Saturday, August 01, 2009

A Little Wiser...

Photo by Stephani Schaefer, Los Molinos

—Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Tehama

She pulls her suitcase
on its thin black strap
like a sulky child
following on her heels.
Wobbling from wheel to wheel
it threatens to run away,
take a trip of its own
as she power-walks
through the endless concourse
to the plane ready to leave.


—Patricia Wellingham-Jones

fed up
had it to the eyeballs

So we decide to

take a hike
get out of here

Dimes in our jeans
plastic in our billfolds
bag of cookies on the dash

we hit the high road
never the low road
head for the coast


—Patricia Wellingham-Jones

‘Do-less’ is my mother’s term
for those days that demand
the full shut-down
of whatever work is planned,
whatever adventures loom.

For reasons of health,
and doubtless age, not to mention
sheer inclination,
I have more do-less days
than I ever indulged before.

Oh yes, I did my morning chores
then instead of tackling
some new project, or being worthy,
I sat on the creek deck.

Opened May Sarton’s journal,
the one about ‘After the Stroke’
and immersed myself. She wrote,
Where has Time gone?
I feel I have been riding white water,
Time a wild river over rocks.

Finding great comfort
in another woman’s search
for meaning in her late years
I smiled at the Canada geese
honking above.


—Patricia Wellingham-Jones

She rocks in the warmth
of the center of the earth
toasts her feet
against the planet’s core
when warmed to the mythic bone
she rides a spume of steam
to surface to light
slides down the mountain
on molten lava
pities poor humans who try to stay warm
with only sun rays for heat
she dives into the icy sea
finds a chute back to the center


Photo by Stephani Schaefer

Thanks to Patricia Wellingham-Jones for today's poems; watch for more of them in Rattlesnake Review #23, due out in mid-September. (Deadline is two weeks from today, on August 1!) And thanks to Steph Schaefer for the owls in response to yesterday's photo by Katy Brown. Watch for more from Steph in Snake 23, and also on the cover of the new Song of the San Joaquin (SSJ reading next Saturday; more about that this coming Monday).


Today's LittleNip:

All moons are good, but the August moon is a little older, a little wiser...

Teahouse of the August Moon



SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:


Join us Weds., August 12 to celebrate
Joyce Odam
’s birthday month with two new books from her:
Peripherals: Prose Poems by Joyce Odam
(illustrated by Charlotte Vincent)
and Rattlesnake LittleBook #2 (Noir Love).

That’s at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, 7:30 PM. Free!

WTF!: The second issue of WTF, the free quarterly journal from Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe that is edited by frank andrick, is now available at The Book Collector or through, or send me two bux and I'll mail you one.
Deadline for Issue #3 (which will be available August 21) was July 15; next deadline will be Oct. 15. Submission guidelines are the same as for the Snake, but send your poems, photos, smallish art or prose pieces (500 words or less) to (attachments preferred) or, if you’re snailing, to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726 (clearly marked for WTF).
And be forewarned: this publication is for adults only, so you must be
over 18 years of age to submit. (More info at

RATTLESNAKE REVIEW: Issue #22 is now available (free) at The Book Collector, or send me four bux and I'll mail you one. Or you can order copies of current or past issues through Deadline is August 15 for RR23: send 3-5 poems, smallish art pieces and/or photos (no bio, no cover letter, no simultaneous submissions or previously-published poems) to or
P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. E-mail attachments are preferred, but be sure to add all contact info, including snail address. Meanwhile, the snakes of the on-going Medusa are always hungry; keep that poetry comin', rain or shine!
Just let us know if your submission is for the Review or for Medusa, or for either one, and please—only one submission packet per issue of the quarterly Review.
(More info at

Also available (free): littlesnake broadside #46: Snake Secrets: Getting Your Poetry Published in Rattlesnake Press (and lots of other places, besides!): A compendium of ideas for brushing up on your submissions process so as to make editors everywhere more happy, thereby increasing the likelihood of getting your poetry published. Pick up a copy at The Book Collector or write to me and I'll send you one. Free!


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.) 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 ( And be sure to sign up for Snakebytes, our monthly e-newsletter that will keep you up-to-date on all our ophidian chicanery.