—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento, CA
my feet take me down county road, north of the city
low ranch houses, no sidewalks, dust, trees budding early
in February’s warmth, after the rains
one house, neatly fenced, hosts plump, vibrant chickens
their barnyard, the front yard
in the shade, dainty young hen settles on her plump breast
variegated feathers a subtle brown tweed coat
she chirps soft contentment, her gaze friendly
behind her, by the bushes lapping the house’s face
tall red-wattled rooster struts, preens, cocks his head
I walk on with a chuckle, past olive trees
bearing bright red berries in upper branches
dwarf pear trees rioting in blousy chiffon
my nose stuffed, eyes running
meander through showers of tender white petals
morning gray sky oppresses
sheets of rain
inside, I brew coffee
power gamely stays on
feels more intense
seen through solitary eyes
look too far within the mirror
brood over money, health
Death’s patient, firm footsteps
approach as years pass
slip outside the door
soft baby blue sky
blazes from left horizon to right
white pillows scuttle
in whipping wind
sun warms me
I struggle to wake fully
glorious, bright sun
clear air, washed by
this morning’s downpour
rejoice in one more day
in this body
on this elemental Earth
orange, red leaves
swirl in a gyre
dance in wind
sink to the gutter
autumn’s cold rain
tears them from branches
dissolves their forms
all life is a process—
does the leaf know
this process, as it spins
in cold, wet wind
to the gutter’s deep night?
—william yates, ft. bragg, CA
she's not romantic
she just lives in the past.
and refusing to become.
her shadow cries
SHAKESPEAREAN BASEBALL SONNET #19
—Michael Ceraolo, S. Euclid, OH
Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws;
We as yet still obey all your laws
And will keep doing so many a year,
Until the day we are no longer here.
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou will
And do you level best, swift-footed Time,
to peck away at every player's skill;
A new generation comest along in time;
The game remains played in the endless now.
You will draw your lines with your antique pen
And none will escape with untainted brow,
No matter how strong any person's yen.
Yet do thy worst old Time, although unsung;
The game shall in my verse live ever young.
SHAKESPEAREAN BASEBALL SONNET #49
Against that time, if ever that time come,
When you shall see us frown on your defects,
My love today hath cast its utmost sum,
And focuses on your worthy aspects.
Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass,
And I scarcely greet you with a fan's eye
And my love be altered from what it was,
For reasons I cannot now fathom why—
Against that time I do ensconce my here
Without the knowledge of your future fate,
And enjoy batting and throwing the sphere
Without a care about your future state.
I will remain true without any pause,
Since why I love I can allege much cause.
—Michael H. Brownstein, Chicaco, IL
(because of Caschwa's poem, “Full of B.S.”
in Medusa’s Kitchen, 2/19/18)
Worm of the earth
Worm of the sea
Worm of the body
Worm of hunger
Worm of flesh
Worm of injury
—Michael H. Brownstein
a mess of impropriety,
and a posture of thyme
Our thanks to today’s fine potpourri of spring poets, talking about basesball and the soil and weather and romance! And welcome to William Yates of Ft. Bragg, who was sent Kitchen-way by SnakePal D.R. Wagner. Our photo theme is chickens, triggered by Ann Wehrman’s poem about spring fever. For Mitchell Warren’s “Parables About Chickens”, go to subversify.com/2017/04/10/parables-about-chickens/.
Poetry readings in our area this week begin tonight at Sac. Poetry Center with the Women’s History Poetry Reading at 7:30pm, then will continue tomorrow night (Tuesday) from 5-7pm in El Dorado Hills, with the monthly Poetry Off-the-Shelves read-around.
On Saturday, the Second Sat. Art Reception at Sac. Poetry Center will feature the Straight Out Scribes Family Art Exhibit, with talks and performances. The Exhibit will continue through the month. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about these and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.
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