There are dreams afoot,
And worries, too.
Is thick with fear!
For the first time,
Store-shelves are empty
For the feeling of comfort,
Too near for the
Risk of plague!
No more touching and hugging,
The California Dream has been played.
From now on
We’ll be more careful
Whom we choose to embrace.
More so, we’ll be more distant,
More kept alone in our space.
breaks the cycle
together in unison
embracing the pain
staying in the race
to dance together
From a lover
Or a journal
Is not the same
Or is it, move on
The world is big
So many choices
Move the bar
WAIT FOR ME
—Sue Crisp, Shingle Springs, CA
We grew up together in a small neighborhood,
our houses side by side. Each day we walked
down the country road to school. You, skipping
ahead, me, hollering, “wait for me,” my shoe
had come untied.
We sent most of our growing-up years together,
school and kids’ adventures, not really thinking
ahead. Days of going to the swimming hole,
climbing the old oak tree. You were always on
to the next thing, me hollering, “wait for me.”
The years went past. We did the high school
prom. Then, time to get the degree. Making
the college choice was hard, me hollering,
“wait for me.” We were making it through
those college years, when the world knocked
on my door, and I went to sea.
I remember holding you close, whispering,
“wait for me.” Coming home was hard. So
many unpleasant memories to forget at sea,
praying I would see you again. Would you
have waited for me?
When I saw you on the dock, my heart flew free.
I knew we would be making our own history.
Marriage, children, how quickly the time did
fly. They, too soon, had lives of their own, and
it was only you and me.
Then came the time when you were called home
by someone on high. Once again, I said, “Don’t
go, wait for me,” even though I knew it was
goodbye. The time without you seemed endless.
I held you deep in my memory.
Soon my time had come, and there you were. You
had waited for me.
WHEN WEEDS WON’T GROW
When weeds won’t grow,
It will be a dismal winter,
With everything frozen in snow.
Generals speak, now,
Of flexible, nuclear options.
How this would go,
We all know,
First we would take out Moscow,
Then we would take out Beijing.
Then we would find
What madness would bring,
The covering blind—
Where even weeds
UNDOING AND THE MISBEGOTTEN
What have you undone for me, lately?
Are you ready to undo all the undoing
That finally did you in?
Omissions can be
Just as vile
Damp and dirty,
Through the fog
Just before you nod
Do not make sense,
No matter what you do,
You’ve always been undone
Way down here,
Along the River Styx.
You’ll find your Hades.
Keep staring at your wall-clock,
Since you get off at six.
Ambition was the key
To your success.
Now, though, wrapped
In outside comfort,
You feel your worst distress:
I don’t deserve to be here!
Surely someone will discover
That something is amiss.
I’ll be ejected, rejected,
Cast out into the darkness
To wander homeless,
Like the other poor,
God has given birth to
For reasons, all unknown,
Fates of the misbegotten.
LEAVING THE PLACE OF PLAGUE
The crossing-arms come down,
Those with fleeing-feet
Up and leave.
Without looking back,
No pillars of salt
Will mark their paths of exit,
As far and as fast
As their feet will carry them,
To any distant place
Where border-guards won’t stop them,
Carrying with them,
Everywhere they go,
Their hidden cargo.
RE-ENTRY INTO KARMA
Into the karmic wind.
Let the karmic windmills
Spin and spin and spin.
Feel the heat of fire
Burn against your skin,
As you re-enter from orbit!
Such is the way
Re-entering a world
Of pain and loss.
Pray for a good birth
Among enlightened parents
Comes with such a cost!
LAUNCHING A SLINKY INTO THE WORLD
We provided a space,
A place, a base,
For you to spring from,
And spring from it,
Like a spunky slinky
Slipping down stairways
I would like to follow,
But afraid to give a try,
No longer feel elastic
And the spring
Has left my step!
SKIP THE WARNING
by chance you have chosen to skip the warning
and jumped full force into hopeless addiction
all you can think of on each waking morning:
that urge to obey your new predilection
alcohol, tobacco, firearms, candy bars
sex, drugs, rock and roll, autographs from the stars
for warnings, they could use a marriage contract
but those get erased as a positive act
come quickly to face a shining mask
to learn the art of fixing flaws
a hurt will grow if taken to task
there are no breaks to rest or pause
unlike the movies, no chance to leave
to stretch your legs or grab a snack
nor is it a card game with an ace up the sleeve
there’s only one move, and that is attack;
which puts a whole new meaning to “I’ve got your back”
WHAT IT FEEL LIKE XXXI
when the whole world is
holding its breath, watching
that animated man in the
White House talk like he’s
wearing a superhero
and wondering when and if
he will actually attempt to
fly out the window
we made talk about ripe, old Hibernia
a subject that confounded us thoroughly
couldn’t break the ice, felt hypothermia
the end was near, and all those things so holy
we thought it was a typo for hernia
and promised not to mention this orally
will someone quickly pass me the smelling salts?
recess is over, time to join the adults
Fake flowers last forever,
While real ones wither and die.
Woe unto the real ones,
With the false.
How might they abide
Once time has taken its toll?
Or might the real ones
And cover all the false?
Thank you to today’s industrious contributors, as we launch into another week of unknowns. And look at all the wonderful photographs, courtesy of a potpourri of SnakePals!
So far this week, the following events have been cancelled:
•••Mondays: Sac. Poetry Center’s Monday Night readings for tonight, (3/16); also next Monday (3/23) and the one after that (3/30);
•••Friday (3/20): The Other Voice in Davis with Bob Stanley, Izzy Lala.
Still on the schedule, as far as I know, are Tuesday’s Poetry Hour in Nevada City with Chris Olander at Nevada City Winery, 6-7pm, and Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe and Juice Bar with Diana Medina on Thursday at 8pm. There are more cancelled for later in the month; you can see those by scrolling down to the blue box (under the green one) in the column at the right.
Be sure to watch Medusa and/or the Facebook link for each event to make sure it’s still happening as we go through the week, and the same goes for workshops. I can’t guarantee that I’ll catch ‘em all, but I’ll try.
And yes, I know that in the U.S., “canceled” with one “L” is preferred, but personally, I like the look of two-L’s. So I will continue to tap-tap on the L until this cursed plague has left us. (The L you say!)
—Medusa, hoping you’ll have more writing time to unleash a Pandemic of Poetry ~
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan
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.