Friday, September 30, 2011

Autumn's a Laboring Time

—Photo by Cynthia Linville, Sacramento
(For more of Cynthia's photos of Joshua Tree, 
go to Medusa's Facebook page for our latest album.)

for John Harris (1820-1824), Cornish hard-rock miner
who gave it up to become a scripture reader
—Taylor Graham, Placerville

If poetry's a bruise, he worked on these:
some bits of rock inscribed with words; and stone
engraved with images; a buried breeze
that teases giants' knuckles—granite-bone—
to tell their legends out of earth and seas.
He made these stories all his own,
then climbed back up to daylight, brightened words
with sky's blue-purple and the songs of birds.


—Taylor Graham

Firelight shadows, waves on shingle
in the dark. High tide, river coming down.
Flames consume a driftwood fire.

Where has all this water come from?
Has it lapped the shores
of Carthage, Havana, Crystal Basin

by cycles of sky, land, sea—
tumbling down Mokelumne rapids,
sailing the trade winds, rain

on scree, flowing the Deshka
like memory of salmon finding home;
or chuting through the small streams

of my hand—look, in my palm,
a fragment of jade glass you discovered
at high-water. Smooth and beveled,

where did it come from? Did I
hold it, a stemmed bowl, in a distant
century or place? Time like water

separates and binds us across
such distances. Transparent blue-green
heart pulsing our life-blood.


—Taylor Graham

Midnight. Chitter-grumble
scream—a cry like coughing up feathers,
like running a kris over spine.

My dog took off barking
down the hill. The cat rose hissing
against my hand. Silence.

Dog slunk back, lay down
muzzle-on-paws on his cedar-bed.
Dogs can go back to sleep.

Nothing outside but dark.
No neon eyes. I imagine claw or talon.
That cry—all but the blood.

In sleep my dog
pulls his long breath
out of the dark of dreams.


—Tom Goff, Carmichael

Mornings a fraction colder,
car tires a tad flatter,
last chance for the “green fuse”
igniting ripe pumpkin matter.

Dawn’s a shade grayer, later;
our comforter-curled dogs much
sleepier, tails tucked in,
miles farther adrift from touch.

Sleep in, my Billy, my Skaidra:
the fullness of autumn teems.
You mutter your dog sleep-language,
scent, swiftness, mouth-feel the themes.

Play to us is for spring or for summer.
Our autumn’s a laboring time.
Your dreams even savor of bacon;
your dog den, our Eden: sheer prime.


—n.ciano, Davis

I woke up to inches
one inch from the wall
two inches from my pillow
three inches from my dog
four inches from the drool spot
five inches from my sock,
only to find the other sock
was still on my foot,
where I had last left it.
Damn I had missed the bus again.


—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

The moonlight on the street.
It is always more than enough
Except for your lips which are
Never enough and the dawn which
Is always too much and then becomes

So much more, a sad earth,
A place where we might fall
Asleep and miss the tigers
Walking slowly past us as the night
Remainders us on its shore, waiting
For another night to pass, another
Dawn, another pair of lips, then more moonlight.

Even if we never see these tigers
Except in dreams
Dime acaso no baston?*

(*"Tell me, are they not enough?")


Today's LittleNip: 

—Patricia A. Pashby, Sacramento

for him
Labor Day means
shorter days, longer nights,
football, basketball, World Series . . .
good life.

for her
Labor Day means
store beach gear, do windows,
homework and holiday gift lists . . .



Dreaming Tigers
—Photo by Sam the Snake Man

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Patzee's Bed Poems

Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

all summer day at Pobyty
we rode up the mountain
greened and steep
and walked down…all day
feverish with the day
sunlight parched me

now night
now midnight
the moon wakes me
I see a shape
now come to me
I see you lurking on the balcony
Count Dracula at my open door
hot from vampire battle
gather me in your cape

my room in the Pobyty mountains
at a balcony
the open door invites you
a sheet of moonlight covers me
you are waiting
your hands revive my fever
it doesn’t have to be logical
or nice

your naked war-torn eyes


—Patricia Hickerson

August heat no breath of air
the bed by the window
to gasp the passing breeze
cool for s second on the forehead—
her heart wrapped in a sheet of pain
for the sailor who went to war
that very day
left her with a kiss and a hug so tight
it could break a rib


—Patricia Hickerson

this is where Mother spends the winter
in bed
broad bed between the windows
her bed
upstairs in the big bedroom
the mahogany four poster

Mother is not well
what is wrong, I’m not sure
just that she has to go to bed
when it’s winter and it’s cold

the sheets are as white as Mother’s face
she’s bundled under them long and lean
her fingers grasp the covers thin and pale
hands pale as ghost hands
Mother, be up and strong and out of bed

I come in from school
she calls to me in her sick voice
she wants me to come upstairs to see her
her voice floats down
yet holds me in a vise
I’m angry
I run through the house to the garage
stand in the cold
anywhere to be far, far away
from Mother in bed
I pretend to cry
when Grandma comes to find me
“Mother is upset that you didn’t go up to see her”
I pretend to cry; not real tears
I’m angry
Grandma tries to comfort me
she doesn’t know I’m in a rage:
Mother’s in bed again

one more winter of Mother in bed
with whatever is wrong with her
I pretend to cry


—Patricia Hickerson

a bed by the wall
for the guest
next to the wall
the house next door
next to the wall
the other house
their bedroom
children going to bed
their voices next to the wall
where the guest sleeps
in a bed by the wall

in the Bronx
a guest in a bed by the wall
hearing children’s voices
as they are put to bed
children being put to bed
a glass of milk
a story about puppies

the guest in the bed
the bed by the wall
next to
next to another house
in the Bronx
separated by a wall
where children go to bed
their voices…in the Bronx


—Patricia Hickerson

where Bob sleeps
the daybed
covered with a golden spread
fine-ribbed cloth
night after night he sleeps here
Bob falls into bed and sleeps

from house to house
street to street
river to river
town to town
city to city
state to state
wherever …
wherever the bed is placed
living room
dining room
sun room
Bob falls into his daybed
Bob sleeps


It's a furniture kind of day: Thanks to Michelle Kunert for her photos of these interesting chairs, and to Pat Hickerson for her "bed" poems, including some pre-Halloweeny images. I like that bed idea so well that we're going to make it a bonus Seed of the Week: Bed Poems. So now you have two SOWs to choose from: Autumn or Bed Poems. Plenty of inspiration, I hope!~~~Not to mention the ottava rima~~~(People use those curly things for dashes, so I thought I'd try it, too.) But there are no deadlines on SOWs, so have your way with any of those listed in Calliope's Closet (under Snake on a Rod on the green board). Send those—or poems or photos or art on any other subject—to or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726.  And thanks to Janet Pantoja for today's LittleNip~~~a Pleiades, as you can see.

