Monday, November 05, 2018

The Hole Story

—Photos by Caschwa, Sacramento, CA


As a young child I was
enthused to get to play
miniature golf

I wasn’t particularly good
at the sport, but felt that
progress was certain

On one occasion the
family visited a local course
and my game was fine

At the last hole, my turn
came and I poked the ball
past the windmill blades

and got a Hole in One!!
My reward was a card
good for one free game

I kept that card till it faded
we never went back there
I may still have that card


A royal recipe of money, trade routes, and domination
winning is everything, if those lowly people complain,
just grind them into the compost to grow your land.

Endless grievances were shouldered and tallied
a Revolutionary War announced that the People were
mad as Hell about their rights being trashed.

And so began the Democratic Experiment, which finally
lent an ear to the various concerns of the People,
oppression and abuse now codified as bad things.

Over the next couple hundred years, our reputation of
approving funding for compassion was construed as a
formal dare to autocrats and tyrants around the world.

Somehow the allure of the red carpet, bowing to those
divinely appointed drug lords and kingpins, resurrected
the old royal recipe which had never quite died out.

What we need now more than anything else is for our
government to hear us again, to give us back the key
and let us drive where we choose.  HEAR OUR VOTES!


(a riff on Medusa’s Seed of the Week:
see photo in right-hand column)

Long, long, long ago
my fingers worn and torn,
I treated myself to a
nice, sharp pair of
left-handed scissors.

They felt like the relief
of extracting a thorn,
the comfort of finally reaching
the next level in a difficult
game of skill.

It was like pairing up
with a mate that you would
gladly spend the rest of
your life with, and beyond
forever and ever.

And yet there was one other
unanticipated benefit:
these scissors have become
the top drawer, first choice,
weapon in my arsenal.

Whenever a righty might ask
me if they can borrow a pair of
scissors, I give them a taste
of what it feels like to live the
maligned life of a lefty.


This was no ordinary plate,
convex from rim to rim, it
featured two distinct plateaus,
separated by bloody red,
“Do not park here” curbs.

One is left to wonder what
trouble awaits if one puts
the wrong substance on
either of those plateaus…
major consequences!!

How could you?!?!
The dip goes in the middle
and the chips around it,
not the reverse of that…
don’t break my heart again.   😒

—Michael Ceraolo, S. Euclid, OH

The Redeemers

(definition of Redeemer

—one who helped to redeem the South
from the promise of democracy)

                                               were, if anything,
even less likely to tolerate economic democracy
than they were political democracy,
and that was shown in a strike of sugar-cane harvesters
in southern Louisiana in 1887

The planters

(definition of planter

—one who has everything planted for him)

were doing their best to re-institute slavery
in fact if not in law
"the planter
                    gets back
through his plantation store
in profits on his goods
about one-half the wages
which he pays the laborer"
the workers rebelled by going on strike

"Without color of authority or necessity
the Chief Executive of the state of Louisiana
ordered out state troops to enforce
the aggressive and arbitrary will of said planters"
and the planters responded financially
making sure that the state
"would be put through as little expense possible
during the continuation of the strike"

"There were several companies of white men
and they went around night and day shooting
colored men who took part in the strike"
"no less than thirty-five negroes were killed outright"
many of those not the striking workers,
and some historians have put that figure even higher,
though the 'official' death toll was eight
in what is now known as The Thibodaux Massacre

The striking workers returned to work.

(an excerpt from Michael's book, 
American Labor: An Episodic Epic)

—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA
Semblance raised
Of carrot-cake,
Eating frosting
In the dark,

Along the edges,
You placate
The ridges
And all pledges,
Gone astray.

What would
A wise-man say
To the power
Of temptation

That drives
A good woman
And lets her
Wetness have
Its way?
Her crying
She shares her breast.

Leaving all the rest
To make their way
Until it’s time for dinner.

With her lover,
She’s the winner
In this hot
In the shade.

—Joseph Nolan

The sun cannot stop shining
Nor seasons, passing, that fly.
Nor can the sky stop raining
Across the world
And why,
Does man cry?
Why cannot man stop to cry?

I heard
A Winter legend
Of snow
That piled high
And covered
Every city
And mountain,
No matter, the mountain, how high,
And filled up
Every valley,
No matter, the valley, how wide,
And nevertheless
Under the snow,
Man still cried and cried.

There is no cure for crying
No matter, the mountain, how high
Atop each mountain’s a crucible
Inside which each man cries.

—Joseph Nolan

Finely-crafted worlds of lies,
Anathema and alibis
And phony fairy-tales
Meant for those whom reason fails,
Who never want to see
The dark-side of reality.

Each day, on the evening news,
Reporters sing their tales of blues
With pictures by the score,
To back it up, what’s more,
Some of those pictures
Are derived from mythical lore.
Viewers lean back
In their


Today’s LittleNip:

—Joseph Nolan

There’s a robot on my phone
When I answer.
It doesn’t say a word,
It’s only listening.
I hear its heavy breathing—
That’s what I heard.
Artificial, stupid lust.
Someone said there’s a law against this,
But in business they trust.


A big thank-you to today’s contributors on this, Election Day Minus One. Members of Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol read at Sac. Poetry Center tonight, 7:30pm. Poetry Off-the-Shelves meets in El Dorado Hills tomorrow, Tuesday, at the library on Silva Valley Parkway from 5-7pm.

On Thursday, Wellspring Women Writers Poetry & Prose Prompts workshop for women meets upstairs at Wellspring Women’s Center in Sacramento, 11:30am-1:30pm, then Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe in Sacramento meets at 8pm, with featured readers and open mic.

This coming Saturday will be the Second Saturday Art Reception at Sac. Poetry Center Gallery, this month featuring Mary Lynn Tenenbaum and Jonathan Baran, with guitar music by Bob Stanley. 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.

Did you remember to set your clocks back, or are you living on borrowed time?


 (Celebrate reading—and poetry—and
reading poetry!)


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