Thursday, October 04, 2007

Valley of My Heart

—Allegra Silberstein, Davis

This blue sky morning
a pale September moon
leads me on my walk

pale September moon
reluctant to leave…
as I—to turn back home

reluctant to leave
this humming mother earth
this valley of my heart

humming mother earth
your autumn leaves adrift
trilling songs of scatter

autumn leaves adrift
along the path I follow
pale moon to lead me.


Thanks, Allegra! After a year's hiatus, Allegra Silberstein has resumed her duties as host of The Other Voice reading series in Davis, which takes place monthly on first Fridays. Tomorrow's readers will be JoAnn Anglin and Carlene Wike. The free reading is in the library of the Unitarial Universalist Church at 27074 Patwin Road in west Davis. Open mic, so bring a poem to share. Info: 530-753-2634 or 530-753-1432. Allegra also has a rattlechap and a free littlesnake broadside available from

Time change for Los Escritores!

•••Sat. (10/6), 10 AM: Monthly writing meeting and potluck of Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol at La Raza Galeria Posada, 1024 22nd St., Midtown Sacramento. Info: Graciela Ramirez (916-456-5323) or website: Note the time change from 11 AM to 10 AM; Monday's Medusa had the wrong time.

Tonight at Luna's:

Michelle Kunert will be reading at the Poetry Unplugged series at Luna's Cafe tonight, 1414 16th St., Sacramento. Open mic starts at 8 PM.

Moe's new stash of used poetry books:

Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, writes that they have
recently acquired libraries in the areas of Classics and Poetry. They say: If your interests include modern and contemporary poetry, this is a good time to come in and browse. Same goes for ancient classics; check out the shelving carts next to these sections. Info: (510) 849-2087


—Margaret Ellis Hill, Wilton

She was widely known
for her generosity.

Easy to understand,
children thrived with her light,
although mothers sighed
at the length of her visit.

Women found great joy
with her abilities to
cause daydreams.

Men enjoyed her company;
if she made them hot,
they knew ways to cool down.

Lovers always found her
a good listener to their words.

I marveled at her freedom
to expand last season's growth.

She will be laid to rest late September
after lying in state for several days.
Her cousin, Autumn, will provide
music and color for the service.

Summer will be sorely missed
by all those who loved her.


One more Fall poem, this one from David Humphreys, who says he has a "Stephen King, Ken Burns, nasty prognosis here":

—David Humphreys, Stockton

You know the rubbish of fallen leaves
before the frozen Thanksgiving dinner
ordered by the Generals. As the soldiers
gathered in the snow of northern Europe
to receive their morale servings of turkey
and gravy the enemy artillery took them
out in groups of ten and twelve, apostles
of a new world fire storming order. Then
came the Christmas of frozen Bastogne.
The ones who made it home in the end spoke
very slowly, repeating to themselves what they
wanted to say before they spoke so that the
automatic dark satanic epithets, the two or
three they had learned to shoot so easily and
with such deadly accuracy, would not suddenly
explode in the streets of their homeland, such
a heavenly place of affluent abundance. What
changed in so many of the more thoughtful
of them was the idea that humankind might
possibly evolve to some higher, more enlightened
purpose. Disillusionment was a shadow behind
every celebration and civilization a very thin
veneer. Nevertheless, life was good in this world
of big chrome bumpers and Freon-cooled refrigerators.
Who would ever deny that? They had earned it
with their blood and suffering, hadn’t they?


Thanks, David. Speaking of Ken Burns and WWII, one more note: Mr. and Mrs. Burnett Miller are good friends of Sacramento poetry, for many years sponsoring an annual fund-raiser for the Sacramento Poetry Center each Christmastime at their lovely Fab-40's home. KVIE is currently running Ken Burns' documentary, The War; Episode Six features interviews with four people who were involved in World War II. Burnett Miller, who survived the Battle of the Bulge, is one of those people. Check it out if/when KVIE re-runs the series, or I'm sure the film will be available for rent, soon.


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.

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!