The Sacramento Poetry Center is proud to announce the winner of the 2011 SPC Book Contest: Michelle Bitting from Palisades Park, CA, for her manuscript, Notes to the Beloved (formerly The Desirous Act of Looking). Go to or for a preview of her work.

Today's LittleNip: 

—Janet Pantoja, Woodinville, WA

Occupied: computer games
Obsess young people today.
Our grandchildren spend hours
On these electronic games—
Outside play, creative fun
Obscured, interaction with
Others nearly discarded.



Photo by Michelle Kunert

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Old Friends Reunited

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis


passes light
through stone,
thinner than the apex
of a curling wave:

a bowl of polished aqua
rimmed with silver
on a silver stem,
fragile as moonlight.

Dust has forgotten
the emperor
who commissioned
the anonymous artist.

Art has forgotten
how to select the rock,
how to curve the jade
into a lens of stone

clear enough
to read poems through.

—Katy Brown, Davis


—Katy Brown

A new dinosaur clawed its way
through ancient Utah sandstone
into the dragonfly-blue sky—

imagine a retriever-sized hunter,
born to track, driven to kill—
armed with kriss-sharp claws,

hatched with the drive
of a serial killer turned lose
in a land of grass-eaters.

They found its skeleton
in layers of stone with
bits of feather sealed in amber.

Broken talons uplifted
for hunting? for battle?
A mystery frozen in time—

small killer, broken and preserved
in barren Utah sandstone
—all but the blood.


—Taylor Graham

In the grocery parking lot, a small dun mare
waits under saddle, reins looped to light-
stanchion—sundial on asphalt as shoppers
come and go. She flicks an ear, shifts weight
from one hind leg to the other, waiting.
The man who rides her is buying some small
item. He'll stow it in the saddlebag,
untie the reins, mount with a hitch. He's
no longer young. Jacketed against weather.
I've seen them on the highway shoulder,
slowing rush hour traffic as if they had no
deadline. But autumn's here and winter's
coming; the bit of scrubby oak woods
where the homeless once kept their camp
is iron-barred shut. I'd walk the trails,
nodding at folks who used to have jobs,
doctor appointments, soccer games. What
fields does a homeless horse graze? The mare
stands speechless as a history of horses.


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

These September nights
between swelter and chill, my dreams
hybridize: an ark full of spoiling melons,
tomatoes too ripe to touch;
blue porcelain teapot to steep a winter's
stars; one heraldic griffin (extinct)
and two donkeys, token of survival
no matter what.
An aunt dead for decades adds
a crocheted coverlet to hoist
for smoother sailing. But I toss off
bedding in my sleep and wake up
grateful for daylight of any season.


—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

When left to find my own device
I seek that place behind my eyes
Where I can hear the distant cries
Of seasons changing. Each one unties

Its packages and spreads its wares
Upon the earth until it bears
That swift resemblance named by time, flares
Of memory, paths of vision, tears

Across the fabric of what we call years.
The white of Winter, green of Spring tears,
The hot, sweet breath of Summer. Autumn clears

The perfect path with red, ochres and browns,
As if the world were flame and we were clowns
Called to play upon its lurid stage, bound
By its sudden brightness built of color, light and sound.

Let us watch the Fall unfold,
Unwind around us and explode
Into the pocket time assigns our sweet brief gold,
Before the year begins to bend,
To flicker, to grow old.


—D.R. Wagner

How quickly we forget the river,
Its shining arc and weave across
The land, tumbling, so disturbed,
Through the rapids, cutting its sharp
Angle, turning nearly ninety degrees
And hurrying toward the lake, wearing
The sun as if it invented light.

We see it again in dream,
Contained in floating, transparent
Balls that could be memory, or could
Be the signals our own breathing
Gives the autumn.

We find our way over the gorge edge,
Descending through mixed hardwoods and scrub,
Lockport dolomite, scree, to a brief horizontal
Shelf and then the quick water seven feet
Below rushing by so fast it is all breath can do
To keep up with its insistence.

We find the rhythm only for a moment,
Become transparent and hover
In the bright Autumn light, suddenly a window,
A perfect open corridor that leads
Straight to the heart.


Today's LittleNip: 

Knowing is not enough; we must act. Willing is not enough; we must do.




Spider Web
—Photo by D.R. Wagner

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We Believe What We Believe

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

English Tile Collection: A study of Cornflowers and ears
of wheat in translucent glazes of ochre, blue and green.
—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

A glossy background of flat green, ruffled
blue cornflowers and golden ears of wheat,
a red-haired lady in a blue gown struggling
through them—as though lost—or wanting

to explore deeper this maze of color. She seems
stricken with indecision, at odds with size and
contrast—especially the boundaries that seem
to tighten at every tug against the entanglements.

She is the foreign element here, about to be
enveloped and absorbed by the lushness—
a centerpiece—her face disappearing
as she holds back one flower after another,

trying to get through them. This is a garden
abandoned to the charm of some forgotten
history—noticed now by someone idly
fingering the pattern—guessing the story.


—Joyce Odam

Stepping out of himself, he hears the old music and
remembers the early rage and resumes the dancing
along the line of shadows that wait for his touch,
how they move into the range of his passion.
He remembers them as love—though love
has never forgiven him his leaving.
So many, he sighs, and
opens up his arms.


—Joyce Odam

She wipes and cleans,
makes her world neat,
can’t stand anything dirty.

She has such scrubbed
and shining hands; water
is handy, and white rags.

Everything she touches
sings with a
sleek and shining sound.


