Monday, October 31, 2011

Bumpings In The Night

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Caschwa, Sacramento

It was shortly before 3:00 a.m.
And a stranger was knocking
Not on the door, more like the roof

Could be some critter
Who thinks we are the strangers
Imperialist invaders
Confiscating their territory

Goodbye trees
Hello parking lots
Many remain unlit
Cozy home to criminal activity

Highest and best use of the land
So say the real estate agents
Build, build, build some more
Where the buffalo roam

Used to roam, we killed them off
So we could level forests and build
huge houses,  put in shopping malls
Because that is what people really value

Knock knock, knock knock
I was getting ready to reach for my gun
House rules: no buffalo on the roof
Then the knocking faded away.

Let’s see if there’s anything on TV…


Photo by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove


We grew up in a house that had
Two streams running alongside it:
Pride, made up entirely of money,
And Shame, 100% ridicule

Only top-notch results admitted one
To wiggle their toes in Pride,
All performance below the level where
Parents could brag soaked one in Shame

It wasn’t just our family
Practicing this level of polarization
Winners and losers, sinners and saved,
Pass or fail, kill or be killed

And then along came Medusa
With that most unruly hairdo
Laughing at perfection
Wiggling her toes in Poetry.


Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

Please don't blame your dog
if he or she "hates" holidays
and suddenly acts crazy
including Halloween,
just like the 4th of July:
strange visitors to the home as well as noises
which might be frightening
and might cause them to freak out
or even in self defense to mistakenly bite
If people must come
then put dogs in their own room or place
especially if there are going to be children
who might think it's funny to tease
So considering a festive costume for a dog
to "show it off"
may not be a good idea either
They may chew it to pieces
feeling their dignity taken away
But at all costs
Don't poison a dog by giving them chocolate!

—Michelle Kunert


Photo by Katy Brown

—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA

The school intrudes too much
into the habitat
nature is disturbed
native diets are replaced
by what is available.

The elder mountain lion
still maraudes the pathway
from the Humanities Building
down to the parking lot
displaces the mocking crows
that never feared
its mighty form.

Yet now they laugh
at the apparition
evermore lean
and with lolling tongue
pacing the concrete
in sad never-
ending discontent.

Lost terrain
equates to lost lives
animal can haunt man
like pumas were hunted
the earth
received their feline bones
with a
mankind never shows


—Michael Cluff

Little Delores
almost exactly a decade ago
between the ATEC and CACT builidings

into the drainage system below.
But never and nary a bit of her
is ever noted and negated and null
by numerous Norcoians near
and not so.

Every now and then
during the dusk
she sometimes arises
above the ground
through the two heavy
clotted egg-white colored cylinders
drilled with air holes
from what I have heard told
are just right to accommodate
what she seems to need.

She delivers a dirge-like ditty
declares it was a cruel mother
that mashed her up at work and then
through the ducts
in the metal
into the enveloping earth.

Delores' duenna
is now the dirt and radioactive dust;
a death not delayed
her blood and soul ever seeping
right below
the student center
of a college here
in Norco.


—Michael Cluff

The curious coyote
still visits the campus
on clear nights
moon-ridden and intense
near the turn of October
into November
close to eight or eleven
never more
never less.

Its path pulverized
many days
nay years ago
back to the bottomlands
yet the animal spirit runs on
as does the sluggish Santa Ana
above Norco College shores.

Some see the brute
fall or stay in sulky shadow still;
it is no more of hair
of teeth
of trot

it flows
between body and myth
as do many natural things
right around this nook
of the new world
getting older
and uglier
with each micro-eon past,
some long ago.


Photo by D.R. Wagner

—D.R. Wagner

It was only the mask of a bird

There was but a whisper of music,
A tempting scent of wild thing.

We could never remain inside.
A gleaming spell fashioned of mahogany
Seemed to pull us just beyond.

We felt we were but sweet captives of night
The mask would draw us down.

We studied the shape of the bench
Just below the mask. We wouldn’t
Let these shapes desert us, that his

Was a persistent thing, a wing a bird,
A shape of madrone but still forming

Itself, unfolding itself like a song.
We could not explain the piercing eyes as carving
Rather as a truth that we could know

Spreading toward us, opening a perfect emptiness
The point where imagination is as pure black,

Over the edge of understanding we watched
Or seemed to watch the way wood
Can find form as would bone.

We heard it sing this bird,
This mass of twigs, this truth, this mask.


Thanks to today's spooky poets and photogs! Carl Schwartz says his "Poetry Trap" was inspired by our current Poetry Trap of the Week, "The Perfects". D.R. Wagner says his poem today was inspired by Taylor Graham's Birdman; he writes, I took Taylor's title MASK-MAKER'S BIRD, used her last line as my first line, then counted the number of words in each line and used the last word of her lines, keeping the word count intact, starting at the end of the poem and working backwards to the first line. This is the result.

Got that?


Today's LittleNip(s): 

There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mystery. 
—Joseph Conrad

True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about but few have seen.
—Author Unknown

Look, there's no metaphysics on earth like chocolates. —Fernando Pessoa



Miranda's Punkin
—Photo by Katy Brown
(Medusa's Facebook page has a new photo album, 
this one of Katy Brown's photos of the reading last Weds. 
at Cosumnes River College. Check it out!)