Friday, August 11, 2017

Grin and Bear It

—Poems by Caschwa (Carl Bernard Schwartz), Sacramento, CA
—Photos by Katy Brown, Davis, CA


“Are we there yet?”
Ask the people and the pundits
Now over 200 days
Into the new pretendency
Let’s see about that

Undeniably racist
Rallies and retaliation
For allowing black folk
Full citizenship
Are we there yet?

The hornet’s nest was stirred
From the unforgiveable audacity
Of allowing a lowly liberal woman
To run for president
Are we there yet?

The new administration
Is taking credit for
Crossing rivers where
The prior one built bridges
Are we there yet?

Business as usual
Is the new government normal
Lavish retreats for the executives
Eroding opportunity for the masses
Are we there yet?

The slow boat to China fuse was
Lit on explosive investigations
Evidence is being collected
The hangman is readying his knot
Don’t hold your breath waiting



I am hopelessly frowning
While smiling weeds are clowning
Around on my lawns and garden

Each an escaped felon
Larger footprint than a melon
Grasping onto that first taste of freedom

Neighbors and vendors suggest
Sure-fire solutions, at best
Sure to enlarge the difficulty

Demoting me from retired state worker
To an insignificant weed jerker
From dawn to dusk

Dreams of a nice rock garden bed
Now dance around in my head
You see where that got me?

( * * * )

There must be thousands of species
Of harmful winged insects
And all of them make me blue

Then come countless questions as to
Which species is most onerous
And those questions upset me, too

(* * *)

A circular firing squad
Could be no worse

Than politicians
Writing policy in verse

(Response to “One Room Is A House” by D.R. Wagner)
No window is big enough
Nor even double doors
Walls and ceilings must fall away
Become mere crumbling clay

Because one solitary room is a nest
Where occupants practice
The endless exercise
Of flittering wings and wandering eyes

They are one moment drawn
Into vast open spaces
Then abruptly sucked back
Into a small honeycomb shack

Home does not bear a house number
It is a special invitation from
Close neighbors and distant foreigners
To visit the globe and peer ‘round all the corners



What is this thing?
Called Love,
Who had dialed a wrong number
And had gotten this answer:

Karma window panes
Holding fly paper
Catching flying
Paper airplanes


Everybody gathered
Everything ready
Except there was a dog
On the launch pad

The dog was in heat
I waved to her
She didn’t get it
Houston, we have a problem


I climbed all the way
To the very top
Of a hill of beans
To learn the secret:

Soak them slowly
Cook them slowly
Eat them slowly
Leave quickly

(I’m new to culture, please
let me keep my visitor’s pass)

Taking note of Sir Arnold Bax
And his dual affinity with
The Celtic and Nordic cultures

One may conjure a
Glencolumcille scenario
Where Thor’s Chthonic boom

Drew forth the maththeth
To the chthafety of their
Chthtorm chthelter


(Sometime in the 1960’s)

I felt like taking a bicycle ride
Into the distant mountainside
Away from urban and suburban
Napping in the lap of nature

It began taking shape
Much like King Kong the ape
A silver screen fantasy
Enjoyed with popcorn and soda

My impressionable eyes gazing up at
The MGM Studio's 25,000-gallon hat
Water tower which I hastily strapped
To the frame of my 10-speed bike

Off I pedaled across the town
One foot up, the other down
Somewhere north of Beverly Hills
The climb got serious, and then…

A noxious odor fouled the air
Road kill snake decomposing there
I dismounted my bike, held my nose
Small steps now, big breaths ahead

Mulholland Drive, near the crest of the mountain
Still the same day, but the hour, who’s countin’?
Enough of a day for one guy on a bike
Coming home all downhill, brakes and breeze

Decades later I can still smell that snake
When the Press Secretary echoes words oh so fake
Best we can do is move on, put it behind us
But endless lies have an afterlife…..



We hug closely while rounding curves
On a speedway of emotion

Moonroof above, fertile garden of
Hormones below

No determined destination
Parked off-road

Poems in our head, particularly
Joyce Odam’s “Interminglings”

We shall rake the birds
With alluring food

And feed the leaves
With moonlight

It’s my turn
I’ll get up   


Today’s LittleNip:


A restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Has to list everything it serves
On two separate menus

One geared to the eloquent
Who want to take a bite out of
The lesser privileged

One other geared to the lesser privileged
Who want to take a bite out of
The eloquent


Our thanks to Caschwa (Carl Bernard Schwartz) for his fine poetry today, and to Katy Brown for these photos of the bear she saw last weekend in Auburn. In addition to our Seed of the Week: Are We There Yet?, Carl's work today has allusions to the poetry of D.R. Wagner, Joyce Odam, and Tom Goff,
poems of theirs which have appeared recently in the Kitchen. Glad to see you're paying attention, Carl!

Sacramento Poet Michelle Kunert writes to remind us that there will be a partial solar eclipse visible in Sacramento on August 21; see Michelle has sent us two links for music to watch the eclipse by:

And if you’re in the mood for Terry Moore’s Love Jones Experience, that’s happening tonight with poets and musicians in Elk Grove, 9pm. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


 Celebrate poetry!

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.