Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Paradigms for Paradigms

—Photo by Carol Louise Moon, Placerville, CA

—Carol Louise Moon

Where could I wander?
Stopsigns made of redwood.

Where are pine tree leaves?
Pine trees don’t have rounded leaves.
Leaves are not the issue here.

Do you wander, yet
you do not know the pine trees?

Stopsigns endear you,
knowing this does not help much.
Then I realize—
I wander because of you.

The image of tree
wandering through a desert.
Poet runs after,
but never catches tree,
imagines trees uprooting.

The mind meanders
and, like a meander, flows.
A turn of phrase, a
tanka “turn” at twenty-four,
then seven more syllables.

      Write me a poem
      about your writing career—
      write by the numbers.

Tree Roots
—Photo by Carol Louise Moon

—Carol Louise Moon

What goes up and down?
Today I’ll ride two horses.

Ride a... rocking horse?
No, I said ride a dapple
grey Tennessee... Walking Horse.

Here is a puzzle.
Want to see a miracle?
Trees turn to horses.
Philippine Mahogany
wood-worked and painted
now fly around—no pasture.

Friedrich Heyn horses,
carousel, painted anew;
White dappled with grey?
A restoration process—
Flying Horses fly again!

Children love riding
horses, it is fair to say—
unless they fear them.
An apple a day keeps the
veterinarian away.

      Nineteen hundreds saw
      wooden horses circle ‘round—
      children saw them fly.

—Photo by Carol Louise Moon

—Carol Louise Moon

Fire rains from above?
Fiery-pink fish run upstream.

Turquoise flows below?
We speak in mists of feathers
like birds clustered high in nests.

Wet boulders dare us
to tiptoe among the moss-
laden steep as two
kingfishers plunge into a
turquoise pool below.
Our day is dangerously dark.

Coal-gray clouds hang low.
Thunder claps her many peals.
Fawn races through the brush—
he, our guide on paths of fear.
Again, thunder claps resound.

A shower of stars?
Dry forest is ablaze now.
We wander blinded.
White embers rain on our path
blocking hope to find our way.

      A day without mist
      is more than one can endure.
      Our souls are thirsty.

 Lake End
—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham

What hidden traces?
Breath becomes the westerly.
Why is grass golden?   
Gold-fever sucked the springs dry
making dust of the pond’s blue.

Summer drains the clouds,
distance veiled with ghosts of rain.
When will barn owl mark
the dim with lengthening night?
Pellets on dirt floor—
tiny bones measure hunger.
A Wakamatsu
walk inspires a new waka:
ridgetop facing home,
the garden’s keyaki tree.
She sleeps under oaks.           

Have you heard them call?
the egret, the coyote,
and the silken worm.

Now learn to spin their voices
into a language of fall.
      And still the creeks flow
      following our sunset west
      toward the sea, away.    

 Winter Woods
—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham

What birdsong at dawn?
Wild-plum sweetens in half-light.

What do the rocks know?
A glimpse of fox where shadows
follow breezes up the swale.

If you step softly
you might see the fork-horn buck
leaving no hoofprint.
Shall I keep three owl feathers,
three shafts of flicker?

The song of uncounted birds.

An old cabin breathes
absence through its creaking door.
What spirit is left
when the people move away?

Hawk nests in the highest oak.

Remember spring storms,
waters churning, rock-carving
down the lichened steps.
A patient old willow waits
to wade in the first fall rain.

      Now before moon-rise
      Big Dipper pours its star-tales
      into cricket night.

 Fairy Lanterns
—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham

            for Wendy

Where does a road end?
Green hides in driest places.

What does Vulture know?
You sit motionless
among ghost pine most alive.

If you see horses
by moonlight topping a hill,
calling softly—in
what language?
You remember
from always-never:
invitation to their dance.

Barn Owl regards you
as wonder watching wonder.
Above and around,
everything goes silent, dark—
your four eyes locked together.

What secrets concealed
in thorny spike and thistle,
in the poorest soil?

The fairy lanterns are lit,
wrapping your verses in grace.

      On brink of winter,
      wild grape transfigures the trees
      in translucent gold.


Today’s LittleNip:

Petal by petal
yellow mountain roses fall—
sound of rapids



Many thanks for this “joint” post today: Carol Louise Moon and Taylor Graham, both from Placerville, have sent us poems today in the form of the paradigm, with photos to go along with them. For more about the paradigm poetry form, see

Sacramento Poet Brad Buchanan will be reading at the Cal. State University, Sacramento Library this afternoon at 3pm. Then tonight, MarieWriters Generative Writing Workshop will meet at Sac. Poetry Center, 6pm, facilitated this week by Laura Rosenthal. 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.

—Medusa (Celebrate Poetry!)

 A wee (malachite) kingfisher friend
—Anonymous Photo

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.