—Kimberly Bolton, Jefferson City, MO
Night bumps day off the calendar way too early for my liking.
The orb of the sun disappears without a fare-thee-well,
As the moon bears down with its loony, punch-drunk grin.
Stars peer down like bright blinking eyes, peering through
A part in a black curtain, curious as to how many of us are out and about,
And what we are up to tonight.
But (sigh), there is only me, alone of all my neighbors,
Sitting on her front porch tonight.
Just over there, in the house across the street,
I detect the flickering glow of a television screen
Behind gauzy curtains.
The black eyeless sockets of the windows in the house
On the corner tells me its occupants have already bedded down
For the night.
And here I sit, watching the moon watching me,
As a fleet of small black clouds passes across the face of the moon,
Like a tiny flotilla of witches on their brooms.
My neighbors don’t know what they’re missing.
The same autumn that came the year before
And all the autumns of generations past the same.
This is the season of the tree, the season of the leaf,
Of leaf meal and leaf mould covering the ground.
Autumn’s soul is aged and ageless,
Yellowed and mellowed and yielding,
Like the soft, mealy insides of a bruised apple.
This is the season of old light,
And the season of ancient dark.
The season of the horned moon.
Fields are harvested with the crow picking the leavings
From the furrowed ground before the first bite of frost,
And the pumpkin is to be cut from the vine.
Again, there is the promise of a full table,
With enough chairs to go around,
With wine to warm the blood,
And a place by the fire.
MOMENT OF TRUTH
—Sue Crisp, Shingle Springs, CA
Lies slip so easily, from your lips.
Whatever you think I want to hear.
It doesn’t seem to cross your mind,
your intentions are unclear.
Mixed messages are tossed about,
a combination of yes and no.
I’m not sure if I’m getting red or green light,
whether to stop or go.
Please stop being coy.
It’s no longer the days of your youth.
All I’m asking for...
Is one simple moment of truth.
Time flutters by so quickly,
like on wings of the Butterfly.
So many dreams we leave unfulfilled
we let them slowly wither and die.
Time is of the essence
to make those dreams come true.
Like the fluttering Butterfly,
our time of days and years are few.
Cast aside your procrastinations,
grasp your dreams and reach for the sky.
No longer dream of what could be,
spread your wings and soar like the Butterfly.
The Beauty of Grace
Is a zippered-pocket
That allows for a mini-padlock,
In a train-car
Full of pick-pockets,
And you are the only one
With the key,
Which is hidden
In a place
But when you get home
And undress for the night,
You notice it
Under a piece of tape
Right between your boobs.
MAGICAL MYSTERY MATCH-UP, REDUX
We shadow on
As though we
Were not shattered.
We were only
And not smashed.
The pirate Press,
Behind the rocks,
There was only so much
We could touch.
Most of us were lonely,
Despite the ghostly lyrics
That we’d sing.
We were all
Hoping for some rescue
From some holy Baba,
Some holy-man from India,
Who could let us all be free.
Some fell for Sexy Sadie
And some for Shree Rajneesh.
There is foulness
That besmirches the Earth
That deserves to be destroyed.
It’s an old,
For centuries and eons,
To drag us down,
Down into abyss,
While they preach
In hollow anthems,
In ambergris and mist.
CAPSICUM AND IVORY
I, who gather footsteps
In the dark,
Have an idle hobby
Of wandering the park,
Hoping for some strange thing
And draw near,
Of Capsicum and Ivory.
Red and White,
Red and White,
Something hot and passionate,
In the night.
Before we drop down
From the light,
Let’s spark an angel
Of our stripe,
To bless us
And stand guard.
Intolerance is hard.
