Monday, December 18, 2017

Mosaics of Memory

—Anonymous Photos

—Loch Henson, Diamond Springs, CA

A glance at the prismatic
twinkle of the Christmas

tree ornaments, and the

memory of a future imperfect

starts to develop.

This is likely the last Christmas

with someone I love.  The impending

loss takes my breath away,

leaves me bereft before

the damage is dealt.

The band Crowded House had it right—

“Wherever there is comfort,

there is pain,

only one step away”

And yet here I stand, 
step away…grateful and

bitter in roughly equal measure.

The scent of pine boughs

and vanilla candles mingle
with wood smoke, and

I can feel the mosaic 

of memory assembling,

and preparing to render

its artistic impression of

these observations.

—Loch Henson

Late October, and the carnage begins.
After we harvest up all the pumpkins

for frivolous carving,

after we slaughter the turkeys for

Thanksgiving (and the hogs, and the hens…

pretty much annihilating anything in the

barnyard for our feasting),
we shall turn our attention to the forest.

Standing tall and quiet, our pines and firs

and cedars feel the coldness of the season…  

not the air temperature: the cold stare of our
children, saws in hand, looking for the

perfect sacrifice.  

Of course, we’ll adorn its carcass with plastic

baubles, and LED lights from the big

box store. We’ll stand it in a corner, and

pay retail homage to the gift gathering,

do our level best to obfuscate the Christ

in Christmas.

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

I was complimented
By a poet on high
For not having lost
All my buttons (cue sigh)

The other part of that story
Is finding the host
For my collection of buttons
That are the bones of a ghost

Plastic and metal
From two holes to four
Buttons populate my bureaus
And gather on the floor

Where now are the garments
That long for this treasure?
Long gone in the trash
Less their buttons du jour


I received a nasty letter from our
Big Brother water department
Saying I was not doing my part

That I am using more water now
Than in the same time period
Last year, so I need to try harder

ExCUSE me for not being a
Real person!  Real people
Would have fronted the money

To hire a crew of landscape workers
To mow, clip, trudge, and sweat
And go shower off elsewhere

But if you choose to do it yourself
And come into the house to
Clean up and properly bathe

It is like you are stealing water
From those who need it more
According to the sacred numbers

Real people chain smoke, go to a
Luxury hotel and flush each cigarette
Down the toilet, because that’s OK there

Real people always take their cars
To a commercial car wash facility
Distant from their immaculate driveways

Real people have connections with
The water police so that even if leaks
Appear, no punitive action is taken

Oops, got to go!  My calendar
Shows this is the time for my
Bi-monthly, 3-minute camp shower


Today''s LittleNip:

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

—George Bernard Shaw 


Thanks to today’s poets, including Loch Henson, who has been very ill these past months. But she’s recovering now, and was able to read with Taylor Graham and Kaitlyn Stahl last Friday in Cameron Park. For more about that, see

After some trepidation about the books arriving in time from the printer, the new
Tule Review from the Sacramento Poetry Center did arrive in time for its 25th Anniversary Party last Saturday night. (Sorry I didn’t post it in time—I didn’t know whether it was happening or not.) So the new issue is available now, and submissions for the next issue are also welcome; see According to that site, the deadline for poetry there is Dec. 31……

Poetry readings in our area begin tonight with two open mics in Placerville: Poetry on Main St. at The Wine Smith on Main St., 5-6:30pm, and Poetry in Motion at the Placerville Sr. Center, 6-7pm. Then in Sacramento at the Sac. Poetry Center (7:30pm), Barbara West and Grace Loescher will read (plus open mic.) 25th & R Sts. And tomorrow (Tuesday) is the free workshop, Set Your Creative Intentions for the New Year, presented by Cal. Lawyers for the Arts, 9:30-11am—be sure to check their website to see if there is still room.

On Thursday, Third Thursdays at the Central Library (poetry read-around) will take place at noon, and there will also be a read-around (Poetic License) at the Placerville Sr. Center on Saturday (12/23), from 2-4pm. Writers on the Air will not meet that day, however, due to the holiday season, and Sac. Poetry Center will not meet on Christmas Day (Mon., 12/25). 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.

The winter issue of
Canary is now available at Editor Gail Entrekin writes: "Winter descends upon us all, no matter what habitat we are living in, and its silences help us to slow down. May this issue of Canary contribute to your peace and introspection during this quietest of seasons. And may it inspire you for the work before us all."  


 —Anonymous Photo
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.