Saturday, May 15, 2010

Keep Your Quat Out of the Cinq!

—Photo and Poem by Ronald Edwin Lane, Weimar

In the arc of wing

Tendons pull as supple as a willow stem

An elbow bends with a twist of wrist
Like a ballerina posed in pirouette

Invisible rivers stream
Across undulating vanes
And tug on tufts of snowy down

Grains ripen in the sun
While swaying in the breeze

And I earthbound
To but
A speck of


SnakePal Janet Butler ( has had two chapbooks accepted for publication recently. Under Italian Skies by Flutter Press ( was published May 1, and To see you no more will be forthcoming this summer from Punkin House Press. Today’s poems by Janet are from Under Italian Skies. There's a photo of her lovely cover posted on the b-board at the right.

—Janet Butler

the pastel water
shoring at penciled contours
breaking loose in rivulets of transparent light
that merge and fuse

red-tiled roofs throw
purple shadows
glints of white sunlight sparkle
where color, hushed,
bows before the purity of virgin paper
and yellow green fields stretch
to blue-brushed distant hills

(first appeared in Minnetonka Review)


—Janet Butler

Based on Madonna col bambino
by Piero della Francesca, 1472-74

The child sleeps.
Plump, pink, a soft weight
in maternal arms.
Afternoon light laces marble floors
with layered shadows,
mild breezes swelling
diaphanous veils
that shelter the shady room.

The hours pass in honeyed silence,
yet she hears the thunder, faintly,
sees down months and years
to a day become dark,
trembles, slightly,
at the sudden coolness
as she and babe wait for night
in shadows that point
to Golgotha.

(appeared in Prose Toad and Utmost Christian Writers)


—Janet Butler

Under a California sun I dream
a Mediterranean dream
of streets under a high Italian sun
their stones burnished to a sheen of muted grays
scuffed by a myriad of busy feet
that walked the centuries.

I feel once again the cool silk of darkness
as I pass from light to shade
a sudden freshness under medieval eaves
casting an angled sharpness on quiet streets,
the city sunk in high noon drowsiness.
Figures here and there sip espresso from thimble cups,
their dainty elegance a glint of porcelain
on small round tables under a blue
that climbs and climbs an endless Italian sky
arching a piece of paradise.


—Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento

My dog
Is small, so small
You see, it must stand tall
If it is to be seen at all.
Lap dog.

Asked the stranger
Who had thousands of friends
Already, all over the world.

Slow trek
Head and tail
Withdrawn in the shell

Rosy red
Slithering, eyeing, waiting
Curled in upon itself,

I left
my quat in the
cinq so long it had sex
with seven and produced octuplets, all living on
cloud nine.


I HOP no more
(A Frog in Love)
—Richard Zimmer, Sacramento

I’m Freddie the one-legged frog.
I lost a leg one night in a cranberry bog.

I can’t hop hop hop any more, you see…
that means a lot lot lot to a froggie like me.

Now I sit in the swamp all day,
singing my troubles away.

My voice so low people do tell,
it’s like singing deep deep down in a well.

I sing love songs to Francie the frog.
I met her down at the cranberry bog.

I can’t hop hop hop any more you see,
but still have a lot lot lot of froggie in me.

A Frog in love has got to sing.
A Frog in love is a ribbeting thing.

I’m a one-legged froggie, in need of a pal,
a froggie like Francie…a fun-loving gal.

I have a date with Francie at the Mudland Swamp,
where all of us froggies go for a romp…


—Photo and Poem by Ronald Edwin Lane

A rock, sleek and smooth, comes to rest upon a rock, angular, dull, and covered with lichen and moss, on a hill, like that from which it began, but where it no longer fits, without ever having flown, or ever having skipped.


Today's LittleNip:

Do not insult the mother alligator until after you have crossed the river.

—Haitian Proverb