—Arthur Davison Ficke
There are strange shadows fostered of the moon,
More numerous than the clear-cut shade of day...
Go forth, when all the leaves whisper of June,
Into the dusk of swooping bats at play;
Or go into that late November dusk
When hills take on the noble lines of death,
And on the air the faint, astringent musk
Of rotting leaves pours vaguely troubling breath.
Then shall you see shadows whereof the sun,
Knows nothing—aye, a thousand shadows there
Shall leap and flicker and stir and stay and run,
Like petrels of the changing foul or fair;
Like ghosts of twilight, of the moon, of him
Whose homeland lies past each horizon's rim...
Get your work out there:
Donald Anderson of Poet's Espresso fame in Stockton sends a couple of addresses of note and possible use. He says the first, http://www.stocktongov.com/arts/ "is where you find info about the Stockton Arts Commission's Writing Contests." Cool.
Donald's second tip for us is a note from Josh Fernandez, who says "The Woodland Daily Democrat newspaper has given me the go-ahead to revamp their Arts & Entertainment section, which means there will be a huge poetry contingent. I will be featuring a poet every week with a poem and a short bio. The poems should be reasonably small (20 lines?) and free of obscenities (family newspaper), however you can make them as edgy as you can and I will be the final judge. Not everyone will be published, in fact, the standards will be fairly high, so keep that in mind. If published, your poem and bio will appear in print and on the Web site. This will hopefully be a beginning to a more energetic and interactive poetry scene than we have now. I really encourage you to send me your poems." Send them to:
Woodland Daily Democrat
Ph: (530) 406-6233
Fax: (530) 406-6262
Thanks for the tips, Donald! Poet's Espresso is a bi-monthly publication; check out the online version at www.rainflowers.org. They're looking for your work, too.
•••Weds. (2/28), 6-7 PM is the Hidden Passage Poetry Reading at Hidden Passage Books, 352 Main St., Placerville. It's an open-mic read-around, so bring your own poems or those of a favorite poet to share, or just come to listen.
•••Weds. is also the next deadline for Tiger's Eye: A Journal of Poetry. Google them up at tigerseyejournal.com and get the details. Co-Editor Colette Jonopulos writes: Will you tell Medusa's friends we are looking for ghazals? They get a free copy of the Tiger if they send us their ghazals to be printed in the blog. Send to: email@example.com
In the mazes of loitering people, the watchful and furtive,
The shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves,
In the drowse of the sunlight, among the low voices,
I suddenly face you,
Your dark eyes return for a space from her who is with you,
They shine into mine with a sunlit desire,
They say an 'I love you, what star do you live on?'
They smile and then darken,
And silent, I answer 'You too—I have known you,—I love you!—'
And the shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves
Interlace with low voices and footsteps and sunlight
To divide us forever.
And to close off Black History Month:
THE HARLEM DANCER
Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes
And watched her perfect, half-clothed body sway;
Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes
Blown by black players upon a picnic day.
She sang and danced on gracefully and calm,
The light gauze hanging loose about her form;
To me she seemed a proudly-swaying palm
Grown lovelier for passing through a storm.
Upon her swarthy neck black, shiny curls
Profusely fell; and, tossing coins in praise,
The wine-flushed, bold-eyed boys, and even the girls,
Devoured her with their eager, passionate gaze;
But, looking at her falsely-smiling face
I knew her self was not in that strange place.
What star do you live on?
—Medusa (who is currently surrounded by four feet of snow)
Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their POETRY, PHOTOS and ART, as well as announcements of Northern California poetry events to firstname.lastname@example.org (or snail ‘em to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726) 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.)