Friday, July 31, 2020

In Sore Need Of Angels

—Poetry and Photos by Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA
—And scroll down for Form Fiddlers’ Friday!



Favorite word. On-trail—moving along,
not there yet. Leaving is always
better than arriving. Searching places
I never heard of, never meant to go,
to find the lost. Restless legs one-foot-
ahead-of-the-other. Around the next bend,
just to see what’s there, then a bend just
beyond. Even in hard winter rain,
a closed dirt road down to Rocky Bar,
then up the other side, Slug Gulch—
no reason to be there, just because.
Would God beckon across a low bridge
in December spate? “Welcome, feel free
to explore, look for whatever you’ve
lost. All repaired and ready to hit the trail.” 


We set out with our dogs—not to track outlaws through wilderness, but a man who left his car at dirt road’s end and walked away unprepared for weather. Trail opened into sky. Creekside willow touched with fall. On higher peaks, first snow of the season. Calling his name,

voices on silence
as payback for entering
this eternal place. 


That summer day we looked for her
where she should have been.
The lockdown hit, and we were caught
masked from nose to chin.

Her office with a window view,
a cat and lots of books,
computer hooked-up to the world,
and many secret nooks,

a great Earth Atlas, native rocks,
titmouse past the glass—
the cat had knocked her modem down,
no messages could pass.

So many books, so great a globe,
she might be anywhere—
in thought, in wish, in masked disguise
as free as open air.

The window just a smidge ajar,
breeze fresh from the north.
That wild north corner, some might ask,
Could it have pulled her forth?

I guess she’s gone to find a world
unmasked as rock and sky,
where no one asks her when and where
or whither, or why. 


For years, jackrabbits disappeared
our garden, legerdemain pulling leverets
out of the hat till jacks were everywhere—
leaping fence, slipping thru. Rabbit vanished,
gone. As the cycle ebbed, we hardly
saw rabbit at all. Lacking magic,
ground-squirrels left tooth-prints on zucchini,
feasted on pumpkin as if it were ice cream.
Deer nibbled delectable tops. A doe
graced our fenced acres to birth her fawn,
legs spindly for flight. I’d catch a glimpse;
swore I saw fawn across the swale. Trick
of optics? When I looked again, the image
transformed to jackrabbit. Doe and fawn
abracadabra gone from our acres.
But rabbit? I’d better check my garden. 


We were camped in volcanic wilderness,
snow starting after dusk, storm clouds to stop
the moon. Hyakutake, blazing top
to tail, stared down while a girl in distress—
La Llorona’s ghost?—crawled into my bed.
I let her sleep, and stood there in the snow.
Hale-Bopp was kinder, as if comets know
our earthly aches. I’d follow as he led
my way back home, across the one-lane bridge.
And now before dawn, this comet Neowise—
alas, invisible to my eyes, waiting
somewhere above the northeast ridge.
The neighbors’ security lightings leak
pollution on night, hiding what I seek. 

 Hatch Graham


I think of it—villanelle
or sonnet or one of those tricky Welsh
forms—as adventure,
a challenge
to see if I can do it.
Like rappelling. That first line—
is it strong enough
to hold me as I let myself down
over nothing?
Hanging on that line between
rock and void
till my feet touch down—the last
line! And I’ve arrived
somewhere I never imagined.
The descent took me
where it pleased,
imperative of rhyme and meter.
And what a view—
just glimpses, images slipping
hand-over-hand through fingers, word
on word burned on the brain
free as flight. 

Today’s LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham

“Hangtown” is only our history—
nooses no more in the air.
This is Community Cleanup
Day. We know “what’s fair is fair.”
Cutting in line’s for outlaws, and
better wait your turn; don’t dare
get that big guy—vigilante?—
riled up. Quiet, no wild din,
just “the line forms-up way back there.”
Butt-in truck pulls U. We’re in!


Taylor Graham has sent us poems about “Missing” today, our recent Seed of the Week. She and her husband, Hatch, know a great deal about the missing, having worked with Search-and-Rescue dogs for many years, and having the good fortune to occasionally find those poor souls who were missing. She writes to us about her photo, “… Hatch rappelling with his dog decades ago when we were learning how to rig dogs into the process. We haven't rappelled in quite a few years now; formal poems are adventure enough…”

As to her forms today, Taylor writes, “I’m sending a Hybrid Sonnet, part Shakespeare, part Petrarch (‘Missing the Comet’); a Decannelle (‘Updating Our History’); plus a Ballad and a Haibun.”

