Monday, September 28, 2020

The Season of Old Light

—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of
Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

—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.

—Kimberly Bolton
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan

—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.
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Sue Crisp

—Sue Crisp

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.
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Sue Crisp
—Joseph Nolan

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
Even you
Can’t remember!

But when you get home
And undress for the night,
You notice it
Under a piece of tape
Right between your boobs. 
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan

—Joseph Nolan

We shadow on
Through life,
As though we
Were not shattered.

We were only
And not smashed.

Running for
The cash,
Highly overpowered,
Lost, before
The pirate Press,
Behind the rocks,
We cowered.

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.
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan
—Joseph Nolan

There is foulness
That besmirches the Earth
That deserves to be destroyed.

It’s an old,
Habitual habit,
The least
Among us
Have employed,
For centuries and eons,
To drag us down,

Down into abyss,
While they preach
In hollow anthems,
In ambergris and mist. 
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan

—Joseph Nolan

I, who gather footsteps
In the dark,
Have an idle hobby
Of wandering the park,
Hoping for some strange thing
To appear
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. 
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

who had a most admirable
painting things was his

specialty electric guitars
the finest of all cars
luxury yachts
never ersatz

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

go figure 
 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan


“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 
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan


(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
days each

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
business outside

the garage, of course, is ground-
floor also, and plans are currently
tabled re: putting a heliport on the
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan


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


Today’s LittleNip:


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
sings 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 ( 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)!
And check yesterday’s "Lifestyle" section of the Sacramento Bee for excerpts from Sacramento Poet Laureate Andru Defeye’s new book, Illicit, available at his website,

Here in our area, Sac. Poetry Center uses Zoom for weekly readings and workshops. For more info, go to 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:;  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 for availability and Zoom info.

•••Wed., 6pm: MarieWriters workshop (prompts):

•••Fri., 4pm: Writing from the Inside Out workshop led by Nick LeForce. Reg. in advance at: 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

•••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 or

For more about El Dorado County poetry events, check Western Slope El Dorado poetry on Facebook:
* * *
THIS JUST IN! On Tuesday (tomorrow) at 5pm, the 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo, will be reading from her newest book, An American Sunrise. For more info (and be sure to register), see OR Then, on Thursday at 5pm, she will be in conversation with environmental writer Terry Tempest Williams, discussing the first comprehensive Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, ed. by Joy Harjo, called When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through. Again, be sure to register. This program is produced by Poetry Promise, Inc., the Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival, and The Clark County Poet Laureate.


Here comes rutting season!
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan

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 We post
work from all over the world, including
that which was previously-published.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!



Sunday, September 27, 2020

Her Prayer Has Wings

—Poetry by Marchell Dyon, Chicago, IL
—Photos Courtesy of Public Domain
                   (For Katie)

Like tattered sails,
She unfolds her hands
Hands full of tears
See her as wind screams through her
See her as she stands,
Her toes tipping over the rock’s edge
She wonders if she falls
Will heavenly hands help her glide over
Life’s many waves?
Hear her as she calls to Heaven
Her voice sharp as rocks
Her spirit full of storms
As seagulls catch hold to her cries
Seagulls call back, 
As light slips through like
The clouds pierced with sun
Her prayer has wings now,
She can move on

                  (For Katie)
Septembers have always made her sad
The dying of sun and the fall of Apollo
No longer does his brilliance gleam in the sky
No longer are his steeds whipping fire
Through the air
His mighty horses stabled
All are bedded down for the cold
This she knows must be
But she cannot surrender to Autumn
Summer’s flair
She knows she must say
Farewell to the crisp

And burning star
‘Bye bird’s song among the clouds
Goodbye to the trees and its floral crown
She holds her jacket close
Arms cuddling around
Herself for warmth
The wind tries to blow her down
Sharpen is its howl
The wind is a wolf waiting

To devour
Every fleeing moment
For now
Contented to let her fear its growl
While summer sails sweetly out to sea
Leaving her small and alone
Her soul will struggle out of its bed
A soul suffocated in flannel
She stares past it all
The cars parked
The younger busy with their days
Like their days will last forever
She contemplates winter, that
Long deep slow season
When every word spoken coughs
And smokes in the cold
Every utterance entombed
Bound to silence
The once swinging clock of nature  
Whines down its time to mere seconds
The door of life once singing closes mute
With frosty hinges and sickle knobs
She feels winter in her bones
The familiar pain of that dark desolate nothing
Soon all cycles of her seasons will be spent
When winter shades ever more
She thinks of this in September
She thinks of this
As she looks out into
Her concrete world and
Sees all she remembers.

