Thursday, June 29, 2006

Igloo of the Heart

—David Humphreys, Stockton

Beginning in mid-summer,
walnuts thick and green,
cannonballs exploding in the pool,
splashing pavement, evaporating
shimmering sizzle.
What it was wasn't entirely clear
though there were indications,
as when, after a shower in the
afternoon, lying on clean cool sheets,
fan blowing its delta breeze
from the ocean at this lower
elevation, nothing found wrong
with anything coming in from
the bubbling tar parking lot
through automatic escalator doors
hitting the solid ice wall polar
blast. Looking up from our deep absorbing
lessons opened on the coffee table,
looking out the window to see that time
has passed much more quickly
than anticipated, snow avalanching
from the entry roof, floating down
in big leafy feathers down quilting
the mountain valley where we have just arrived
at the end of orange October.


—David Humphreys, Stockton

The ice floe of the moment
carries with it hunter as well as hunted.
In the igloo of the heart
survival is all that matters.
You have heard the story
of the bone blade in the bait of fat
spilling bear blood on the white tabletop.
You carry the story in your own warm stomach,
its moral wrapping you in seal skin,
laced tight and final.
Outside is frozen and congealed,
sizzling wind chill.
Inside, the world is kept in a hard kiss
and mad embrace
rolling up from a capsize to seize
the vanishing moment.

(both of these poems appeared in Sandhill Review)


Thanks, David!

Tonight at Luna's:

Thursday (6/29), 8 PM: Poetry Unplugged presents Joshua Fernandez & Darrell Glenn. Open mic before/after. Hosted by frank andrick. Luna’s Café, 1414 16th St., Sac. Info: 441-3931 or Free.

JoAnn Anglin writes:

A friend recently referred me to the site called Language Lab, at And it was a WHOLE lot of fun. If/when you are distracted by it, the time will race by and you’ll have nothing to show for it, except maybe a bunch of laughing, especially if you read the past column called Dave Barry, Linguist. You’ve been warned. And advised.

Taking Time off for the Fourth:

There will be no reading at the Sacramento Poetry Center this coming Monday, July 3, and there will be no SPC workshop at the Hart Center on Tuesday, July 4.


Those of you who are fortunate enough to know Margaret Ellis (Peggy) Hill will be saddened to learn that her husband has passed away. Poet Peggy is active in the SPC workshop and in the New Helvetia chapter of the California Federation of Chapparal Poets, Inc. Before Jim passed away, she sent me some winter poems:

—Margaret Ellis Hill, Wilton

Water hardens with light
cast by an orange eye that opens
to peer from east to west
along a broad horizon
shines on lawns—
a white canvas spread overnight
glistens as if with magic,
waits for you to bring—
you always bring in
snow angels.


—Margaret Ellis Hill, Wilton

I do not live where it snows. Every year
I hear complaints and frustration, moans
from those tapping out annoyance in bars,

listening to snowplows scrape blankets
from blackboards into high roadside walls—
a maze, but entry into a wizard's playground.

Birch limbs curve giant croquet hoops,
leprechauns perch in spruce, waiting
to surprise a face with ice crystals.

A sorceress creates snowflakes,
weaves white carpets to muffle boots
but I can hear Jenny’s whispers echo.

At night, she puts on a cobalt cloak
fastened with a pearl broach.
Makes ice crystals light up like fireflies.


Thanks, Peggy, and we'll be thinking about you.


Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their poetry and announcements of Northern California poetry events to for posting on this daily Snake blog. Rights remain with the poets. Previously-published poems are okay for Medusa’s Kitchen, as long as you own the rights. (Please cite publication.)