—Joyce Odam

you own
all the tears

blue things
running down the

your years

how long has
sadness owned you

do you love
your sadness

weep        weep
you own all the


—Joyce Odam

This is the mirror my husband shot
when he was careless, or angry, or thought
perhaps I had betrayed him and caught
my image in his sights and wrought
symbolic vengeance there. I don’t know what
to say of it—why we keep it—surely not
my obsession with this torn glass. It’s got
so I love to look in it; I ought
to pull my face away. We never fought
after that—just bore the silent, hot
look of his stare and my stare back. An old plot.
What he delivered. What I never bought.
He likes to stand behind me. There’s a lot
more to this than this small, round dot
in the center of this mirror that my husband shot.


—Joyce Odam

The young man from River City
arrives with his pencil
full of signatures
to the desk
to receive his shipment:
bones of love
sent broken to his arms.

They, too, are useless.
He will lay them
on a water bed and watch them
gleam beneath his distant looking.
On the walls are others.
It took years.
All over his life he found them,
first as habit        then obsession.

(first pub. in Vignettes, Mini-Chap, 2002)


—Joyce Odam

And the heart beats with longing, even as
the blood flows. What does love know
of this—or hate—or any passion?

It is all slow completion, even as it begins.
Take fear, which is delicious—
surface and depth—like a terrible wish.

Is it death we know—
cat and toy—
the prize on the end of a question?

And the blood goes round and round
the body’s universe,
bearing the life along like a tireless swimmer.


Today's LittleNip: 

—Joyce Odam

Let things become as they will be.
Fact then assumes fiction.
Dry facts. Exotic fiction.

Rituals need substance.
Holy and unholy. Iconic knowledge.
Let us bless. Let us pray.

The answers come as mystery.
Mystery assumes its own necessity.
Thus do we believe what we believe.


Thanks to Joyce, Katy, and Michelle for today's offerings, and a reminder to check Medusa's Facebook page for our two most recent photo albums.

Other things to check out: The latest issue of Ekphrasis is out, edited by Carol and Laverne Frith. Go to to order one. And I notice Mary Oliver will be reading in Santa Rosa on October 14; go to to order tickets.


Antique school bus
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

Our Seed of the Week is Autumn: back to school,
apples and pumpkins, shorter days—
send your autumnal musings to or 
P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726.
And check Calliope's Closet under the
Snake on a Rod on the green board for
SOWs of the past: no deadline on our 
poetry seeds, autumnal or otherwise...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ready For Change?

Picture-poem by n.ciano, Davis


focus on a point—imagine
a bowl of glass hovering midair,
holding moonlight. Become
up-gazer: in the bowl, the tail
of a comet.
Lift your arms—look,
they're covered in feathers.
Wings. The bowl fills
with sun, floating.
Staccato of plucked
strings. Let your feet pick
up the rhythm.
Just out of reach, the bowl
holds a transparent
heart, it runs clear with life-
blood. Be window,
inside/outside your body, kin
to dawn and twilight—
any kind of light. Breathe.
Keep moving.

—Taylor Graham, Placerville


—Taylor Graham

They walk single-file as if in sequence
up the dark corridor. The first with her moon
in a casket, an unlit lantern lacking oil.
The next, with a knife to punctuate
the darkness, but held tenderly as a small
bird, her voice pale. The third
with arms outstretched bearing a chalice
fashioned from a sieve. They whisper
as they move. They might be nuns or seers,
chiaroscuro lovers, or keepers of a music
whose meaning is in spite of the words.
How life shoots swift through all
the lightened limbs out of dark and
distance. The divinity of where it goes.
How their hands only seem


—Taylor Graham

What obscure dialect kept repeating
in your dream? A syntax cut off
from its neighbors; born of mountains,
the long ages of stone. A tongue
gagged by guardians
who wouldn't understand it.
In your dream they tried to keep
the heart-syllables
from crossing a child's lips at play.
What is language but a soul?



Looking into the mirror
I saw a reflection—
it was me
but I wasn’t myself
I was plagued with some horrible disease
I closed my eyes hoping I’d awaken
or be able to see
but when I opened them
I was coming out of myself
right out of my mouth
and I put my hands to my throat
and when I fell to the ground
I rose from my body
separated by mind
and as my chest rose with a final breath,
I felt relief.
But it was not over
for my rebirth was about to begin.
Watching from above
I re-entered my limp frame
and stood up and looked back in the mirror
I didn’t look the same—
I was beautiful.


—Caschwa, Sacramento

Sexual overtures by a
Disheveled and quite possibly
Mentally unstable person
From a lower station

Petition solicitations
Right outside the supermarket
Requiring split-second decisions
On long-term major issues

Submissions to a publisher
By a previously unpublished author
That don’t match the prevailing
Style, theme, form, or market trends

Any political candidate who
Proposes to raise taxes,
Favor an already favored minority,
Or make heavy use of smear tactics

People who are diagnosed
With terminal illnesses
Who outlive their doctors
By decades.



I sat down to write a lovely poem
About the charming location of
Bouquet Canyon, California

When you read a news item about
Police firing off dozens of rounds
And the suspect still gets away…

Here is where they practice that
Over and over again
And then some more

Filled with the sweltering aroma
Of sizzling cartridges and
spent gunpowder

The sight of a hodgepodge variety
Of major kitchen appliances
Filled with large bullet holes

A bunch of guys all wearing
the same plaid shirt, torn a little,
With that angular posture of cello players

The sounds of firearms firing, while
Their shooters are discharging
Disparaging comments about
Missing the target


From close range.



One leaf descending, soon many more
Parachuting, diving, downhill racing,
Burrowing under to hibernate

While children pretend
They are catching snowflakes,
Fall in the leaves, giggling
And celebrate their safe landings.

*** *** ***

A space heater has a short cord
So you won’t trip over it
And hurt yourself

But so do bananas.

*** *** ***

It is time to unpack the Winter wardrobe
Sweaters, jackets, hats, gloves, scarves
For some, a pretty sizeable investment

Why not just buy a plane ticket
To where it is warm and sunny?

*** *** ***

Buttons are depressing
Telephones are flipping
Fresh hot coffee
Ready now for sipping.

Your order is soon called
The name is misspelled
Good brew to be savored
A warm cup to be held.


Today's LittleNip: 


Everyday I tell myself,
there is no other option,
you have to love yourself.



