Monday, February 18, 2019

Choruses of Gerbils

Lizard Door Knocker
—Photos by Chris Moon

—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

An exiler,
A banisher,
She likes the thought
Of outer darkness
And gnashing of teeth;

She likes the thought
That wicked ones
Are punished
In eternal darkness
And cold,
So she doesn’t return
Emails or
Text massages.

She likes to keep
An old break
Silence with the past
Suits her
Very well.
She’s very fond of Hell!


—Joseph Nolan

Not every day,
Week, month or year
Do I break
A drinking glass,
By momentary
Like an ass.
Sometimes, an
Entire year might pass
Without the breaking
Of a glass.

It is one of
My wishes
When I
Wash the dishes.

Fish Knocker

—Joseph Nolan

We understand
How gardens fail
In summer
Without water.

Daytime heat
Without relief,
How summer
Breezes swelter.

We pray for rain,
But no rain comes,
Corn rows
Growing drier.

Come Sunday,
Worship time
Has come;
Hear wailing
Town crier.


—Joseph Nolan

Every so often
I look out my window
To see if
The world’s still there.

The cars parked on my street,
The people I might meet
If I walked out my door.

I wonder why I wonder?
They’re all there
As they were, before,
But since I have retired,
I never cease to wonder,

 Seahorse Knocker

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA
Multi-tasking includes a reasonable
expectation of success, so attempts in
this area may involve no more work
than punching a few buttons to start a
machine (like a dishwasher) which does
the real work and usually yields an
outcome of success.

I am a great multi-tasker.

With juggling, conversely, there is often
a lingering expectation that success is
improbable, so when that same individual
who excels at multi-tasking dares to make
attempts in this area, the results may not
be to anyone’s satisfaction. Examples here
include tending a baby with colic, or trying
to administer multiple medicines orally to a
feisty Chihuahua.

I am a terrible juggler.

 Lady Knocker


Was okay not caravanning all the way
out to South America to view a lunar
eclipse, confident that scientists and
journalists would have it covered

More greatly concerned about the
impending eclipse of our nation’s hopes
and values, along with the very flame
of Lady Liberty, due to you know who



“We will bury you.”
“Death to infidels.”
“Breaking news …”

“I have a dream.”
“I am the greatest.”
“I am not a crook.”
“I am 100% not guilty."
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
“I’ll paint any car any color for $19.95.”

“At the tone, the time will be …”
“The happiest place on Earth.”
“Sock it to me, baby.”
“Look for the helpers.”
“Slam dunk!”

 Not Gettin' In!


The good doctor had to provide
two recliner chairs, each as long as wide
to accommodate the couplet
seeking answers as yet unmet

alpha gerbils usually don’t have such
complicated social issues that much
when you take away the sexual
component, the rest is intellectual

however, a chorus of two alpha gerbils
tends to sound like competing doorbells;
which to answer, which to ignore,
is there ever an end, what else is in store? 

 Lion Head Knocker


The fearless Captain Eddy
a sturdy rowboat has he
set out upon the windy sea

a problem somehow left unspoken:
one of two paddles was badly broken
which left him just circlin’ and soakin’

he’s still out there to this day
one good paddle, his mainstay
far from home back at the bay


Today’s LittleNip(s):

—Joseph Nolan

Think twice.
Be nice.
Don’t roll
The dice.

* * *

—Joseph Nolan

A dream
Is just a dream
Until it’s
Said out loud,
Then it is
A story
For the crowd.


Our thanks to Carl and Joseph for today’s poetry, and to Chris Moon for photos from his Door Knocker collection!

This is a busy week in our area, poetry-wise, starting tonight with Steven Sanchez and Michelle Brittan Rosado at Sac. Poetry Center, 7:30pm. On Weds., SPC will host the MarieWriters Generative Writing Workshop from 6-8pm, led this week by Christin O’Cuddahy.

Thursday at noon, Third Thursday at the Central Library will feature a poetry read-around hosted by Mary Zeppa and Lawrence Dinkins, 828 I St., Sac. (Bring a poem by someone other than yourself.) Thursday night will present a difficult choice: Open Poetry Night at the Gallery at Crocker Art Museum, 7pm, featuring open mic, poet Donté Clark, and the art of Jacob Lawrence (be sure to reg., and open mic sign-ups begin at 6pm); or Lee Herrick at Poetry in Davis at the John Natsoulas Gallery, 8pm.

On Friday, Sac. Poetry Center features a book release by NSAA (Lawrence Dinkins), 6pm; then Speak Up: The Art of Storytelling and Poetry meets at the Avid Reader in Sac., 7pm. Then on Saturday morning, also at SPC, Writers on the Air meets from 9:30am-1pm, this month featuring Jennifer O’Neill Pickering and two poets from
Sable & Quill (Bethanie Humphreys and Heather Judy), plus open mic. Also on Saturday, Poetic License meets in Placerville at the Sr. Center from 2-4pm. This month’s suggested topic is “mystify”, but other subjects are also welcome. 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 (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.