Friday, January 22, 2010

The Bravery of Windows

—Shawn Aveningo, Rescue

(a poem ripped from the headlines)

He doesn’t sleep at night.
Any attempt to slumber
squelched at the hint,
mere squint of his eyes.
His closed eyelids merely
a backdrop, a screen replaying
the horror of recent days.
So many children.
So many children.
So many bodies in heaps.
A nation weeps.
The world weeps with him.

Toll of death rings higher.
Days and nights pass.
If you sit quietly
and wait for the roar
of earth movers to subside,
you can hear the saddest
of all songs, a mother’s cry.

Fathers, brothers, sisters,
and wives frantic,
in panic, walking among
mounds of Titanyen,
wondering if below
their feet lie the hands
they held seven sunrises ago.
Fearful of what the next
sunrise may bring.


Thanks to Shawn Aveningo for her poem about the Haitian tragedy, and to our other poets today for their Seeds of the Week: Windows, which has evoked quite a response!

More links!! As you can see, Medusa continues to spiff up her act (format-wise, at least), and part of that is a further increase in links, all of which have connections to local poets and poetry. Check 'em out!

This weekend in NorCal poetry:

For a more complete calendar of events, go to

•••Tomorrow night (Saturday, 1/23) at 7 PM, come to the Sacramento Poetry Center (HQ for the arts, 1719 25th St., Sacramento) to see an art exhibit and hear the poetry of 8 local writers & poets who also make visual art, featuring Jennifer O’Neill Pickering, Sue Owens Wright, JoAnn Anglin, Jeanine Stevens, Joseph & Susan Finkleman, William Laws, and Susan Orr. These poet/artists work variously in painting, pastels, collage, mixed media, photography, and charcoal. Mike Pickering will provide music. Attendees are invited to read a favorite poem of their own or by others during the Open Mic period. Snacks & Refreshments. The exhibit is installed through the month of January.

•••Monday (1/25), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents Pamela Richmond and Katie Cappello at HQ for the Arts, 25th & R Sts., Sacramento.


—Tom Kryss

Rather than to leave the final page blank,
let’s put in the window, high in a wall,
surrounded by bricks. Some days,
when the light is agreeable, a stick or two
of furniture can be made out as you stand
in the alley, looking up, bur never a face
appears or a reflective intelligence turns
toward the room.

It’s interesting how windows have outgrown
their usefulness, and yet this one goes on
quietly — one would almost have to say
bravely — giving back a little part
of the sky. Sometimes only one of its panes
shines, or the tree which grew up alongside
shelters the rain-worked molding in a cast
of shadows and arms. Even the thieves
didn’t know what they had.

Well, look up. Sketch it. Brush in some watercolor.


—Tom Kryss

There was a window which slowly shed its glass until, finally,
not an inch of it remained — odd-sized sheets of duct-taped
cardboard, pieces of scrap lumber nailed across, gave the sense
that, yes, this was still a window. It wasn’t until much later
the windows of Machu Picchu came to my attention: they are
completely built of stone at their dead centers, as if nothing else
had been available. As if stone were capable of some degree
of transparency.

When glass in a window is broken, reflections multiply —
instantly — or are released to go where they will: the frame
trembles with possibility. I am convinced one needs only
to look.



are for seeing and knowing:
leaded in great castles
where lice record history,
mosques without
glass, arches exotic
even darkened, where
women throw
out sacrificial ropes
nearly sliced in-two
by the razor sharp sill.
Windowless walls
of prairie folk to make
one go mad and devour
bad grain, or any window:
eyes behind sash
and lash, choosing to look
or not—permeable panes
inhaling raw oxygen
of summer, exhaling
recycled breath of winter.

—Jeanine Stevens, Sacramento


—Patricia A. Pashby, Sacramento

Rain comes in sheets outside wall-to-wall windows
on the fourth floor medical waiting room.

Suddenly a floor to ceiling rainbow appears,
its brilliance stretching across the horizon.

Some of the solitary patients gather to watch,
softening into the beauty of the moment,
smiling and exchanging oh’s and ah’s.

Slowly the colors and the viewers fade away.


—Tom Goff, Carmichael

The day dissolves my window pane with air.
No need of further solvents to disperse
the crystal shape. It’s not there, yet it’s there,

translucent with hope, glassy-eyed with care,
brittle as smiles yet sandbank at its base.
But daybreak dissolves. The window pane, rough air

behind it, distends like skin that wants to tear.
The fragile pane does hold, yet darkens hearse;
the crystal shape is not there, yet it’s there.

So strange with cloud the daylight. Cloud, then glare.
Light, grappling against opaque yet equal force
as day dissolves the window pane with air

—or does chill fool my fingertip, pressed bare
to a water in whose depths it can’t immerse?
This crystal shape: conjecture? Is it there?

And I’m just twelve years old. If this is where
mere glasstap touch leads thought, which way, what course?
Can crystal projection shape the not-yet-here?…
This window? Pain. My days dissolve like air.


Today's LittleNip:

Restless man's mind is,
So strongly shaken
In the grip of the senses...
Truly I think
The wind is no wilder.