Thank you, Taylor Graham, and may all those who are missing be found in good time and good health. Now if I can just find my missing brain cells…

Don’t forget the online reading tonight at 7pm, as The Art of Storytelling and Poetry presents Stories from the Old Neighborhood, hosted by Mary McGrath. Contact Mary at to request a time for telling a story, 5 minutes or less. Zoom at;
Password: speak-up.

Also today, 4pm: Writing from the Inside Out online workshop with Nick LeForce. Reg. in advance at After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. (If you have registered before, use the same link.)

I found a fun site at Poetry For Dummies:

And now it’s time for: FORM FIDDLERS’ FRIDAY!!!



It’s time for more contributions from Form Fiddlers! Each Friday for awhile, there will be poems posted here from some of our readers using forms—either ones which were mentioned on Medusa during the previous week, or whatever else floats through the Kitchen and the perpetually stoned mind of Medusa. If these instructions are vague, it's because they're meant to be. Just fiddle around with some forms and get them posted in the Kitchen. (See the end of this post for links for all the forms used.)

Joyce Odam sent us a Glosa this week; a Glosa is kind of a collaboration between you and some other author. For more details, see “Glosa” in Medusa's Form Finder at the bottom of this post, and note that all the forms we talk about today will have links down there. Here is Joyce’s Glosa:

(From "A Fool’s Meander" by Scott Michael Taylor)
—Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA

         A Glosa :

         Broken is as broken doesn’t
         missing’s where the would be wasn’t.
         I know broken, I know missing
         better than the doves know kissing.
                            —Scott Michael Taylor

Broken is as broken doesn’t,
oh, yes
mad eyes
wanting out of themselves . . .

missing’s where the would be wasn’t.
oh, they
who are
from dreams
from dreams and nightmares . . .

I know broken, I know missing,
the sorting out
of who they are
serious with waiting
they pick me to assemble them
for pity and instruction.

better than the doves know kissing.
they will fade
they will not threaten
they will stay where they are
back in their own
disharmonious existence.

Carl Schwartz (Caschwa) from Sacramento has been busy this week, digging into the Paradigm, as well as his new favorite online resource, Shadow Poetry (, in which he has found some less-common forms. Here, for example, is a Septolet from him:


by the
dazzle of
political drama

no substance
no “there” there
we slept

* * *

This is a Villonnet:  


I hired a certified paradigm aid
to help my thoughts take shape in verse and song
there seemed to be ideas that stayed unseen
when truly they should march like a parade

that feeling one has when ground is not laid
I only wanted to bowl on one lane
but league bowling occupied all of them
which imposed a burdensome barricade

nor could I partake of cool lemonade
with ball, bag, and shoes hanging at my side
a good bowling ball should not be contained
when truly they should march like a parade

I hired a certified paradigm aid
epiphanies anxiously standing by
when truly they should march like a parade

* * *

Carl also sent us a Rictameter, which is similar to a Cinquain; he, too, is talking about “Missing”:  


musings of the
genuinely painful
root canal operation by
a licensed, bonded etymologist
using the latest thesaurus
to dig down to the bone
and leave the space

Last week we talked about the Paradigm, and I asked for online references to it. Taylor Graham wrote, “Re: your question about the paradigm: Google ‘Lewis Turco’ and ‘Paradigm”. He inadvertently invented the Paradigm when he put together the earliest forms of Japanese verse as a teaching aid (as I understand it) and other poets latched on to it and it became popular, and he had to include it in his revised & expanded Book of Forms. The Paradigm's a neat form, lets you look at a subject from several directions (sort of like a Ghazal) without having to worry about connectors and transitions. Plus you don't have to mess with rhyme. See

After that, Carl wrote: “I found references to Lewis Turco’s Paradigm form that put the focus more on the flow of thoughts and feelings than on quantifiable, stylistic indicia of structural form. In my case, sure, it is easy enough to use the form of the Haiku, but touching on some real sense of nature can still be quite elusive. All this in mind, I fashioned a poem that seeks to imitate the flow of a Paradigm, with no effort to simulate form, otherwise. However, I couldn’t resist using the Indent Tab on the second line of each stanza, just to make it look like it followed some kind of form:”



Junior High School Art Class (circa 1963)
          teachers schooling themselves

what might work today
          to hold the kids’ attention?
to get them to do their work?

