Monday, February 28, 2011

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

Snow drifting peacefully
Silently to the ground
Just peaceful contemplative weather
Not last week’s storm
Filled with winds and wet
Yanking large trees out of their haven
Bringing down power lines
Air filled with moans, cracks, grumbles
Wet, wild and windy song


Thanks to Mitz Sackman (the recent storms brought an oak tree down on her garage in Murphys, breaking three rafters and causing a 53-hour power outage) and today's other contributors. The storms—of one sort or another—seem to be on everyone's minds.

Deadline for The Ophidian #2, Rattlesnake Press’s online journal of poetry and art, is tomorrow— Tuesday, March 1! Don’t be left out. Scroll down the skinny blue b-board over at the right and click on The Ophidian for info. And today is the last day of The Book Collector’s month-long 25% off EVERYTHING sale—better get down there NOW!

Trina Drotar, editor of Poetry Now, has sent me lots of ‘way cool info lately about SPC goings-on, including a new feature in Poetry Now called “Young Voices – Poems from poets under the age of eighteen.” Youngsters should submit 1-3 poems at a time, a one-sentence bio (sample bio: Alex Smith attends fourth grade at B.F.F. Elementary School in Sacramento, bakes cupcakes, walks dogs and plays soccer) and an email address with the name of a contact person. No more than two submissions during a calendar year, please. Send to:; subject line should read, “Young Voices”. They are seeking poems that show the world through young eyes with insight, humor, or both. Please allow 1-3 months for consideration by the editors. (If your poem is selected for publication, you will be asked to sign a release form authenticating that it's your original work and granting Poetry Now permission to print it.) Deadline for this feature will be on-going.

And watch Medusa’s “Submission of the Week” box (over on the skinny green part of the b-board) for other opportunities to get your work out there, including, this week, the SPC Press’s Third Book Contest (deadline 3/31).


—Marie J. Ross, Stockton

Heavy clouds
the color of onyx,
brought flashes of lightning.

Like an avalanche of snow
thunder shouted profusely;
demanding clout.

Storm, the nasty greeter,
heaved from his heavy hand,
ruinous dissemination,

with cumbersome trails indenting
the highest cliffs,
from an outpouring of rain.

from pathos prayer echoed;
clouds undressed their burdening frocks,
as yellow arched a gentile smile.


—William S. Gainer, Grass Valley

She’s gone green,
buys the recycled

Toilet paper,
made from old
packing crates.
Sometimes I think
they forgot
to pull
a staple or two.
It’s just a feeling you get.

She saves nineteen cents
per hundred rolls
at the Costco.

We got a garage full.
It seems to be something
old women are drawn to—
having an adequate supply
of the appropriate
paper products.

I just
flush it away.


—William S. Gainer

After the reading,
she pulled me aside,
said she really liked
my stuff.

I said,
“Do you play
the accordion?”

If you think
that sounds
How do you think
I felt
saying it?


—Allegra Silberstein, Davis

In Tahrir Square Muhammad Saladin Nusair
holds up a sign: Egypt Supports Wisconsin Workers.
From Cairo to Madison a seamless web—
the dream of democracy sent abroad and returned to us—
the words of the people, beautiful as the voice of the turtle:
the psalmist song that is heard in our land.

In Cairo activists scrub the square to show their love
for the place of liberation. In Madison's rotunda:
people on their hands and knees scrub the marble floor.
In the capitol hearing room a line of people gather
to give testimony...time and again people say:
we were inspired by the Egyptian people, in peace
able to overthrow a thirty-year dictatorship.
In solidarity we show our oneness.

Codepink sent flowers to the people in Tahrir Square,
a gesture received with kisses, hugs and tears.
In Madison, an Egyptian called a local pizza place
and made a huge order for the protestors.
The garlic came from supporters in Cairo.
A Wisconsin fireman said Pizza had never tasted so good.

Muhammad Saladin Nusair writes to us:
We shouldn't let borders and differences separate us.
We were made different to complete each other,
to integrate and live together...
one world, one pain, one humanity, one hope.


Today's LittleNip: 

Clouds over Texas
not as huge as they would claim
global warming shift

—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA



Photo by Katy Brown