Bill Gainer and Bob Stanley at
100 Thousand Poets For Change in
Sacramento on Sat., Sept. 24, 2011
—Photo by Trina Drotar
(For more photos and Bill's comments on the event,
go to Medusa's Facebook page. To read Sunday's
Sacramento Bee article about it, click the link
on Medusa's blue board at the right.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Million Flowers On Fire

Buddha in His Youth
—Painting by Odilon Redon

Mary Oliver

"Make of yourself a light,"
said the Buddha,
before he died.
I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal—a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
even green.
An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.
The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.
No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.
And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire—
clearly I'm not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value.
Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.



Saturday, September 24, 2011

The One Thing Death Does Not Have

—Photo by D.R. Wagner

—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

The living membrane has no
Color in its core. It is transparent.

We imagine the morning dawning
Clear above a high mountain
Lake. We are able to see far
Into the distance, hear the
Long calls of water birds and know
The secrets of the gold in the throat
Of the child exclaiming at the beauty
Of the higher ground, the perfect

I will promise to meet you there,
Where I can see through your skin,
See the transparent heart, the
Transparent blood flowing through
You, a transparent love more
Perfect than any weather still
Containing you, all of you, perfectly.


—D.R. Wagner

For a few moments I was standing
Where the canal met the river.
The water was blue, near black.

This made the light quite yellow,
Laced with the sound of water,
Of ships and the night time talk
Men make when they find themselves
Outside their bodies, watching the freedom
Their souls invent. They believe they
Are thinking...that lighting a cigarette
Is as powerful as writing a book.

No one has done this before.
The memory is so lucid but
It remains perfect and becomes
A story, part of a story.

I turn away or take a cab, perhaps
The turning away is the cab. Once
Again the light is perfect. I write
A book about it. I am on the seaward
Side of a large sand dune. It is no
Longer night. I realize it is quite
Possible this is a dream. I know
This could never be true. I extend
My arm. It is covered in feathers.
I wish to tell you about this. I turn
To do so but you are gone.
“See,” you say, “I have already
Left you here, alone.”


—D.R. Wagner

I don’t see how I could
Ever bring myself to the edge
Of that sea without thinking that
You will never stand here again
With me looking at the little silver
Tongues of the waves as they toss
Clouds of light back and forth
Into the dawn or even the days,
Or the months and years.

I can only see you lying in bed
The blue, white and barely gray
Of the late summer afternoon
Coming through the curtains lifting
A breeze across your sleeping face.

We have been here many time
Before, but now you are old and
Are unable to take even a lazy walk
Along the beach.

I imagine you are a sea gull at the
Edge of the pier. I listen to the
Soft sounds your wings make in taking
Off, your voice trailing off through the heart.


—D.R. Wagner

Everything has the feeling
Of correctness about it.
Fleeing from the ancient and the alien,
Rescued by the comfort
The truth makes in guiding us
Through the labyrinths, the
Glinting of the bride in her sad,
Beautiful time, so perfect,
So vague, so accustomed to being

Watched that these guardians
Will free all memory before her and grant
Death the single thing it does
Not have, time. It offers to trade
It for oblivion at least, for a moment,
A future, an unbelievable spinning
through rich days and nights,
Full of touching and real blood
Without memory, granted to very
Few, a mirror of the dreams of others.

We show up at the last minute
Hoping to stop the whole thing,
Bring something new to the conversation.
The guardians lose substance, become symbols,
The flow of the entire transaction
Interrupted and changed to an obscure
Dialect of Catalan or Basque.


—D.R. Wagner

I am not the first one to see
A lion fall from the moon.
I am sure it happens more
Often than one would suppose.

Tonight the moon looks like the body
Of Christ transubstantiated
In the high broken stillness
That punctuates itself with
Darkness and the sound of automobiles
Trying to sound like the water,
Flowing water, but they do not.

And it is not. It is the moon
Only. The street paved with tongues.
It seemed we are always trying
To escape in whatever way possible.

Great animals spring directly from
The frontal lobes and are left
To chase round and round the park
Like old songs being played on radio
Receivers decades after they have
Been popular. Little churches
Springing up around them the way
Wayside shrines might in the Swiss Alps.

It is a waltz of melancholy and
Thwarted desire manifesting itself
In coded drawings and mythical books,
Science Fiction stories, Horror,
Fantasy and the mysterious, until
One could gather enough knowledge
To turn all those ideas into
Sexual contexts and begin to act
Upon them in new ways that
Had nothing to do with reading or
Literature. Hiding in the dark
Reading theology, trying to find
The top of the heap. Then,
Waking up in the middle of the night
With pajamas sticky from wet dreams
And a rosary clutched in a tight fist.


—D.R. Wagner

Whomever it was kept the moon
In that glass casket for such
A time as he did was finally
Convinced by the sight of the cup
Held by the glittering watchers of Larrin,
To give it up and put it back
To work the tides and pull
The heart strings of so many who
Dwell in the realms near
The Isles of Fog and Challenge.

How was this cup to have
Such power? How was the mere
Sight of its quiet grace to move
Such power to reach inside
And pluck the fair moon
With its light, paler than the voices
Lovers use when they keep the birds
At their whispered secrets calm,
Then release them to the night
To carry ships of dreams into
The lands beyond the woods?

We are akin to twilight
In that beauty is illusive.
We are driftwood from far-
Away islands come here to
Make the stuff of legends,
Fabulous songs anchored
Within us as if we were as
Substantial as temples,
Not mere acquaintances of a laughing
Wind, just ahead of the morning,
Just ahead of lightning.

We are asked to bring such
Things as the Fine Chalice of Larrin
As if it were some kind of song
Remembered by survivors of mythical
Wars or brothers and sisters to those
Who walked out of the dark
Splashing toward the sunrise full
Of their golden mist. We are required
To waken these stories, bringing amazing
Beauty to all. We are required to be
Divine, more mystical than women
Are mystical and offer this deathless
Chalice to those who believe in how
Words themselves can equal the greatest
Secrets without ever guessing their meaning.


