Monday, December 17, 2018

Waiting For Mother Sun

 Grandfather Raven
—Photos by Katy Brown, Davis, CA

I’ll never forget when I ate the ornaments on my family's Christmas tree
    At four years old,
    I ate the foil-covered chocolate bells Mom decorated
    Mom had told me and my brother not to touch them
    Like Eve in the Bible presented with the “forbidden fruit”
    My little psyche, like a snake, told me to disobey
    When Mom wasn’t looking
    I picked one chocolate, unwrapped it, and ate it nearly whole
    This sin was so delicious I repeated it all over the tree
    Soon enough I was “wearing” the chocolate with a ring around my mouth
    When Mom saw what I had done, she acted as if she wanted to throw me out
    Afterward she’d claim I was “allergic” to chocolate—
    Perhaps to deny me the “Eden” bliss of eating the products of the cacao tree.

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento, CA

 Raven in Flight

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

A friend had a ’61 VW Beetle
that by design did not include
a fuel gauge, but instead had
a fuel lever to move when the
vehicle had sputtered out of
gas, that would then activate a
lower hose to access that final
gallon at the bottom of the tank.

Today there’s a fellow towering
over Fifth Avenue who has
wholeheartedly adopted the old
VW fuel lever system to handle
the tricky matter of appointing
chiefs of staff…



Upon sitting down I
became the pilot facing
clusters of instruments
giving readings from all
modes and functions
of each and every

Although I was able to
assimilate some pieces
of knowledge about some
of the individual instruments,
the big picture remained
quite evasive.

There were certain icons
pointing to various hints,
most requiring some kind
of upgrade beyond my pay

We haven’t crashed yet
but neither do we have
any assurance of a
safe descent.

 Gull With Prize



Big ol’, arrogant, dominant, religion once
controlled every part of everyone’s daily
affairs, and pushed folks to risk their lives
sailing clear across the stormy sea to start
over in the New World. 

Whew, what a refreshing change!

Nice try, but no cigar.  Formal papers
were drawn up for the new government
on the new continent to exclude big
religion, but over time we only managed
to replace the old landed aristocracy with

“It’s the economy, stupid.” 

We use cheap labor, whether it’s our
own slaves or someone else’s, and
continually manufacture excuses for the
rich and the poor to just stay that way,
‘cause that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

“It is written!”

Not by God, not in stone, not in our Constitution,
but on the Big Board, on the ledgers kept by
bookies, on the Who’s Who of obscenely vast
collections of material possessions, on the pure,
white sands of ultra-exclusive beach resorts.

“Whoever dies with the most toys wins.”

To this day we still face the dilemma of freeing
the slaves while not shaming the slave holders,
of bestowing praise to the Christ child while making
every possible effort to avoid living like Him, of
buying for ourselves the best gifts on the shelf.

Happy Holidays, all!!



The Special Prosecutor has several
naked suspects who, once caught,
each confidently claims they are
holding all the right cards to win a
game of strip poker.


The long arm of the law reaches
far past whatever ripples a splash
of collusion may create.


All’s fair in love and war:  if we go
to war with Russia, it is not out of
the question that we may set up
internment camps to harshly
sequester all persons of whatever
rank or title who are suspected of
being friendly with the enemy.


Francis Bacon, the modern egghead:
“Truth is the daughter of time, not of
authority.”  “Reading maketh a full
man; conference a ready man; and
writing an exact man.”


The expression “2016 Election” will
prove to be false.  When all things
are considered, the more appropriate
description would be “hostile takeover.”


May the world live long enough to
forgive us our abuses.

 Gull in Flight


Back in the last century my parents
were forced to pay taxes and were
mandated to send their children to

Public school teachers were required
to deliver instruction on grammar,
while students were required to both
attend and participate.

Today just a few decades down the
road, educated people commonly use
expressions like “we need to dig deeper”
as if avoiding adverbs is the rule.

So what was the point? 

My parents will never get their tax
contributions back, nor will I ever get
back that precious time that could have
been better spent sleeping or playing.

I fear that parents are still forced to pay
school systems to DUMB DOWN their
kids, using lesson plans that focus on
proper adverbs, when in fact, actually

using adverbs in public discourse will
draw more scorn and persecution than
if you were to run around butt naked.
We must react quicker and stronger!

