THIS AND ANOTHER THING
This and another thing,
notes fluid in a sudden
flock and feather dip and
swerve, trills and ripples
shimmering, hearts beating a
loud history down all the ages.
Peace is found in the ember
lit smoke of dragon ship fires,
sonata wind in bending grass.
Out in the world, fallen soldiers
fill flower fields, catacomb bones
from a truly great explosion.
Rosin on cello bow, reed in oiled
woodwind, the world whirls in
galaxy tempest. The world sighs
in sifting sand, whispers a nuzzling
fur of comfort and affirmation.
Courage bristles a scimitar thorn.
Ash billows. Thunder rumbles,
kettle drums and cymbals crash.
Poets from Northern California and elsewhere will be saddened to know that our colleague, David Humphreys of Stockton, passed away unexpectedly last Monday afternoon. David founded the Poet's Corner as a radio broadcast, poetry reading series and audio/text website located at www.poetscornerpress.com. He also published chapbooks and books of poetry at his Poet's Corner Press and hosted a long-running reading series in Stockton.
As a poet, David collected numerous publishing credits, including five books of his own, and appearing in publications such as ¡Zambomba!, Tule Review, Perihelion, Web Del Sol, Manzanita, The Montserrat Review, Cæsura, Poetry Depth Quarterly, Rattlesnake Review, Medusa's Kitchen, Poems For All and Putah Creek. Today's Medusa poems are from David's littlesnake broadside, Cominciare Adagio, from Rattlesnake Press. (Write to email@example.com and ask for a free copy, and I'll send you one.) David was a very frequent contributor to Medusa's Kitchen; type his name into the white box at the upper left of this column to see many of the poems he posted over the years.
David's wife, Lydia Fox, tells us that a reading of David's work and the work of many of those poets he published will be held this fall. Questions and comments may be directed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org/.
MY SON’S BIRTHDAY
Remembering such a time of pride and joy.
Look at him now tall and fine taking you
straight back in a bright lightning to your
own wedding day waltz with your new bride;
one two three, one two three, swung round
and round. A traffic torrent rushes sizzles
in the rain soaked street outside. Rosin on cello
bow, reed in oiled woodwind, the world whirls
in galaxy tempest. The world sighs in sifting sand,
whispers a nuzzling fur of comfort and affirmation.
Courage bristles a scimitar thorn. Ash billows.
Thunder rumbles kettle drums and cymbals crash.
And if he is suddenly taken away as he might so easily
be by some hit and run or soldier’s finishing truth of
honor I will fold up these wings and become my next
dark shadow, tunnel digger mole of retribution. I will
rain rage upon mine enemies, beware.
Your hair smells warm is what you said
the night before she played in the concert
like a bird of paradise preening in sunlight,
her cello with violins surrounding delight
as if the bird in a dream of flight
cascade of brilliant sparkling diamonds
against a silk satin gown’s bright light
shimmering celebration, waterfall thunder
to granite and green, soul of transcending,
ascending, supreme, trills of resonant tremolo vibrato,
hummingbirds and bees swarming loud spring,
flower explosion beneath the blue dome
lovely as a swan upon a pond beside her home
where tranquilities of angels sometimes sing.
Together we have learned where nettles grow;
Where not the vanished, but the living sup,
What Galahad, enchanted, did not know:
The Grail is in the seeking, not the Cup.
SnakeWatch: What's Up With Rattlesnake Press
The Snake will be snoozing through July and August, leaving Medusa to carry on alone. Then on September 10, we shall burst back onto the scene with Thirteen Poems, a new chapbook from Patrick Grizzell; #2 in Katy Brown's series of blank journals (Musings Two: Vices, Virtues and Obsessions); plus Issue #19 of Rattlesnake Review (deadline is August 15). Meanwhile, look in on Medusa every day, and, for heaven's sake, keep sending stuff! The snakes of Medusa are always hungry...
Medusa's Weekly Menu:
(Contributors are welcome to cook up something for any and all of these!)
Monday: Weekly NorCal poetry calendar
Tuesday: Seed of the Week: Tuesday is Medusa's day to post poetry triggers such as quotes, forms, photos, memories, jokes—whatever might tickle somebody's muse. Pick up the gauntlet and send in your poetic results; and don't be shy about sending in your own triggers, too! All poems will be posted and a few of them will go into Medusa's Corner of each Rattlesnake Review. Send your work to email@example.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline for SOW; respond today, tomorrow, or whenever the muse arrives. (Print 'em out, maybe, save 'em for a dry spell?) When you send us work, though, just let us know which "seed" it was that inspired you.
Wednesday (sometimes): HandyStuff Quickies: Resources for the poet, including whatever helps ease the pain of writing and/or publishing: favorite journals to read and/or submit to; books, etc., about writing; organizational tools—you know—HandyStuff! Tell us about your favorite tools.
Thursday: B.L.'s Drive-Bys: Micro-reviews by our irreverent Reviewer-in-Residence, B.L. Kennedy. Send books, CDs, DVDs, etc. to him for possible review (either as a Drive-By or in future issues of Rattlesnake Review) at P.O. Box 160664, Sacramento, CA 95816.
Friday: NorCal weekend poetry calendar
Daily (except Sunday): LittleNips: SnakeFood for the Poetic Soul: Daily munchables for poetic thought, including short paragraphs, quotes, wonky words, silliness, little-known poetry/poet facts, and other inspiration—yet another way to feed our ravenous poetic souls.
And poetry! Every day, poetry from writers near and far! The Snakes of Medusa are always hungry.......!
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). And be sure to sign up for Snakebytes, our monthly e-newsletter that will keep you up-to-date on all our ophidian chicanery.