                (For Katie)
The early gray-blue silence
She dares not touch it
Because it cracks easily
Like an egg
Like a womb flexing
To give birth
Knowing its peace will be disturbed
By given life so noisy
Silence—she dares not touch it
For it’s as pure as air and
As fleeting a thing
As clouds sure of foot
Balanced on a prayer
Awaken any moment
Like butterfly wings
Quickly lifted away.

               (For Katie)
She waits for you with outstretched hands
She welcomes you to her ample embrace
You are weary when you meet again
You’ve walked the dirt road
Flat feet against the gravel and the dust
It matters not how hard the road
It matters not how deep the pain
It matters not how much
Your footprints blood dyes stain
You will make it home
You will make it
To your grandmother’s house made of cherry wood
The scent that arrays
Rising like those cane flowers
Like sunlight gently touches the porch
Where light halos the house
Like fairies’ sparkle
And everything is alive again
Beyond just memory
While bluebirds out on limbs of trees 
Sway and sing and greet you back sweetly
The whistled wind drifts
You beyond the wilderness
Beyond life’s pains
You keep moving forward
For the arms of the woman
Who gives you joy
Higher than angels
Higher than the clouds
Her wings invisible
But you know they are there
Wrapped in her cotton wings
Blanketed in her embrace
Warm now, from life so cold
She cradles you back to her
Before your life took its toil
Full are all the feelings joyful cries
You’ve found her again to be cuddled to her heart
And see again the fondness for you in her eyes
In your elder years you’ve missed
Now a babe, again you know only bliss    

Today’s LittleNip:

In prayer, it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
—Mahatma Gandhi


A big thank-you and a welcome back to Marchell Dyon this morning! Marchell says she enjoys reading poetry wherever she can find it, and she also enjoys learning more about the art of poetry. Her work has been published in many magazines and journals over the years. She has been nominated for the Best of the Net award, and she also won Torrid Literature Journal’s award in 2012. She is a disabled poet from Chicago, IL, and her poetry first appeared in Medusa’s Kitchen on August 29, 2013. Welcome back, Marchell, and don't be a stranger!


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 We post
work from all over the world, including
that which was previously-published.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!




Saturday, September 26, 2020

Dance Partners

Leap of Faith
—Poetry by James Lee Jobe, Davis, CA
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of James Lee Jobe
It’s the last month of spring and the flowers are talking among themselves. The bottoms of my feet are getting hard from never wearing shoes, and the breeze smells like a tossed salad. That’s all fine with me. Now the days become a kind of music. And look at me, still alive. 

In dreams I sometimes fly above the treetops of a jungle, or maybe above a boulder-strewn river that races down a mountainside. And in these dreams it is my inner-strength that lifts me, that holds me up. Consider that with your morning coffee.


In the end, COVID-19 covered the earth like night, or like a blanket covering a small and trembling child. This virus filled the sky as if it were smoke from a tremendous fire, a fire that burned for a thousand years. It flowed with swift rivers and filled the oceans. Entire oceans of COVID-19. We are simple people. We touch the virus, we breathe the virus, we wear the virus like a suit of the finest silk, perfectly cut to fit. And so now we embrace COVID-19. We embrace death. We are Little Red Riding Hood embracing the wolf at last. Come. Let me hold you. Die with me tonight.

I fear what the businessmen will do, in the end, to the Earth, so I need stands of trees around me, to walk beneath, to measure with my eyes and my heart. Movement beneath the limbs and branches returns me to myself. I am grateful for that. To be in silence there in the woods, and also there in the nearby fields, rich with this year's corn and alfalfa. Good, tilled soil with crops; that is a match to the untamed and unchecked woods, dance partners, each flourishing with the strength and grace of the other. The woods and the fields. My eyes and my heart. The world of business has nothing on us.

In one lifetime, how many raindrops touch your skin? How many heartbeats, breaths of air will be yours? You never know which heartbeat will be the last one; try to enjoy them all. Right now, this moment, you are alive. And that’s something.


Today’s LittleNip:

Courage can be more important that life, likewise, life can be more important than courage. Could it be that grace is knowing which is more important at the moment?

—James Lee Jobe


Thank you, James, for images of dreams and hearts and raindrops on this last-of-September weekend. Don’t forget Fridays, 7:30pm: Video poetry readings on Facebook by Davis Poet Laureate James Lee Jobe at or


"In my dreams I sometimes fly..."
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan

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 We post
work from all over the world, including
that which was previously-published.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!
"How many raindrops 
touch your skin?"


