Monday, April 22, 2019

Waving at the Crummy

—Anonymous Photos of the Circus

—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove, CA
The circus train
Pulled out.
Grandfather stood
In the smelly
Lot and waved
As the crummy,
The caboose, passed.
"Next time, Eddie,
You come along," the
Conductor, the
Ringmaster, shouted.

But Eddie had
A wife, Edie, sweet
Lady, but not much
Beyond the farm,
And with fading eyesight.
Eddie needed to stay home,
Be responsible.
Waved one last time,
Shouldered his mail
Carrier bag
And went to work.

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

I apologize to no one for acting my old age.
Stop it already with all those “tremendous”
offers to earn rewards points that are good
towards a snowball’s chance in Hell of
increasing my cash flow. How is one to pay
one’s bills with a tabulation of tens of thousands
of points that are only good if you commit to using
them to buy certain listed items that have an
artificially inflated price? No points please, just
show me the money.



Tax revenue soothes our
cuts and scrapes
for about 2 minutes while
the blood splatters on the
already red sidewalk
rich in protein from those
who can’t balance a checkbook and
don’t recognize the ever-present
need for contraposing us against


First of all, the notion that we should respect our
elders has been long ingrained in our history.

Wait a minute!

Some of those elders advance extended ideologies
of hate and intolerance, so respecting our elders is
likely to get us into big trouble with our neighbors.

Maybe learning from history can function well in the
sterile environment of an academic classroom, but
it sure isn’t much of a good idea for our daily affairs
when the history that touches us is close and personal.



Wearing the worst case scenario hat
is a recruiter for suicide bombers, who
articulates that most perfect, idyllic
destination but in order to reach it you
have to blow yourself to smithereens.

And then there are those swarms of
political candidates for the highest office
who have no trouble identifying clearly
wonderful destinations, but fail to fill in
any of the blanks on the forms needed
to make the necessary arrangements.

What we really, truly need to guide this
nation now are experienced, seasoned,
travel agents who can not only point us
toward great destinations, but also take
care of all the housekeeping details and
logistics to ensure we have a safe,
efficient, affordable, and pleasurable trip.

WIN my vote with merit, or someone else will.

—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

I saw a
Line of turkeys
In an orchard
Just outside town.

They seemed
To have
A leader;
Their stepping
Seemed in-time.

It seems
A turkey’s
To stay
In line
So fine!

Walking through
An orchard
On the outskirts
Of town.

I could picture
The lead turkey
Carrying a flag
Asking all
To fall
And spread
Their fans
And wag!


—Joseph Nolan

Every office
Is a circus.
Baboons are
In control.
There’s lots of clowns
Making rounds
To check on
Little moles,
Deep inside
Their holes.

The manager’s a bitch,
A fat old-maid,
Seldom made
Wishing to find out
Which of the many minions
Might be her pet
This week?

The gossipers
Are cheek-to-cheek
Down at the water-hole,
But it’s too bright
For shy, small moles
In little cubby-holes
Who never make the scene.

The Lion-tamer
With her whip
Is often on patrol,
Warning lazy laggards
Who do not fit the mold.

Giraffes make lots of gaffes
And snakes lots of mistakes
Wild boars are
Known to ignore
Unpopular beasts afield,

But its doesn’t matter
To the Mad-hatter
That the bitch
Will never yield
Nor circus sounds
Grow quieter,
In the circus field.

—Joseph Nolan
With broken hearts
We turn away
Without a thought
For how to play
The flip side
Of the record.

We have nothing
Left to say, except,
“We’ve had enough
Of that stuff!”


Today’s LittleNip:
—Joseph Nolan

Everything is wrong today.
There’s sand in the Vaseline.
My glasses have gone missing.
I don’t know what I mean.

My oil still needs changing.
My engine’s puffing steam.
I missed a big commitment—
I couldn’t make the scene;
Everything today is wrong.

It seems
I don’t care
As much
As I should;
I set my goals much lower
Than I could.
I went through life too easy
And now it’s made of wood.
Everything today is wrong!


Good morning, and send in the clowns! Two circus poems today—so, colorful pix, and thanks to our poets as we wind up this last week of National Poetry Month!

Poetry in our area begins tonight in Placerville, 6pm, at the Placerville Sr. Center on Spring St., with Poetry in Motion. Then at 7:30pm, Sac. Poetry Center in Sacramento features Greg Glazner, Lisa Dominguez Abraham, and open mic.

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); MarieWriters Generative Writing Workshop at SPC for writing poems, 6-8pm on Wednesday; and the final NaPoWritMo workshop at SPC this coming Friday night, facilitated by Bethanie Humphreys.

Also on Friday: Speak Up: The Art of Storytelling and Poetry presents work on the subject of “Tributes” at Avid Reader on Broadway in Sacramento, 7pm. And on Saturday, Writers on the Air meets at Sac. Poetry Center, featuring Lynette Blumhardt, Stuart Canton and frank andrick, plus open mic, 9:30am.

Saturday is also Earth Day #49, and festivals abound, including one in Sacramento (; the Arts in Nature Festival in Georgetown starting at 10am; and the Sierra Poetry Festival in Grass Valley, starting at 9am. For more about Earth Day celebrations around California, go to

On Sunday, the Earth Day theme continues in Diamond Springs with the Poetry of the Sierra Foothills reading at Caffe Santoro on Pleasant Valley Road, featuring poets from the book of California ecopoetry entitled,
Fire and Rain, plus open mic, 1pm. Also on Sunday, but in Sacramento at Harlow’s on J St., there will be a book release/reading for the new Tough Enough collection from Cold River Press, featuring “Tough Old Broads” Victoria Dalkey, Kathryn Hohlwein, and Viola Weinberg Spencer, with Sue Menebroker McElligott reading for her mother, Annie Menebroker. Doors open at 1pm; reading starts at 1:30pm.

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.

—Medusa, celebrating poetry!

 Send in the clowns!—including the ones
who run the government....

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.