Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gardening With Weasels

Turkeys in La Sierra Park
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

My parents don't miss their pyracantha hedges,
thorny bushes which bloomed in Spring
with clusters of holly-like bright red berries
planted by their home's previous owners
only good for birds to eat
but poisonous to people and pets
And yes its red color tempts hunger—
dangerous for children who also eat them
and have to get their stomach pumped after…
So much for this member of the rose family
(perhaps a relative was Christ’s crucifixion "crown"?)
But a major deciding point to cut them down
was when those flocks of cedar waxwings arrived
and got "loose" grazing on their found prize,
leaving their stinking droppings everywhere…


—Tom Goff, Sacramento

One of many word-sounds nonsensical
repeated too many times running,
tongue, teeth, mouthroof, lungs, gumline
all in a bunch. Next of kin (which twin
must die?) to twine, Mark Twain, and twang.
One P.D. James character, confronted
with ill will (twins Will and Ill), tastes
his bite of chicken “like a gunge in the mouth.”
That old DeVito/Schwarzenegger vehicle, “Twins,”
Mad Magazined as, yep, “Twinge.” Old
photo: we twins in our vehicle, Dad-rolled.
The word said best with voiced Z at the end:
neither Dubya nor Obama rightly zee-ends
a zee-ended word, have you noticed?
Twin’s last best Z-sound absorbed, one
phantom twin into the surviving sibling.
Sibilant. Twine your nice legs around me
and I’ll unspool all to hell and gone
in one twinge.


(After Kathy Kieth’s "Opinions About Rain")
—Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento

Pi is one of the easiest
mathematical concepts
to define using the basic
subtraction method:

opinion – onion = pi.


(After Kathy Kieth’s "Blizzards")
—Carl Bernard Schwartz

Over the river and
through the woods
‘neath the shadow
of the shimmering
snowy Sierras runs
a sinewy web of
urban asphalt.

Nature’s sweet
whipped topping
is cast aside to
expose the crust
upon which we must
obey our conveyances
and go shopping.



your spouse turns out
to be a bias ply tire
so of course they need
to be replaced with a
steel belted radial…

But then what if it isn’t
all about what is better
for you, but how you
can make things better
for your spouse?

And what if you were
just five years old
when this is happening?

Would that make a difference?

—Carl Bernard Schwartz



so it must be places that are to blame
for all that malice and evil we see
at the tip of Hellfire’s flame.

We send mean people to prison
but rehabilitation is a really hard sell.
Their demeanor cannot be tenderized,
their dead victims cannot be made well.

What if we went to Stockton
and of course to South-Central LA,
rounded up and sent all the gang bangers
to another place far away…

Such as to Auschwitz, Ground Zero,
or a volcanic mountain range.
Would altering their tragedy
ever give them an attitude change?

—Carl Bernard Schwartz


Sometimes it is nice to
be alone, as long as we
have good neighbors.


but you can go to one
of the other stores in
the mall and they will
take care of that for you.

Women are not allowed
to bathe topless on our
beaches, but not too far
south of the border that
is routine.

Thieves burglarized a
home while the owner
was away, but the folks
next door notified authorities
promptly enough to catch
them in the act.

The ball sailed just over
the reach of the Gold Glove
infielder, but the outfielder
backed him up expertly.

The singer could not
perform the song as written,
but the accompanist could
adjust to any key.

—Carl Bernard Schwartz


—Carl Bernard Schwartz

Her warm hazel gaze caught
my frowning brown eyes
and I just could not refuse
the offer to embark on a
voyage to the New World.

A voluptuous body
beyond compare, but
then she didn’t need me to
stare and comment. She
already knew she had
what men like.

What could I say? My
mind, disordered as with
Asperger, lacked the
social skills to articulate
a worthy compliment,
so I just thought of that
rare moment many years
ago when I called and made
an impossible billiards shot

and my eyes became
cheery and my lips
turned to a grin.

Then she returned
my smile and nodded…
like she knew what I
was thinking.


Today's LittleNip: 

—Kathy Kieth, Pollock Pines

I used to make pictures
with weasels: arrange tiny feet
into rivers and trees, just so—

a weasel tableau. . .
Then just as I'd stand back, brush
fur off my hands, the river

would scuttle under
the couch, the tree would bite
holes in the canvas. . . So I sold

those damned weasels, took up
gardening instead. But frankly,
it's not all that different. . .


—Medusa (with thanks to today's contributors. Watch for a littlesnake broadside from Carl Schwartz, coming March 9!)

Sacramento Navajo Rug Weaver Marilyn Greaves
—Photo by Michelle Kunert