Friday, September 25, 2020

Autumn Hills

—Poetry and Photos by Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA
—And scroll down for Form Fiddlers’ Friday!


The smoky-gold moon sets through oak,
last-of-summer brittled to fall.
A window of sky above Stone Mountain
opens to lightning upcountry.
I wait for rain, rubber boots at ready;
sweep dead leaves from the muse’s chair.
The global dateline is pandemic and drought.
I’ll harvest 4 green tomatoes from the garden. 



This tree holds the land together.
How the hill leaned into it, as leaf-canopy
shadowed powerline. They cut it down,
a crew with chainsaws killed the tree.
How shall we breathe without its leaves?
Without the tree’s grace, land erodes
away. They beheaded the tree and left us
a 4-foot stump as its own monument.
But look, six months later—
the stump’s erupted in green, a spray
of pliant-tough new leaves. It lives.
The tree still holds the land together. 


Mats: edge to edge on living room floor with only a hair’s breath between. Friends you’ve known before pandemic but, in shutdown, haven’t seen. Have they all stayed masked? just not today. You’ve known each other so well. What’s good for your self tied in knot-upon-knot of caution? Worry’s a bell of warning that echoes to the bone. Breathe for yourself inside your mask. Turn around, walk out the door alone. Let your friends’ eyes ask and ask—you’ve got your reasons. It’s time. Look outside, there’s a hill to climb.

Breathe this morning’s wide open
skies—turn your walk to sonnet in disguise. 



Down on the creek, what was once
a gold mining town—now just a few rock
and wood foundations as evidence, 600 miners
but I’ve found not even a ghost.
Now, a thousand foot climb up to the saddle—
a long south-face switchback, bare slope
lava and decomposed granite—proof that erodes
with ages. It’s hot and dry. One foot in front
of the other. My dog tests the wind.
No scent of water, not a whiff of shade.
Climbing back out is the hardest. Behind us,
the creek molds stone slab to water-slide,
murmuring laughter. 




Gone, the slash-pile that blocked our path up the hill.
The chipper crew fed their loud machine its fill.
Now all is morning-quiet and woodland-still

and the alligator lizard has found new
digs, as well as a lizard with belly blue—
saved from those metal jaws by the chipper crew. 



Water. Dog crate & cat carrier.
Leash, dog/cat dishes, heartworm. Litterbox.
Good boots, goggles, gloves, mask.
Waist-kit: IDs, cash, checkbook, credit cards.
Backpack w/ mag-light, compass, pocketknife.
Paper, pencils, pens. Laptop, iPad, chargers.
Important papers. Time Machine.
Tucked in corners: Maps. LED lantern.
Pills, pillow, blanket, towel.
Shovel, pliers, hammer.
In my head, lines of Goethe, Rilke,
e.e. cummings, so many others
& shifting topo map of winds.
No room for photo albums—
traveling light by the mind’s versions
of possible worlds. 


Today’s LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham

We’ve hills to climb
for views sublime—
the dust and sweat
we’ll soon forget.

Wildflowers fade.
The treks we made
remain in mind.
What’s next to find?


Friday thanks to Taylor Graham for her poetry and photos today, taking us with her usual flair into Autumn, now that we’ve passed the Equinox. And forms galore! She has sent us an Octopoem (“Wildwood Equinox”); a Welsh Cywydd Deuair Fyrion (“When the Sky Clears”); a Stornello (“Let's Climb the Hill Again”); along with a List Poem and a Haibun. (“Re-Imagining Exercise Class” started out as a Sonnet, but she says she collapsed it into a Haibun—it reads better that way). Check the Form Finder at the bottom of this post for recipes to all those forms.

And now it’s time for Form Fiddlers’ Friday!


It’s time for more contributions from Form Fiddlers! Each Friday for awhile, there will be poems posted here from some of our readers using forms—either ones which were mentioned on Medusa during the previous week, or whatever else floats through the Kitchen and the perpetually stoned mind of Medusa. If these instructions are vague, it's because they're meant to be. Just fiddle around with some forms and get them posted in the Kitchen, by golly! (See Medusa’s Form Finder at the end of this post for links to definitions of the forms used this week.)

This week we have another gem from Joyce Odam, this one made up of rhyming tercets:

Lament Pathétique
—Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA

Oh, what we mock, and how we stare.
Not for the shock, but for the dare.
Sadness,   Sadness, everywhere.
Wasting love that doesn’t rhyme.
But how can love rhyme with time—
That Stubborn, Stubborn, Stubborn climb.

Oh, what we love, and what we lose.
Nothing like our dancing shoes.
Nothing,   Nothing left but blues.