“Let’s go outside, class
          and sketch a tree in charcoal”
yes indeed, far outside of my experience,
medium, or interests

some students were successful
          without help from the teacher,
my success was in reaching new levels
of adulterated shame

I could more easily pick up a piece of charcoal
           and sketch the Mona Lisa
in a paint-by-the-numbers sort of way—
most of the marks will end up on my pants..
…follow the tree of life back to my mom
who will agree this wasn’t a very good idea

Carl also says he “Explored the 'Japanese Poetry' tab on the Shadow Poetry resource site and found a most informative guide by Kathy Lippard Cobb at, which sets forth emphasis on what kind of statement a Haiku makes, regardless of exact syllable count. From that, I concocted 3 Haiku:”


two guys backpacking
reach a most romantic view
they kiss scenery


I held your hand tight
and you grabbed me somewhere else
dim lights, let cat out


giant mixing bowls
of food passed down the table
mules outside grazing

Speaking of Asian forms, take note that Sacramento Poet/University professor Tim Kahl will present an online lecture about “Asian Short Forms” on Thursday, Aug. 13 at 7:30pm on Zoom at See Facebook at for info.


MEDUSA'S FORM FINDER: Links to poetry forms which were mentioned today:

•••Ghazal: OR OR  OR  
•••Glosa, Glose, Gloss: OR


Our thanks to our contributors today, as we expand our knowledge of poetry forms. Would you like to be a SnakePal? All you have to do is send poetry and/or photos and artwork to We post work from all over the world, forms or not, including that which was previously-published. Just remember: the snakes of Medusa are always hungry! 


 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA


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.

Saddle up. poets!


Thursday, July 30, 2020


—Poetry by Lanser Howard, Sacramento, CA
—Public Domain Artwork 



You don’t know
what pain is.
Yet you write about it.

You must be there to
Your imagination can’t
help you
with some things.

Have you ever felt the darkness
squeeze you
into silence?

Have you froze under
with dirty needles under
your feet?

Have you ever seen
the eyes of the
swirl around you?

Have you ever swung
from the gallows
of silence?

Have you felt the
burning heart
turn to stone?

I hope not.

It’s dark


I can’t sleep
something breathes
in my ear.

The rage rattles
the cage around my heart
never any peace.

Beethoven symphonies
crash back and forth
I see bodies
hanging from the rafters
at me
telling me
to find a better way
but none of
touches a nerve.

It’s the dead
screaming silence
of loss
that kills me—
this I

But dream to live without. 


Water drips down
my beating heart
the night surrounds
my lost soul.

Fate breathes
in my ear.

The weight of the
swirls all around me.
I sink
but soar away
from fear.

I’m all alone
in this dark
chamber of screaming trees
and burning stars
alive with hope.

My eyes bleed
taste the flash
of alpine air
as my mind
for the end
the way
to it all. 


Why didn’t you talk to me.

Why did you suffer
in silence
and cry angry tears.

Why did you
let me walk down
all those streets
you died alone
in an empty room
only half as empty
as my heart
filled with promise for you.

Now the waves die down
the still sadness
sets on a sad sea
crying against an angry sky
not wanting to roll in
to find
no one standing on the shore. 


Truth keeps passion

Say goodbye
to fear.

Fight me
I dare you
I have more heart
than your wildest

you coward…

Your guts
shine like a diamond, Kathy,
you will NEVER
bow down to fear,
your heart
stands like a pillar between
of my

Your love
fuels my hope.

will I see
the frailty
of weakness.

Never will
I lock eyes with

I’m a lion
as a bell
in the night.

A flash of lightning
a coal black sky.

A blaze of hope
that burns deep
into the night.

I’m here.

See me? 


There is a better place
I can see flashes of it.

A black cat glistening in the sun
the slow roll of raindrops
the pick of a guitar
a train whistle in the night.

Live in these moments
find them
them in your brain.

Forget about
the anger.

Let go
of that place.

The place that consumes your hope
and strangles possibility.

Find truth
in other people’s eyes
look for a different
shade of gray
create an imaginary place
and let the words fly.

The chips will fall
they may.



Today’s LittleNip:

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

—Mark Twain


A big thank-you to Lanser Howard today! Lanser began his career as a journalist and then transitioned into film, where he wrote and produced an award-winning documentary film, among other screenplays. His sole focus now is on poetry and literature, with
The Screaming Silence as his first full-length book of poetry. (See

An Oakland, California native, now living in the Sacramento area, Howard travels the country selling food products by day, and being a writer by night. He has worked extensively with combat veterans, filtering their traumatic experiences through his eyes in much of his work to show you their world after the smoke clears, but the gripping pain remains.

