Friday, March 20, 2020

Viral Poetry

—Poems and Photos by Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA

NEW VENUES (Gwawdodyn Hir)

This pandemic season’s crowned with care—
routine schedules cancelled everywhere.
We dare not meet—neither here nor there.
Poetry is thought and song to share.
A verse is viral—not the lethal kind—
from mind to mind to heart, it’s open-air.


Wipe down tables
after workshop—
poetry is
so infectious.


My spell-check changes Covid to Corvid,
as if to blame contagion on a family
of passerine birds—highly intelligent, clever,
adaptable birds. Are crows
getting even with us humans for messing up
their world? plotting against us?
the casualty count, the cancellations
and closures, stocks plummeting
like so many birds shot
out of the sky? A scrub jay swings
from my feeder like a kid on an empty
playground. I don’t blame the birds.
It’s my computer launching my words
into cyberspace, changing Covid to Corvid.

HOUSE CAT (Gwawdodyn Byr)

The TV ad tells me there’s a lynx
in my black cat’s heart. I say he’s jinx
of domestic quiet, sphynx of home peace.
Wild in tooth and claw? he purrs, he cat-winks.


Circle on circle, now low and slow above our spring-green canyon, directly overhead then looping, linking its woven circles—what does the chopper seek, cutting circle patterns on air? Searching for what? I’m mowing my pasture. One lone coyote lopes away when it sees me, when it hears rotors chopping softer then loud, lassoing wider expanses of sky in this world droning ever tighter—

in circles of globe
can there still be room for this
one wild coyote?


Today’s LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham

One old gray couple
in a rain-washed fresh green field—
two donkeys nuzzle
without regard for traffic
speeding past to somewhere else.


Thank you this morning to Taylor Graham, for her circling birds and elusive coyotes! She sends us some forms: a Prisoner's Constraint, a Welsh Gwawgodyn Byr (“House Cat”) and a Gwawdodyn Hir (“New Venues”), plus a Tanka and a Haibun.

For up-coming poetry events in our area, including those which are being cancelled due to CORVID-19—oops, I mean COVID-19—scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info—and note that more may be added at the last minute.



It’s time for more contributions from Form Fiddlers! Each Friday for awhile, there will be poems posted here from some of our readers using forms—either ones which were mentioned on Medusa during the previous week, or whatever else floats through the Kitchen and the perpetually stoned mind of Medusa. If these instructions are vague, it's because they're meant to be. Just fiddle around with some forms and get them posted in the Kitchen. 

In Taylor Graham’s post today (see above), she sends two variations on the Gwawdodyn, a Welsh form: a Gwawdodyn Byr ( and a Gwawdodyn Hir ( (Or, if you’d prefer to read the description in Welsh, go to And here’s a link to Robert Lee Brewer’s talk about the Gwawdodyn:

TG also sends us a Prisoner’s Constraint, and we also got one by Carl (Caschwa) Schwartz:

—Taylor Graham

samisen music sown on rumor—
sewn in reminiscence

memories revive: a mecca, a caress,

a wren, a crane, a vireo, a swan
once-aurora, now eve

susurrus—musicians score an aria
sonorous as au revoir

we owe a raven's ransom
a sorrow soars

* * *

INSANE (Prisoner’s Constraint)
—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

woe is me
one verse
enormous sense
in reverse

i can see
a six curse
minus sources
add a zeus

now i am worse
arm as wax
summon a nurse


Also today, we have three Rondelets which were sent to us by Carol Louise Moon. See for a description of this form:

—Carol Louise Moon, Placerville, CA


You fly so high
to nest this chilly
springtime day
You fly so high
above this waterfall—
                gray sky
your field to soar and
     hunt and play.
I wish to be like you—
You fly... so high.

* * *

—Carol Louise Moon
So canary—
our lives were happy with
              the sound
of canary.
The bird not fed, so
unfair. He
could take good care.
          The bird was bound
to be taken—the cage
         so round,
so canary.

* * *

—Carol Louise Moon

They’re see-through blue!
You wonder why the
                painted sky
is see-through blue.
And though it is, it’s
          also true
baby blue are the tears
                     that dry
on Dyzek’s check, that
                    make his eyes
so see-through blue.


And here is another one of Carl Schwartz’s tongue-in-cheek poems about the art of writing in forms:


this may not rhyme very well
or have that swing
but when I’m told to self-isolate
it somehow don’t mean a thing

those Access Hollywood tapes
would have sealed the fate of most
but the devil himself can take the heat
and prevail with just a boast

now if enough people just
lose enough money
the love affair is over
between the devil and his honey

the hate for women still persists
and for people of color, too
the party of Lincoln no longer exists
there’s no telling what voters will do


—Medusa, with thanks again to today’s form-fiddler poets! Do you have to stay home because of the coronavirus? Write poetry!

 —Photo by Taylor Graham

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.