Monday, September 17, 2018

A Moo of Optimism

—Photos by Katy Brown, Davis, CA

—JD DeHart, Chattanooga, TN

To live in a world where
the pale pearl of a cloud might
be filled with the shadow presence
of a whale,

swimming through the sky,
rising and falling in massive
flight, spouting cumulus from a cavern
mounted on its considerable frame,

and meanwhile, on the earth below,
only beautiful animals, no more slithering
creatures tapered at one end and filed
like knives on the other tip,

ready to cut us down, undulating
threats moving with soiled gleam.


—JD DeHart

Silent orb resting
on a gum-pink quivering
base, waving side to side

like the arms of a crazed
fan during the World Series.

This appendage brings
to mind questions of how we
come to know the universe.

The sweeping finger, the lapping
dog tongue, the perusing
eye that travels a library?

Fragments of truth studded with
the remnants of perception?

Still yet is the question
of what we sense and its collision
with what really is.

 Apple Crates

—Ian Lewis Copestick, Stoke on Trent, England

If asked what you like most about you
It's your new 9 Series B.M.W.
It's what you've worked your whole life towards
You've hit your sales targets, this is your reward
You sleep in cheap motels, in service stations you eat
Keep your suit jacket on a hanger over your back seat
You grew your career moustache aged 25
These sacrifices should help your career thrive
You should be area manager by the time you hit 40
With your semi-detached, 2 kids and your wife Judy
Up the ladder you'll continue to climb
It's the way of the world and it suits you just fine
You'll get a bigger house with an indoor pool
Plastic surgery for the wife and the kids in a private school
Keep on climbing up that greasy pole
A 20-grand pay rise, 2000 more on the dole
Screwing your secretary in luxury hotels
Get a seat on the board, reserve a seat in Hell
Your youthful ideals have gone by the wayside
But you are happy as long as you've got a pay rise
You justify to yourself on how many people you tread
You're a short time alive, you're a long time dead
But time goes slow in Hell, as in life it goes fast
You came from the working class,
You’ve spent your working life doing your best to destroy it
That was your life, I hope you enjoyed it.

 Table Shadows

—Rhony Bhopla, Sacramento, CA
Do we havta have NAFTA, says bubo buttered Trump
he promises a Great America, yet more lies this month

Canada has been eating butter like it’s cool again
Unfiltered U.S. milk rejected, Canada—own supply chain

Don’t blame U.S. dairy woes on the country to the north
Milk products to Canada are not subject to tariff wars

The U.S. dumps millions of gallons of milk:
global and U.S. overproduction, the true ill

There’s too much milk, and too many full cows
Canadians consume own dairy. Trump calls foul?

Misleading is the claim, milk-deals harm Wisconsin
When Canada and California match in population

Divide and conquer, the theme in economics of Trump
His disguise, protectionism. Same lies this month.


—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

“Lower blood sugar
with donut and extra sides”
That is what I heard.

*** ***

A ballot in the
box is like a bullet in
the gun, so go vote.

*** ***

Here we are again
trying to make some sense of
a farcical man.

*** ***

Behold twin cities:
Minneapolis-St. Paul,
Now you can let go.

*** ***

Ancient Egyptians
gave higher intelligence
credit they deserved.

*** ***

Grab a bucket and
a stool, sit under a cow,
hope it ain’t no bull.

*** ***

The most primitive
BC years were certainly
those before coffee.

 Tower Fountain


Perennial bastions of the old 3 R’s
special parking for students’ cars
music appreciation and college prep,
sex education:  watch your step!

one vital course they left out
is Nest Feathering, no doubt
untrained students try to do it
like shaking dressing without a cruet

but the curriculum has no room
big funding gaps still loom
so graduation is a big charade
rich in knowledge, unfit to be paid.

 Gold Mums


1932 – Los Angeles hosted the
Summer Olympic Games in their
new Coliseum.

It had been 18 glorious years
since The War to End All Wars
had finally come to a close, and
so as a rule most of our vertical
things made by Man or by Nature
stayed vertical.

A great United States, borne of
divisiveness, had gotten a good
taste of the awesome power
derived from the USA’s uniting
with allies for the greater good
of the world.  Savor that moment
in the garden, because all things
come to pass.

1965 – Los Angeles hosted the
Watts Riots.

A volcanic eruption of unsettled
divisiveness still left over from the
Civil War, World War II, the Korean
War, the Viet Nam police action,
mixed in with all the general unrest
that would lead officials to declare
a War on Crime, a War on Drugs, a
War on Poverty, etc.

2018 – Los Angeles is still on the
map, so maybe there is no cause
to fret any further.  One caution: if
you take a walk to smell the roses,
wear a bullet-proof vest.

 Wood Siding


Beaming with pride, the
“only I can get it done”
president (in name only)
saw a growing number
of undocumented,
brutalized, desperate,
immigrant, refugee
families seeking asylum
as their very last hope,

and responded by taking
them away from the
border, away from each
other, and running them
through a sharp-edged
c r o s s   s h r e d d e r

then just to be extra sure
he scattered the finely
shredded pieces into
several remotely stationed
trash bins, patted himself
on the back, “Job well done!”
and sat down to enjoy a
tasty piece of cake.

 Complexity of Red

We have never met.
Let me introduce myself,
I am scenery.

You are a little
girl from a comic strip, well
beyond well informed.

I am dead to you,
the omniscient super girl,
although you need me

to help you be seen
towering above the world.
I am your sidewalk,

you put chalk on me
and play some devious games
you must always win.

Yet, long after you
have died and become ashes,
I will still be there.


Today’s LittleNip:


Turn your key to
access dark options
and hold the Press off
from your home.

(Found poem, Source:  Tracfone Services Guide, page headed: “You Made the Right Choice”)


Many thanks to today’s fine contributors, including SnakePal JD DeHart. JD, whose poetry sometimes appears in the Kitchen, has a new book of poetry:
A Five-Year Journey, from Dreaming Big Publications. Check it out at

Poetry events in our area begin tonight at Sac. Poetry Center with Leanne Grabel and John Dooley from Portland, Oregon, plus open mic. Then it will be a busy weekend, starting on Thursday at noon with Third Thursdays at the Central Library; then a choice of Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe in Sacramento at 8pm, or Valerie Wallace plus open mic at John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis, also 8pm.

On Friday, also in Davis, Patricia Wentzel and Gary Kruse (plus open mic) will be featured at The Other Voice, Unitarian Universalist Church library, 7:30pm.

And Saturday will be a full day, with Writers on the Air at Sac. Poetry Center presenting Ivy Almond and Mash, plus open mic, 9:30am-1pm; then Poetic License at the Placerville Sr. Center, 2-4pm; then the Convergence (online journal) reading at Sac. Poetry Center, from 2:30-5:30pm, celebrating its 15-Year Anniversary! Then from 6-10pm, Kathryn Hohlwein and Gene Avery will read at Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe, followed by music from Proxy Moon.

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.


 Monday got your goat?
(Celebrate poetry anyway!)
—Anonymous Photo

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