Monday, May 14, 2018


Spring in the Garden
—Photo by Maria Rosales, Northern CA

By this, I measure
The turning of the season
Where light touches tree

—Maria Rosales

His Majesty
—Photo by Maria Rosales

—Maria Rosales

If any day can be ordinary
It started out that way
We took the road toward the lake
In summer heat, midday sun

It started out that way
A simple drive, two friends at ease
In summer heat.  Midday sun
Blasted down, too hot to hike

We simply drove, two friends at ease
To the farthest boat ramp. Then turned back
When we realized it was too hot to hike
We’d go to the lookout point instead

From the farthest boat ramp, after turning back,
It’s just two winding miles between the pines
To the lookout point. Instead
We were thrust into somewhere else entirely

Along the two winding miles between the pines
Bam! A shadow appeared in front of the car
Thrusting us into somewhere else entirely
Wingspan six feet across, recognition instant

The shadow stayed before the car
The entire two miles, gracefully swerving between the pines
Instant recognition, wingspan six feet across
We held our breath.

The entire two miles, he led the car, swerving between the pines
Then vanished.  We were both exhilarated and bereft,
Letting out a sigh in unison
As I pulled the car to a halt by the lake.

When he vanished, we were both exhilarated and bereft.
But not for long!  Perhaps he felt the connection too
As I pulled the car to a halt by the lake
He swooped in again, right before the windscreen

Perhaps he felt the connection too, before long
He was up atop the highest pine, his eye on us.
We, still stunned by his swoop right before the windscreen
Could only look up in thanks, shocked awake in awe.

 —Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento, CA 
Shephard Garden and Arts Center Cactus and Succulent Show

—Michael H. Brownstein, Chicago, IL

The great red oak
earned its years
in the summer season.
Drought or flood,
cloud stories or storm light,
the children's tree house
decomposing into sawdust,
rusted nails, too many
insects to count.

Let me take a break from this,
close my eyes,
and wander in the dark.
In the morning,
maybe the tree
will be exactly where we left it.

Alas, the tree was not a child's toy,
but became one to the new owners
who took it apart.

—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Michael H. Brownstein

My son watching 9/11 replay on the old television
commercial free
allows the well of his soul to overflow.
Sometimes the only thing anyone should know to do
is how to give someone in need a hug.


—Michael H. Brownstein

on the table, six pennies,
two fresh pressed blossoms,
a tear in the birthday card

 —Photo by Michelle Kunert

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered”
    If this is also true for humans too
    then many people might be considered “weeds” by those in the "social elite"

—Michelle Kunert

Pastel Dream, Davis Whole Earth Festival, May 12, 2018
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

Three year -old British Princess Charlotte probably secretly laments,
        “Mummy made me a baby brother—
        I want nothing to do with ‘Louis’
        Why can’t I go play dolls with my friends? 
        I don’t want to play with my baby brother!
        Daddy and Mummy told me to kiss him
        Kiss him for pictures ‘or else..’
        Hell, my big brother didn’t have do it! 
        George goes out traveling with royal guards,
        He says he learns how to be a soldier for England
        but I gotta stay at home
        Got to stay at home with Mummy and the baby
        and I don’t want to stay at home,
        everything now is about my baby brother!
        I’m told I’m a ‘princess’
        but no one listens to me!
        I just don’t want my ‘own room’—
        I want my own palace
        and I want it now!”
        a palace where no big or baby brothers are allowed!

—Michelle Kunert

  —Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Michael Ceraolo, South Euclid, Ohio

Cleveland Haiku #514

Green-eyed lady—
visitor from California
dazzling us locals

* * *

Cleveland Haiku #515

Spring rain—
white water
on the river

* * *

Cleveland Haiku #516

My polling place
in a church—
a different kind of faith

  —Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

It is game day at the stadium,
spectators sporting school colors
issue rumbling roars and cheers as
both teams appear on the field of play

Mascots and vendors standing by,
hands over hearts, National Anthem,
a round of applause, the coin toss,
bands play their fight songs, repeatedly

The home team, Upright Scantily Clad,
kicks off the ball quite far downfield,
and the visiting club, Urban Collection
of Loose Apparel, catches the ball and runs

(dot, dot, dot, … dot, dot, dot, dot, dot,
exclamation mark)



A clock with Roman numerals
serves to reference at least the
first dozen of seventeen Bavarian
Dukes named Henry, including:

Henry I – (Son of the Fowler)
Henry II the Quarrelsome
Henry III the Younger
Henry VIII – (Younger yet, he served the
role of Duke when he was just three and
four years old.)
Henry IX the Black
Henry X the Proud
Henry XI – (“Jasomirgott”: He and his horse
fell from a rotten bridge, a lesson which
remains valid to this day.)
Henry XII the Lion

Just why the clock fails to go on and
cite the other five Dukes remains a
well-kept secret.

