Friday, November 27, 2009

Still Grateful

Train Station Kitty
Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Tehama

My son comes for his annual visit,
my home the way station
between here and there.

He likes an early start
so at 4:22 I leap out of bed,
turn up the heat, plug in the coffee pot.

By 5AM we’re cradling mugs
of hot caffeine at the kitchen table,
enjoying the last chat of this trip.

He marvels at how fast
this old Shanty on the Creek
heats up.

The warmth that washes me
has nothing to do
with the furnace.


This weekend in NorCal poetry:

•••Fri. (11/27), 8-10:30 PM: TheBlackOutPoetrySeries inside The Upper Level VIP Lounge, 26 Massic Ct., Sacramento (located inside of Fitness Systems Healthclub by Cal State Skating Rink; exit Mack Road East to Stockton Blvd and then make a left on Massie, right past Motel 6 plus open mic. $5.00. Features Singers Willie Whitlock, Ghetto Romeo, Kendra and Mouthpeace, dancer Brandon Jackson and poets He Spit Fire plus Anna Sprowl. Info: 916-208-POET or Take advantage of 2-people-for-the-price-of-one this month; to get your 2-for-1 passes just call (916) 208-POET.

•••Sat. (11/28 and every 2nd and 4th Sat.), 10-11:30 AM: Sacramento Poetry Center 2nd and 4th Sat. Workshop hosted by Emmanuel Sigauke and Frank Dixon Graham. South Natomas Community Center (next door to S. Natomas Library), 2921 Truxel Rd., Sacramento. Bring ten copies of your one-page poem to read/critique. Info:

Coming Up NEXT week at SPC:

•••Mon. (11/30), 7:30 PM: Lucy Lang Day, Tom Miner and Dianna Henning

•••Weds. (12/2), 6-8 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center Annual Fundraiser at the home of Mimi & Burnett Miller, 1224 40th St., Sacramento. Poetry by Theresa Vinciguerra and Danyen Powell, music by the American River College Vocal Jazz Quartet. Hors d’oeuvres and libations. Your $30 donation benefits SPC. RSVP 916-979-9706 or, or just pay at the door.


—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

Am blessed
With love, joy
Sweetness in life
I remain thankful
Blessed with food, shelter, family
I celebrate gratitude
Blessed with friends, husband, my children
I am thankful for so much today
I give thanks for my fortunate life now


Let Someone Else Stay at Home and Cook
—Patricia Pashby, Sacramento

Thousands push toward the starting line, a sea of tee shirts
that shout Run to Feed the Hungry. We leave the Sac State
campus at a crawl at first, baby carriages nudging dogs on leash.
Fast walkers move ahead as we crowd the blocked-off streets.

At a fork in the road most walkers turn right under the 5K
banner and head back to the finish line. We hesitate a moment—
choose the road less trampled, pass under the 10K banner
and head downtown, leaving the mob behind. Only a handful
of walkers and joggers are with us on this route.

At every intersection, clapping and encouragement from
policemen and volunteers turning back traffic, a woman on her lawn
in a wheelchair waving her hands, ringing bells to cheer us on,
children offering tiny paper cups of water, a lady in an apron
on her front porch slicing oranges for us and a group of early
holiday revelers giggling as they toast us with glasses of champagne.

As we crossed the finish line someone said You were gone two hours—
what took you so long?

Never walked 10K before—
so what if my hips are sore!


Today's LittleNip(s):

Settled behind
tall banana trees
the little hut
is overcovered by
their leaves
patiently it waits
for autumn
which never comes...


In my journal
I thought I could
the soft wings of cranes
sifting the salt sea

—Alice Walker



SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:


Deadline was November 15 for RR24; join us
for its unveiling and get your free copy at
The Book Collector on
Wednesday, December 9.
After this issue, Rattlesnake Review will be taking
a few months off for remodeling—
watch this spot for further developments!

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 (include snail address) and I'll send you one. Free!


A new chapbook from Dawn DiBartolo
(Secrets of a Violet Sky)
Rattlesnake Reprint #2 from frank andrick
(PariScope: A Triptyche)
plus our 2010 calendar from Katy Brown
(Wind in the Yarrow)!

Now available from SPC,
or at The Book Collector:
Our newest anthology,
Keepers of the Flame:
The First 30 Years of the Sacramento Poetry Center.

Editor-in-Chief Mary Zeppa and her helpers have put together
many, many documents and photos
from SPC's 30-year history.

WTF!!: The fourth 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 send me two bux and I'll mail you one.

Next deadline (for Issue #5) is Jan. 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


The Thread of Dreams,
a new chapbook from
Carol Frith,
will be premiered at
The Book Collector on
December 9, 7:30 PM,
along with the new issue of
Rattlesnake Review.
Be there!


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.