Thursday, February 09, 2012

Sudden Unexpected Tears

Indian cloth dolls on display at Arden-Dimick Library
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento

pale shell-pink heavens, sunrise after rain
murmuration of starlings bends and writhes northward
two white gulls rain brought inland on the river
dive bomb each other toward pavement
empty for a moment of early morning traffic
almost balmy air caresses tight buds
still wrapped in winter brown
cold corners turn, gather wet earth round tightly
not yet finished with this year’s long nap


—Ann Wehrman

crashing, crunching, roaring
vicious sputter, thick slab metal
whirring saw sinks into live eucalyptus
green growing too close to apartment building’s
aboveground gas main, tree’s roots endanger
bumping through concrete at the steel main’s base

eucalyptus falls to the chainsaw’s blade
arm after arm chopped, then the trunk
sawed close to the earth, roots left alone

peering out the window today,
see a new sapling, planted
sufficiently far from the gas main
supported by stakes on either side
thin trunk shimmying in cold afternoon breeze
welcome it with sudden unexpected tears


—Ann Wehrman

surprising release, sharp fragrance
urine and an old man’s sweat
face hidden below pink pate
soft, snow-white hair

still damp
black tendrils cascade
red lips bite into a kumquat
clean citrus smell

cool distant autumn on the wind
approaching rain
stale air and nausea
rocking in a high back seat of the bus


—Ann Wehrman

What was he thinking when he painted
stars like golden flowers, wet in cobalt night,
cove below shimmering in reflection,
ripples streaming from heaven’s blossoms—
God crying, tears smearing down wet cheeks.
What did the sad, crazy artist see
in that night sky, water, blue cove, boats, lovers?
Did God’s tears pierce his heart, so that he, too cried,
painting Starry Night over the Rhône?


Indian dolls that include the "monkey king" Hanuman and Rama
 —Photo by Michelle Kunert


—Caschwa, Sacramento

Three fourths of the Earth
Is covered in water
Which the mountains proclaim
All trickled down from their peaks
Packed richly with snow

Old Ice begrudgingly spares
The poor and downtrodden
A few drips now and then
In the name of opportunity
For those miserable wretches below

Along comes global warming
Far more than an inconvenient truth,
It threatens to completely dismantle
The trickle down theory
And reduce every glacier to a floe

The mountains now fearing that their
High station is in jeopardy
Advise this warming is just a cycle
Just wait thousands of years so we are
Sure of what we think we know


—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

fire she possessed
yet she faltered
life is not fiction
light flashing on and off
finished with school, where to go
finding the right forum for her story
faint light filtering inward
a fabulous man to be courted
foraging for love fills the days
famous friends no help
a final surrender to fact
fire fails
flames flicker out


—Patricia Hickerson

after years of here there and everywhere
three kids in the back seat, the merry appendages
they’re on the road thru Indio driving the 10
then sunny days in LA
arrive the morning of the Watts uprising
fires roar, snipers on the freeway
windows smashed stores looted buildings burned
check into a Manchester Blvd. motel
leave the garbage disposal on by accident
manager rushes in, raging…
some good swims in the pool, they leave after a week
rent a condo near the beach

hot days in Hermosa
dad gets job at USC big time professor
challenges the sports system makes headlines
mom at night in the overheated motel
wake up sweating back to the jazz club
the bar in Malibu where movie stars hang out

mom rides the freeways to work
San D to Harbor to Hollywood Blvd.
freakin’ drug addict falls to the sidewalk,
trips on his own eyeglasses, mom laughs

class-time at the university, dad and the co-eds
their mighty duplex on the hill
3 am parties, throw out the guests, turn off the lights
draw the drapes, go to bed…
next day, take it all a step further
kids live in the sand
smoke weed, gulp downers, drop acid
their life in L.A. mid-century

what happens to these kids in later life?
one will go alcoholic, one will go crazy, one
will go respectable….go figure


—Patricia Hickerson

a whisper
tie the laces
then again a loud bang
don’t leave the yard
years to come
disconcerting thunder
Mother’s in the hospital
comforting giggle
someone’s face
eating oatmeal with Grandma
child’s thumbprint
your foot
baby’s perfect toenails
Dad grips the elbow
pacing Broadway in a funk
come to the party
a cacophony of jobs
something lost, a bracelet fell off
she died yesterday
try to snatch it
bend to the hush of it
the lazy retreat of it
hang onto the kids
ride the waves
go to the bank, the laugh of it
a wedding on the beach
resounding in the distance, oblivious
as if we don’t exist
only the shadows we leave behind


Thanks to today's cooks for the tasty repast! Be sure to check out Medusa's Facebook page for our latest photo album: Michelle Kunert's photos of last Monday night's Sac. Poetry Center reading. About today's photos, Michelle writes that the Krishna doll is based on a legendary "magical" blue-skinned prince—which might have had some truth to it when considering their have been real blue-skinned people with the methemoglobinemia gene. For more info about that, go to

The latest edition of DADs DESK, Sacramento's large-print journal edited by Carol Louise Moon, is available now at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sac.

Looking for a one-day writing workshop experience? Manzanita Writers Press hosts two writing workshops on Saturday, February 25, 9am-4:30pm, at the Calaveras County Arts Gallery, 22 N. Main St., San Andreas. Antoinette May will present a workshop in the morning on travel writing, and Linda Abbott Trapp will present one in the afternoon on "Writing to Heal". Info: and scroll down. Cost for the full day is $85.


Today's LittleNip(s): 


The Age
Of Specialization
Preceded multitasking

Some cherry trees
Bore fruit
While others blossomed


What is a
But of course

The commode
Of a septic



 Krishna and his minions
—Photo by Michelle Kunert