A DAY I DREAD
—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA
A somber cup of coffee,
Light to creep in,
In my early morning,
I wish you were
Still with me.
I’d be still
My tender darling,
But I’m alone,
With my cup of coffee,
Facing a day I dread!
When I must meet
And a stone-head!
ANOTHER DAY BECKONS
Another chance to dance
With a beloved—
Another chance to win
A fine romance!
Blessed be the sun
To bring the day.
Let morning’s virtue
Summon you to greet the
Dawn’s cold fog.
Don’t be a log!
Don’t lie too long,
From evening’s bed-clothes;
Greet the day!
The day is making way,
Comes on brightly
A WELL-SEASONED PAN
The slightest taste-remnants
Of a thousand dishes
Cooked well or ill
Over the years,
Darkened into blackness,
A mother’s warm expectancy,
Coaxing things toward edibility,
Hopefully to tasty!
To please the tongues
And gullets of her young,
To let it not
Get out of control,
Despite a thousand distractions,
All these things
A well-seasoned pan.
I was the last one she’d tell
The details of her love-life,
But things weren’t going well.
A new one came to visit
When the old one went away,
But the new one didn’t fit so well,
So she had a lot to tell.
So, even I,
Who’d waited oh-so long!
To hear her open up to me
Her raindrops spatter,
Building, as we took a walk,
Building into little rivers,
Into trickle-down talk.
Seeing a squirming and suffering earthworm
lying on the cement pavement after a rainstorm
Makes me hesitate to consider to help
But then I hear the birds out singing
And I realize if I send this worm back to the soil
I will be denying the songbirds a possible meal
That’s the nature of some things
So I leave the suffering worm and walk on
—Michael Ceraolo, Euclid, OH
Nature is the greatest sculptor:
some of her work permanent,
at least on the human scale,
thousands or even millions of years;
other of her work temporary,
lasting only a few days
Some of the latter,
in the medium of ice,
were documented by
an enterprising photojournalist
and featured in the local weekly paper
A storm blew across the lake
the third weekend of January,
the windswept spray froze on
whatever was handy on the shore
Three interesting pieces were exhibited
near the mouth of the creek:
on the pier,
up to six inches of ice in places
on some structures,
a white beard on the pier's arch
and icicles of varying lengths
dangling from the pier,
even reaching down to the chunks of ice
thrown onto the shore;
almost in the shape of a house
in a Gothic horror movie,
decorated for the season
with grossly overgrown hanging ice
instead of grossly overgrown vegetation;
on a railing,
the jagged uneven teeth
of a snow monster with three jaws,
one for each rail
(there may be other rails
cropped out of the photo)
The weather warmed in a few days
and all were gone,
they remain in the paper's archives
and in this poem
FLAMING TIKI TORCHES
—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA
We all know those awful anti-semicolon remarks when we hear them…
To be boldly dangling a split participle, protestors postulate infinitive.
Careful writers pre-position prepositions before reaching the end.
Another form of verbal abuse is to use adverbs but not endorse the product.
I studied self-defense techniques with the help of a personal pronoun.
Driving around the city, state, and country
I see streets, apartment houses, and gated
communities with names reflecting parts of
the natural beauty of the area, like Meadows,
Vistas, Vineyards, Falls, and such.
The sad truth is that much of that natural beauty
has been literally taken away in favor of real
estate developments, leaving behind only the
pretty names to remind us.
Will this also be the future for our great land of
democracy, freedom, and peace? Will foreign,
corporate investors raze and level Capitol Hill
and replace that prized tract of land with a new
shopping mall/auto mall bearing that name?
ANCIENT MOSH PIT
Put on your fighting clothes and
grab your killer weapons because
The Cradle of Civilization has
opened up its mosh pit to welcome
visitors of any faith as long as it is
your deepest desire to vanquish
anyone who gets in your way.
One conquest after another has Jews,
Christians, Muslims, and others making
an abundant assortment of holy, smoly
declarations and statements of authority
meant to rid the land of all intruders who
just don’t accept whose truth should rule
There is only one God, but damnit if we
don’t have thousands of versions and
variations as to which is the highest and
best use of that heavenly domain. So
enjoy your visit, then go home and lick
Part and parcel of our constitutional right to
bear arms, the framers explicitly included the
expectation that gun bearers would belong to
a well ordered militia. Giving no support to
the “well ordered” component is like ripping
away the frame from a skyscraper.
So now America is left with gazillions of guns
in the hands of gazillions of people who are
anything but well ordered, and who in turn
leave a deadly trail of misuse, neglect, and
The situation has gotten so out of hand, law
enforcement officers routinely presume that
anyone who is acting out of line is likely also
toting a gun.
Case in point: one evening when Sacramento
police responded to complaints of vandalism,
two officers saw the flash of a cell phone in
the subject’s hands and reacted desperately
as if their own lives were about to end in a hail
of gunfire. So they did as they had been duly
trained and “returned” fire, killing the suspect.
Just assigning blame to these two officers will
not solve the larger problem. One way or the
other, we need to enact and enforce effective
gun control laws. End of rant.
So many things about which
I stopped thinking
When I was
No older than nine;
Still, that level of thinking
Inhabits my mind.
It takes too much time
To keep thinking.
I’m a little too busy for thinking.
In my world, I’m still nine.
Our thanks to today’s potpourri of contributors! We’re on the cusp of April, which is National Poetry Month; more about that later. April also includes Earth Day on the 27th, and the calendar has events in Georgetown, Placerville, Sacramento, Davis, Grass Valley and elsewhere. First up, though, on April 6, is Sac. Poetry Center’s Spring Conference, celebrating the Center’s 40th year! (Info/reg: www.facebook.com/events/618295778615337/?notif_t=event_calendar_create¬if_id=1549899549849239/.) And April always brings a plethora of poetry events in our area, too; be sure to let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) about yours!
SPC workshops this week include Tuesday Night Workshop for critiquing of poems at the Hart Center (27th and J Sts.) on Tuesday, 7:30-9pm (call Danyen Powell at 530-681-0026 for info); and MarieWriters Generative Writing Workshop on Wednesday at SPC for writing poems, facilitated this week by Christin O’Cuddehy, 6-8pm.
On Friday, SPC presents Sandy McIntosh and Mary Mackey at 6pm, and Speak Up: The Art of Storytelling and Poetry meets at 7pm at The Avid Reader in Sacramento. Then on Saturday, The Soft Offs present An Evening of Moetry as a fundraiser for SPC, 25th & R Sts., Sac. 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.
Last Friday, Neil Fullwood visited the Kitchen, and I posted photos of pubs from his hometown of Nottingham, England, saying I hoped I had gotten them all correct. Neil writes back, “Yes, all of them are still open and serving pints. I thought I’d send you a more recent photograph of the Robin Hood and Little John Inn, in the suburb of Arnold, only a mile or two from where I live.” So check out the photo below for Neil’s update picture of the R.H. and Little John. And thanks, Neil!
—Medusa (Celebrate 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.