Monday, July 08, 2019

Stardust and Locusts

It’s later than you think…
—Photos by Caschwa, Sacramento, CA


In the company of flying stewardesses
on the way to see flying buttresses
holding together some old cathedrals
whose names don’t easily roll off the tongue
unless you learn them when very, very young

They offered me a drink, non-alcoholic
I’d much prefer a menu not so bucolic
need a vacation from all the procedurals,
from the new normal hysteria
from café-bacteria

Need to part ways with the standards of yore,
there are so many goodies to buy at the store
welcome Neanderthals in underalls
the plane is now landing, my seatbelt secure
a new hat would be nice, if it’s not made from fur



Just like with your other pets,
kittens, puppies, snakes, or
birds, politicians need to be
trained to stay within the
confines of their particular
enclosures, it

matters not at all that they have
never been in this scenario
before, they will somehow find a
path or scheme that allows them
to escape into the wild, to

set up their own policies and
procedures in place of any you
have tried to impose, the new
law being that you are here to
serve them and not the other
way around, as

current events have shown the
futility of crying foul over and
over, until no amount of well-
intended resources can resolve
the problem, so

before we hold another general
election for POTUS, we need to
firmly establish some quite
impenetrable barriers to keep
that wild critter we elected aptly


There is no Preface or Introduction

Chapter One starts out abruptly with
primary school where the 3 R’s are
masterfully covered by daily hours of
rote rote rote repetition

Chapter Two presents secondary sex
characteristics, squeezed sanitarily dry
of anything joyous, and locked in the
dungeon of “don’t even think about it!”

Chapter Three explores all the glorious
ramifications of tertiary syphilis, where
the unfulfilled lives of Rote Scholars are
visited by the inevitable damage to blood
vessels, bones, brains, eyes, heart, joints,
liver, and nerves

The Epilog completes the cycle with a DIY
exercise that offers an infinite number of
blank, lined pages on which to set forth
any single idea, over and over



Being one of more than a few
people who were born and
raised in California, New York
is not literally “back East”, but
some of us might get into the
pioneer spirit to take the 3,000
mile journey there to see the

Likewise for folks who were born
and raised in “New Amsterdam”,
who might opt to go “back East”
3,000 miles to the old country to
renew their connections with the

Having said that, New York would
be just the halfway mark for those
Californians who decide to go all
the way “back East”.

—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

She thinks she
Is a giraffe
With a neck
Long enough
To see
Over the trees,
Above all
Of the leaves.

Woe unto him
Who disbelieves!


—Joseph Nolan

Disguised as locusts
Descended on a
Farmer’s crop of corn
And left its stalks
All shorn,
Like an afterburner
Of a comet,
They swiftly flew away,
A dark and noisy cloud,
A pestilence
Of flying hunger,
Bent on eating
All, asunder,
Beneath their beating wings.

After they’d gone,
There was nothing left
Behind them,
Save the emptiness of space.

—Joseph Nolan

Connection, defection, rejection.
Curtains call the end
Of the show
That played on stage.

Many are in rage
Over the ways
Our wars
Are waged,

Over so many
Dead bodies,
Far away
In foreign lands.

We might kill
A million,
In some
Foreign sands,

While our soldiers
Write back home
To parents
They’ve left alone,
In quest of the G.I. Bill.

To college,
Off, they will,
When they get home.

It’s just
Part of
The process
Of growing up.


—Joseph Nolan

She runs naked
Green, hanging fronds.
Her legs splash the water.
I watch her
Dive naked
Into the welcoming pond.

I watch the sun
Sparkle and glisten
Across her silky, wet skin,
And I wonder
If this beautiful wonder
Will ever let me in?

Today’s LittleNip:


ANSWER: enriched uranium

QUESTION: what can I get if my
anium is underperforming?


Our thanks and good morning to today’s contributors, including Caschwa, who sends us photos from his nicely-performing garden. He writes, “Harvest from the raised bed. We also had a bumper crop of apricots my son helped glean. Tomorrow we’ll enjoy some potatoes and onions, and I’ll harvest a few more apricots, rid them of the pits, and freeze them till my son returns to make us cobbler.” Signs of the season. Thank you, Carl, and thanks for your poems and those of Joseph Nolan.

Congratulations to Sacramento’s frank andrick, who writes, “I am so proud to have my ‘Hard Candy’ story/prose piece be part of the National Steinbeck Center ( permanent collection, in the ‘Works Inspired by John Steinbeck’ section. Special thanks to Bob Stanley for bringing the story to print after hearing me read it once at the Sacramento’s 72-Hour Poetry Marathon. I was tipped off to its inclusion by JoAnn Anglin. See what happens when poets pay attention and support and post each other? Magick!

This week’s poetry events in our area begin tonight at Sac. Poetry Center, 7:30pm, featuring Izzy LaLa 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 at SPC for writing poems, 6-8pm on Wednesday, facilitated this week by Laura Martin.

Another workshop, this one for women: Wellspring Women’s Writing Group meets at Wellspring Women’s Center in Sacramento this Thursday at 11:30a.m.,  facilitated by Sue Daly. That evening, The Moore Brothers with Terry Moore and Khiry Malik Moore perform their Spoken Word collaboration at 8:30pm at Laughs Unlimited on Front Street in Old Sac. And Saturday is Sac. Poetry Center’s Second Saturday Art Reception, 5-9pm.

Then travel over to Angels Camp this coming Sunday to hear UC Berkeley Poet Carolyn Tipton read at the Manzanita Arts Emporium, 3pm. (See or for info.) 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 harvest of poetry!

Harvest: Potatoes and Onions 
—Photo (and Harvest) by Caschwa

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.