Saturday, October 21, 2023

Return to Innocence

—Poetry by Dan Silverberg, Coloma, CA
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of
Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA


blooms hidden in a valley.
The scent of its flower takes away
all memory of past and future,
replacing these with gentleness and cries.
The taste of its fruit impossible to keep
and savored where it is found
by trespassers speaking softly in promises.
If one could find any word for it
one might say the world
had returned, here,
to innocence.


Girl, look at yourself!
Driving around in that Lincoln Towncar,
buying sexy underwear
and hanging with this old güero in a motel room
every couple of weeks when he calls you.
And your viejo rolls over on you once in a while
for a couple of minutes
and your son has you buying him anything
he wants.

But the worst of it is you don't think.
You don't look out for yourself. It's that man
and the panties you let him slip down
your forty-two-year-old legs because you can't
think of anything better.

Her sisters would tell her this and how
she should upgrade her skills and start thinking
about her old age. But she knows her mind and it
rings like a struck bell as he slides in.

So what is it with her sisters? She votes, she helps
a woman just out of CCWF and follows
all the boycotts.   
Well, maybe later something else will come.
Right now there is a huge sigh of life
that needs to stand outside at nine-thirty at night
shouting to an open second story window,
"Papi! I love you!"

(first published in -30-)


come to me with their silences.
Once they called me
so long ago
with their simple warnings
and requests.
They were cautious and slow
and I was under foot.
I admired them,
and they thought it was love.
But mainly, I ignored them,
busy in my little world.

They have been gone
for decades.
How did that happen?
Quietly, I am
taking their places.
Poppa. I miss you.


We will meet again
and talk alone of why
this is so risky,
so full of love.
Why our hands move
for themselves
and how it is your need
seems equal to mine.
I'm troubled, with reason.
I've never known how
to expect you, and,
you've grown so thin.


There is no best way,
no perfect moment.
It is left to us, now,
to make an honest frenzy
out of caution.
Love has taken you
and you will take me
as though it were already done.
We are simple in our hands.
All that remains
is the willful knowing
and the novel scent we make
in the slow unconscionable
many-tongued greed of love.


Carried along by the wind
the dust and the horses.
Pennants, golden banners
cymbals, drums and horns.
Blue and green
       red and silver
               shouts of laughter.
Rhythmic feet and waving arms.
The joy of it soaks into the afternoon heat.
We have waited so long
to dance again in this procession.


Today’s LittleNip:

You'll know when you get there. For now, just keep typing.

―Miguel Álvarez


Dan Silverberg is a stone sculptor and poet who lives in a rural cabin in the heart of the Mother Lode. His work has appeared in
Voices 2023, Suisun Valley Review, Poetry Now, Connexions, and Tule Review. In August, Conflux Press ( published -30-, his full-length collection of poems. Welcome to the Kitchen, Dan, and don’t be a stranger!


 Dan Silverberg

Sacramento Poetry Day festivities
begin today with Poet Laureate Andre Defeye’s
Curriculum Workshop for grades 6-12.
Also today: Modesto Poetry Center’s
Fall Workshop with Susan Rich; plus
Sac. Poetry Alliance (Barbara Carle
and Adam Siegel, 2pm); plus
Out the Way on J in Sacramento
(featuring Diamond Key), 4pm.
For info about these and other
upcoming poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
click on
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LittleSnake’s Glimmer of Hope
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sunup to sundown,
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