Monday, December 14, 2009

The Honey of Peace

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Robinson Jeffers

Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you fore-defeated
Challengers of oblivion
Eat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down,
The square-limbed Roman letters
Scale in the thaws, wear in the rain. The poet as well
Builds his monument mockingly;
For man will be blotted out, the blithe earth die, the brave sun
Die blind and black to the heart:
Yet stones have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found
The honey of peace in old poems.


Be sure to pick up your free copy of the new issue of Rattlesnake Review at The Book Collector; Tom Goff, our Historian-in-Residence, has a wonderful article in this issue about Robinson Jeffers, yet another great California poet. And remember, RR will be going on hiatus for a couple of issues, so focus your submissions on WTF or Medusa's Kitchen. For now.

This week in NorCal poetry:

•••Monday (12/14), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents The Squaw Valley Review Reading with Joe Atkins, L.A. Jones, Lawrence Kaplun, Theresa McCourt and Wendy Trevino at HQ for the Arts, 1719 25th St., Sacramento. [See last Friday's post for bios.]

There will be NO SPC READINGS on December 21 or 28.

•••Tuesdays, 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center Workshop at the Hart Center, 27th & J Sts., Sacramento. Free; bring 13 copies of your one-page poem to be read/critiqued. Info: Danyen Powell at 530-756-6228.

•••Wed. (12/16 and every 1st and 3rd Weds.), 9 PM: Featured reader plus open mic at 10 PM at Bistro 33, 3rd and F Sts. in Davis. Free. Hosted by Andy Jones and Brad Henderson. Info: or 530-756-4556 or; schedule at

•••Wed. (12/16, and every 3rd Weds.), 7:30 PM: Our House Art Gallery Poetry Night. Sign up for open mic by 7 PM. Located at 1004 White Rock Rd., Suite 400 (corner of Latrobe & White Rock Rds. in the Montano El Dorado Shopping Center), El Dorado Hills. Free. Info: or 916-933-4278.

•••Wednesdays, 9 PM: Mahogany Urban Poetry Series at Queen Sheba's Restaurant, 1704 Broadway (17th and Broadway), Sacramento. $5 cover, all ages.

•••Wednesdays, 5 PM: Dr. Andy’s Technology and Poetry Hour, KDVS radio station (90.3 FM) or http://www/

•••Thursdays, 8 PM: Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café, 1414 16th St., Sacramento. Featured readers, with open mic before and after.

•••Thursdays, 7 PM: “Life Sentence” reading at The Coffee Garden, 2904 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento. Open mic.

•••Thursdays, 10-11 AM (replayed Sundays 10-11 AM): Mountain Mama’s Earth Music with Nancy Bodily on 95.7 FM. Music/poetry woven around a central theme deeply tied to mountains/earth.

•••Friday (12/18), 7:30 PM: The Other Voice will meet at the UU Church of Davis at 27074 Patwin Rd., Davis, for a special holiday gathering. There will be no featured reader, but instead, a read-around where we can share poems (our own or other poets), enjoy some holiday cookies and hot cider or wine, and the joy of poetry. Host Allegra Silberstein writes: This time it would be helpful if you send me an e-mail letting me know if you will be attending. Also, please let me know if you no longer wish to be on my mailing list. And in the midst of all our rushing about, may you find moments of quiet joy...

•••Sat. (and every 3rd Sat.), 10 AM: Writers of the New Sun/Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol potluck meetings at La Raza Galeria Posada, 1024 22nd St., Sacramento. Members of all levels support each other via readings, exercises, critiques and info, plus open mic; writing in Spanish, English or both. Call ahead to confirm: 916-456-5323.

•••Sat. (and every 3rd Sat.), 7 PM: Celebration of Word, Sound and Paint at Carol’s Books, 1913 Del Paso, Sacramento.

•••Sun. (and every 3rd Sun.): 3rd Sunday Poetry Workshop. Info: Rebecca Morrison or Nancy W. at

And two submissions deadlines tomorrow:

•••Monika Rose, Editor of Manzanita, writes: Volume 6 of Manzanita is inviting your original, unpublished work for inclusion in the new publication slated for spring 2010 release. Deadline is Dec. 15 by electronic submission only—see the web site for submission guidelines at

•••Song of the San Joaquin is accepting poetry through December 15 for the Winter Issue. Info: Cleo Griffith, (209) 543-1776, [Medusa also has a SSJ link at the right of this column.]


And now for an orgy of rondelets:

—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

Offer it up
Refrain from Catholic school years
Offer it up
Told to lift our chin, not blowup
The nuns' answer to all our tears
A response to our childish fears
Offer it up


—Chrys Mollett, Angels Camp

Deep snow's fallen—
Our earliest winter is here.
Deep snow's fallen—
Softer sound coyote callin'
Dripping eaves grow Icicle spear
And from its tip a perfect tear
Deep snow's fallen.


—Chrys Mollett

Thanks, no TV
No fancy connection or dish.
Thanks, no TV
No day soaps or talk shows for me—
Just dip into my mind and fish.
My whole life's fairly retro-ish.
Thanks, no TV


—Chrys Mollett

Early winter—
Two nights running, we've had hard frost.
Early winter—
Garden's lovely all a-glinter—
I Should have covered, strawed and mossed.
But precious plants I've surely lost.
Early winter!


—Chrys Mollett

Imprint of flame—
Deep and glowing, seems far away.
Imprint of flame—
Into a slowly blending frame
Scarlet fingers against the grey
Blinking afterlights still at play.
Imprint of flame.


—Patricia A. Pashby, Sacramento

Hear Marley’s Ghost
above the seasonal groundswell.
Hear Marley’s Ghost
as the dispirited play host,
stumbling headlong under the spell
of the clamorous Xmas bells.
Hear Marley’s Ghost.


Today's LittleNip:

Slow day yesterday; most of it I spent reading and watching the huge flocks of goldfinches and juncos on the deck—refugees from Tahoe, I’m guessing. The rain kept bringing down huge chunks of melting snow—thunk! At one point—thunk!—I looked up to see a tiny owl—
not much bigger than the songbirds—sitting in the snow, clutching a junco. An owl? Daytime? Apparently a Northern pygmy; they are "partly diurnal" says my bird book (not much night-hunting right now, I’d wager!). S/he flew away, still hanging onto the meal.

So who do I empathize with: the cold, hungry little owl, or the hapless junco?

I’m gonna go with the owl. It must be so much harder to find food when you’re a predator than when you’re an eater of seeds…

—Kathy Kieth

Northern Pygmy Owl



SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:

The Thread of Dreams,
a new chapbook from Sacramento's
Carol Frith, is now available at The Book Collector,
1008 24th St., Sacramento.


Issue #24 is now available (free) at The Book Collector
or may be ordered through—
or send me 4 bux and I'll mail you one.
Contributor and subscription copies
will go into the mail this week and next.

After this issue, Rattlesnake Review and most of our
other print projects will be taking
a few months off for remodeling—but not Medusa's Kitchen,
WTF (see below) or the 2nd Weds. reading series (except for January).
Watch this spot for further developments!—I suspect that the break
will be short-lived and will engender lots of activity,
including calls for submissions
to some exciting new projects.
Don't miss 'em!

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!


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.

Send 3 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).
No simultaneous submissions, previously published work,
bios or cover letters.
And be forewarned: this publication is for adults only, so you must be
over 18 years of age to submit. (More info at


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.