—D.R. Wagner

The bright and sparkling throat
I found in early evening, in early Spring
As it opened and released such
Bird song such as angels, dear,
Dear angels are able to do

Has been quickly lost here in the
Earlier evenings of the year when
Leaves begin to look toward the ground
But have not yet turned color
Or abandoned their trees for the
Dark of Winter.

The air was still too warm. Summer
Is still more than a kiss. The
Stillness of the night does not
Encourage change but settles in to
What will be a peace that could
Hold the sounds of these same
Throats close to us an an embrace
Before parting, as the sound rises through
This same air, Spring so far away
As any dream might be.


Today's LittleNip: 

Contradiction: truths from different times joined in one moment of time.

—Stephen Dobyns



Lisa's Cupcakes
—Photo by D.R. Wagner

Friday, September 23, 2011

Our Gorgeous Garden

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco
—Photo by Cynthia Linville

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

Do only the obsessives have such interesting
mind grooves, crystal ruts, like rocks,
just a bit cracked through their feldspar?
Why, when I walk my lissome and lovely beagle,
flag of all bugle colors, can I not stop

wondering if, so gorgeously swathed,
she counts as naked, because clothingless?
or owns raiment, since lusciously furred or haired?
Was ever such a maggot as this
(don’t get me started on the Earl of Oxford)

on Shakespeare’s brain? Where he makes Lear
speak of man as that “bare, forked animal?”
When the monarchomaniac shouts, “Off, off,
you lendings!” He’s been long since in the grip
of the divesting itch. Why can’t other obsessives

refrain—but everything’s refrain—from
meandering restlessly over whether they stay
married because loyal, or because lazy? What
makes us ceaselessly wash our hands? Unless
Macbeth’s Lady, OCD. Why all these acronyms
cooked up by odd boffins, science’s
perseverators of naming and placing?

What makes nude Salomè twitch in awaitment
of John’s dispatch, then delivery, gorgeous
head and plate in one united parcel service,
insatiate teen crooning Wilde’s words over
the lightest, chillest of bloodcurdling chords,
double bass whimpering death-watch-beetle
from the rotten murk of the cistern?

Are all us compulsives so much like,
or unlike, poets and spies, God’s
and otherwise?



Meeting with the Ob-Gyn
Is an “obsession”
I will never have

The DMV routinely issues and renews
Driver’s licenses to motorists who are blind
To the fact that they left their lights on
In the DMV parking lot.

Upon entering the department store one’s nose is
Immediately stupefied with flower-scented perfumes
Worn by both employees and shoppers,
Intended more to dominate their neighbors
Than to merge like real flowers into
Beautiful floral arrangements. It is a
Full symphony orchestra of anxious soloists
Who don’t take turns.

I was shopping for a new mattress
And just wanted to ask the salesperson,
“Which of these mattresses are best to have sex on?”
Whoa!! Can’t say that in a public forum,
So inappropriate, I was taught better.
One does not end a sentence with a preposition.

Sitting at the bottom of a poem
Words can get unceremoniously sucked into the drain
Or tromped and swirled by bouncing feet.
It is ice cream fallen from the cone
Sitting at the bottom of a poem.


—Cynthia Linville, with
Bob Stanley’s 10am Freshman Composition Class
(English 1A, sec 87, Fall 2011)

Crowded walkways,
lines wrapped around buildings for miles—
for the next four years,
I am in a place like heaven.

Students and squirrels
both seem to be running in circles.
What do I do now?
I don't want to look new.

Stuffy classrooms,
(the wrong classroom),
blistering sun—
I don't care. Can't you see the magic I see?

Just think of the future.
Just look out the window.
Just pick up your books and study.
Green light. Go.


—Cynthia Linville, et al.

Lots of pencils
and pretty girls,
anxious butterflies,
feral squirrels.
Shuffling zig zag down white hallway,
excuse me, pardon me, move out of the way.

Back row of history class
eager eyes,
first lunch time,
slithering lines.
Chaos, commotion, turn down the heat!
A new feeling—my destiny?

Running to class again
I’m already late.
Greeks are chasing us,
get out of the way!
Being alone among this many people,
concrete dreams feel surreal.

A new friend?
Uncertainty. Stay.
A cold drink warms me,
you show me the way.
We race to your dorm room as if we were lost.
Backglancing I ask—is it worth the cost?


—Cynthia Linville, et al.

The future stands before me,
tall as the trees.
I am small underneath, alone, uneasy,
nearly panicked
like a child lost in the mall.
I almost expect to hear my parents called
to the information booth to come pick me up.

Professors don't remember what it's like:
buy this
do this
don't do this
you need this
can I get this.
On the first day, I was late to every class.

The smell of fresh bread at lunch time
embraced me like an old friend.
Then an old friend embraced me too.
We sat over our meals,
nervous and happy together,
eating and eavesdropping,
as students rolled by in waves.

How will we survive freshman year?
Life speeds up from here.


Today's LittleNip: 

(After reading a list of former Seeds of the Week)

Dozens of weeks of planting seeds
Have yielded what, when, where, and
All are healthy, blossoming,
A beauty to behold.

Who created such a gorgeous garden?
Perhaps Medusa herself has changing images,
Weekly facades to please the crowds, and
Reflections that would scare a ghost.

How can this be happening
So regularly and out in the open
Without the intrusion of
Copyright lawyers
Control freaks
Language police
By-law committees
Institutional settings?


Thanks to today's creators, who are still obsessing (our Seed of the Week) on this and that. Tom Goff writes: here's a little tune on obsession, fueled in part by Deborah Voight's scene from Salome with the New York Philharmonic Weds. night. The performance grand, the KVIE signal reception atrocious, which made us obsessively adjust and readjust the unfixable...

And about "her" poems, Cynthia Linville writes: Bob Stanley and I did a poetry "cultural exchange" where I visited his freshmen classes to discuss poetry, and he visited mine. As part of my visits, I asked class members to write me one or two lines about their first weeks at Sac State, and I wove them into a poem for each class.

Cynthia's photo of the Palace of Fine Arts in SF reminds us that this weekend will be a lollapalooza of NorCal poetry, stretching all the way from Dancing Poetry in SF to the Sonoma County Book Fair in Santa Rose, to Grass Valley, to Placerville, and back to Lodi, and Sac. for 100 Thousand Poets For Change. It's all laid out for you on Medusa's blue board; feast your eyes and ears on, as Caschwa (Carl Bernard Schwartz) says, our (YOUR) gorgeous garden. Medusa may've tilled the soil, but the flowers all come from you...


