Thursday, July 05, 2012

SNAKES ALIVE! What's all this fuchsia, and can I spell it right?

—Photo by Charlotte Vincent, Sacramento

—Claire J. Baker, Pinole

When we stand on a hilltop
and face a sunrise, we harbor

no concern over what or who else
we may become, or when, or if.

Every sunrise is a Great Now

that we, too, have risen
many times before—that

rising again and again is
what life is all about. 

(first pub. on website:


—Claire J. Baker

I think of newborns
who claim the universe
with a glance;
elders who send forth
sparks of awareness
that perk up a whole room.

People who are as real as
the yearly butterfly migration
down the California coast,

wings fragile in flight
yet linked for uplift
in the airy tide of wings,
the gathered pollen of wings,

the entire congregation moving
as one great body—
lively and full of light.

(first pub. in Beacon on the Hill and


—Michael Cluff, Corona

Off the main path
using an abacus for math
in fly-blown old Norco town
Jean Paul put the stylus down
began to loudly moan
enough to crack open every stone,
"Here on Old Hammer Road
adobe makes many an abode
but the trail of the mighty horse
is now a rutted, briar-ridden, rutted course,
time has moved into a newer century
I consider it a foul penitentiary."

The moon rims above his ice-planted lawn
listens to his bitching without a yawn,
yet the river bluffs are starchly the same
ignoring the silliness and drama of human change.

—Photo by Frank Dixon Graham, Sacramento

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

who was she, Uncle Bill?
a feather of a woman
feathers singed
bones delicate, pale, thin
her fantasy a broken feather
a baby born pale
bird-baby feathered without nest
palm tree baby broken leaves
bird without nest
who, Uncle Bill?

in a dream I know who it is
…Cousin Belle
her portrait on my dressing table
colors added onto the photo
long ago on Ross Avenue
she had a baby
but no nest
I cried for Belle
she gave up her baby
wept ever after
the jitters the shakes

Uncle Bill pats my shoulder
not to worry, kid      


—Patricia Hickerson

running up the path from my dream stump
I saw that Uncle Bill’s gardenias
were in bloom by the front door
a delicious fragrance filled my head
made me cry
Uncle Bill herded me into the cabin
f’chrissake, what’re you bawling about?
if you didn’t spend so much time
dawdling on that tree stump
here, kid! dry your tears and scrape these carrots

that midnight in my sleeping bag on the window seat
I saw the moon creeping across the sky
blanching the gardenias at the front door
the petals opalescent     

—Patricia Hickerson

leaned against the dream stump
fell asleep
dreamed of holding a piece of paper
a poem in progress
dreamed of being in bed
woman in the next bed
a man leaves her bed
sneaks into mine
finger at lips
still holding a piece of paper
poem in progress
his body barely touching mine
our toes meet
he’s against my back
cruel delirium
almost touching
not quite
holding a piece of paper
dream in progress
littered in leaves falling
Uncle Bill calls out
it’s time for lunch 


Thanks to today's cooks for our tasty stew! 

Larry Sheehy of Mendocino writes to say hey and to send us a link to Watershed Poetry Mendocino

I've posted three happenings for next week on the blue b-board: two workshops you might want to check into, and the Lew Welch book release by City Lights in San Francisco. Check these out.  
You may've noticed some changes in the Kitchen—most notably that the links to Medusa's Inner Life (which used to be on the green board under "Snake on a Rod") have popped up to the top of Medusa and turned fuchsia. (I'm not thrilled with the color, but it's the only option, so we'll go with it.) Just click on any of those FUCHSIA LINKS for more poet-phernalia; the old ones have been refurbed, some of the info has gone into new pages, and there are some new pages that I hope you'll take a look at—such as the "Sounds for Sore Ears", which contains local poets reading on youtube—another chance to get our people and their work out into the ether! This page has room for all of you; if you have a link to yourself reading, send it to us at and we'll stick 'er on there.

By the way—last night I was writing "fuchsia" here and there on the blog and spelling it wrong every time (fuschia). So this morning I started paying attention to the spellcheck warnings and had to go through and change it everywhere. I hope I got 'em all...


Today's LittleNip:

Love is easy, and I love writing. You can't resist love. You get an idea, someone says something, and you're in love.

—Ray Bradbury


—Medusa (you never know what she'll be up to next!)

—Photo by Frank Dixon Graham