Friday, June 28, 2019

Looking Beyond Surfaces

Mug and Buckeye
—Poems and Photos by Carol Louise Moon, Placerville, CA


Intent on gleaning secrets I could see
my own reflection, instead of the marine
life in this tide pool—its surface intoning,
pulsating—insisting on its own rhythm,
insinuating my face between its depth
and my inquisitive mind.  In this instant,
I realized I must look beyond surfaces,
incessant distractions.  I plunged my bare
face into the pool, invasive in my efforts
to discover its unique interpretations—
its immense treasure—its soul.

 Sea Stars


Barnacles had the look of cupcakes
to her, and sometimes “mini Martian
volcanoes,” she said.  But barnacles
were never strange to her as she
wrapped up in woolens by the sea.

We knew her to be a little strange,
single-minded, and in her older years
very eccentric.  When she spoke of
barnacles her eyes peered and leered
as if gazing into a tide pool.
“Nothing matters to barnacles but
water,” she said as if all she saw
up close could be summed up in a
simple statement. 

It is the observer of marine life who
must learn the difference between
breathing water and breathing air,
between facts of truth and facts of
conscience.  She taught like the best,
by offering herself and her own
observations.  And the student must
search and know according to his

We see her now turning a shell over
and over in her delicate hands.  We
remember her lectures, her upturned
lips, her scanty brow, her squinting
and peering as if gazing into a tide pool.

(prev. pub. in Time of Singing, 2014)

 John Rides the Range


The afternoon is buzzing with some
kind of noise as I race the old blue
pickup truck across the dust past white
pipes lying in the field.  I see a red and
white fox darting from under a fence
into a nearby shrub.

6-year-old Billy Kondrat tells me that
foxes are descended from dinosaurs,
and that he, too, has seen this
particularly odd creature “making like a
fox, yet being cleverly dinosaurian.”

Unloading a few groceries is tedious;
I’d rather visit Ricardo, the next-door
neighbor who has proudly unloaded
three old refrigerators onto his carport. 
I skip the fence to get a closer look at
him folding his short-sleeved shirts
neatly into a beige refrigerator.

As Ricardo croissantly folds poorly
washed socks which smell of a hint of
cheese, I think to myself, food does not
belong here.  I mouth the words in
English and mime the words with my
fingers, One must not freeze cheese,
before noticing the lack of electrical
source to each refrigerator.

Glancing across the field I see the
yellow lab chasing the red fox.  He,
too, has heard the rumor that perhaps
the fox is a dinosaur.

(prev. pub. in Poetry Now, 2008)

 Eider Duck


A casual walk today in mid-July
past daisies in my garden fading fast—
as Birds of Paradise seen fading, too.
I walk a brick-lined path down stairs, past
tiny drooping pansies in their pots.
It’s summer now, I knew they wouldn’t last.


The party’s over, and now for the cleanup.
I survey my backyard of what-it’s-not.
There beneath the grief-stricken willow
I see the stub-my-toe stone, the laughing
gnome, and the dead-as-a-dead-garden-
snake hose I forgot to coil in a threatening

the cremains of the chicken barbeque; and
Great Aunt Edie’s brilliant birthday pastry
with a million-and-eighty-one burnt-out
tiny torches; an over-flowing brown bag
full of frosty paper plates filed helter-skelter;

six flammable Japanese lanterns exploding
into shades of red and greenish-yellow
with a hint of hot blue flame; wadded
tissues whispering the phrases “Hap... “,
“Birthd... “, and “Congrat... “ in silver.

Much ado about nothing, I say, as I fall
headlong into a fully-clothed pool,
stark naked.

(prev. pub. in Peeking Cat Poetry)


Today’s LittleNip:
—Carol Louise Moon

Very clever, these en vogue
vehicles; crank arms and pedals;
variations of a bike
visibly lacking the gears;
veering through parks at a low
velocity.  They’re on the
verge of some new invention!


Thank you, Carol Louise Moon, for bringing these poems and pix to the Kitchen today, winding up another week for us in fine style!

Tonight at 7pm, Speak Up: The Art of Storytelling and Poetry presents a performance evening with poets and storytellers on the theme of “Lost and Found” at The Avid Reader, 1945 Broadway in Sacramento. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.

—Medusa, celebrating poetry!

 For more about velocipedes, go to

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.