Thursday, February 13, 2020

Push Back / Move Aside

Giant Technicolor Squirrel
—Poems by Len Germinara, Elk Grove, CA
—Anonymous Photos


We are live outside the home
Police and investigators
Are on scene
As the world mourns
The death of Kobe Bryant
On every media outlet
World wide

100 yards from where we stand
Someone who should not have had a gun
In one last rage against 
His wife
Could no longer cope with

Shot his son
Then himself

The news this night will
Lead with the details
Of a legend’s death
The sad passing of all
On the helicopter

And cards, pictures will be left

Father and son
The mother’s grief
A brief mention

Tomorrow comes quietly
Skunk’s silhouette slinks
Through the shadows
While a white dot van

Its occupants
Begin the work
Needs doing

Without any fanfare 


Found a blue black Labrador retriever
Abandoned on the New Year

Huddled around a garbage can
In a dog park

Obviously shell-shocked
Howling terror and WTF in woof

I shared a look with my dog
Said let’s help this poor
Son of a bitch out

It took some doing
               Fear like that
Requires caution

My dog Swegen knows what to do
Never seen him falter
In a touchy canid social encounter
              A true Tick Not Hound

He wags
They wag back

This will be an understanding
Forged in urine
Licks and sniffs
The obligatory
Submissive roll

Every move I make
Reminds him of the
Night just passed

So I sit at a slight remove
Wait for this puppy
To return from the hell of
Being thrown away

The dogs
Tentatively at first
Begin to play

While the morning doves ask
Who who who

He comes around
Quick as any infant
Terror already forgotten

Sidles up to me
In the hope that I’ll
Pat him and tell him

It’s OK, it’s ok, it’s 


I’ve read they’re

Told beforehand
You’ll find your host
Something of a dick

I did

In some dim and dusty
Gin Joint in Gloucester
He made quite a show

Continued it back at his uncle’s house
Insulting his friend
In ways I could only marvel at
            Ways I never would have thought of myself

Dick really doesn’t begin to describe him

The poet famous for his irascibility
Didn’t discriminate the year we met

Survived his salvo
His dear wife
Standing behind him
Cheering me on
My ham handed compliment

He took wrong

He called me late one night
Said you get it
I’m sick
This isn’t an act

Ever the optimist
I invited him back 


The glacial outwash
That formed
Sconsett Bluff
Faces Open Ocean
Even if
You could build a wall
Strong enough
To hold her back

The force at either end of the structure
Will rend
The flanks
With catastrophic effect
           Force has to go somewhere

So, the question
Preservation or mitigation is moot

The beach that would become an industrial zone
          In this dubious battle
Fragile as porcelain
Can’t survive the rich
Their money

         All too often
The engine that moves Us to act
Skewed by the desire for an answer that’s acceptable
Against all good reason—MOU
In reality
It means

Mou ve aside
You can’t stop us 


Dust-up at the bird feeder
Bastogne redux

A fuzzy furor
Shoots me a Zieg Hiel!
And what passes for
A middle finger
Squirrel I thought male
            Two rows of angry red
            Swollen nipples

Look that says lock-jaw
            Gird your loins


Terms were discussed

            Pretty sure promises
Were made

Can’t say I’m confident
            She’s appeased

I’m an old fart and
I’m way past indifferent

This is not about
Gender identification

            Or whatever it is
Put the bug up her bushy butt

            Pardon me

I’m just getting up to speed
on they and them

            always have been
                                              a step or two behind

I’m compelled to ask
What does
itititititit mean

Them never saw this coming
             Best case scenario

             She’ll/they’ll go on about they day
Them will wander away

On second thought
You know what

              Ititititit me
              Nuts to you


Today's LittleNip:

Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment.

—Carl Sandburg


Welcome back to Len Germinara, and thanks for today’s fine work! He says these poems are not from his recent book,
Back Story; you can see more about that new book at

Today, Wellspring Women’s Writing Group meets at Wellspring Women’s Center on 4th Av. in Sacramento, beginning at 11:30am. Then tonight, from 8-10pm, Love Jones “The Swoon Effect” features love poetry and music inside Strikes on Laguna Blvd. in Elk Grove. And Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe and Juice Bar meets at 8pm with open mic and featured readers Terryl Wheat and Sam Jensen, 1414 16th St., Sacramento (info: 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.

For more about giant technicolor squirrels, go to


—Medusa, who is plenty squirrelly herself ~ (is that one “l” or 2?)

 Cover of Len’s new book!

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.