Monday, May 20, 2019

That Love May Fill Our Lives

—Photos by Carol Louise Moon, Placerville, CA

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

Quiet night
silent sunrise
a little more sleep

I am the first one up
slip into the kitchen
brew some coffee

light up the gas stove
start frying some
meat and eggs

suddenly, little, tiny
footsteps in the hallway
wet nose, waggy tail

our Chihuahua is up
wide awake, alert
she knows that her job

is to visit each room
of the household and
let everyone know:

the pack has a kill
so it is time to gather
‘round and get one’s fill



Several good friends gathered at a
local watering hole one late evening
laughing, toasting, dreaming, buzzing

their empty fluted stemware nested on
crinkled napkins printed with happy
pictures and colorful, fun text

“Another round for everyone!!”

Stepping outside, each friend is pleased
to find yet another glass loaded with their
favorite beverage protruding from the

front of their car like an ornamental
figurehead on the bow of a ship; then
they start their engines, exit the parking

lot, and continue toasting, and toasting
some more, into the wee early hours of
the morning 


Does my poetry ring poetic,
worth repeating like a song,
alliteration above pathetic,
purpose righting all wrong?

Am I shedding new light on
oft-described wonders,
shouldering the burden
of ferreting out blunders?

Mere circles are enough to
keep me amused,
though a catch 22 leaves one
naked and confused

I tasted the ocean,
got hooked on its potion
while my fingers stumble to find
“f” and “j” while blind

Hold on! What’s that?
My Ass Gets Acclaim
says so on the hat,
disclaimer for all blame


Don’t owe no oligarchs
my job ain’t with the mob
loyalty to country ranks above all,
temptation is corn on the cob

Don’t bow to titles or money
God and family is where it’s at
give me a home where the buffalo roam
no towers of pure greed and fat

Though constant calls to arms
can wilt the strongest spirit
there is a much higher calling
if we would only hear it


They wheeled me from the
cold surgery table to some kind
of recovery room where I was
surrounded by uniformed workers,
family and friends, and a few other
people who had mastered the art
of never quite smiling

There was plenty of technical talk
‘way above my pay grade
huge, rounded dollar figures;
the only folks who actually looked
me in the eye were checking to see
if I was still alive, making illegible
marks on their well-worn clipboards

After an eternity of mystery and
indescribable wonder, a cheerful lady
with a very pleasant bedside manner
approached me and announced:
“Your minivan is all fixed and ready,
sir. The cashier will have the keys.” 

—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA
Under the penumbra of memory
We cherish our umbrellas
With which we block the rain
That goes tapping,
Ever so lightly,
Just above our brains
With memory pain
Trying get through
Whatever our protection.

We survive through our rejection
Of memory malingered,
Distorted and betrayed
And hope the current wave
Of images and motion
We need not
Painfully save.


—Joseph Nolan

There is a substitution
Of one form of suffering
For another:

Numbness for pain;

Fear of loss
To need for gain;

The loss of an arm
Into need to harm;

The snarling of a tortured dog
That howls at night
Too late,
Into fear of neighbors
And hate;

To building up armed forces
And lying in wait.

—Joseph Nolan

The horizon is covered with mist.
Light, soft, encroaching,
Lightly filters through,
As dawn becomes a day,

Opening onto a cloud
That slowly fades away,
As dawn becomes another day.

You and I,
We, together lie;
We don’t betray
What last night’s loving
Took away.

We let the light
Shine over us
And to the dawn we pray,
That love may fill our lives
On this new day.


Today’s LittleNip(s):

—Joseph Nolan

After you have moved away
Will you have a thing to say
To your neighbor, next-door,
Or just let the grass grow
When you go?

* * *

—Joseph Nolan

Be careful telling jokes
To small-minded folks.
They might not get it
And you might regret it.
They might be offended;
You might get up-ended
Or even suspended
From your job or school
For being such a fool!


Thanks to our lively bunch of SnakePals “on this new day” for their poems, and for Carol Louise Moon’s fine photos. Watch for Carol Louise’s poems this coming Friday, with photos by her brother, Chris Moon.

A new issue of the long-running
Ekphrasis, edited by Sacramento’s Laverne and Carol Frith, is now available at Check it out!

Begin your poetry-listening week tonight at Sac. Poetry Center, 7:30pm, with Francesca Bell and Moira Magneson plus open mic. SPC workshops this week include Tuesday Night Workshop for critiquing of poems at the Hart Center (27th and J Sts.) on Tuesday, 7:30-9pm (call Danyen Powell at 530-681-0026 for info); and MarieWriters Generative Writing Workshop for writing poems, 6-8pm on Wednesday at SPC.

Also on Wednesday, Sac. Poetry Center presents Amy Kaupang and Matthew Cooperman with their book,
NOS [Disorder Not Otherwise Specified] at 7:30pm. And on Thursday, Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe and Juice Bar meets at 8pm, with featured readers and open mic.

Did you know Sacramento has the oldest and largest collection of haiku outside of Japan? This coming Friday, visit the American Haiku Archives in the Cal. History Room of Library and Courts II Building, 900 N St., Ste. 200, Sac. Free; bring a bag lunch for a brief talk by a haiku poet.

Saturday will be busy, starting with Writers on the Air at 9:30am at Sac. Poetry Center; then the beginning of a new series at 2pm for Spoken Word: “Creative Minds”, hosted by Straight Out Scribes and Gerry Simpson at GOS Art Gallery Studio on Del Paso Blvd. in Sacramento.

Also on Saturday, Poetic License meets in Placerville at the Sr. Center on Spring Street, 2pm. The suggested topic for this month is "drought" 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, celebrating the poetry of the moment!

 —Anonymous Photo
Caschwa says: “Push politics aside and delight in the 
poetry of the moment.” Well said, CS!


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.