Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Seeing Ourselves in Weasel

Mustela frenata
(Foster Meadow, Eldorado National Forest)

I suck air between tongue and teeth:
universal squeal of animal distress.
Birdwatchers know this lure:
the little creatures’ soft shrill shriek.

High above the red fir they come winging
dipping low to better see;
warblers, perhaps nuthatch or chickadee—
too fast—too high to name.

Then, from below, eight feet away
undulating with a sinuous flow:
size of a squirrel but richer brown,
black tipped tail an ink-dipped brush,

she smoothly glides wave-like to disappear
beneath this deck of logs where I’m perched.
I think of her in winter white as ermine
seeking nests of sleeping mouse and vole.

Sleek, lithe, intent—why is her summer name
spoken with contempt?
Is she as evil as we think?
Or do we simply see ourselves in weasel?

—Hatch Graham, Somerset


Thanks, Hatch! This poem originally appeared in Rattlesnake Review.

This just in: This coming Friday (12/9), The Other Voice meets at 7:30 pm in the library of the Davis Unitarian Church (27074 Patwin Road, Davis). The featured poets are JoAnn Anglin, Nora Staklis, and Tom Goff, who together lead the monthly PoemSpirits readings at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento. Open Mic follows, so bring along a poem to share...perhaps a favorite poem of light. (Info: Allegra 530-753-2634 or Betty 530-753-1432.) About the poets:

JoAnn Anglin was an early member of Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol/Writers of the New Sun and the Third Sunday Writing Group. Her work has appeared in Poetry Now and in many anthologies, including The Sacramento Anthology: 100 Poems; Cantos y Cuentos: Poems and Stories; and The Pagan Muse. A chapbook of her work, Words Like Knives, Like Feathers, was published by Rattlesnake Press in 2004.

Nora Staklis draws strength and inspiration for her poetry from both her American and Latvian ancestries. Nora's work has been widely published in journals such as Tule Review, Rattlesnake Review, and American River Review, and in the anthologies, Poets Against the War and Flowers of Love. One of her poems is soon to be choreographed for a dance to be performed for the Renaissance Winter Solstice.

Tom Goff is the author of Field of the Cloth of Gold published by Poet's Corner Press. His poems have also appeared in many journals including Rattlesnake Review; Tiger's Eye: A Journal of Poetry; Poetry Depth Quarterly and in anthologies. He also writes critical reviews of literary works. New work is forthcoming in Blood on the Page, an anthology of writing as part of the healing process, compiled by Dr. (and Poet) Chip Spann.

And don’t forget: Bill Gainer’s RattleRead is NEXT Wednesday at The Book Collector, not this one. Dec. 14, not the 7th.

Speaking of JoAnn Anglin and Chip Spann, JoAnn will be debuting in this issue of the Snake as Interviewer-in-Residence; her first piece will be about Chip and how his poetry-as-healing program at Sutter has grown over the few years since he first established it.

—D.H. Lawrence

Many years have I still to burn, detained
Like a candle-flame on this body; but I enclose
Blue shadow within me, a presence which lives contained
In my flame of living, the invisible heart of the rose.

So through these days, while I burn on the fuel of life,
What matter the stuff I lick up in my daily flame;
Seeing the core is a shadow inviolate,
A darkness that dreams my dream for me, ever the same.


—Medusa (sorry to be late today; our 'Net server has been down)

Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their poetry and announcements of Northern California poetry events to kathykieth@hotmail.com for posting on this daily Snake blog. Rights remain with the poets. Previously-published poems are okay for Medusa’s Kitchen, as long as you own the rights. (Please cite publication.)