Thursday, June 06, 2019

A Healing Land

—Poems and Photos by Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA


Shall the weather change?
Pond’s a puddle without rain.

What was this land once?
Of redbud and of willow
they wove baskets for bounty.

Where gold is treasure,
men with picks, shovels and hands
reworked the creek’s path.
What harvest in broken rock
left in heaps?
Wildflowers in
spring, and summer’s golden grass.

Where we saw small frogs,
willow has overtaken
the summer’s hard-baked shoreline.
Might its branches sing now with
all the season’s thicket birds.

Where are the egret
of wetlands across the pond,
and great blue heron?

In autumn-light wild geese trail
their wakes across shrunken pond.

We walk this morning
gleaning image on image
of a healing land.


White silhouette
in a weedy field—a bird’s
infinite patience—
it lifts off over my head,
great wings not waving goodbye.


Gone are the sheep of all seasons, forever escaping their fences in search of greener pasture. Now their field’s invaded by bunchgrass—waist-high, still green long after foxtail, brome, and clover have faded to color-of-bone. What kind of grass, I wonder. Fescue, the nurseryman tells me, good for grazing. Not a pest-plant. Let it crowd out star thistle and annual grasses with their barbed-awns. I tell him I never noticed fescue till the sheep were gone; they must have loved it clear down to the root.

black phoebe’s hawking
insects my mower stirs up—
this field all alive


Chickens of another spring
would have pecked this henyard
to bare soil. Our chickens are gone
to a better place, acres of green
where no thieving ground-squirrels
gorge on chicken feed and pilfer
chickens’ eggs. We’re left
with vacant henyard overgrown
in bull-thistle. My weed-
eater uncovers the chickens’
dusting wallows. How they loved
to loll in blessing of spring sun.
Sometimes I miss our chickens.


    a Boketto for Wakamatsu Pond
I observed a girl
creating this pond with brush
and watercolors,
a rippled instant captured
forever on flat canvas.

kingfisher and I
watching wavering colors
of sky over fish


On unmown grass, bright
as sunrise on a tall green
stalk—one red poppy!
How did it get here, and why?
emblazoning unplanned day.

Today’s LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham

This golden flower
in a field of fading green—
a fairy flower
where I thought just brittle weeds
waiting for the bulldozer.


Thank you, Taylor Graham. for today’s fine poems and photos, in addition to your work with Katy Brown on putting together poetry for all four days of this weekend’s WakamatsuFest150 at Wakamatsu Farm in Placerville, which begins today at 10am. See also yesterday’s article in
The Sacramento Bee at Plenty of fun and frolic of all kinds, including poetry!

For more about the Boketto form, see or (The latter site has lots of brain-busting forms that I bet you never heard of.)

And tonight at 8pm, Poetry in Davis features Brad Buchanan and Sac. Poetry Center President Stuart Canton, plus open mic, at John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 First St. in Davis. 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, celebrating poetry!

 Wakamatsu Farm

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.