Thursday, June 22, 2006

The World's a Minefield

—Oshima Ryota

Ah, this world of ours:
just three days I don't look out—
and cherry blossoms!


What's Hot Today:

•••Tonight (Thursday, 6/22), Gary Snyder will read from and sign copies of his Left Out in the Rain (Journeys from 1947-1985) at St. Joseph's Cultural Center, 410 S. Church St., Grass Valley. Free. Info: 530-272-2131.

•••Also tonight, Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sac., presents Julie Valin and Dan Hoagland, two poets who are active in the Grass Valley poetry community. 8 PM. Info: 916-441-3931.


Time(s) Slipping Away:

This year’s Poetry Marathon will start Friday, July 28 at noon and end on Monday, July 31 at 1 PM. Each poet will read for approximately 30 minutes, with 15-minute open-mike readings from community members who sign up in advance. Those who want to participate in the open-mic readings can sign up (and should do so NOW) by calling 916-452-5493 or by writing to Bari at before July 15, or until all spots are filled. Bari tells us that the time slots are almost filled!


—Iain Crichton Smith

The world's a minefield when I think of you.
I must walk carefully in case I touch
some irretrievable and secret switch
that blows the old world back into the new.

How careless I once was about this ground
with the negligence of ignorance. Now I take
the smallest delicate steps and now I look
about me and about me without end.


—Iain Crichton Smith

Listen, I have flown through darkness towards joy,
I have put the mossy stones away from me,
and the thorns, the thistles, the brambles.
I have swum upward like a fish

through the black wet earth, the ancient roots
which insanely fight with each other
in a grave which creates a treasure house
of light upward-springing leaves.

Such joy, such joy! Such airy drama
the clouds compose in the heavens,
such interchange of comedies,
disguises, rhymes, denouements.

I had not believed that the stony heads
would change to actors and actresses,
and that the grooved armour of statues
would rise and walk away

into a resurrection of villages,
townspeople, citizens, dead exiles,
who sing with the salt in their mouths,
winged nightingales of brine.


Oh—and thank you to the poets who commented on my "Waiting for Daylight" poem, which I shamelessly posted on Father's Day [see Sunday's post]. I hate it when people fail to credit previous publications, but that's just what I did!—that poem was published in Poetry Now a couple of years ago. Mea culpa.


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.)