Monday, July 22, 2019

Summer 2019, Cont.

—Anonymous Photos

—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA
Warming up the lake,
Sunshine glows,
Into the water,
Hour after hour,
Without a single break,
Through a bright, blue
California sky,
For the whole day.

Later, waters warmer feel.
Softly, stroking swimmers
Tread the just-warm waves
Of summer’s soft appeal.


—Joseph Nolan

The time for
The opening of flowers
May vary by hours.

Some prefer to wait
Until noon;
They feel the dawn
Too early,
Too soon
To blush.

What’s the rush?

Aren’t you
Willing to wait,
For beauty’s sake,
For flowers’
Time to take?

—Joseph Nolan

Real communication
Is osmotic-symbiotic.
The shared, agreed-upon
Meaning of words,
The instant recognition,
When they are heard,
Of their connotation
Implying the intention
Behind the words
Of the speaker—
The meaning in his mind,
The transmittal of images
From the speaker—
Even to the blind!
Who won’t refuse to see
The message passing
Through the group


—Joseph Nolan

Change is swift in coming,
Coming over here;
Here for just a moment,
Then it’s over there!

Here, there and everywhere,
Change is all around!
Listen to
The whimsical wind;
Change is in its sound.

Change may be
For well or ill;
It’s often hard to tell—
Turn out
How it will?

But change
Just keeps flowing
Live a river,
Always going
Back toward some ocean
Beyond our
Human knowing.

(from a long-ago job at a convenience store)
—Michael Ceraolo, S. Euclid, OH

Before he became famous on national TV,
Morton Downey, Jr., had a local radio show,
though he must not have paid the help very well
because the producer of his show
(who shall remain nameless)
had to have a second job here
he took the job for other reasons)
                                                   The producer
thought he had healing powers,
thought he was the Archangel Gabriel,
thought Downey was Jesus Christ
I wondered while working with him
(but didn't question him about it)
why he thought the Second Coming
wasn't being acknowledged, and
I wonder what he thought years later
when Downey failed to be resurrected.

—Caschwa, Sacramento, cA

The family packed all its
belongings into a rickety
wagon and began the trek
across the continent

rough terrain, rougher nights
food ran short, tempers too
but they discovered strength
they didn’t know they had
and persevered

at long, long last they were met
by the welcome sight of California
where they found some forested
land ideal for working, settling,
and growing

then came short men in suits
bearing tall stacks of papers:
contracts with agreements to
arbitrate, down payments,
building permit forms, security
deposits, electronic key cards,
background checks, HOA rules
and dues, parking passes, pet
restrictions, proof of income….



It wasn’t an innocent tap on the shoulder,
more like slight of hand into the pocket
burning a path like a rocket
then gone to a distant world much colder

he took my purse with all the money
ID, pictures, credit cards
I yelled out to the security guards
my makeup now totally runny

they caught him approaching another mark
put him in cuffs and took him down
he acted happy like a circus clown
dancing in sunlight on Noah’s Ark

away he went in a big police cruiser
we’ll see him again when they set him free
he just doesn’t know any other way to be
and jail time will not lift him from being a loser


Love and marriage
Love and marriage
go together like a

Meat and fat
You know where it’s at
Tenderized by my
baseball bat

Placed on the grill
Medium rare if you will
Add baked potatoes
My tummy to fill



Enter The Donald, eager to
capture the fervor of those
who will not accept that the
Civil War has ended

Enter Nancy, who patiently
packages precise hits on

Enter Chris, the slugger, who
can live with striking out as
long as he gives it his all on
each swing

Enter the 2020 Election, which
has people wondering if this
will end up being the same
hotel bed as last time, with the
same, dirty sheets


(This is my fantastic ekphrastic poem
derived from the timecard I had when
I worked at a major supermarket as a
boxboy for $1.665 an hour)

Behold the beautiful image
of a new mother holding her
hungry babe against her
breast, painted by stalwart
toads insisting that attractive
people cover their skin to
shield us from sins within

These artless artists devour
biblical scenarios and poop
out foul-smelling advice
that our entire world is made
up of mostly bad stuff, that
the very same God who
created all life is angry with
folks who enjoy life too much

So we must balance our lives
on a tightrope with no net to
catch our falls, only flawless
devotion will save us from
that imminent mass recall of
the entire human race

And so the setting sun marks
the end of another day of
struggle; the shepherd stops
tending the flock and punches
his timecard in the clock 

Today’s LittleNip:

—Joseph Nolan

Why should I object
To anything you do,
When it’s just you,
Being you?

And why should you
Object to me
Being me,
Trying to be free?


Our thanks to today’s poets for their takes on the modern world! And maybe these summer pix (waterpix??) will give you some sparkle and splash for another week in July.

Feeling silly? Check out some summer jokes for kids at

Poetry in our area begins tonight at Sac. Poetry Center with Patricia Killilea and Taylor Graham plus open mic, 7:30pm. 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 Ann Michaels.

Saturday will be busy, with Writers on the Air in the morning at 9:30am, featuring Bethanie Humphreys, Heather Judy, Jeanine Stevens, Renée Marie plus open mic at Sac. Poetry Center in Sacramento. Then at 2pm, Creative Minds spoken word meets at Gos Art Gallery on Del Paso Blvd. in Sacramento; and, also at 2pm, Poetic License poetry read-around meets in Placerville at the Sr. Center lobby on Spring St. 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 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.