 Iron Owl

—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

What poets despise:
Carefully crafted lies
Masterworks of deception
Impossible to penetrate
Without plastic mittens
To protect your human hands
From deadly poisons
Set about the wrappers
Of the bodyguard of lies
Designed to seal
Deeply set inside
A marvelous, perfect gem
Of dark deceit.


—Joseph Nolan

A failed romance
Things that come
And go—
Modern gypsies.

Pack the wagon,
Harness horse.
Ambition draws us
Over the next mountain.

Another Spring,
Another trek.
Our prospect.

 Elfin Owl

—Joseph Nolan

She bellows out
Into the street
To any who
Might listen,
In odd-worn tones
Of hoarseness voice.
No princess, now,
Is she.

No man left
To stand for her
Or care
Or take her home,
She is at rock-bottom
And all alone.

Worn down, then,
By meaner men,
No decent father, neither;
No safe home
She could count on,
Against the ways of men.

Bruised, abused and battered,
Ransacked and overturned,
She makes the rounds,
About the streets in tatters.

This way she will stay—
A woman, thrown away.


—Joseph Nolan

If you were dead,
Would you dance?
Dance and sing,
Or cry out loud?

Or act just like a ghost
Pale and frail,
A mist in wind,
Blowing faint away?

Would you tell all of your secrets
To loft upon the air
Since you no longer cared
If really,
You ever cared a whit
For keeping secrets?

Since, after all of it
Is done,
Ghosts know all.
They already know
And they don’t care!

—Joseph Nolan

A shadowed shade
Bears down our days
And sets our hearts
To bottom.

Daylight drooping
Into darkness,
Stillness, still,
Into dark.

With its shorter days,
This way, still-full comes.
We feel the darkness
Bear us down,
Deeply down
To bottom.

In its own
Gravity’s sway,
Keeps us safely
On the ground
As we make our way
Through Holiday Season.

We need the weight
To keep us well-borne down,
Facing lights
With hopes
For bright,
Bright happy,
Times and play
We seldom get to know.


—Joseph Nolan
The world is out there!
Out there, somewhere,
Spinning in its place,
Spinning in its orbit,
Somewhere, out in space!

Held in track by Sun,
With planets, each one;
Each in its own path—
Circling the Sun.

How can this thing be?
Not for an eternity,
Someday, Sun will go
Out into a great red-giant
And burn up all its planets!

What kind of mother is She?
The source of all our energy.
Has she not a kinder heart
To spin us off to farther parts
As orphans, to new Sun?

To warm anew
In other-Mother’s tracks,
Against the killing cold
Of being off alone,
Off in Space?
Or burned in grand consumption
When she can’t stop her
Red-Sun’s expansion?

A sun must consume her planets!
This is the way of cosmic law.
They get a chance to spin
Around her,
But soon,
Into her fire,
She will draw them
One and all!


Today’s LittleNip:

—Joseph Nolan

Feathers fall much faster
Under forlorn skies
When they’re upside-down.

When in their proper position,
They catch the wind
And spin and spin around
In circles
As they make their way
Gently to the ground.


Our thanks to today’s poets, and to photographer Katy Brown and her birds, for today’s Kitchen fare.

Poetry events in our area begin tonight in Placerville, 6-7pm, with the monthly Poetry in Motion read-around at the Placerville Sr. Center. Then, at 7:30pm in Sacramento, Sac. Poetry Center will present Yuyutsu RD Sharma and poets from the anthology,
Eternal Snow: A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections. Also at Sac. Poetry Center, this time on Wednesday at 6pm, MarieWriters Generative Writing Workshop will meet for a small, guided group facilitated by Christin O’Cuddehy.

Third Thursdays at the Central Library meets on—you guessed it—Thursday, 12noon, for a read-around; bring poems by someone other than yourself. Then five—correction! make that six—poets (Allegra Silberstein, Charles Halsted, Carlena Wike, James Lee Jobe, Beth Suter, Dorine Jeannette) plus open mic will read at The Other Voice in Davis on Friday, 7:30pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Patwin Rd., Davis. And on Saturday, Poetic License monthly read-around will meet at the Placerville Sr. Center in Placerville, 2-4pm. 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.



 Celebrate poetry!

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