Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Volti Subito

—Illustration by N.C. Wyeth

—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

(for Kathy Kieth)

What is loving the sea? To go to her
Whenever she called, mount her huge body,
Ride her huge body into forever?

Dreaming or not dreaming, arguing with
Its winds, sliding into the water when it
Was full of Summer and her denizens
Full around us, swimming with her
Dolphins and puffer fish, with her whales
White and right and blue, her graceful rays
All light slanted, speech rumbled through
Their body as grunts deep whistling,
As elephants rumble and whistle.

Her monsters great and small, the angler
Fish with its long and piercing teeth
Dangling a luminous worm before it
In the blackest of her depths. The sharks
Never still but for moments discovered
In sea caves where they loiter,
Their teeth unfolding constantly like
Pocket knives opening continuously.
The long muscles of eels and tentacles
Of squid and octopuses twisting and
Unfolding, guardians of secrets.

We can never stay long. We must breathe
The air above the sea, beneath the realm
Where she keeps birds and forms the waves
That have as many forms as all else.

To love the sea. To go down to her.
To watch her. To be transformed by her.
To travel around the earth upon her.
To be the thrall of her endlessness.
To be enthralled of her presence and
Insistent voices, the heaping of waves,
Her terrors and her glassy eye against
Our fair sun such a beautiful blue.

We lose our names in her crashing.
We lose our lives in her liquid body
And still we love her, for she
Is more than all of land to us,
Mother, goddess, bringer of dreams,
Harbinger of all things.
All things safe in you dear sea.


(A Google Poem)
—Cynthia Linville, Sacramento

lost art
lost bets
lost city of Atlantis
lost driver’s license
lost ending
lost friendship
lost golf balls
lost horizon
lost indoor cat
lost jury summons
lost kingdom and keys
lost luggage and love poems
lost memory
lost news
lost opportunity
lost planet and passport
lost questions
lost river
lost sinners
lost tribe
lost unemployment check
lost valentine
lost wallet
lost Xbox
lost years
lost zipper pull


Thanks to today's contributors, including D.R. Wagner for his poem based on my comment last week that, despite her recent behavior, I still love the sea. And to Cynthia Linville for this "found" poem with a repeated word at the beginning. Heck, let's make that our Seed of the Week: A "Google" Poem, as she called it. After all, ALL poems are "found" poems, and it puts a fun twist on it to start every line with the same word. So Google up your Muse and send the results to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726—or dig around in the back of Calliope's Closet (see b-board on the right) and come up with a SOW of your own—no deadline on these puppies.

While you're scrolling around on the b-board, check out the new issue of Canary; a very topical poem about the 50 workers at the nuclear plant in Fukushima by Linda Watanabe McFerrin leads off the issue. Many of Medusa's recent contributors of tsunami poems have mentioned, by the way, that their thoughts were begun by Michelle Kunert's poem last week. Thanks, Michelle!

And now for something completely different... Here's hoping the Japanese will be able to turn these awful pages quickly.


—Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento

VS (Volti Subito) as those
schooled in music know
means turn the page quickly,
you mustn’t be too slow.

Since it was simply not
practicable to put VS on
each and every page of a
flip book, a sort of
“Well, you know”
mentality developed that
left it up to the reader to
figure that out on their own.

Then there are some other
“Do I have to say it?”
moments that may actually
be enhanced by a VS:

It is time for your TV show
to begin while you are still
looking for the listing. VS

The teacher approaches as
you look at the test answers
on the back of your “blank”
scratch paper. VS

The choir and congregation
have begun singing while
you are still halfway
through the prayer. VS

Your minor child strolls by
as you are perusing some
reading material you have
forbidden them to touch. VS

You would rather be enjoying
some verse with meter and
rhyme. VS


My Dad notices, while jogging around Cresta Park,
that the same lone heron once again appears
as he often did last year
on rainy days on the soccer field
The bird gazes into muddy lawn puddles
acting as if wishing fish will suddenly appear
instead of just those drowning worms
Perhaps he is too hopeful in his persistence

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


Today's LittleNip: 

They say spring has come
and the sky is filled with mist,
yet on the mountains, no flowers, only snow.

—Ryokan (trans. from the Japanese by John Stevens)



Please welcome Chibi-San to the Kieth household; 
that blur is where his tail is supposed to be.
We got the one-year-old Chibi at the Placerville Shelter 
last Saturday. Why the Japanese name 
(Cheebee-Sahn: Mr. Cute Little Thing) 
for a Mexican (Chihuahua)/Scottish (Jack Russell) cross? 
It just seemed like a small-but-appropriate way to 
commemorate all those animals that must've been 
swept out to sea last week.
So far Chibi is a very bright spot in what is the largest 
snow dump we've ever had in the four years 
we've lived up here.
(See "Life in Pollock Pines" on the b-board for 
another dreary photo.)