Monday, May 28, 2018

Ample Sweets

—Photo by Ann Privateer, Davis, CA

—Ann Privateer

The cat's camera eyes
key in, peek, wink, twinkle,
explore more;
in its unavailability. 

  —Photo by Ann Privateer

—Ann Privateer

Glaze clings to doughnut
frosted cake bars
the sea twists
and rolls to shore
whips hot froth
sprinkles it
with Jimmies
as I can my heat
with ample sweets.

 —Photo by Ann Privateer

—Ann Privateer
the ranger tells whale tales,
says they remember
when we slaughtered
their families, up the coast
near Alaska. I wonder
how many lifetimes
it takes to forget.

 —Photo by Ann Privateer

—Ann Privateer

Sunlight sleeps in dreams
cutting through fog
beneath the covers.
I see other days, ways
beyond that merge
with now; how vast
dreaming can be.

 —Photo by Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

—Allegra Silberstein, Davis, CA

Neruda asks us to keep silent
as he counts to twelve.

I have kept the silence
now I ask one word.

In the beginning
the void evolving

tempests of being
spiraling into story

I imagine each creation
with only one word:

the morning-glory’s one word:

the moonflower’s one word:

the door’s one word:
open or is close. . .

the day’s one word:
sunrise or is it sunset?

Outside my window a brown bird
singing more than one note

the world, mourning,
awakes again to morning light.

By the path outside my door a
purple violet  

rests in my eyes

tell me my one word . . .
is it yes or no

(In reponse to Neruda's poem,
"Keeping Quiet", on Medusa's Kitchen
yesterday, 5/27/18) 

 —Photo by Caschwa

—Michael Ceraolo, S. Euclid, OH

"free speech for me but not for thee"

insert your favorite saying for hypocrisy

an early American example of such hypocrisy
was the case of James Callender

As long as he was attacking Federalists
all the way up to John Adams,
when he was convicted of violating the Sedition Act
he had the support of Republicans,
including financially,
                             all the way up
to the slippery wizard Thomas Jefferson himself

But when he attacked Virginia Republicans,
including now-President Jefferson,
on things that hit way too close to home
("it is the right and duty
of every man in society,
to expose to public view
all the vices and improper practices")
he was beaten by one of the very men
who had defended him in his sedition trial
and initially held in custody
in lieu of a bond for good conduct
Though Callender was soon released,
there being no basis in law for such a bond,
the hypocrisy has hounded him
long after his death

 —Photo by Caschwa


Two diverse creatures met on the trail.
One was an old, human, photographer,
quite enraptured with the scenery—
bearing long, heavy, noisy, smokey,
rumbling, freight trains of daydreams,
occasionally punctuated with a rare
moment of age-appropriate wisdom.

The other creature was a young rattle-
snake, sunning itself on the pavement,
not quite knowing what to make of
this towering biped with its enormous
shadow, but surely felt the slap of the
glove challenge to take prompt action.

So the juvenile snake summoned all
of its “home” schooling techniques,
hissed and rattled at the human, then
quietly slithered off of the trail into the
underbrush where the lunch menu
was much more thoughtfully arranged.

 —Photo by Caschwa


(Response to Smith, Medusa's Kitchen,

In 1983, city boy teller at the Miracle
Mile corporate headquarters branch of
a savings & loan, where 20 some floors
above ancient tar pits was a special,
separate “executive” elevator to reach
the heliport on the roof, from which the
top boss,

his pilot, his driver, and his bodyguard
would ascend, into and beyond the gazes
of farm boys lying on their backs in fields
that their families had owned for generations,
but now were the titled property of big,
corporate entities that couldn’t care less
about laboring hard to grow healthy crops to
feed the masses now populating the

In walks a contingent of business reps
from a popular singing group to ask for
a cash advance in the amount of
$35,000.00.  My personal limit was less
than 1% of that, but they had phoned
ahead to make the arrangement, so the
supervisor approved it, the cash was
produced and dispensed, and they left

End of shift, balanced my drawer, signed
out, said the usual goodbyes to the usual
coworkers, readied my music system and
walked the mile to the bus to take me home
to my meager rental apartment close to
where I was born;  pause, rewind, repeat

 —Photo by Caschwa


Accused half a dozen times
of extracting sex
from a dead language

*On Colbert’s "Late Show", they did a skit about 
purists deleting “cum” from Magna Cum Laude.