—Medusa (with greetings to Fall, 2011)

Why is there never a bridge when you need one?
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis
Check out our current photo album on 
Medusa's Facebook page: 
Jane's Bridges by Jane Blue, Sacramento

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our Untouched Dissatisfactions

Capay Valley Bridge
—Photo by Jane Blue, Sacramento

—William Bronk

Finding ourselves inclined
like an afternoon in winter,
we are disturbed
by the obliquity

not able to catch the sun
as a pool does water falling.
There is a flood of sun
across the land.

All this unvesseled light:
our untouched dissatisfactions
flood from our hands
held cupped to catch them in.


—William Bronk

Only bones are as bare as sumach
with its leaves gone. Every leaf was a branch.

Remember sumach in summer with its leaves
fern-soft, and its high fruit

Blood-warm in color. Sumach in autumn
was a sustained intensity, purple-red.

Winter defines the frame of color.
Here are the antlered bones.


—William Bronk

Seeds and survivals are scattered in all the flaws
of this raw day, even though these are perceived
by being unperceived, until the mind
tugs at the senses to remind them.The mind says see.
What the senses feel is the sharp immediate air
and all this scene half emptied, opened out
to admit the light, the thin, slight light.
What the senses feel is loss, and not less loss
for being neither final nor complete.
The senses and the mind agree it seldom is.

For loss is what we live with all the time.
None knows this better than the mind should know, the mind
that wanders, and cannot tell our name, itself
all seeds and survivals, little else, poor blind.
The mind is always lost and gropes its way,—
lost, even when the senses seize the world
and feed as though there never could be loss.
It is this winter mind, the ne'erdowell
that never finds a plan, that tells us see.
And we open our eyes and feel our way in the dark.


—William Bronk

One makes a poem as little as one makes
the weather. One goes to the window and looks out
and sees it there, outside. Read!
We go out into it if we dare.

Some weathers are harsher than we can bear
and this is what they say to us: go back
in the house! We hear that, sometimes,
and go back in and move the furniture 
or put another sweater on and go
back out prepared or, sweaterless,
go anyway and speak bleak to the bleak
if bleak seems called-for from us then.

There are always weathers if we go outside
—even the days we aren't aware of them.

I love the gentle days, the summertimes,
their mumbled messages, asking the ear
to bare itself to hear them better.
other poems clothe me again
in their clarities when I stand in them
as in a weather. I try the way they look.


—William Bronk

Cold late winter and the late light, and now
this sunset. There is as much
color and movement as though the gold west
were peopled, as though that whole sky
were full of warm allegorical figures whose flesh
billowed to represent all viture, and did almost,
almost brought it off. Praise God.
The loveliness. Our cold eyes are comforted.
These bright angels of light fire the sky
and make our joy which is all and always when,
as in the west now, the unattained
is affirmed again to us, the unsatisfied.


Today's LittleNip: 

—William Bronk

See the incessant, all-day wind
wearing the frozen water thin
along the eaves,
shifting aside the snow and a few leaves
and searching the empty corners of old barns,
turning, finding nothing, moving on.


William Bronk (with photos by D.R. Wagner and Jane Blue) helps us say good-bye to summer, and Jane has sent us an "album" of bridge photos which we have posted on Medusa's Facebook page; be sure to check that out.

The information about 100 Thousand Poets for Change this weekend has come to me in bits and pieces; I'm sorry about any confusion that may have caused. The info on the green board is complete, now, I think; in our area, there will be readings in Lodi and Sacramento. Here is the schedule for the Sacramento readings:

Saturday, 1:00 to 2:30pm
The Old Rose Garden in Capitol Park, 15th and Capitol
(hosted by Lawrence Dinkins and Bob Stanley)

1:00 Mario Ellis Hill
1:10 Bob Stanley
1:20 John Allen Cann
1:30 Allegra Silberstein
1:40 Open Mic
1:50 Alexa Mergen
2:00 Sean King
2:10 Open Mic
2:20 Lawrence Dinkins

3:30 to 6:00pm
Fremont Park, 16th and P
(hosted by Rebecca Moos and Bob Stanley)

3:30 Intro and Open Mic
3:40 Mariam Ahmed
3:50 Trina Drotar
4:00 Susan Kelly-DeWitt
4:10 Emily Wright
4:20 Tim Kahl
4:30 Frances Kakugawa
4:40 Sandy Thomas
4:50 Rebecca Moos
5:00 Open Mic
5:10 Bill Gainer
5:20 Abe Sass
5:30 Capoeira Agua de Beber



 Photo by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adventurers of the Page

Carol Louise Moon and her obsession, the dark

—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento

I'm wound up tight tonight with
fright, but that's the left side of this
same site, where the night before

held in store more than had been
bargained for—with bears and tigers
who had climbed the stairs to my

one-room room, and my tiny-twin bed.
The large tiger held his ugly head high
to the window ledge counting the flies

that had died there the day before. Eyes
fixed, he gloated with glowing eyes as he
thought about how he would match

that count with my body parts. So I
shot out of bed, and I switched the light
to a higher glow, so that I would would know

if they came the same way tonight—or through
the window, left slightly ajar for the air
I need on this awfully hot autumn night.


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Haut ton equestrians move in perfect
squadrons up and down the pellucid course.
Gentlemen in top hats, ladies in sidesaddle-
skirts that almost trail the ground.
And such horses! Sun glints off glistening
flank—big bay gelding, dappled mare….

And all you can talk about is language?
You're obsessed with words. Names
and their derivations. “Rotten Row”—
does it mean a row of rat- (raton) infested
cottages, or a place for mustering (rotteran)
the troops, or roundabout (ratten) way?

Or, as you speculate, did it come
across the Channel: Route-au-Roi, Kings
Road, Saxonized to Rotten? Sunday
riders let such imaginings canter
past them, tongue under snaffle, head-
strong chestnut with a flaxen mane.


SEPT. 21
             for Mexico City, 1985
—Taylor Graham

It's almost total dark tonight, before
a moon in our Green Valley. No buildings
collapsed. I'm just walking my dog—
and I'm back there. Storefront spilling
shattered glass can't glitter in so little light.
Streetlamps out. Department store.

