Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dusk, Fox

—Poems and Photos by Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA


Headlight glare
in our eyes. Edge
to edge, air

becomes woods’ fringe.
She trots chipseal road,
hard human hinge

on wildness. Does she
care for human doings?
She could climb a tree,

her kits hidden safe. Let’s
go the way the vixen went,
forget our alphabets,

headlight glare.
In our eyes, edge
to edge, air.


I tried to catch the fox on paper.
Her scream had nothing to do with grammar—
one syllable infinity long
as mourning without shuffling the pages
of grief. Brief
as glimpse of fox’s tail becoming
roadside brush, soft hairs in the tail of fox—
the portrait I tried to paint
but alas lacking ears and muzzle,
& most pointedly


shuffled by the puppy, those old files—
xeroxed forms we filled out at the end
of searches—hundreds of sheets in piles
of loss. Old man gone; a pier; sails to mend
or sink a body how many miles

from where he disappeared; send
him weighted past finding by our dogs.
That misleading report by a friend
had us trudging through windfalls of logs;
a man still missing on mythic isles

of the not-found. Siren songs of frogs
as we called the lost names. Meadow frost
dissolving footprints like sheets of fog.
Whoever could add up all the cost?
My puppy scatters what she can’t spend,

a jumble of tales and places jackstraw-tossed,
these randomly shuffled sheets of lost.


Suspended on invisible thread by one thin leg
(motionless partner the Fly)

while I get the coffee brewing
Spider’s slow-dance seven feet weaving the steps
digestive fluid/a kitchen corner white-tiled—

Music gets carried away. Legs moving too fast.

Charcoal-sketch, if I could, the patterns….
       1st step in eating:
chelicerae—call it jaws—chew / suck
               liquified meat

What’s left?
The tiniest gray paper-wad was Fly.


the door for
just an instant? long
enough for one fly to get in
and miraculously morph into half a dozen
flies mosquitos gnats no-see-ums fleas an insect explosion—can spiders save us?


sacks and sacks of old paperwork:
grocery lists, receipts, stillborn drafts
of poems—I earn enough to fill my tank
and clear out a corner of my garage.
        A bonus: leaving the recycle-yard,
such profusion of chicory I’d never seen,
with creeping morning-glory,
plain old dandelion. Wildflowers sprung
volunteering for the worst heat
assignment of summer along a wasted
roadside. Wheel-spokes of common
chicory—blossoms blue with tinge
of dust, ash. Thriving. And what I’ve
never seen in the finest garden,
chicory of purest, cleanest white.

Today’s LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham

The paperwork of leaves from last year, left
in a cleft of willow
on this branched trail I follow

season on season reading the text of trees
written on breeze and dark loam,
the trail still bending me home.


Taylor Graham has sent us her thoughts on paperwork, our recent Seed of the Week, and many thanks to her for the fine poems and pix!

Today is a busy one in poetry in our area: women writers of all levels are invited to the Wellspring Women’s Writing Group in Sacramento at the Wellspring Women’s Center on 4th Av.; then this evening, Genelle Chaconas will be featured at Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe (plus open mic) on 16th St. in Sacramento, 8pm. Also tonight, from 8:30-10pm: Summer Heat: hear spoken word at Laughs Unlimited in Old Sacramento. And Winters Out Loud’s monthly open mic meets at Berryessa Gap Wine Tasting, 15 Main St., Winters, 7-8:30pm. 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.


 —Anonymous Photo
Let’s go the way the vixen went…
And celebrate poetry!

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