Tuesday, October 02, 2007

How We Complete the Picture

—Margaret Ellis Hill, Wilton

The angle of the morning sun shifts.
Waves of air brush birch leaves
that wait for a dance
before the clock strikes noon.

The sun casts a softer light the way a magician
pulls another rabbit from a hat.
The need for rain grows strong, thirst
causing the throats of crows to close.

Pastures turn one more grain of pale;
summer cerulean fades like denim.
The jasmine's odor collects on porch railings
to overshadow a dusty pall on patio steps.

Days blend like extended sighs of a tone poem
composed for reflection and quietude.
At the loneliest hour in late afternoon, find
a breath before the evening’s rest.


Thanks, Peggy! (More Peggy poems below.) Margaret Ellis Hill has taken up the gauntlet thrown down by Medusa: Send me your poems and/or photos, artwork, whatever about Autumn and I'll send you a free copy of Susan Kelly-DeWitt's new chapbook, Cassiopeia Above the Banyan Tree. E-mail them to kathykieth@hotmail com or snail them to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726 by midnight Wed., Oct. 3—that's tomorrow night.

Stephani Schaefer sent us this fall poem; if you saw some lines in yesterday's Medusa that were from Rumi, well, that was my fault. Sorry, Steph! Here is the way Steph's poem actually reads, in case you didn't see it after I caught my mistake yesterday:

I am the last gold leaf that clings, a brief
candle flickering...

Wind, when you take me, take me to the dark stars
that still send light.

—Stephani Schaefer, Los Molinos


Lodi Middle School wants YOU:

Melanie Sievers of Lodi writes: Lodi Middle School (where I teach English) is holding its yearly "Reflections" competition. The organizers would like to have guest artists from a variety of artistic fields visit the school to have casual conversations with students during lunch this Tues., Wed., and Thurs. from 11-12:30. If you are able and willing, please call Melanie Sievers at 209-298-6442. Thanks!


—Margaret Ellis Hill

The trees have changed their dresses
for a formal dance. Sweet gums don
showy red sheaths, and sour gums
drape red feathers over their arms.
Weeping willows sway yellow fringe
as they waltz. Birches decorate their pale limbs
with gold-sequined shawls and bracelets.
Crape myrtles flirt pink ruffles once more.
Luminescent maples shine in burgundy
and orange-satin ball gowns. The gingko
chaperones from a saffron carpet.
The evergreen trees wear various shades of velvet
to escort all this finery. Then, holding white
blankets, they shelter their companions till spring.


—Margaret Ellis Hill

Before the fringe of earth's edge tinges
with light, I rouse before my mind;
the body loathes to leave a warm bed.
For a few more minutes of quiet,
I listen to life begin to wake up.

Kitchen blinds open to morning's brilliance.
A thin veil of tulle weaves through cool pastures;
moisture on grass glitters
like night forgot to take her stars.

A cup of coffee tastes richer on fall days;
a refreshing fragrance of pine snags
my dusty mind from sleepy haze.

After the family's weekday rituals
and another cup of coffee later, I smile
to see background colors have been brushed
on today's canvas. How I complete the picture
depends on me.



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 kathykieth@hotmail.com (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 (rattlesnakepress.com).

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.

Coming for 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!