I aim a flash-beam—human figure
sprawled inside the door. How can my dog
ignore it? why are we here? But it's

a mannequin, high-heels scattered among
beads. We'll try to find a human
alive among so many thousands dead.

26 years later, I'm still trying to fix
the image, find words. Crawl
out of the ruins with somebody alive.


—Taylor Graham

We adventurers of the page—obsessed
with transformations that happen
syllable-to-syllable like cloud-lightning,
a candelabrum that hovers above

the table. Dilettantes of a factual world,
we destabilize sequiturs, we go wild
with words. No false prophets, we could

ride the railroad tracks to Arcturus,
marking our route with sea-salt, rose-

pollen, flakes of mica, moonglow.


—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA

Orville obsesses
over wingtip shoes
argyle socks
paisley ties
and sweater vests
all in Bostonian hues.

Must be perfect in their fits:
the tie dimple
the shine of the shoes
the quality of the shirt—
he finds short sleeves
so lower class and
Hush Puppies
a sartorial sin.

If unachievable
tank tops
and bare feet,
cleanliness level optional,
became his touchstone
tarnished yet natural.


—Michael Cluff

Irene indulges
in lemon chicken
from Sbarro
in a second-rate mall.
Nonpariels from a Walgreen wanna-be
and pineapple upside-down cake
with a cherry in the tangy fruit's core.

Becomes wrapped up
in Italian soft porn
Mayan fertility rites
and Pee Wee Herman reruns
especially ones with the salty sailor.

love of her family,
friends and fried fingers
is her driving focus
that makes mojitos
all that more favorable.


—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

Can you forgive me for not living to see his own bitter end?
As I laid dying, he took hold of my hand with our wedding band
and he stared at me with teary eyes to proclaim "Oh Virginia, my beloved"
as if acting out a scene to make the angels cry
and to plead with God himself to change his mind
but alas it was too late before he realized what my worth was to him.
Had it been the reverse,
would he to whom I once wrote, " Dearest my life is thine..."
breathe his last to utter the same?
There were many times he left me begging on my knees
"Please, please just tell me, what is her name?..."
We were cousins who married
yet more like an older brother and a younger sister
that is why it shouldn't have been.
He adored to serve women his soul, just as he liked to pour them wine
Oh yes while serving as a soldier
he became accustomed to being a great charmer
and claimed it was sharing his love among his admirers,
among them women who'd drink him up into an empty cask or shell of a man
Alas, such of them also being the death of me
though he probably knew it also wasn't for the sake of his survival
but was as if burying us together
One night, praying during those nights where he was again away,
as if being repelled by being consumed into an almost invalid state
Laying alone and struggling to catch my breath
I swear I heard a raven caw at my bedroom window
It was a sign that, at a mere twenty-four, I was doomed to an early grave
yet ironically I'd be the reason why he'd gain an immortal life on paper


Today's LittleNip: 

Gerald Bennett
from the Senate
not a pedant
sex, would rent it.

—Michael Cluff


Thanks to today's contributors for sending us their thoughts on various obsessions. You can see Taylor Graham in Placerville twice this weekend—Friday at Red Fox Poetry, where Susan Kelly-DeWitt will be reading, and then on Monday for the Poetry in Motion read-around. See the green board for details of those readings and everything else that's going on this weekend, including the two 100 Thousand Poets For Change events that will be happening in our area.

Michelle Kunert has gotten interested in Virginia Clemm-Poe, about whom she writes: Interestingly the Wickipedia entry tells the story of how a writer named William Gill had to "save" the bones of the Poes in 1875 when the graveyard where they were buried was dug up. Gill kept their bones in a box under his bed until he could get them reburied in Westminster Hall and Burial Ground in Baltimore Maryland. Seems like a tale one could use for a "poetry tale" with! See

Sacramento Poetry Center has a new program organized by Frank Graham, called Literary Lectures. This eight-event series begins February 16, 2012 with a lecture on T.S. Eliot by Dr. Joshua McKinney. Single tickets may be purchased for $20 ($18 for SPC members). Season tickets are $99 (10% off for SPC members). The Mix/Match Pack (any way you like) of four lectures is only $65. Other lecturers in the series include V.S. Chochezi on 2/23, Molly Fisk on 3/1, Emmanuel Sigauke on 3/8 Susan Kelly-DeWitt on 3/15, Judy Halebsky on 3/22, James DenBoer on 3/29, and Tim Kahl, with closing ceremonies, on 4/5.



Virginia Clemm-Poe

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Strange Light and Quietness

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

(After "Unusual Thursday" by Kay Sage, 1951)
—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

The strange light settles over the day
for this is the hour that pulls you in.

A long bridge elongates into the horizon,
making no shadow on the flat perspective of the sea.

A tangle of shore debris holds the light
with patient stillness.

Lavender skies press in
and no gulls cry.

All sound has hushed and nothing moves:
time has taken you from one life

to another. Then something shifts.
A gull swoops past;

an old tarp makes a sound
in a sudden breeze, shuddering free.

You watch the moment change
and let it go. The sea

ripples. One shadow touches another
and the dark fills in.

(first pub. in Poem, 2004)


            “like a glove lost from a bridge”
                             —Barbara Jordan
—Joyce Odam

It was not so much
the falling,
it was the time it took
(the leaf)
down to the river
from the bridge,
the slow float of it,
the twirling,
the resistance
in the changing currents
of air
(the leaf)
dropped from her hand
as she stood and watched it
(the leaf)
gave it her concentration
and perhaps
the sacrifice:
(a leaf for a life)
perhaps to test
some touch of vertigo.


—Joyce Odam

Crossing the bridge into bleak territory
fields of flowers pull away.
It is winter here.
The old illusions freeze into shadow.
One must not touch the dark until
one also becomes the dark.

There is no easy way to say it.
Illusions are everything.
They mold to agree with the changing reality.
Whatever waits has been waiting a long time,
moving, echo-like, away from you now,
pulling a soft cape along the ground
with a shredding sound.