Rain will fall upon our face,
All the pretty tears erase.
Now we know how bitter tastes.

Bitter comes with such a price.
Pity comes with good advice.
What if,   What if, uttered twice.


Thanks, Joyce! Carol Louise Moon has invented some poetry forms, one of which she has sent us this week: the EIO. About it, she says, “My poetry invention is a five-line poem where the ends of lines rhyme in the scheme of A,B,A,B,B. The beginning words of each line begin with E,I,E,I,O. We call it EIO, for short.” Here is her example:

—Carol Louise Moon, Placerville, CA

Every pumpkin in the patch
in harvest glory has its day.
Even chickens when they hatch
in yellow down in gay
October glory in their little way. 


Creative Form Fiddlers we have, indeed! Carl Schwartz (Caschwa) has sent us a List Poem, an Alouette, and a Waka Chain. His list poem is also about our Seed of the Week: Lies~

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

slave owner
stake holder
stock market
deep pocket
armed rocket
arms dealer
magic healer
tragic drama
I want my mama
she know me

BANK OF PECAN (Alouette)

two squirrels checked it out
both yards left no doubt
we have no pecan trees here
they ran cross the street
arrived in dead heat
brought some to leave for a year

when we mow the lawn
we’ll find a pecan
deposited in the past
meeting those yearnings
accruing earnings
somewhere from meager to vast 


THE COST OF TRUTH (Waka chain)

dared for all the facts
to refute superstitions
trial by jury
pre-pay any expenses
dole out big sums of money

the he said, she said
snuck quickly into their bed
soon they were to be
disregarding sleep numbers
not at all as advertised

goes without saying
leaders must tell us the truth
not a kissing booth
to raise funds for good causes
follow the money closely

laid down wet from sweat
hard to deny climate change
pretty, pretty please
turn around and open eyes
you will be very surprised


Awesome, Carl! And many thanks to all our SnakePals for their brave fiddling! Would you like to be a SnakePal? All you have to do is send poetry—forms or not—and/or photos and artwork to We post work from all over the world, including that which was previously-published. Just remember: the snakes of Medusa are always hungry!

MEDUSA’S FORM FINDER: Links to poetry forms mentioned today:

•••Cywydd Deuair Fyrion:
•••EIO: a five-line poem where the ends of lines rhyme in the scheme of A,B,A,B,B. The beginning words of each line begin with E,I,E,I,O. (Carol Louise Moon)
•••List Poem:
•••Sonnet Forms:


End-of-Season Tomatoes
—Public Domain Photo

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.



Thursday, September 24, 2020

That Amber Autumn Moon

Poetry by Carol Louise Moon, Placerville, CA
—Photos of Bronze Sculptures Near the Scrubs Café 
on the Veterinary School Campus, U.C. Davis, 
by Carol Louise Moon


This night the amber autumn
moon rolls along my garden wall.
Night bugs stir. A gray cat basks
in primal yellow with a knowing
in her soul. Her walk along the
wall, an easy saunter, leads her
to the selfsame spot where she,
the night before, sat mesmerized
by twin stars—just above the
moon that rolls along atop my
garden wall. 



“… ravenous swearing and pleading
of gulls, donkey bray and hawker cry…”
      —“Holiday Memory” by Dylan Thomas 

Ravenous swearing and pleading of gulls
stir the air, brushing back eternity for yet
another hour. And clouds: non-bothered
witnesses to a day otherwise made for
quiet contemplation. The in and out,
the breath of life—alive and lively
words repeated without end. “Amen,”

the gulls reply; donkey bray and hawker
cry over wind-foamed waves. Pier posts
are asylum, accommodation for seagulls.
White splash markings of visitation:
partial pages of a holiday memoir. 


Do not weep for this flower
all dry and plucked and lame.
It has seen its finest hour.
There’s no weeping for this flower
which has known the gentle
it has even known its name.
Do not weep for this flower
all dry and plucked and lame.

(prev. pub. in Two Moon Productions)



“If nothing happens, the dust will
drift and the heat deepen… “
Reasons to Live by Amy Hempel 

He meets her as he does
every day in the hallway;
conversations—the looking up
and the looking down.
If nothing happens, dust will
drift and the heat deepen.

Tonight he meets her at his car;
the shutting of a door,
the sound of rev and music,
the driving here, driving there.
If nothing happens, dust will
drift and the heat deepen.

Tomorrow, he will meet her
in the hallway to find her coyly
dressed, cologne-soaked, and
staring down at carpet dust.
The heat will deepen,
but nothing will happened.

