Monday, December 15, 2008

Morning Music

Marcia J. Roessler

—Marcia J. Roessler, Clayton, GA

Cool mountain breezes gently blow diaphanous
curtain panels that flutter like butterfly wings.
The scintillating hint of peach blossoms and jasmine
perfumes the morning air.
The soulful symphonic rendition of my all time favorite,
Georgia on My Mind, permeates throughout the house.
Robins and chickadees chirp, chirp their welcome melodies
while old woodpecker tap, taps to produce his breakfast.
Violet, slate blue, and yellow ochre hues splash
across the majestic mountains' horizon.
Misty smoke-like clouds emanate, giving the perception
that thousands of obsidian trees cling to Mother Earth's breast.
She and her sister mountains stand their ground with an air
of impenetrable protectiveness.
Their arms seemingly wrap around each other and watch
over every one of us in the small towns below.
I feel the Georgia mountains' embrace and stand in awe
of their presence.


Thanks, Marcia! A former paid newspaper columnist for two newspapers over two years, Marcia J. Roessler has served as editor, judge, and elementary school Poet-in-Residence. She worked with Friends of the Library, as part of a team in the schools, both in workshops and contest judging and presentations. She taught various “How-To" classes in NJ high schools and “How To Get Published,” a Teen Arts Conference at Rutgers University, NJ. She is Past President of the official NJ Poetry Society, Inc. and founded the Voorhees, NJ chapter, where she served as past newsletter editor of Poetidings, critiquing and helping poets of all ages reach their goal of seeing their work and anthologies published.

Roessler’s poetic work has appeared internationally. Voices of the Majestic Sage; New Poets-Four; The Reach of Song; In The West of Ireland; Flyin’ High; The American Muse; Traveled Paths; The Poet’s Domain; and A Field of Verse are just a few of her published works over the past twenty-five years. She earned her listing in the Poets & Writer’s Directory as both poet and fiction writer. Her lyrics, set to music, have received airplay throughout the world; published by Mark 21 and Mark 22 Records, they have aired and sold internationally. Presently, in addition to her poetry and short stories, she is pursuing the children’s book market and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

A poem of Marcia's appears in the latest Rattlesnake Review, which is now available (free) at The Book Collector in Sacramento, or send me two bux and I'll mail you one. Subscriber and contributor copies go into the mail this week.

This week in NorCal poetry:

•••Monday (12/15), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents a special winter solstice all open-mike read-around. Please bring your holiday/winter/solstice poems to share. Christmas goodies and drinks will be served (food items will be Buche de Noel, Stollen, Gingerbread, bonbons, cheese and crackers and wine and hot cider). Weather permitting, we will have a fire on the back patio. The reading will be held next door in the 25th and R complex at the Alliance Francaise (where it's nice and warm). This is a FREE event. Host: Rebecca Morrison.

Coming at SPC:
December 22: No Reading
December 29: Indigo Moor and Jeanne Wagner

•••Today (Monday, 12/15) is the deadline for Song of the San Joaquin, a quarterly publication of the poets of the San Joaquin chapter of the California Federation of Chaparral Poets, Inc., which accepts submissions of poetry having to do with life in the San Joaquin Valley of California. This area is defined geographically as the region from Fresno to Stockton, and from the foothills on the west to those on the east. E-mail submissions are encouraged. Please put all identification on each separate poem including mailing address. If unable to e-mail, send typed manuscripts to: Editor, Song of the San Joaquin, PO Box 1161, Modesto, CA 95353-1161. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) for return of unused poems and/or notification of acceptance. Be sure your return envelopes have the right amount of postage. Notification time may range from three weeks to three months. Send up to three poems per issue, name and contact information on each poem. Poem length is limited to 40 lines. Please send a three to five line bio. For more information, e-mail or call (209) 543-1776. For samples of poetry from previous issues: A single issue is $5.00, the annual subscription $18. Send to address above. Make checks out to Song of the San Joaquin.

•••Tuesday (12/16), 9 PM and Thursday (12/18), 5 AM: Moore Time for Poetry TV Show presents the Terry Moore Christmas Show. (If the football game of the week is on, the show will run after the game ends). The Moore Time for Poetry TV series is on cablecast the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays and Thursdays of the month on Ch. 17 Comcast; also SureWest and Strategic Frontier. Also, visit this website,, and click on the BIG "Watch Channel 17" button to watch our program! (This goes for friends in France, or family in Chicago.) Hosted by Terry Moore & 4-year-old daughter, Tyra Moore.

