Monday, July 02, 2018

The Color of the Day

—Photos by Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

—Katy Brown, Davis, CA
Will you do this for me, please—
never asked in my family—
Onegai shimasu, kudasai?

God helps those who help themselves
or, Don’t bother me right now.  But,
never: Will you do this for me, please.

In doll-making class at the Koyasan Temple,
I kept hearing the same phrase over and over:
Onegai shimasu, kudasai?

Then the student would hand over needle work.
The expectation was that beginners need help.
Will you do this for me, please?

This surrender to experience was wise, not
a bother or admission of failure.  Not lazy. 
Onegai shimasu, kudasai. 

I learned to say the Japanese phrase first
and became a better person when I did:
Onigai shimasu, kudasai?
Will you do this for me, please?

—Katy Brown

I am so out of practice
with assembling this
simple organic form,
I’ve forgotten
what tab goes
in which slot.

—Katy Brown

don’t try to pet a snarling dog;
don’t leave your handprint in grandma’s cake;
yelling louder won’t make you heard any better;
someone bigger is always right;
best to hide when someone is looking to pin blame;

not all promises to you are meant to be kept;
surprises aren’t always fun;
not everyone wants to see you;
be grateful for what you have;
you can always play solitaire;

you will always sing off-key;
you can always sing when you’re alone;
little as you are, you are not the smallest creature;
silence is always the best defense;
when in doubt, hide.


Inside my head
is a bed where I
lay down lies
to despise

the forces of

here I can
booze a lot
snooze a lot
smart phone

talk a lot
cam a lot

find that itch
deep in the ditch
the size of Shamu
but socially taboo

unlock, unlatch
reach down and scratch

I really don’t care
if you laugh and you stare
a job needed doing
an itch needed screwing

my bed, my rules
my work, my tools

at home came a spitter
sweet spot, good hitter
gotta’ chase the ball
it is totally my call

a treasure in my glove
now that is what I love!


Ever since bold adventurers visited
the New World and staked their claims,
there has been a perpetual struggle to
fight off those who would diminish the
value of those claims.

Savage Indians—get rid of them,
Beachgoers—wall them off,
Rich and succulent forests—level them,
Natural waterways—channel them,
Gold and gems—grab, remove, and sell,
God’s best scenery—charge admission,
Property rights—get every entitlement,
People with more needs than resources—
bury them alive with bad press.

For a price, a tour bus will venture by the
elaborate domiciles of this mogul, this
superstar, this top athlete, this bashful but
successful venture capitalist, shading the
windows when passing by the rude encamp-
ments of homeless individuals and families,
whom everyone comfortably seated on the
bus smugly assumes must be living that low
life entirely due to their own selfish choices.


Our renowned Rule of Law
is at the helm to captain our
ship of state through any
and all adversities.

A rule for everything and
everything under its rule,
supported by documentation
in triplicate.

Then Nature blows in with the
Mother of all storms, both
weather and political, washing
up all the documents and sending
them to remote jungles where
they will be eaten alive by
battling baboons, leaving no trace.

But there is still hope on the
horizon, through the mist shines
that beautiful beacon of liberty
and justice….onward….

Welcome to America;  before
you take one step further you
must show us papers that no
longer exist.  No papers, your
bad, leave now or we will make
such a scene!


The holy stone tablet was brought down
from the mountain and shown all around…

from these beginnings and the ensuing
3,000 years of high-minded human
discourse arose the phenomenon of
constitutions, accompanied by volumes
upon volumes of meticulously penned rules
of order, the sum total of which stands for


against vast populations of broken people
from countries civilized or not, who had been
brutally mistreated in their own homeland,
and who are now far more preoccupied with the

I M M I N E N T   D O O M

of themselves and their families
than with any written word
from any time or place.


(Fixer: one of the chemicals used
in the darkroom to process photos.
Upper: a substance one takes to
temporarily elevate one’s spirits.)

Sometimes on a long journey we
just need to stop and look at the
map again.  


(Inspired by “Another Little-Boy-Lost”
by Joyce Odam, Medusa’s Kitchen 06/26/18)

Thousands of years ago
the muscle of males
the brilliance of brains
resulting in hairy, sweaty
collections of
defeated dolls for the
little boys and girls
to play with,
dress up,
and pose
for whatever scenario
looked most appealing
at the moment.

It would take the
research and development
team a few millennia
to catch up and
propose more thoughtful
alternatives to slavery,
and even then,
they were voted down
by a body politic
composed of
little boys and girls
still relishing all the
self-assigned super powers
they could easily enjoy
while playing with their dolls.



Dreams, quietude, calm
fabulous coffee, great company
just the right perfume
knee on the carpet
ready to pop the question

Why do you have
in your hair?


Today’s LittleNip:

—Michael H. Brownstein, Chicago, IL

Let us rise and shine
and see the color of the day.
dawn is drawn in wine—
let us rise and shine,
enter the Antigua blue design,
find the turquoise water of the bay:
Let us rise and shine
and see the color of the day.


Many thanks to today’s poets, and to Caschwa (Carl Schwartz) for today’s spring garden photos! (So much green!)

Poetry events in our area begin tonight at Sac. Poetry Center with Brandon Leake, plus open mic, 7:30pm. And on Thursday night, 8pm, Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe in Sacramento presents featured poets and open mic. 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.

convergence Editor Cynthia Linville writes that the Summer 2018 issue is online at Check it out!


 Stay cool! And celebrate poetry!
—Anonymous Photo

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.