Monday, June 28, 2010

More of What The Moon Saw

Moon Jelly

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

bubble and shine
scums the surface
it reeks

mats the marsh, hair, feathers
burrows the beach
burns the bayou
gluts the gulf
ravages the river
sinks the swamp
poisons the pool
wastes the well


shine and glitter
its skim and scope
stuns into silence

devil’s eye, winking,
ogles the ocean


It’s kind of a slow week for NorCal poetry readings (see b-board at the right), but don’t forget Stephen Kessler and Alexa Mergen at the Sacramento Poetry Center tonight; and, of course, there’s always Luna’s on Thursday. For a more complete listing, go to

Capitol City Young Writers’ Conference July 17:

CCYW will hold its conference July 17 from 9:30am-5pm at San Domenico School, 1500 Butterfield Rd., San Anselmo (415.258.1900) for youth in grades 6-12, seniors who JUST graduated from high school, and adults who wish to sponsor a young writer. As an adult, you can sponsor a child to attend the conference at no cost by paying his or her conference registration of $100. For your sponsorship, you are able to attend the conference for free (which includes lunch). It's like a 2-for-1 deal, and you are helping out a young writer who cannot afford the conference otherwise. $100 sponsors a youth for the conference, which includes lunch and a book. You can even choose your own child as the one you want to sponsor. Keynote speakers will be James Redford and Peter S. Beagle, with Special Guest Jane Friedman from Writer's Digest. Info:

New from Taylor Graham!

SnakePal Taylor Graham has a new book out. She writes: My Elihu project may never be finished. But the first edition is out and available through Amazon [see Medusa's b-board]. Walking with Elihu is a selection of my poems on Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith, international peace activist, advocate of the common man, and observer of the Industrial Revolution. My book, published by CreateSpace, includes a short biography and 94 poems dealing with Elihu's life: his study of 50 languages while working at the forge; his struggles to promote peace in a time of Civil War; his End-to-End walks across Britain; his tenure as Consular Agent at Birmingham, England under President Lincoln. A practical working man who was also a dreamer, Elihu exulted in skylark song and, in an age when woman's place was not in higher education, instructed schoolgirls in Sanskrit. My poems range from free verse to formal (sonnet, villanelle, terzanelle, sonnetelle, and others).

I hope you'll help me spread the word about this once-famous, now almost-forgotten peacemaker, who believed in the power of words and the voice of the common man.


In Pre-Islamic Arabia
the moon was a god with three daughters
The Star Sura wrote:
"Have you not seen Lat, Uzza, and the third Manat?
These are the exalted cranes (intermediaries)
whose intercession is to be hoped for..."
Chinese might have also called on Heng-O
for whom they hold a festival in the autumn
Another the Greeks called Artemis
along with many other names of moon sisters
Perhaps mothers too (of the "hijos de la luna"
inspiration for all-night Mexican prayer vigils
often today mentioned only in Spanish tunes)
The moon stayed in temples alone
(after "the prophet" ousted its offspring
forcing them to wander as gypsies)
some of them became called vampires
though they all want to come home
whenever the moon is full
and even in seasons of shorter nights

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


(arrested in 2009 by Iranian border guards)
—Patricia Hickerson

what were you thinking
as you prowled that border?
and what took you there?

lily sprouting from a crevice?
snowcap glistening in the sun?
flight of hawk?
slant of moonlight on the grass?
dart of lizard?
swoop of buzzard?
friend saying let’s go further?

your adventure, Sarah!
no question I envy you—
seen as iron bars
the vertical slats at my window
body too aged to climb the tree beyond
danger unthinkable


Today's LittleNip:

There is a road from the eye to the heart
that does not go through the intellect.

—G. K. Chesterton


—Medusa (with thanks to today's contributors, including Pat Pashby for the LittleNip)