(pub. in Calliope, 1973, 1997)


—Joyce Odam

I cross this bridge by way of you—
my dead love—dead to my eyes

and my voice which barely echoes
over the extent of your absence.

This is not a mourning for you—
with you not here to comfort me.

There is a difference.
The bridge is so long this year,

swirled in fog and thinning cries
of something out there grieving—

and I start across this dwindling span
with a fading memory.


—Joyce Odam

The bridge is for
old men walking

the long way back and forth
from sleep to drinking

over the gray-green water
lisping— lapping—

silvering in the wind’s
constant deeping.

Cold is the shiver of time
in the daily passing.

Hot is the sun’s bright pressure
in the pale eyes, glassing.

(first pub. in Driftwood, 1972)


          After “The White Waterlilies”
                       by Claude Monet 
—Joyce Odam

Here is a bridge over quietness—
this brief arch above a descending stream
bearing petals off from some dense garden

where soft limbs of willows bend to the water
and deeper shadows stay farther back.
If no one comes to linger it will not matter

to this frail bridge that has no history to prove
in this overgrown place that is not for the
hurried—that is its own now—safe as

a picture: a small bridge over quietness—
a sun-brushed arch over a rippling stream,
bearing petals and shadows over the stones.


Today's LittleNip: 

—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA

Come away will me
on this momentous day
far off this island
to where it is safe and quiet.

The north may attack again
or the east or the west
even the south
but the last one
just a little.

Chunks of buildings
may fall away
people may leap to death
and the sun may be hidden by smoke.

Well, maybe not today
but soon
or never
does one ever really know?


Thanks to today's contributors! Today's LittleNip is a nod to our Trap of the Week (see green board) about trying not to "dumb down" our poetry. And our Seed of the Week is Obsessions: Don't obsess on it, but tell us about your favorite (or least favorite!) obsession and send the results (photos, poems, art) to or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726.

Pollock Pines Poet Steve Talbert has just returned from the Surprise Valley Writers' Conference, and he reports that it was lots of fun: four days of poetry and poets and good food in a peaceful setting. Keep watching for details about the next one.

Fasten your seatbelts—NorCal's busy poetry season is upon us! Be sure to watch the blue board on a daily basis; that's how often announcements are coming in.


Phillip Larea reads at SPC's Hot Poetry in the Park
Sacramento, Sept. 19, 2011
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

Monday, September 19, 2011

Attacked By Peanut Butter

Photo by Chris Moon

The creek that trickled under, half alive, half dead,
conjured childhood visions in my head.
I passed with caution and paid no toll,
relieved to find there was no troll.

—Chris Moon


—Chris Moon

The golden cat lay curled in the dark corner
Not chased, not afraid, just awaiting eternal sleep
His time had come, earlier than desired

Never before, and never after seen
The sleek, ebony feline shape appeared
Pausing only for a moment, to collect

Was this the famed dark harbinger of death
Or the chariot master on task from Freyja
Looking for a driver for her chariot to the heavens

The golden cat’s brother now stands where he once lay
Awaiting, awaiting his time to fend off the demons
Or accept the Valkyries escort, when his time comes


—Claire J. Baker, Pinole

She & I drew a picture of our souls:
mine was a rounded shape
about four inches across.
It looked & felt like my soul.

My friend asked: "Anything inside?"
I drew some feelings: specks
like raindrops, wavy lines,
a harvest moon.

She drew her soul: an uneven square
with wings, like an odd box
flying through space.
Her feelings were beams
from an undiscovered planet.

A third friend joined us.
We asked if he would draw his soul.
He said he had never seen it.


If someone must use me
to get from one place to another
I wish I were a bridge
instead of as a rung in a ladder
to be stepped on underfoot

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


Our nation's infrastructure is crumbling
A slight earthquake could result in a mass tragedy
Our bridges also might suddenly crack and fall to pieces
to either crush our highway's commuters under slabs of concrete
or to dump them into the bay of the Pacific Ocean

—Michelle Kunert


9-12-11 12:03 a.m.
—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA

Just wakin'
I was hangin'
with stubbly fingernails
1777 yards above
a nice palm-tree green forest
and square man-made waterfalls.

This I did
and did not fail
or fall.


—Michael Cluff

Insidious luxury
I cannot indulge
the throat closes
the skin shivers
and men in dark robes
come a visitin'
although a lady
in such
would be nice.

Maybe a mental gag
or not
I am sometimes
punished for reflecting
upon its texture
and taste....

like now.


Today's LittleNip: 

Taxi on Seventh
between the graveyard and park—
which way should he go?

—Michael Cluff



Sacramento poets will be saddened to learn of the passing of Do Gentry. Go to her obituary in The Sacramento Bee's at and sign their wonderful "Guestbook" feature.

 House of Souls by Arthur Machen
Antiquarian Book Sales, Sacramento
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It Is All A Performance...

—Marvin Bell

A ladder propped against a rainbow:
We were told that life waited to exist;
death waited to be that which was and isn't.
Language, of and by the living, cannot express
our absence, but readies itself in stitches,
erasures, the dead skin adhering to a bandage,
untellings, retellings, revisions, reversions,
the resonant vacancy of interlude,
the qua of music, the held air in the audience
just prior to coughing, the lost vacuum
of a black hole, the nuclei of tears—
it is all a performance, from the tie-down of a bonsai
to the reddening of apples,
from the talk of Absurd Phenomenology
to the passionate kiss,
from angels on the head of a pin to quantum physics,
from the conceptual to the pre-conceptual,
from the environmentalist to the survivalist,
from the garden to the slaughterhouse.
Listen for an introduction to Creation:
a horn sounds in the background,
increases, at first each frequency of the whole
seems like the plucking of a single hair,
but the fog, which does not lift, filters alarm
from the tighter strings, so that we hear a fatherly,
throaty, fibrous drone. And in
the harbors of dust, this trembling of sound waves
begins our story. From the lightest touch,
imprinted in the slightest disturbance,
a history commences that will lead to thunder and roses,
to the beginning of each kiss and to the end of each kiss,
to each particular in a long line of particulars,
every one with its special claim
except when one may stand, as now, for innumerable others,
stranded perhaps past anything we can imagine
unless it is to be a stone thrown into the dark,
the inside of a sound,
tomorrow a ladder propped against a rainbow.