—Photos by Martha Ann Blackman, Sacramento,
at the Sac. Poetry Center release of
THE POET SPEAKS OF MADNESS
The poet speaks of madness—madness compared
to what? What were they before the revelation?
An ant, busy at his work of carrying bundles of
dried and curled rose petals to the potpourri pot?
But now, each foot stomps rose petals into a silken
gown, as if one could insult a Monarch Butterfly.
The poet further sings of madness, high pitched at
times, then dropping an octave lower for suspense.
The ants love to nap on rose petals, dreaming
the scent of roses they store in their sinuses.
Rose petal soup simmers in ant kitchens—calming
ant parents; driving ant babies crazy.
That rainbow, the colors, the shimmer and
glow! But, what do I know of light refraction?
This Medical Illustration Man has been
drawn with only nerve and bone. He’s got
a lot of nerve.
A dandelion here on the edge of lawn has
broken up, separated herself from the dance
troupe, has taken a bow.
A gray elephant, ready to stampede once
his toenail polish dries, no longer hides
in the berry patch.
Your plate—crusted with dry scrambled egg—
reminds me of a white egg-crusted plate
I once held in my hand.
Common words, spoken by a common leader
to the common man: an unsolicited lecture.
The poet is rather ghazal-like among his friends,
but all rhymed and metered in the market place.
GHAZALS FOR A FOGGY DAY
Black dog knows he is observed and
adored; his steady breath, gentle gaze
out the cottage window.
A bright morning shoved into a foggy closet
by 8am invites no one with cane-in-hand
to walk a brick-lined path.
I think of her often: her word-grace, her
casual smile-of-earnest, her green eyes,
her nodding of carrot hair.
Woodpecker works hard at his drilling,
adding his share of noise to the
ungreased wheel of morning.
Penned-poems, dreamed, cause rapid-
eye-movement. But the poem in your
eyes is what moves me…. often.
Who has read our names on postal
parchment that they know our words
are so entwined?
What is to be known of the honey comb?
A frightening look at overcrowding.
Coffee farmers. Coffee roasters. Coffee filters.
Coffee beans and water. Steam rises.
They come to this tribal gathering in robes,
wearing slippers, newsprint on their thumbs.
Affection awaits cats whose attitudes, carefully
adjusted, have decided to stay off this couch.
It is summer, yet the weather remains cool
because we have not turned the calendar page.
Tomorrow, let us fly the rainbow kits of our
sensual minds, entangling kite tails.
The poet has composed another poem…
another day of poetry… in her mind.
Writers don’t write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don’t. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.
—Medusa, with thanks to Carol Louise Moon and Martha Ann Blackman for today’s fine fare, and a note that, in addition to the readers pictured above, other readers on Monday night included Sandy Thomas, Cynthia Linville, Bill Gainer, and Martha Ann Blackman.
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