Howard’s visceral, minimalistic style paints hard-hitting portraits of the dark and lonely process of fighting through tragedy and loss and how to heal oneself with words, hope, and an unwavering strength of self.  Read more about him on Instagram: @lanserhoward.

Welcome to the Kitchen, Lanser, and don’t be a stranger!




 Lanser Howard

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.

Would you like to be a SnakePal?
All you have to do is send poetry and/or
photos and artwork to We post
work from all over the world, including
that which was previously-published.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Patience Is The Poetry of Love

—Poetry By Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL
—Photos Courtesy of Michael Lee Johnson


(Tears in Your Eyes)

Poems are hard to create
they live, then die, walk alone in tears,
resurrect in family mausoleums.
They walk with you alone in ghostly patterns,
memories they deliver feeling unexpectedly
through the open windows of strangers.
Silk roses lie in a potted bowl
memories seven days before Mother’s Day.
Soak those tears, patience is the poetry of love.
Plant your memories, your seeds, your passion,
once a year, maybe twice.
Jesus knows we all need more
then a vase filled with silk flowers,
poems on paper from a poet sacred,
the mystery, the love of a caretaker−
multicolored silk flowers in a basket
handed out by the flower girl.


Record, she’s a creeping spider.
Hurt love dangles net
from a silent moonlight hanger,
tortures this damaged heart
daggers twist in hints of the rising sun.
Silence snores. Sometimes she’s a bitch.
Sunlight scatters these shadows
across my bare feet in
this spotty rain.
Sometimes we rewind,
sometimes no recourse,
numbness, no feeling at all.


Stone caved dreams for men
past and gone, freedom fighters
blow past wind and storms.
Patriotism scared, etched in the face of cave walls.
There are no cemeteries here for the old,
vacancies for the new.
Americans incubate chunks
of patriotism over the few centuries,
a calling into the wild, a yellow fork stabs me.
Today happiness is a holiday.
Rest in peace warriors, freedom fighters,
those who simply made a mistake.
I gaze out my window to Hamilton Lakes
half-drunk with sparkling wine,
seeing lightning strikes ends,
sparklers, buckets full of fire.
Light up the dark sky, firecrackers.
Filmmakers, old rock players, fume-filled skies,
butts of dragonflies.
Patriotism shakes, rocks, jerks
across my eye’s freedom locked
in chains, stone-carved dreams.

*This year, 2020, due to COVID-19 I watch fireworks off my condo balcony alone,
share darkness alone, share bangers in the open sky.


There is power in the thunder tonight, kettledrums.
There is thunder in this power,
the powder blends white lightening
flour sifters in masks toss it around.
Rain plunges October night; dancers
crisscross night sky in white gowns.
Tumble, turning, swirl the night away, around,
leaves tape-record over, over, then, pound,
pound repeat falling to the ground.
Halloween falls to the children's
knees and imaginations.

Today’s LittleNip:

The poet doesn’t invent. He listens.

—Jean Cocteau


—Medusa, thanking Michael Lee Johnson for his fine poetry and photos today! Welcome back, Michael!

 Michael Lee Johnson

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.

Would you like to be a SnakePal?
All you have to do is send poetry and/or
photos and artwork to We post
work from all over the world, including
that which was previously-published.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Where Am I Missing The Boat?

Before Dark
—Poetry and Original Artwork by Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA


I have seen an occasional owl—
or think I have—a swift gray shape at dusk.
A whisper of wing-sound?  Imagination?

But I have heard the soft whoo-ing—
I think I have—whisper of wind—a moan
in the dark dominion of despair. 

Maybe the owl is a myth, something
to love despite itself, wherever
it is, or is not, it is hidden—

something to look for as
a proof to end some

This owl that is missing
is a regret I share with the world,
though the world seems unconcerned—

does not know, its own tragedy, or the tragedy
of the owl. But I remember—I think I remember
actually seeing—actually hearing—an owl.


We hear of frogs that are missing,
that are deformed,
that are thinking new thoughts,

there in their bog of language and evolution
strange to themselves—
or not even strange,

but different—
green-smelling and iridescent,
like spells cast by witches in fairy tales.

But, here, they are real—enormous-throated
with warning, with trepidation,
the world around them bristling with doom.

They freeze, then leap
into known environments—the shallow green of murk,
the thickening shadow of extinction.

