Friday, October 15, 2010

In The Company of Angels

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Cynthia Linville, Sacramento

Angel with a broken wing
flies along limpingly

I follow, land, meet his marble cousins
in a still graveyard where

cold white arms cradle a skeleton
and chubby cherubs unfurl a banner I lean in to read

the tombstone slowly opens and – suddenly –
icy wings, pointy nails and teeth envelop me

razor sharp, wrestling
crashing through a ceiling

unable to regain my breath, still reeling
only to find warm darkness

and feathers
slowly brushing me


Thanks to today's contributors, including Cynthia Linville, who sends us a "tribute" poem (see below), and whose angel poem is pointing us in the direction of Halloween.

The latest edition of Laverne and Carol Frith’s Ekphrasis is out, with poems by several SnakePals, including locals Kathleen Lynch, Jane Blue, and Jeanine Stevens. Go to for a copy and/or a subscription. (See also the b-board...)

Speaking of Kathleen Lynch, the Second Annual Confluence College Poetry Tour takes place around our area this week, thanks to travelin’ poets Kathleen Lynch, John Murillo, Lawrence Dinkins, and Dorine Jennette—and hard-working host Bob Stanley. They’ve added three venues this year—see the b-board!

The weekend is upon us. Get your poems to Frank Andrick for WTF8 today, then tonight head over to Davis for The Other Voice to hear Edythe Haendel Schwartz and Margaret Hoehn. Not much doin' Sat. and Sun. (go see Howl), but gear up for next week and next weekend! More about that to come; did I mention you should keep watchin' the b-board....?


a card game
bringer of all that's fair

a virtue
a minor form of despair

sorrow's slave
which at times, proves at fault

necessary ingredient of genius
hardest time of all

nature's secret
triple steel

sov'reign o'er transmuted ill

passion of great hearts
bitter, but its fruit sweet

the future
curled up like a dog at our feet

This is a tribute poem:
line 2 The Bible
line 3 A proverb
line 4 Ambrose Bierce
line 5 Charles Churchill “Prophecy of Famine”
line 6 Robert Browning “Paracelsus”
line 7 Benjamin Disraeli
line 8 Sarah Doudney “Psalms of Life”
line 9 Ralph Waldo Emerson
line 10 John Milton
Paradise Lost
line 11 John Christian Morgenstern
line 12 Samuel Johnson “The Vanity of Human Wishes”
line 13 James Russell Lowell “Columbus”
line 14 Jean Jacques Rousseau
Phaedrus Fables
line 16 Kurt Vonnegut

—Cynthia Linville


I dream we are riding the bullet train north.

Your arm is draped over my shoulders.
As the miles flow over us in breathless minutes,
we are content to sit in silence
and I am reminded of that August I spent alone in London
hardly saying anything to anyone other than
pardon me
just one ticket
with oil and vinegar please.
I squeeze your palm between mine
and you draw me closer,
briefly resting your chin atop my head.
What is this country we are hurtling into?

—Cynthia Linville


Today's LittleNip:

—Patricia A. Pashby, Sacramento

No Kafka nightmares drooped his tail—
he was a Sheltie and a lover.
He barked poetic, brought in the mail—
dreamed that Lassie was his big brother.



Photo by Katy Brown