Why, she will ask, are you
looking up and down? Why
the heat of your car and music?
Why the heat of this hallway?
Winter is coming, George.
I fear the dust has settled. 


Today’s LittleNip:

—Carol Louise Moon

You say I am so patient,
yet what of this small slug. I
yammer while lying on sable
yard grass, unsteady weaving
yaw-of-ship verbiage. I
yearn for an easier life,
yielding—like this silver slug. 
(Pleiades form)


Our thanks and good morning to Carol Louise Moon today for poems and her photos of the charming bronze statuary at U.C. Davis!

Tonight at 7:30pm on Zoom, Sac. Poetry Center's Literary Lecture Series presents a workshop on The Craft of Poetry with MistyRose at (Meeting Room: 828 3933 9639.) Info:


—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan

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 We post
work from all over the world, including
that which was previously-published.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!




Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Who Will Guard?

—Poetry by Jean Jones, Wilmington, NC
—Artwork Courtesy of Public Domain


One woman desires what I desire, and will do anything

and go anywhere to find it;

However, she is a liar and cannot tell me the truth—

She would do anything for me for money

and doesn't care what she has to do to satisfy me

The other woman has standards—She would prefer

not to do things with me unless she has to or wants to—
When she does, however, she is loving and giving;

not with her words, but with her actions to my body—

When I am with her, I find myself liberated.

Is it any surprise who I find myself drawn to,

or who I seek when I find myself alone?

One is an offspring to my desires—

She gives me what I want but lies—

The other liberates me every time I find myself with her—

Is it any surprise who I find myself drawn to?

One is loving and giving; not with her words

but with her actions to my body—

The other would do anything for me for money.

However, she is a liar, and cannot tell me the truth—

Is it any surprise who I find myself drawn to?

(prev. pub. in Aphelion, 2020)



"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"
"Who will guard the guards themselves?"

Who watches the mob,

who watches the police,

the politicians, the mayors, the governors,

the President, the Congress, and the Supreme Court?

"Who will guard the guardians?"

Who destroys the statues
and the monuments,

who kills the children,

who kills the black men,

who brings the guilty to justice,

who stops the black on black crime,

who prevents the killing,

in the cities of this country?

"Who watches the watchers?"

When the mob takes power, when

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;”1

Who watches the watchmen?

What are the three estates of the realm?

What is the fourth estate?

Who watches the fourth estate?

Who will guard the guards themselves?"

1: W. B. Yeats, "The Second Coming"

(prev. pub. in
Aphelion, 2020)



I feel you are like Virgil

walking my soul

through my hell
pointing out the different levels

I have fallen into—
You show me the sign—

"Abandon hope,
all ye who enter here—”
You show me where I currently

live—In the second circle,

with Paolo and Francesca

blown back and forth

by the winds of passion—
I scream to you to

"Help me!"

You respond—

"You placed yourself there—

You can get yourself out—“
So I force myself down

from the winds,

with K, S, and D,

circling around
and I find myself

following you

as you take me to

the Ninth Circle—
where great Lucifer's

frozen wings and tears

freeze this ninth level of Hell—
You point to the place

where, if I go

past Lucifer,
I follow this comedy

to Heaven

where my wife

waits, if I wish to meet her
and when I ask

what happens if I don't

climb up, past frozen Lucifer?

You show me another place—

a place with Second-Century furniture;

"If you go there, you cannot come out,"

You warn, 
That is the place of "No Exit,
there you make your bed with

S, K, and D

and there, your hell

will be "other people,"

"Good luck with that."

(prev. pub. in Aphelion, 2020)


Today’s LittleNip:

There is no greater sorrow than to recall our times of joy in wretchedness.

—Dante Alighieri, Inferno


A hearty welcome to Jean Jones this morning, and a thank-you for his poetry! Time for me to brush up on my

Originally from Bandung, Indonesia, Jean Jones received a BA in English in 1986 from UNC-Wilmington, and an MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry in 1988 from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Jean currently teaches Basic Skills at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina. He has had two books of poetry published by St. Andrews Press from St Andrews College, North Carolina; the most recent,
Birds of Djakarta, was released in 2008. Together with his friend and fellow poet Scott Urban, Jean Jones has a brand-new book of poems published by a brand-new Wilmington, North Carolina publisher called Shaking Outta My Heart Press. Jean's book from that publisher is titled Tornado. Jean is also co-editor of the online poetry magazine, Word Salad.

Again, Jean, welcome, and don’t be a stranger!


 Jean Jones
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 We post
work from all over the world, including
that which was previously-published.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!