  —Photo by Michelle Kunert


Every destination
takes you for a ride
complete with its own
delays and distractions

Sandwich shop
buy 10 get one free
Two more to go:
this is your ticket

Just you and a friend,
any kind of friend
Relationships 101
Pass or Fail

You are blessed with a
baby, couldn’t feel better.
Life is sure amazing!
What is that smell?

Infant in a reverse-facing
car seat gets an upwards
glimpse of telephone lines,
backwards, diminishing fast

Field trips with the class
keep the line moving
don’t stop and stare
come back with money

Higher education
salaried professors
rich compared to you
come back with money

Middle class gone, it’s the
have-it-alls and the working
poor; foreign lenders tithe us
come back with money

Dog-eared, all markers
punched and/or stamped,
illegible date, obscure place:
this is your ticket.

  —Photo by Michelle Kunert


(Be this known to all men
worldwide, the rules of
rhyme and reason are
hereby set to one side.)

The tempted husband
skillfully guided his yacht
“Old Narratives” into the
safe harbor of tit for tat

to let the girlfriend have his
child, and let her suffer the
rude glares, awful labels,
and association with evil.

Guys will be guys, fact is
gals need to work harder
on setting their priorities,
controlling their charms.

These opinions oft repeated
by sources so distinguished,
tend to deep six troublesome
truths until they are extinguished.

 —Photo by Michelle Kunert


Doing door-to-door collections for a big city news-
paper, about 100 listings to cover.  Many not home,
many others couldn’t or wouldn’t pay.  But there
would usually be a few exceptions who happily paid
their entire balance, and some even invited me in
for a drink, which made my small commission most
worthwhile for an hour’s work.

Computer solitaire, Vegas style, on my PC. The
statistical analysis page shows my Winning
percentage to be about 2%.  Some of those wins
were really standout games!  Fond memories of
lots and lots of dollars in the positive balance. 
Easy to recall those few good games and dismiss
the 98% that left me in the red.

Once in a rare while, we are visited by the
opportunity to perform a relatively small good
deed that will make a big, positive difference for
other people.  After attending an Eagle Court
for another scout in our son’s troop, and there
was still an overabundance of delicious, warm,
cooked food left over, I managed to network with
the right people to organize a caravan and promptly
deliver the food to a local homeless shelter. 

Feels good to spread the good.  At the risk of
being greedy, I only wish that those really
prized special moments would occur a little bit
more often…


Today’s LittleNip:


I had some thoughts
and put them in verse
rhymes didn’t help
it was beset by a curse.

The river didn’t flow,
no hearts would this win,
so I cast it away forever
to the handy Recycle Bin.


Many, many thanks to today’s fine bouillabaisse of poets and photographers, starting off our week of poetry and other eye candy!

Poetry in our area begins tonight with Vo-Cal-lab-u-La-Ry, the poetry/music collaboration between CSUS faculty and students, Sac. Poetry Center, 7:30pm. On Thursday, Sac. Poetry Center presents Third Thursdays at the Library, 12noon.

Then on Friday, The Other Voice in Davis Poetry Series features Dennis Hock, Tamer S. Mostafa plus open mic at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis on Patwin Rd., 7:30pm. And on Saturday on Key St. in Locke will be the Book Release Party for Cold River Press’s
Order of Events by D.R. Wagner, with artwork by Brock Alexander. By the way, May 15 (tomorrow!) is the deadline to purchase Order of Events and receive free shipping, plus a copy of A.D. WinansCrazy John Poems. (Go to

Sunday afternoon offers choices: Poetry in Placerville presents Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas plus open mic at Love Birds Coffee and Tea Co. on Broadway in Placerville, 1-3pm, and Davis Art Center Poetry Series features Traci Gourdine and William O’Daly, 2-3pm, at the Davis Art Center on F Street. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about these and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.



 Medusa Pic Found by Robert Lee Hancock, Antioch, CA
(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.