•••Weds. (12/17), 6-7 PM: Upstairs Poetry Reading at The Upstairs Art Gallery, 420 Main St. (2nd floor), Placerville. It's a poetry open-mike read-around, so bring your own poems or those of a favorite poet to share, or just come to listen. No charge. Note: This is a week early because of Christmas.

•••Thurs. (12/18), 8 PM: Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento. Featured readers with open mic before and after.

•••Friday (12/19), 7:30 PM: Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol/Writers of the New Sun presents The Out Loud Poets (Brad Buchanan, Jacqueline Diaz, Chris Olander and JoAnn Anglin) at La Raza Galeria Posada, 1024 22nd St., Midtown Sacramento. The Out Loud Poets will read their own poems and also share their Poetry Out Loud experiences from last year. Each worked in Sacramento-region high schools with teen students who memorized poems and competed to see who could present their poems best, at their schools, and then on a county-wide basis, then nationally, competing for prizes including a college scholarship. (See: The featured poets will have their own publications available to buy. POL poets for 2008-09 are also invited to read. Brad, a Sac State English professor, is co-founder and editor of Roan Press, and author of The Miracle Shirker and Swimming the Mirror. Chris, of California Poets in the Schools, is a spoken-word performance poet, a dynamic presenter, well-known through Northern California. One of his students became last year’s statewide POL winner. Jacqueline [Jackie] is a poet and also a reporter and editor at Because People Matter, a local alternative newspaper. JoAnn, member of California Poets in the Schools, is coordinator of Escritores del Nuevo Sol/Writers of the New Sun. Her chapbook from Rattlesnake Press is called Words Like Knives, Like Feathers.

Escritores del Nuevo Sol/Writers of the New Sun, founded in 1993, are the Writers in Residence of La Raza Galeria Posada in Sacramento. Members write in English, Spanish or both. Workshops are monthly, as are readings. Info: Graciela Ramirez at 916-456-5323.

•••Friday (12/19), 7 PM: Poetry at Raven's Tale bookstore, 352 Main Street, Placerville. This will be a community reading; bring your own poems or those of a favorite poet, or just come to listen. There is no charge.

•••Friday (12/19), 7:30 PM: An all-Open Mike reading, celebrating the holidays (holy days) with words of quiet joy or laughter, perhaps even sadness but with peace over all. Join us in the Library of the UU Church at 27074 Patwin Rd. in Davis. No charge. Bring your own poems or somebody else’s.

Check out the Canary!

Gail Entrekin writes: We're delighted to announce posting of the first issue of our on-line environmental literary e-zine, Canary. Check it out at We are also open for submissions of poetry, short fiction and essays for future issues by emailing to Please pass this info on to writer friends. [Gail talked about Canary in her interview in Conversations #4 from Rattlesnake Press.]


—Marcia J. Roessler

He awakens then softly makes his way
down the hall. I remain, basking 'neath the sheets
and puffy down filled comfort.
Contented, I listen to morning's music,
familiar whirring of the coffee grinder's rhythm,
the gentle dump, dump of the coffee as it's
added to the glass coffee pot.
Water bubbles dance up and down in the
heated small pot singing, "Add me to the fresh
ground beans in the French coffee press."
Yummy coffee aroma drifts into my bedroom,
beckoning me.
Toaster bats a homerun as the slices of
seeded rye toast pop onto the ceramic plate.
He calls to me, "Your coffee is ready."
I hurry down the shag carpeted way that leads
straight to the kitchen, to his waiting
arms that blanket round me as he greets
me with a warm hug and kiss,
"Good morning, Darling."
Then find browned toast served with my coffee
he just made in the glass French coffee press.


—Marcia J. Roessler

The cement plague is progressing,
consuming the forests and woods,
encompassing all the wildlife,
concrete malls where trees once stood.

Fingers of the plague's creation
reach deep in the underground,
destroying the very burrows
where furry creatures once were found.

Gentle deer is driven further,
desperation and fear abound.
When man completes his imbalance
there will be naught but silent sound.


—Marcia J. Roessler

When I was but a little girl
I would sit at Momma's knee
as she mended—hems, seams, and rips
while humming old time hymns.

I'd lean against her rocker
gazing with adoring eyes,
waiting for her to finish
then she'd take me in her arms.

She would rock us to and fro
I felt loved as she held me close
She made me feel secure,
I never wanted it to end.

And before she passed away
I shared my problems with her
Like those garments, tattered and torn,
but she knew just what to do.

You could count that Momma knew
just which stitch to make things right.
When life's fabric was too weak
she knew what stitch to make it strong.

Now I sit alone and reminisce
back on everything she fixed.
I ask myself—Could she have known a stitch
that would mend my thread bare dreams?


