Monday, June 11, 2018

The Fire and Ice of Summer

—Photos by Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento, CA

on my skin
chocolate peanut butter Jamba Juice
on my tongue, ice cold on my stomach

sun’s warmth puckers my skin
at the mall, sun bakes
waiting for the bus, interminable
sun’s brightness blinds
despite solar shields
hiding half my face
warmth melts wintery bones
finally relax, understand why
elderly love to just sit in the sun

full deep green
June’s trees blow and dance
sun smiles through their branches
though it’s dinnertime
sun’s only halfway to the horizon

warmth bakes through
flimsy clothes
light breeze brings relief

perfect day, even for
a woman alone in her sixties
who feels like a girl inside
free, easy
excited by summer’s warmth
cool breeze, golden light

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

Change is in the air.  A few very hot days
in spring and people everywhere have a
blazing summer on the mind. 

Our household has already retired the rain
tarp from the AC and instructed the auto-
matic temperature control gadget in the
house to stop heating and start cooling, the
sooner the better!

Of course the strategically placed thermo-
meters affixed to various and sundry walls
don’t all agree, taking a lesson from the
self-righteous clocks in every room, or from
the ironically partisan arguments entertained
by the Supreme Court of these United States.

And today, the always-hot political climate
will surely reach the boiling point as primary
election votes are cast, tallied, lost, disputed,
and analyzed ad nauseam by well-known and
self-proclaimed experts who themselves tout
credentials that are highly questionable, and
who have a history of presenting reports no
less fallible than those of weather forecasters
whose educated guesses are just hot air.


Our lawnmower, set to cut really
low, does its job on the front lawn,
leaving military regiments of grass
blades strutting their hearts out to
reach sunlight with uniform precision.

Nearby, the smell of chainsaws
felling groves of oxygen-enriching
trees to set out the welcome mat for
a virtual onslaught of motor vehicle
activity, kindles a recall of Charles

Ives’ musical work, Three Places in
New England
, which contraposes
two marching bands playing different
pieces of music while marching past
one another in opposite directions.

(celebrating D-Day, when Carl’s dad did
semifore in the Seabees)


Uh-oh, multiple bills coming
due all at once, way before
my deposit will be processed. 
I’m surely going to be caught
short of funds.

Guess I should feel like I
really messed up, because
I’ll be late instead of timely
and that looks bad.

But then again, when I was
working for the state, they
goofed up with the income
projections and lo and behold
didn’t have enough money to
pay everyone they had already
hired, so we had to suffer
furloughs of all things.

That made us poor workers
shoulder full blame for getting
poorer, while none of those top-
pick financial wizards who had
botched the projection numbers
was ever named or made to
answer for all the trouble they
had caused.

Then some time passed, new
governor in office, and the state
goofed up again on income
projections, this time ending up
with a huge surplus that everyone
with any clout voiced a claim on.

So no, don’t anyone expect me
to feel embarrassed that I can’t
timely pay my bills.  That is
exactly the way top professionals
handle these matters.  #MeToo

Today’s LittleNip:


Beating down under harsh sunlight
A failure to navigate
Dead from sheer fright
Horse flies predominate


Our thanks to today’s contributors, starting us off on another week as we head into summer, which is also our Seed of the Week (Summer).

Sacramento’s Laverne Frith has a new review published at
New York Journal of Books: Donna Masini’s 4:30 Movie. Check it out at Laverne also had a poem, “Persistence As Life Force”, on Verse Daily yesterday (Sunday). The poem is from his latest book, Estuaries Of The Mind. See it at

Do you have a blog? Personally, I think it’s advisable for all poets to have a place on the web where they and their work may be found, and blogs are probably the easiest to post and maintain. Today at 11:30, Cal. Lawyers for the Arts will present “How to Start Your Own Blog: Practical Steps to Success” at The Avid Reader on Broadway in Sacramento. Go to for info and registration ($20). Then tonight at Sac. Poetry Center, there will be a book launch by Marilyn Reynolds:
Til Death or Dementia Do Us Part (River Rock Press), 7:30pm.

On Wednesday in Placerville, Poetry Off-the-Shelves read-around meets at 5pm in the El Dorado County Library’s main branch on Fair Lane. On Thursday at 11:30am, Wellspring Women’s Writing Group invites all women to a Women’s Expressive Writing Workshop with Sue Daly at the Wellspring Women’s Center in Sacramento. On Thursday evening, 8pm, Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe in Sacramento presents Art Mantecon & William O’Daly, plus open mic. And on Friday, The Other Voice Poetry Series in Davis presents Sue Daly, Chris Olander and open mic at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Patwin Rd., 7:30pm.

Sunday offers two choices: Davis Arts Center Poetry Series, with Amanda Hawkins and Vincent Kobelt, 2pm, and Poetry in Placerville, with an open reading for poems and stories, 1pm, at Love Birds Coffee and Tea on Broadway in Placerville. 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 po-ta-to-e-try—and the joy of the pun!

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.