I KNEW A FELLOW
—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA
who had a most admirable
painting things was his
specialty electric guitars
the finest of all cars
took all the time that it took
to prepare for just the right look
wouldn’t settle for second best
only just right would pass the test
and then he became a Trumper
dull, dented, garbage truck bumper
supporting a candidate
won over by second rate
WHAT WE BELIEVE
“We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.” (excerpt from BLM’s “What We Believe” statement)
we are surrounded by everyday examples
of target practice:
for archers it may be the flimsy paper
images of circles affixed to bales of hay
for fishermen it may be the stock of fish
confined to a lake
for firearms enthusiasts it may be most
anything that can be penetrated by a
for American white supremacists, it is
people of color, no matter what their
deeds or endeavors are
it is unsettling when a torn target stands up
and asserts their rights to not be a target
because there will always be target practice,
but we don’t need to use people as targets
(my modesty constrained me from
performing this solo, without costume)
blessed are we to have two great
religions merged in one family,
we get to celebrate more holidays
that way, some lasting several
over time we’ve occupied
at least 3 second-story units
in our younger years before
different occurrences that
unsettled our bones
more recently we’ve gravitated
toward ground-floor quarters;
no stairways to navigate with
our walkers and canes, level
steps at each doorway
grilled food from the back patio
is easily transported to dinner
table without requiring handrails
to steady the cook, and our
miniature dog can take a miniature
leap over the threshold to do her
the garage, of course, is ground-
floor also, and plans are currently
tabled re: putting a heliport on the
he found out too late
that leaving one lover
for another was oddly
similar to leaving one
amusement park for
you don’t get to use
all the rides you bought
you’ll never get back
that great parking spot
say goodbye to that lock
box with all that you got
manhood is history,
you’re now just a tot
gone are all those idyllic
dreams you had wrought
you are no longer amused,
it is not like you thought
somewhere between little white lies and
gobsmacking black-hole-in-space lies
a manila envelope
cabaret of all lies
oral or gestured
yes it’s that one
he found it
Our thanks to today’s poets for their contributions, autumnal and otherwise, to another Monday-Kitchen anthology, and to Joseph Nolan for, in addition to his poetry, the phine photos he discovers for us. Speaking of Joseph Nolan, my gratitude to him for catching my mistake yesterday in saying that Marchell Dyon was first posted in the Kitchen in 1913. Unlikely, since the Kitchen only started in 1914. But as the centuries roll on for me, I find my brain gets a little dusty, and I am no long—well, never was—the queen of catching those flies (is that a mixed metaphor?). So Joseph and some other SnakePals have been catching them for me from time to time, and it is much appreciated. Feel free to join the flycatchers!
Bill Gainer over at R.L. Crow Publications (rlcrow.com) is pleased to announce the release of a new book by Evan Myquest, entitled Cold Blue Roses, available from Amazon. Check it out, and congratulations, Evan Myquest (and R.L. Crow)!
Here in our area, Sac. Poetry Center uses Zoom for weekly readings and workshops. For more info, go to www.sacramentopoetrycenter.com/. I don't see any listing for tonight, but their usual area online poetry events this week would include:
•••Mon. 7:15pm: SPC Monday Night Socially Distant Verse online, featuring . Zoom: us02web.zoom.us/j/7638733462?pwd=YVltWXFFa2Rid2pZQ3pWaVordmZ5UT09; meeting ID: 763 873 3462 ("P O E T R E E I N C”); password: spcsdv2020
•••SPC Tuesday night workshop hosted by Danyen Powell: Bring a poem for critique. Contact email@example.com for availability and Zoom info.
•••Wed., 6pm: MarieWriters workshop (prompts): zoom.us/j/671443996
•••Fri., 4pm: Writing from the Inside Out workshop led by Nick LeForce. Reg. in advance at: zoom.us/meeting/register/upwkde-opjkpnyQECAVBKolY4hKCdl61uA/. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. (If you have registered before, use the same link.)
* * *
Also this week:
•••Wed. (9/30), 7pmEDT: Billy Collins will read from his new collection, Whale Day, followed by audience questions. Online at www.92y.org/event/billy-collins
•••Thurs. (10/1), 8pm: Dr. Andy Jones' Poetry Series features Susan Kelly DeWitt on Zoom.
•••Fri., 7:30pm: Video poetry reading on Facebook by Davis Poet Laureate James Lee Jobe at james-lee-jobe.blogspot.com/ or youtube.com/jamesleejobe/.
For more about El Dorado County poetry events, check Western Slope El Dorado poetry on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ElDoradoCountyPoetry/.
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.
Would you like to be a SnakePal?
All you have to do is send poetry and/or
photos and artwork to
firstname.lastname@example.org. We post
work from all over the world, including
that which was previously-published.
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!