Friday, October 19, 2018

Sometimes Won, Sometimes Lost

—Poems and Photos by Smith, Cleveland, OH


I stroke the cat's fur to hear her purr.
I love the sound, that and rain and train,
the water rush of wind in trees
their leaves rustling in relief,
brooks babbling, creeks bubbling,
rivulets running, streams sighing,
children playing, laughing,
lovers murmuring, friend's hello,
wife's I love you with bonus hug,
distant drone of airplane and buzz of fly
on hot summer day while lying in high grass,
church bell and Buddhist temple gong,
Westminster clock chime,
gospel and doo-wop harmony,
the drone of an old car on an older road,
bee buzz, surf slap,
me and you, baby coo,
bird chirp, cow moo,
your basic please and thank you,
most of Miles Davis,
and the silence of morning dew.

 Sign of the Times


Do you suppose the moon howls at the wolves,
and they're only answering?

It whispers to me, the moon,
me a man who would be known.

No, a mutant who would be known by man,
as if that would soothe the missing.

To thine self be known.
There is no other answer.

If you return without the answer,
they send you out again.


wing word round
in classic clown
till dry discourse
rues rule
courts gesture
of course
lambs lame lions
and liars lie down
in one main line
of fool

 Contemporary Manners


Walking warm air purple petal street
in Marrakech dusk
beneath red flower trees
and black hash stone,
an open carriage with four white horses
and brown Berber driver trots past,
its four coach Caucasians pointing,
surprised to see us alone,
hand-in-hand and white
in unwhite part of town.

Lady looks back at them, softly says
"How colonial."



"Here's your bill, sir"
For what?
"Services unrendered."
I didn't order.
"Pay anyway."
"Being. Nothingness."
Ah, of course, original sin.
"Sign here."
Thought the crucifixion took care of that.
"Just the tax, Jack."

 Pappy and Son


My woman has been with many men
Before coming with me
Her her makes her she
Her she wishes me
Our now exoskeleton her then 

 My Night With Elvis


Satan thinks he owns my soul
but with each foto I take of myself
I retake a small slice,
and I've taken thousands
stealing my soul back
one sin at a time.

I have touched the Devil's hoof,
fed his horse balderberries,
and dulled his tempting knife,
so wear the eagle feather in my hair
and paint red his wife.

I won't count coup on you though
because we burn same blood,
walk same rain,
so your loss would not be my gain,
just extra pain.

 Spooky Action


Two-dimensional shadow
climbs three-dimensional bark
in rise and fall of back and forth
as setting sun slants golden leaf
with dance of quantum light

a soft pause
in land of tooth and claw

 The Wizard of Smith

Today’s LittleNip:


Moon blood comes, moon blood goes,
moon blood stops, moon blood flows.

Life goes on, life stops,
sometimes won, sometimes lost.


Many thanks to Smith (Steven B. Smith) ‘way back in Cleveland for today’s fine, musical poems and his visual treats!

Tonight at 7:30pm, you have your choice of the new
Munyori Literary Journal’s fiction reading at Sac. Poetry Center, featuring Terry a O’Neal and Kakwasi Somadhi, or The Other Voice Poetry Series in Davis, presenting Jennifer O’Neill Pickering and John Bell, plus open mic, at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Patwin Rd. 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.

Hey! A week from today (Friday, Oct. 26) is Sacramento Poetry Day, as proclaimed by then-Mayor Anne Rudin in 1986, making this the 32nd anniversary of her proclamation. Several years ago, SnakePal Pat Grizzell wrote a wonderful synopsis of the day, its history, and what it’s all about; see This year, I’ve kept next Friday open for Sacramento poems, so whether you live in Sacramento or not, please send me something you’ve written about the city, or camellias, or the capitol, or trees, or poetry, or
Landing Signals, or Luna’s, or Anne Rudin 😁 or…  and photos, too! (There’s plenty to shoot around here!) Send it all to—and the sooner the better.


 Look, Mom...!
—Photo by Smith
(Celebrate poetry!)

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