Today's LittleNip:

—A.R. Ammons

A day without rain is like
a day without sunshine.



SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:

Rattlesnake Review:The latest issue (#20) is currently available at The Book Collector, or send me two bux and I'll mail you one. Contributors' and subscribers' copies will go into the mail this week. Deadline for RR21 is February 15: send 3-5 poems, smallish art pieces and/or photos (no bio, no cover letter, no simultaneous submissions or previously-published poems) to or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. E-mail attachments are preferred, but be sure to include all contact info, including snail address. Meanwhile, the snakes of Medusa are always hungry!

NEW for December: A second chapbook from Danyen Powell (Blue Sky Flies Out); a free littlesnake broadside from Kevin Jones (Low-Rent Dojo), and a brand-new (free) issue of Rattlesnake Review (#20)! Stop by The Book Collector and pick up Christmas gifts such as Katy Brown's calendars and blank journals and all our other books—give the gift of poetry! We even have two books that are appropriate for kids: Poems in a Seashell by Kathy Kieth (a children's approach to writing poetry), and SpiralChap #1: The Heart of a Poet, poetry and art by Ashley Redfield and her brother when they were wee ones. While you're there, of course, you'll want to pick up a book or two for your own Christmas tree. And hey—TBC is even open on Sundays!

Also available (free): littlesnake broadside #46: Snake Secrets: Getting Your Poetry Published in Rattlesnake Press (and lots of other places, besides!): A compendium of ideas for brushing up on your submissions process so as to make editors everywhere more happy, thereby increasing the likelihood of getting your poetry published. Pick up a copy at TBC or write to me and I'll send you one. Free!

Coming in January: Other than the ever-restless Medusa, the Snake will be snoozing during January; no releases or readings. But our October road trips inspired a new Rattlesnake publication, WTF, to be edited by frank andrick. This 30-page, chapbook-style (free) quarterly will primarily showcase the talents of readers at Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café, but anyone over 18 is welcome to submit. Deadline is Jan. 15 for a Feb. 19 premiere at Luna’s. Submission guidelines are the same as for the Snake, but please send three poems (each one page or less in length), photos, smallish art or prose pieces (500 words or less) to (attachments preferred) or, if you’re snailing, to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. And be forewarned: this publication will be for adults only! so you must be over 18 years of age to submit.

Coming February 11: A new rattlechap from Sacramento's Poet Laureate, Julia Connor (Oar); a littlesnake broadside from Josh Fernandez (In The End, It’s A Worthless Machine); and the premiere of our new Rattlesnake Reprints, featuring The Dimensions of the Morning by D.R. Wagner which was first published by Black Rabbit Press in 1969. That’s February 11 at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, 7:30 PM. Refreshments and a read-around will follow; bring your own poems or somebody else’s.

Medusa's Weekly Menu:

(Contributors are welcome to cook up something for any and all of these!)

Monday: Weekly NorCal poetry calendar

Seed of the Week: Tuesday is Medusa's day to post poetry triggers such as quotes, forms, photos, memories, jokes—whatever might tickle somebody's muse. Pick up the gauntlet and send in your poetic results; and don't be shy about sending in your own triggers, too! All poems will be posted and a few of them will go into Medusa's Corner of each Rattlesnake Review. Send your work to or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline for SOWs; respond today, tomorrow, or whenever the muse arrives. (Print 'em out, maybe, save 'em for a dry spell?) When you send us work, though, just let us know which "seed" it was that inspired you.

Wednesday (sometimes): HandyStuff Quickies: Resources for the poet, including whatever helps ease the pain of writing and/or publishing: favorite journals to read and/or submit to; books, etc., about writing; organizational tools—you know—HandyStuff! Tell us about your favorite tools.

Thursday: B.L.'s Drive-Bys: Micro-reviews by our irreverent Reviewer-in-Residence, B.L. Kennedy.
Send books, CDs, DVDs, etc. to him for possible review (either as a Drive-By or in future issues of Rattlesnake Review) at P.O. Box 160664, Sacramento, CA 95816.

Friday: NorCal weekend poetry calendar

Daily (except Sunday): LittleNips: SnakeFood for the Poetic Soul: Daily munchables for poetic thought, including short paragraphs, quotes, wonky words, silliness, little-known poetry/poet facts, and other inspiration—yet another way to feed our ravenous poetic souls.

And poetry! Every day, poetry from writers near and far and in-between! The Snakes of Medusa are always hungry.......!


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 ( And be sure to sign up for Snakebytes, our monthly e-newsletter that will keep you up-to-date on all our ophidian chicanery.