Wednesday, December 26, 2007

December Again

Sam and Kathy Kieth on their wedding day
December 26, 1982
Sacramento, CA

—Czeslaw Milosz

Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills—
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn't always understand.


Today Sam and Kathy Kieth have been married 25 years. And yes, a good marriage does indeed heal the heart of various ills...

David Humphreys sends this "For Judy [Taylor Graham] being tired of cats" [see last Saturday's post]:


frozen white frost.
A cat jumped out in front of
dog Shiloh, hissing like a frying pan.
Some things cannot be made different.
Isreal will not negotiate with Hamas
until they recognize Isreal.
I continue walking, bundled
warm against the cold thinking simply:
oh, God bless this beautiful shabby world.

—David Humphreys, Stockton


Thanks, David!

22 — DECEMBER — 2007
—William S. Gainer, Grass Valley

Keep warm baby,
wrap it all up—
put on your
fluffy slippers,
heat the coffee
and sit down
with Oprah—
Winter is here...


—William S. Gainer

Winter salsas, solace,
or solstice—
whichever one involves
staying inside
and keeping
warm, dry and close—
I’m good with.


Thanks, Bill!

No Singing Whale:

Lisa Espenmiller writes: I have decided to no longer pursue the Singing with the Whale poetry project. Thank you for posting about it on your blog, but it would probably be good to take down the "calls for submission" info from your site. Happy Holidays. May the new year be filled with poetry for you.


(for Annie M.)

In our front yard
a few stubborn leaves cling
to liquid amber branches
in a chill wind.

Across Sugar Pine Drive
two gray squirrels
play grab-ass, racing
up, down and around
a tall, stoic cedar

until one makes a soaring
leap to a sister tree
and scrambles out of sight.

A Steller’s Jay scolds
from a safe distance.

Before dark I’ll set out
cat chow for a skittish,
stray feline and pray

for a dear friend
who desperately needs
an angel’s healing touch.

—Phil Weidman, Pollock Pines


Thanks, Phil!


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 new issue of Rattlesnake Review (Sweet 16) is available for free at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, or send $2 to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726 and I'll mail you one. The last of contributors' and subscribers' copies went into the mail last week. Next deadline (for Issue #17, due out in mid-March) is February 15. (Sooner than you think!)

Coming in February: The Snake has crawled into winter hibernation for the rest of December and for all of January: no readings, no books, no broadsides. (Medusa is always awake, however, and will keep posting through most of that time. Send stuff.) Then, on February 13, Rattlesnake Press will roar to life again with a new SnakeRings SpiralChap from Don and Elsie Feliz (To Berlin With Love), plus a new littlesnake broadside from Carlena Wike (Going the Distance), as well as Volume Two of Conversations, B.L. Kennedy's Rattlesnake Interview Series.