—Margaret Ellis Hill, Wilton
Ok, Mr. Bailey, I see you but you don't know
I do. Out of the corner of my eye I feel your eye
peering between the slats like Mrs. Bailey's dog
pants when he spies my Maine Coon cat in the yard.
The sun shines finally and the grass does grow
but the chill in the day keeps me in shirt and jeans. My
summer bikini remains paged in the Teen catalogue.
Why on earth is minding your business so hard?
And yes, I lounge and read in the hammock, so
I can spend time outside today (not at a desk inside)
gathering words, ideas and thoughts to log
with the sounds of spring from my backyard
for the poem that's due in class tomorrow.
There's more to life than peeking at me; I want to lie
alone, catch color from the sun, listen to the frogs...
Mom's coming over to chat, I hope that's not awkward.
Thanks, Peggy! Margaret Ellis Hill responded to the hammock Seed of the Week/giveaway from last Tuesday, so a copy of SnakeRings SpiralChap #13.1 will be wending its way down the hill to her.
Yesterday I pointed out that February is almost over, the month traditionally devoted to love. This appears to have simultaneously inspired Peggy and Marie Ross to wrap up the month with love poems of their own, posted herewith.
—Marie Ross, Stockton
my heart flew on wings of tryst,
wings like a million flags caught in
breeze of complacency.
atmosphere was filled with the quiet
sounds of life, as if laughfter hung on
the distant horizon.
Then our eyes met, and in that crystal
glow of blue,
I surrendered to the forever swim.
Your tender touch led me through a wondrous
land, where the silver mouth of moon opened
and spoke from fire's flame and mid-night moan.
my heart sat on wings of love weary of waiting,
now I fly on wings of love.
THE PUREST FORM OF LOVE
—Margaret Ellis Hill
Late afternoon, Eric tip-toes
among the dandelions he calls
bright earth-stars that string out
in galaxies along a gravel driveway.
As twilight begins to dim to dark,
he finds his mother in the kitchen,
holds up a hand-picked dozen
in a grubby fist as a gift.
The room needs no light.
This weekend in NorCal poetry:
•••Sunday (3/2), 3 PM: SpiralChappers Susan and Joe Finkleman be out in full force with musicians Francesca Reitano and Mark Halverson at Congregation Bet Haverim, 1715 Anderson Rd, Davis, to bring you a two-hour show filled with a double feature: poetry reading wrapping around an art show/discussion of Joe's watercolor and photography. $5 donation requested, but no one turned away for lack of funds (this money goes to the synagogue to cover expenses).
•••Also Sunday (3/2), 2-4 PM: Livermore’s Poet Laureate Connie Post presents the continuing poetry series at the beautiful Ravenswood historic site, located at 2647 Arroyo Rd., Livermore. Sunday's reading will feature Rattlechapper and Rattlesnake Review columnist Taylor Graham, plus Camille Norton. [See Monday's post for bios of these two wonderful readers.]
Directions: from 580, take North Livermore Exit. Head South. Right on Portola, left on North L. Continue until it turns into Arroyo (this occurs at the College Ave. intersection). Keep going straight until you see Ravenswood on your right. Look for the balloons. For more information, contact Connie Post: email@example.com or go to http://www.poetrypost.com/Upcoming_Events.html
•••Monday (3/3), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents Julia Levine and Rick Campbell at HQ for the Arts, 1719 25th St., Sacramento. Julia Levine is a native of Flint, Mich. Levine received her doctorate in clinical psychology from UC Berkeley and practices in Davis, where she has lived with her husband and three children for over 20 years. Her latest publication is Ditch-tender [University of Tampa Press 2007]. Her previous publication, Ask, won the 2003 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. Other awards include the Discovery/The Nation Award for Emerging New Writers, the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry, the 1998 Anhinga Prize for Poetry, the Lullwater Prize in Poetry and a bronze medal from ForeWord magazine for her first book, Practicing for Heaven.
Rick Campbell’s most recent book is The Traveler’s Companion (Black Bay Books, 2004). His first full-length book, Setting The World In Order (Texas Tech 2001) won the Walt McDonald Prize. His poems and essays have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, The Tampa Review, Southern Poetry Review, Puerto Del Sol, Prairie Schooner, and other journals. Campbell has won an NEA Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and two fellowships from the Florida Arts Council. He is the director of Anhinga Press and the Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and he teaches English at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. You can also see him transform himself into a dog here: [http://www.rickcampbell.net/biography.htm].
One more adieu to February, the Month of Love:
POEM OF ABSENCE
to be alone for a month is good
I follow the bright fish of memory
falling deeper into myself
to the endless present
the child's cry is my only clock
yet your singing echoes in corners
who clatters the red tea-pot
or opens the door with a bang
to look at the evening sky?
your typewriter lies silent
it is reproachful
I cannot make it stutter like you
I sit in the woods at dusk
listening for the sound of your singing
there are letters from a thousand miles
you wrote a week ago
like leaves from an autumn tree
they fall on the mat
it was your voice woke me
and the absent touch of your hand
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.) Medusa cannot vouch for the moral fiber of other publications, contests, etc. that she lists, however, so submit to them at your own risk. 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: News from Rattlesnake Press
New in February: The Snake had a massive celebration on February 13 with the release of To Berlin With Love from Elsie Whitlow Feliz and Don Feliz, a new broadside from Carlena Wike (Going The Distance), and a new SnakeRings SpiralChap from Sam and Kathy Kieth (Sex—For Animals...). All of these publications are now at The Book Collector and on rattlesnakepress.com.
Coming in March: Rattlesnake Press will be releasing a chapbook from Ann Privateer (Attracted to Light), a littlesnake broadside from Jeanine Stevens (Eclipse), Conversations Vol. 2 of B.L. Kennedy's Rattlesnake Interview Series, and a brand-new issue of Rattlesnake Review (#17). Join us to celebrate all of this at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, on March 12 at 7:30 PM.