Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dark Days for Moles & Worms & All of Us

—David Humphreys, Stockton

The other day you came out into the dark house
careful not to step on anything sharp or stumble
on the way to the front door for the newspaper
you had heard hit the landing at 4:00am, sky then
still jet black as geyser oil or ink and you would
not have had a second thought as you went through
your regular routine of boiling water, coffee cup
and vitamin pills, stripping off the paper’s rubber
band to lay it out neatly on the counter. This morning
was different however, a moonless dark abyss into
which you might have tossed a pebble to possibly
hear but not ever on your life to see a splash of
radiating reflective waves. It was 5:30 when you
said to yourself with sudden unease considering
various explanations all calculated in a microsecond’s
hesitation. You thought, well, just a few weeks ago
the darkness would have started turning to gray,
lightening to define a landscape of fences, trees and
buildings but here it was just as dark as the very void
of midnight doom. This was not a thing of blindness
or white red tipped cane since the lights were on inside.
No, this was something actually significant perhaps, the
onset of some cosmological disaster, sun plucked from its
cozy whirling system. On second thought though, as you
thought about it, you saw it more clearly as just the recent
Day Light Savings Time Change coupled with a really
good measure of sugar and cream in your coffee, simple
as a short term memory loss.


Thanks, David!

Poets in the news:

Kathleen Lynch writes: There's a nice piece about [Sacramento's] esteemed poet Laverne Frith in the December issue of Senior Magazine. Check it out at It's on page 11 (different from "The Poetry Corner" section).

And tomorrow (Thurs., 12/6), from approx. 2:20-2:40 PM, hear about foothills poet/artist MMicky Shine and his work (that's right, two M's) on or on the dial: 90.9 FM KXJZ Sacramento; 90.5 FM KKTO Tahoe/Reno; 91.3 FM Stockton/Modesto.


—Christina Rossetti

She sat and sang alway
By the green margin of a stream,
Watching the fishes leap and play
Beneath the glad sunbeam.

I sat and wept alway
Beneath the moon's most shadowy beam,
Watching the blossoms of the May
Weep leaves into the stream.

I wept for memory;
She sang for hope that is so fair:
My tears were swallowed by the sea;
Her songs died on the air.


—Christina Rossetti

A handy Mole who plied no shovel
To excavate his vaulted hovel,
While hard at work met in mid-furrow
An Earthworm boring out his burrow.
Our Mole had dined and must grow thinner
Before he gulped a second dinner,
And on no other terms cared he
To meet a worm of low degree.
The Mole turned on his blindest eye
Passing that base mechanic by;
The Worm entrenched in actual blindness
Ignored or kindness or unkindness;
Each wrought his own exclusive tunnel
To reach his own exclusive funnel.

A plough its flawless track pursuing
Involved them in one common ruin.
Where now the mine and countermine,
The dined-on and the one to dine?
The impartial ploughshare of extinction
Annulled them all without distinction.


Today, Christina Rossetti would've been 177 years old.

Christina Rossetti



Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their POETRY, PHOTOS and ART, as well as announcements of Northern California poetry events, to (or snail ‘em to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726) 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.) Medusa cannot vouch for the moral fiber of other publications, contests, etc. that she lists, however, so submit to them at your own risk. For more info about the Snake Empire, including guidelines for submitting to or obtaining our publications, click on the link to the right of this column: Rattlesnake Press (

SnakeWatch: Up-to-the-minute Snake news:

Rattlesnake Review: The latest issue of Rattlesnake Review (#15) is available for free at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, or send $2 to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. Issue #16 will be out in mid-December; its deadline of Nov. 15 has passed. Next deadline (for Issue #17, due out in mid-March) is February 15. (Sooner than you think!)

Coming December 12! The Snake is proud to announce the release of Metamorphic Intervals From The Insanity Of Time, a SnakeRings SpiralChap from Patricia D'Alessandro; Notes From An Ivory Tower, a littlesnake broadside from Sacramento's Ann Wehrman; and a brand new issue of Rattlesnake Review (#16). Come celebrate all of these on Wednesday, December 12, 7:30 PM at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento. Refreshments and a read-around will follow; bring your own poems or somebody else's. And use the opportunity to pick up a few poetic Christmas presents there, including any of a number of wonderful books and chapbooks—not to mention A Poet's Book of Days, Rattlesnake Press's first perpetual calendar, featuring the poetry and photography of Katy Brown.