(1st Place Winner, Ina Coolbrith 81st Annual Contest)
(prev. pub. in
Albatross, 2004)

 Go In And Out The Window


closet full of dusty clothes
silver-veined dresses
squashed party wear
stained lace and fur
a leopard coat and hat
some jewels missing
high-heels lined up
behind the slippers

on the dresser a jewel box
and perfume bottles
all shoved back
and in the grimy mirror
in diligent reflection,
in rows and rows,
white plastic vials
of prescriptions

(prev. pub. in Philadelphia Poets, 1988)

 Can't Find Me


Slant of cold sunlight.
No dust in the room.
Floor shadow tilting in its own direction.

A mute book lying across the top
of a bookcase, its words all missing—
the shelves empty, hoarding the emptiness.

A precarious lute leaned up against the
lack of music, its shadow-case perfectly balanced
behind it against the lengthening wall.

A round-bellied floor jug—bulging
to hold back door-shadow of a reaching room
into which all the other shadow is pouring.

 Hide and Seek


Focus, as what is missing from the view :
the blue window feigning distance
with only the sea as perspective—

except for motion, which is of the sea,
held level for a moment
where the horizon flattens out,

where faces of the missing
appear in the swarming shadows,
withholding what they know.

One figure remains at the round window
to question this, someone curious
about the levels of reality—

the way what is locked in,
and what is locked out,
are the same;

the way the horizon holds level
against the rhythmic balancing of the sea—
the same as want against need.


After The Moon-Woman Cuts the Circle,
1942 by Jackson Pollock
There is no moon.
there is no circle,
there is only rash of color,

There is no theme,
there is no riddle,
there is only the tense scene,

What does it mean
to be obtuse,

No moon is clue,
and nothing circular,
only an imagined laugh
in the knowing.

 Three Kites


where am I missing the boat?
even though I don’t know
where boats are going
I keep missing them
arriving at docks to see
the small speck in the distance…
the wisp of smoke…

others return
to tell me of their travels
secret with joy
intense with detail
I nod impatiently and sneak away
to my schedules and wardrobe
that I keep packing and repacking
until it fits small

each day is shrunken
with my anticipation
my off-sense of timing
that I keep perfecting
each day is waging
its size against me

Sweet Envy
smiles from her poster
and I, her collector,
study her closely
to memorize where she has been
for I would go there

(prev. pub. in Calliope, 1989)


Today’s LittleNip:


The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees, 
Poems 1947-1954, p. 89
—Joyce Odam

Who was Sarah—who was John,
that they were dedicated
in a book of poems,
the poet dead now—
missing from his life,
a mystery to solve—
and leaving us to wonder :
Who was Sarah? Who was John?


A big thank-you to Joyce Odam today for her poetic thoughts on “missing”, our current Seed of the Week! Our new Seed of the Week is “Outrageous!” Send your poems, photos & artwork about this (or any other) subject to No deadline on SOWs, though, and for a peek at our past ones, click on “Calliope’s Closet”, the link at the top of this column, for plenty of others to choose from.

Don’t forget that Sac. Poetry Center’s weekly Monday reading has been moved (for this week only) to tonight, Tuesday, at 7:30pm, featuring Julia Rose Lewis, David R. Surette, Elizbeth Bradfield. Zoom:; Meeting ID: 763 873 3462 ("P O E T R E E I N C”); password: spcsdv2020/. Also meeting tonight: SPC Tuesday night workshop, 7:15pm, hosted by Danyen Powell. Bring a poem for critique. Check with Mo Stoycoff at for info.

For more about The Moon-Woman and her circle, go to For more about Weldon Kees, see


 The Moon-Woman Cuts Her Circle, 1942
—Painting by Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)

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.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Staying Cool

—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

—Joseph Nolan

He who was a radical,
They said he was a radical.
Why was he a radical?
Is a radical
Good or bad?

What makes someone
A radical?
It depends upon the audience,
Reflecting the social order.

If you make people afraid,
They will say you’re bad
And say that you’re a radical,
Because you make them
Feel threatened.

So, you see—
It’s all about fear.
People don’t like to feel afraid.
So, they have these words they’ve made
To label people
Who do so
As radicals!

—Joseph Nolan

I have a stethoscope
To listen to your heart.

It’s made of tubes of rubber
To keep my ears apart
From your skin,
As I listen

I hear the subtle rhythms
As they beat, inside.
I know by what I hear,
You must be someone’s
Most beautiful bride!