 —Photo by Caschwa


(A template for stalemate)

Every faction calls for action
some quite forceful, some in traction
big money talks and boasts about no flaws
since the rich are carefully shielded by laws
all pledge allegiance to the corporate covenant:
profit and growth are the spine of our government

Lobbyists gloss over horrific loss
what it comes down to is who is the boss
elections are bought like used furniture or cars
candidates vetted by spirited toasting at bars
sure every vote counts, some more than others
but names disappear that were really our druthers

Grieving taxpayers must settle for extra prayers
while real money is reserved to go to key players
we are proud of our modern democracy
guns for all, from sea to bloody sea
Revolution—one step forward, Civil War—ten steps back
tell Congress your demands, and this time cut them no slack!

 —Photo by Caschwa


(Inspired by the direction of Nick LeForce’s
poetry on Medusa’s Kitchen, May 23, 2018)

Sometimes we meet people who have
smarts not taught in school, or athletic
talent far beyond what good coaching
and practice regimens can produce,
or pure natural beauty that demotes
even the priciest of beauty aids to the
status of fool’s gold.

With all due respects to our nation of laws,
it kind of makes one want to tear out every
single page of strict rules and guidelines
found in institutional handbooks, toss them
into the biggest dumpster, and lock the lid. 
Let us leave the vast universe of twinkling
stars in the night sky where they belong. 
Take that urge to discover new rich veins
of stars in all and sundry other places, and
just give it a rest.  That said, this could be
the big one!  I am still waiting patiently for
the Pulitzer Prize people to knock on my door…

 Canada Family Swim
—Photo by Caschwa


New mothers do this all the time,
walk around fully loaded, their
ammo being towels, tissues, and
a magazine of clean diapers.

When baby leaves behind an
offensive trail, mother just picks
it up and moves on because
nonjudgmental bonds of love

are the building blocks of the
perfect world she is trying to create
for her tender bundle of joy.  Amen.
There is no more powerful strength.


Today’s LittleNip:

T_ _  P _ _ R

N_t  en_ _ gh  c_sh
t_  b_y  _  v_w_ll,
en_rgy s_  l_w, c_n’t
m_st_r  _ gr_w_ll

G_mbl_ing  _v_ry  d_y
_s wh_t  m_d_
m_  th_s  w_y
t _ _  p _ _ r


Many thanks to today’s fine poets and photographers on this Memorial Day, 2018! Poetry events in our area begin tonight, 6pm, with the Poetry in Motion read-around at the Placerville Sr. Center in Placerville, or at Sac. Poetry Center for a Memorial Day BBQ and reading by Dave Boles and D.R. Wagner (plus open mic), BBQ at 6pm and reading at 7:30pm.

Interested in what Cal. Lawyers for the Arts has to offer? They’ll be having a free workshop on Wed. from 11:30am-1pm on J St. in Sacramento, discussing how their programs can help artists with legal issues.

Friday will be busy, with a book release at Sac. Poetry Center by Kathryn and Laura Hohlwein at 6pm, as well as The Good Earth Movement Poetry Night in Placerville at 6:30pm, featuring Patricia Wentzel plus open mic. And Friday and Saturday, the fifth annual Sacramento Black Book Fair will take place, with Straight Out Scribes’ opening panel discussion on Friday at 7pm.

Road trip! On Saturday, head over to San Andreas for the book release/reading of
Voices of Wisdom: Preserving the Stories of Our Elders, 2-4pm. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


 —Anonymous Photo
Celebrate poetry! 

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.