Monday, June 18, 2018

Little Foxtails in the Socks

—Photos by Caschwa, Sacramento, CA


Quite a cabin

In the woods.

Was more a

Shack down at

The end of

Our back alley.

The reedy voice

From behind the

Rotted screen:  

"I can smell bees!" 

We took the other way

Downtown after.

—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove, CA

In a cheap oil-painting class at Michael’s craft store
      I painted a little cabin surrounded by woods
      Well, it’s what I was shown to do
      Afterward I would sometimes dream upon that painting
      I would wish that I could have a place like that
      Later I would learn about 19th-century author Henry David Thoreau
      and how he “experimented” in living in a cabin in the woods
      There he would write Walden, his transcendentalist essays,
      living as one would say today “off the grid”
      but Ralph Waldo Emerson remained Thoreau’s postal address
      Thoreau didn’t want to be like the creepy loner witch living in the forest
      But today there are people doing that who want to “disappear” or “not be found”
      One such person found living in a cabin in the woods was Ten Kaczynski, the

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento, CA


Hello, I’m here to apply for
the job of poem

Do you rhyme with anything?

There’s a few words, but
I don’t know ‘em

How about some alliteration?

Easy legumey

Have you ever been published?

Words cannot describe it

Okay, you’re hired!  Show up
first thing in the morning
dressed in proper grammar
and appropriate punctuation

Oh, I thought the editors took
care of all that

Well, maybe starting out it will
be better if you just intern as a
figure of speech



It is the first day of pre-school:
the room abounds with untamed
energy spilling over the printed
text of the best preconceived plans.

None of the kids have yet learned to
read or to write, but every last one
of them possesses a legal scholar
gene that instructs them to summarily

reject whatever an adult tells them as
inadmissible hearsay, leaving the kids
to instead gather facts and the truth
directly from their own senses. Forget

about learning anatomy from books,
let us rip off our clothes and actually
see and touch what is there. You say
flames are too hot for our fingers, I’ll

be the judge of that.  Hey teacher, I
like the color of your sweater.  Let me
take a piece of that home to share with
my family, and the dog.  Thanks!


We planted 7 tomato vines
and daily watched as they grew

today some are ankle height and
others reach up almost to the knee

here and there yellow petals
complementing the green

a very few small, young tomatoes
not yet distinct enough to name

insufferable caveats about water:
they need plenty, once in a while

to be continued……



It could be just one soloist
or a thousand together
chanting that sorrowful dirge

Ouch!!  My! Oh that hurts!
Why couldn’t those pieces of
nature just stay where they

A handy chair accepts my rear,
legs crossed, shoes removed
and there it is, boldly protruding
from the part of the sock covering
the most tender area of my foot.

Its barbs make pulling on the
sticker futile, so off comes the
sock to retrieve it from the other
side….success!!  Are there more?

A quick and intent search thankfully
yields no more pointy intrusions…
next joust I’ll put on those cheap
rain boots as my shining armor.



If you have ever been to an
area where certain fungal
infections are present.
    —TV advertisement

Sure, that’s easy enough, I’ll
just set my GPS to let me know
every time I get close to some
fungal infections. 

Won’t my doctor’s whole staff
be surprised when I forward to
them the exact coordinates of
any fungal infections I may have
approached in my travels.

Whoa!  The hospital facility
where my doctor’s home office
is situated registers quite high
on the fungal infections register.

Hope they fix that soon.


Millions of youths share the title or
experience of being a senior on a
fixed income in their last year of high
school and again in college, when
they have seemingly endless reserves
of time and energy and wonderful
prospects galore

life is a model car, paint it whatever
color suits you

much too soon after the caps and gowns
have been retired, out come the modest
senior discounts, and a cluster of once
manageable debts show enormous growth,
quite outpacing torn hose

now the well-educated enter a whole new
world of problems that a fresh coat of paint
cannot help, such as needing a new vital
organ, but being left off the transplant list
due to serious, conspicuous deficiencies
in their physical or financial well being



Normal Baby Boomer childhood,
boy consumed with Erector Sets:
glorious metal pieces with pre-
drilled holes carefully engineered

to fit together with screws and nuts
for several neat projects to build.
Now grown, approaching 70, life
attempts to imitate the known qualities

of those metal pieces, but the joinery
is no longer readily retrievable, so
those seemingly familiar parts now
refuse to fit together in any sensible way.


Today’s LittleNip:




Thanks to today’s contributors, including the riffs on our Seed of the Week: Little Cabin in the Woods, and to Caschwa (Carl Schwartz, who says he is a “serial gardener”) for the summery photos!

This week’s poetry in our area begins with a Cal. Lawyers for the Arts workshop, A Legal Guide to Book Publishing, at The Avid Reader on Broadway, 11:30am. (Info/reg at Then tonight at Sac. Poetry Center, Nick LeForce reads, plus open mic, 7:30pm.

Thursday at noon, Third Thursdays at the Central Library will meet in Sacramento; bring poems about weddings, partnerships, mutual discovery. On Thursday night, in addition to Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe with featured readers and open mic, 8pm, Nick LeForce and Anna Fenerty will read in Davis, 8pm, at the John Natsoulas Gallery.

Writers on the Air will meet on Saturday at Sac. Poetry Center, featuring Jackie Smithson Howard, Gerrie Walker, and open mic, 9:30pm. Also on Saturday, Poetic License poetry read-around will meet at the Placerville Sr. Center in Placerville, 2pm. And on Sunday at Sac. Poetry Center, Nick LeForce will present his free Wording the World Workshop from 12-4pm. Info: the world/. 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. 


 Celebrate Poetry!

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