Who was that girl wending among shoppers
on Main Street at the side of my Prince,
my dog long gone? His image

glanced my way, curious but aloof.
What pedigree—a line we lost long ago?
Golden grace loved beyond reason.

My living dog is silver-sable
electric, wild energy barely contained.

I almost followed the image
burnished gold fading across Main Street.
A lost thing

should lie down quiet on command.
My silver-sable dog waits to be
unleashed, to show me a living world entire.

Today’s LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham

Here we find wild scat
full of berries and grape skins;
a little farther,
wild scat full of fur and bones—
leftover mysteries of night.


—Medusa, with thanks to Taylor Graham for her fine poems today, as she reflects on the new year and Starting Fresh!

 Girl With Wolf
—Anonymous Photo Courtesy of Taylor Graham
Celebrate the poetry of the past, present and future!

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