—Michael Cluff, Corona, CA
Ask me about the size
of the skies
the color of contentment
the pitch of demise
I will maybe answer
I do not diagonally know
except when swimming
in the ocean's throe.
The pagoda humbles
the sleepy hill
marjoram and dill
command the obloid window sill
tagged-up tomorrow garlic will hoarily hang
from the jazz berry bush
will be acceptable slang.
STEPHANIE JANE NORWOOD (Gusts #7)
Conservative to a failpoint
where she wishes
she was born male
to oppress herself
more than she does now
When she met
nearly the same
except he let her
do it to him
than her dreams
she was happy
for a little bit
no longer than that.
PHILLIS WHEATLEY (Black History Month #1)
She expressed it poetically sweetly
her message covert and discreetly
speaking of racial problems in 1773
between owners and slaves never free.
Expressing the essence of a soaring soul
she wanted all to be made whole
under the control of God alone
Bostonian society she found a repressive stone
to be borne with patience but with wit
so she got back at the majority just a little bit.
GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER (Black History Month #2)
Although you may hear me mutter
every time I am served peanut butter,
a cuisine I strive to always forego
I find it equally important to recall and to know
he also ardently urged crop rotation
to increase the state of agriculture in this nation,
thus putting nitrogen back into the soil
to cut down on all the work and toil
that farming requires of all men
making the earth more of a friend
and if you ever abhored being a starver
salute with your sandwich, Mister George Washington Carver.
ETTA JAMES (Black History Month #3)
For many years she has lived nearby
under Woodcrest's Italian—like sky
until leukemia took her away
January 20 was a mighty sad day
she left behind great songs with soul
helped to get rock to really roll
starting with "Roll With with Me, Henry" aka "The Wallflower"
she made life sweeter with her vocal power
so while we celebrate her innovative past
remember now she's free from engulfing pain at last.
Everyone at the place I work is always afraid
lives each moment waiting for the punitive raid
electronic key scanners of each and every door
makes you feel you are about to visit a whore.
They must know all that you do
except of course the select few.
The lanterns in the darkness are being put out
by all of those who want to quash any doubt.
Because of them, the corporate world, the college campus
is innovatively, imaginatively barren as a denuded pampas.
He was just a 3rd-rate overachiever
Who often did more than asked
But did not manage to raise the bar
On what was expected of him
Always passed over for promotion
By underlings who had not yet
Paid their dues, worked the system,
Or prevailed in singing battle hymns
Left trying to claim victory
For challenges that faded away
Obsolete skills struggling to breathe
Old school proficiencies now whims
The lead pencil constantly breaking
And needing sharpening again
Competing with mechanical designs
Equipped with spare refills, hope dims
Pilot to navigator: stay on course
We have plenty of fuel to continue
Pilot to gunner: let’s increase the force
And show doubters exactly what’s in you
There’s no defense against aviators
Determined to bomb urban areas
Pilot to tail feathers: perfection rules
Although you are unable to hear this
Pilot to log: we have scored the crown jewels
A direct hit no less, not a near miss
The Court: Are you certified?
The Witness: Well yes and no: people have long held that I am a certifiable lazy idiot, but after all these years I have never completed the paperwork to get the certificate.
Older than trees
We think we know
They left the court
With injured knees
Will play again
—Medusa, with thanks to today's chefs: Katy Brown, who stole some photo time from the busy life she has right now, taking care of her significant other who is very ill; Michael Cluff who is continuing his Gusts series and reminding us that it's African American History Month; and Carl Schwartz (Caschwa), who tackled the lanturne (our Form to Fiddle With) big-time, with admirable results! Be sure to check out Carl's "album" on Medusa's Facebook page. (In case you didn't understand his "Ten Squared" title, it's ten syllables, ten lines.)
Hey—Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow! Six more weeks of winter!