Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Not Less Than Everything

Thomas Stearns Eliot

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not know, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

(from Little Gidding)


Today T.S. Eliot would've been 119 years old.

No Hidden Passage Reading tonight:

There will be no Hidden Passage reading in September. Beginning in October, readings will be held at The Upstairs Art Gallery, 420 Main St., Placerville, 2nd Floor—that's just a few doors farther east on Main Street; same time, 6-7 PM on the 4th Wednesday of the month. Mark your calendar for the first Upstairs reading, Weds., Oct. 24. It's an open-mike read-around, so bring your own poems or those of a favorite poet to share, or just come to listen. No charge.

Calendar addition for this week (Ukiah):

•••Thursday (9/27), 7 PM: Writers Read at Colored Horse Studio features local poets Michael Riedell and Daniel Barth. Michael Riedell’s poems have appeared in The Blue Collar Review, The Aurorean, on local public radio, and have earned honors from the Ukiah Haiku Festival and The Mendo LitFest Poetry Contest. Daniel Barth’s work has been published widely, from Ant Farm to Zambomba. He is the author of two chapbooks, Coyote Haiku and Ukiah Haiku: Journal of a Year. He is a contributing editor of The Redwood Coast Review and co-director of the monthly Writers Read series. The featured reading starts at 7 PM and will be followed by an open mic. Refreshments available. Donation requested. Colored Horse Studio is located at 780 Waugh Lane in Ukiah. Info: (707)463-6989, (707)462-4557, or

For our SnakePals in Oregon:

I know Oregon is a long way to go (even farther than Ukiah!), but we do have Snakepals up there, so I’m posting three Ellen Bass appearances:

•••Oct. 5 in Portland, 7:30 PM: Ellen Bass and Sarah Lantz at Powell’s Books, 1005 W. Burnside. (Powell's alone is worth the trip!);
•••Oct. 8 in Corvallis: Ellen Bass, Dorianne Laux and Sarah Lantz at Grass Roots Books & Music, 227 W 2nd St., 541-754-7668 or (call for time);
•••Oct. 9 in Eugene: Ellen Bass & Joe Millar at the University of Oregon Library, Gerlinger Alumni Lounge, 1468 University St. (call for time).

Poets Pride Poetry Contest

Deadline is Dec. 31. Contact Juanita J. Martin, PO Box 2017, Fairfield, CA 94533 for further info. No email submissions. First Prize is $50, Second is $35, Third is $20, plus 2 HM.


—Tu Fu, 713-770

Autumn, cloud blades on the horizon.
The west wind blows from ten thousand miles.
Dawn, in the clear morning air,
Farmers busy after long rain.
The desert trees shed their few green leaves.
The mountain pears are tiny but ripe.
A Tartar flute plays by the city gate.
A single wild goose climbs into the void.

(Translated from the Chinese by Kenneth Rexroth)


—Wang Wei, 701-761

Autumn is crisp and the firmament far,
especially far from where people live.
I look at cranes on the sand
and am immersed in joy when I see moutains beyond
the clouds.
Dusk inks the crystal ripples.
Leisurely the white moon comes out.
Tonight I am with my oar, alone, and can do
yet waver, not willing to return.

(Translated from the Chinese by Tony and Willis Barnstone and Xu Haixin)



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.) For more info about the Snake Empire, including guidelines for submitting to or obtaining our publications, click on the link to the right of this column: Rattlesnake Press (

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

Journals: The latest issue of Rattlesnake Review (#15) is available for free at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, or send $2 to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. Next deadline is November 15. The two journals for young people, Snakelets and Vyper, are on hiatus; no deadlines this Fall.

September's releases: The Snake returned with a bang on Wednesday, September 12, presenting Susan Kelly-DeWitt's new chapbook about growing up in Hawaii, Cassiopeia Above the Banyan Tree, at The Book Collector. Also available now: a littlesnake broadside from dawn dibartolo (Blush), and a continuation of B.L. Kennedy's Rattlesnake Interview Series (#4—frank andrick).

Coming in October: Rattlesnake Press celebrates Sacramento Poetry Month on Wednesday, Oct. 10 (at The Book Collector, Home of the Snake, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, 7:30 PM) with the release of Spiral, a rattlechap by Kate Wells; Autumn on My Mind, a littlesnake broadside by Mary Field; and #5 in the Rattlesnake Interview Series by B.L. Kennedy, this one featuring Sacramento Poet Laureate Julia Connor. Also released that night will be Conversations, Volume One of the Rattlesnake Interview Anthology Series (a collection of B.L.'s conversations with eleven Sacramento poets)—plus other surprises (and cake!). Be there!