Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blue Moon

—Percy Bysshe Shelley

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a Joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?


Thanks, Percy! Looks like our good wishes for the wayward whales worked, and now tonight they'll be swimming under a blue moon, a second full moon during the same month. Did you know that blue moons are not really that uncommon—that they happen about once every three years? Let's have a drive-by give-away: send a poem about Blue Moons into Medusa's Kitchen before midnight tomorrow night (Friday, June 1, as the moon begins to wane) and I'll send you a poetry surprise!
That's And check the "Scene" section of today's Sacramento Bee for more info about blue moons.

I'll start, but this poem doesn't count because it's not about a BLUE moon...

—Kathy Kieth, Pollock Pines

Maybe I’m just chasing fool’s gold: waking up
Monday morning feeling like that thing the cat
coughed up: achy/fuzzy/no-more-weekend
blues: head full of mucus and bad dreams: but still

chasing fool’s gold: thinking you and I can beat
those awful odds, catch a chimera or two as they
pass us on the way to the grocery, the laundromat:
thinking we can catch a few friends that keep

calling, a house that doesn’t burn down, a buck
or two left in the purse after the gas man is done:
lives that don’t murder our skinny little dreams
that won’t let go. Thinking we just might be able,

after the bills are paid, to catch a sunbeam or two,
the wee tail of a rainbow, maybe even
a little moonlight in Bali. . .


Tonight in poetry (under the blue moon):

•••Tonight (Thursday, 5/31), 8 PM: An evening of Prose and Poetry at Poetry Unplugged, brought to your ears by Sacramento author Bill Pieper, whose previous reading at Luna’s featured his brilliant and sometimes salacious novel, Gomez. Mr. Pieper returns with more prose and stories to show and tell. Bill is an engaging writer and in-demand speaker and is sure to take the audience into new spaces and places via the power of the word. Co-reader Peter Samis has a few of his own stories and some favorite poems to share. By request, Peter will read his amazing short story re: Art ownership and blazing flames (a tease) that has wowed SF audiences. An evening bound to be full of wordful surprise and authorship unique to the writers. Hosted by frank andrick. Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento. Open mic before and after.

•••Also tonight (call for the time): Colored Horse Studio (780 Waugh Lane, Ukiah) features Nevada County poet Will Staple, author of the dual language editions Klapperschlangenfrau (German and English) and Luminosita Numinosa (Italian and English) and the award-winning collections, I Hate the Men You Sleep With, The Only Way to Reduce Crime Is to Make Fewer Acts Illegal and Dr. Montoya's Medicine. His work can also be heard on the CD, Black Dress On. Will has been a very popular and successful California Poet in the Schools in Nevada, Placer and Mendocino Counties. Outside of California he has read his work in Lubeck, Germany, Locarno, Switzerland and at the renowned Shakespeare and Co. bookstore in Paris. Friends and fans know that, if they're lucky they can get Will to read palms as well as poems. $5 donation suggested. Open mic and refreshments. Waugh Lane runs between Gobbi Street and Talmage Road. Info: (707) 463-6989 or (707) 468-9488.

Ina Coolbrith contest:

The INA COOLBRITH CIRCLE 88th ANNUAL POETRY CONTEST is now open for entries. Postmark deadline is August 15, 2007. All ICC members (including out of state) and non-member California residents may enter. For contest rules and more info on the ICC, visit the website:

New Snakelets!

The latest edition of Snakelets, the journal of poetry from youngsters ages 0-12, is now available, either at The Book Collector (free) or from me (send $2 per book for postage to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726). This is a a HUGE edition, including 44 pages of poems from kids, as well as poetry puzzles to increase children's awareness of imagery and word-play. Get your copies today and pass them on to some youngsters who have a whole summer stretching out ahead of them...


More moon inspiration, these from Walter de la Mare, children's poet par excellence:

—Walter de la Mare

One night as Dick lay fast asleep,
Into his drowsy eyes
A great still light began to creep
From out the silent skies.
It was the lovely moon's, for when
He raised his dreamy head,
Her surge of silver filled the pane
And streamed across his bed.
So, for a while, each gazed at each—
Dick and the solemn moon—
Till, climbing slowly on her way,
She vanished, and was gone.


—Walter de la Mare

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy coat the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.


—Medusa (And may you live to see many, many blue moons)

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 (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.)

SnakeWatch: Up-to-the-minute Snake news:

Journals (free publications): Rattlesnake Review #13 is available at The Book Collector; RR #14 will be out in mid-June. (Next deadline, for RR #15, is August 15.) VYPER #6 (for youth 13-19) is in The Book Collector; next deadline is Nov. 1. Snakelets #10 (for kids 0-12) is now available at The Book Collector. Next deadline is 10/1.

Books/broadsides: May's releases are Grass Valley Poet Ron Tranquilla’s Playing Favorites: Selected Poems, 1971-2006, plus a littlesnake broadside by Julie Valin (Still Life With Sun) and a Rattlesnake Interview Broadside (#2) featuring Khiry Malik Moore and B.L. Kennedy. All are now available at The Book Collector. Rattlechaps are $5; broadsides are free. Or contact or for ordering information.

Next rattle-read: Rattlesnake Press will present Sacramento Poet Tom Miner at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, on Wednesday, June 20 from 7:30-9 PM to celebrate the release of his new chapbook, North of Everything. Also featured that night will be a new littlesnake broadside (Cominciare Adagio) from Stockton Poet/Publisher David Humphreys, plus #3 in the Rattlesnake Interview Series by B.L. Kennedy, this one featuring Sacramento Poet Jane Blue. Refreshments and a read-around will follow; bring your own poems or somebody else's. More info: NOTE: For June, and for June only, our monthly Rattlesnake reading will be on the THIRD Weds. instead of the second one. There will be no Snake readings/releases in July or August.