—Joseph Nolan

When lovers
Are laughing,

Or close friends,

You can notice
Three octaves
Of laughter.

It goes from invited
Up to excited,
And finally up to

What a beautiful crescendo!
As laughter makes
Its ending,
Into smiles,

So wide!

—Joseph Nolan

Do you love the
Way you feel
When everything
That’s beautiful
Becomes fully real?

When icebergs
Won’t sink
Our frail Titanics,
Though cold-hard
They may be?

Are tapestries
Of majesties
In light,

And most things
Most worth doing
Are done in

—Michael Ceraolo, S. Euclid, OH

            Hoy/Taylor et al

William was a fine outfielder
and Luther a good pitcher,
Luther's Giants' teammates learning sign language
in order to communicate with him,
which also enabled them to keep their signs secret for a while
The others of us didn't last as long
or have as much baseball success
some of whom were barely fluent
in their only language, English,
had the effrontery to call each of us

* * *

           Fielder Jones

Charlie Pabor has the nickname;
I have the best given name
It was not bestowed with baseball in mind
(baseball was just starting to spread then);
I was the namesake of a great-uncle
But it became a self-fulfilling prophecy:
I take pride in being among those
who helped to professionalize the game,
first as a player, then as manager of the team
that beat the winningest team of all-time in the Series
I also take pride in being ahead of my time:
my team was called The Hitless Wonders
because we were last in batting average,
but we were third in runs scored
because there are more important stats than batting average

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

our landfills are filled and overflowing
so we need to educate the public about
recycling and re-purposing materials
until it makes a difference

our prisons are filled and overflowing
so the only thing we can do is kill more
and more criminals until it makes a

oh wait! this just handed to me: we’ve
already tried that and it doesn’t work….
keep your gun loaded, anyways
you can make a difference


On Black Friday I got a good price
On a large-screen HD TV
Then a brown-out shut it down

To demonstrate the Emancipation Proclamation
My gray-haired professor took the class to a white sale
Sure enough, no auctioneer showed up

Used to think green with envy
Was a singing group, like
Gladys Knight and the Pips

The Washington Redskins were named
After my favorite potatoes


WE WANT THAT (A Rondeau) 

Open borders and free health care
everyone works and pays their share
the good old days of Middle Class
took not 3 jobs to save your ass
from hopeless, endless, sure despair

huge boardroom table, not one chair
we must cut back and chop and pare
show us your badge and flash your pass
           open borders

taking odds on tortoise and hare
change is good if any to spare
irony wins out over sass
it’s your turn now to mow the grass
identical twins, one here, one there
           open borders


I used to be very skeptical of
Those TV shows where some
Medium would awaken the dead

As I preferred to pay more attention
To major issues affecting the living
And then it dawned on me that when

Someone says “That would take an
Act of Congress!” they were referring
To exactly the same scenario where

Some medium would awaken the dead

Today’s LittleNip:

—Joseph Nolan

In many moorings, mystery,
Where ships come in from sea,
We find our berthing
For to rest
From worldly

From port to port
And land to land
From shore to foreign shore,
And wish that when
We stood a’home
We’d never sail no more. 

Good Monday morning, and welcome back to our contributors as they continue to work their way through Pandemia and the corona cooties along with the rest of us. (My spellchecker says there’s no such word as Pandemia, but apparently it hasn't looked around here lately...) Anyway, in order not to depress us all further, today we have photos of cool spaces—antidotes to the July heat.

Here in our area, Sac. Poetry Center uses Zoom for weekly readings and workshops. For more SPC info, go to While you're there, note that the usual Monday night SPC reading has been MOVED TO TUESDAY FOR THIS WEEK ONLY! Here are the SPC events for this week:

•••Monday, 10am: Writers on the Air open mic hosted by Todd Boyd. RSVP in advance via email to Zoom:; Meeting ID: 358 106 078

•••Tuesday, 6:30-7:70pm: THIS WEEK ONLY: SPC Monday Night Socially Distant Verse online will be on Tuesday instead of Monday, this week featuring a salon reading with Julia Rose Lewis, David R. Surette, Elizbeth Bradfield. Zoom:; Meeting ID: 763 873 3462 ("P O E T R E E I N C”); password: spcsdv2020

•••SPC Tuesday night workshop, 7:15pm, hosted by Danyen Powell. Bring a poem for critique. Check with Mo Stoycoff at for info.

•••Wed., 6pm: MarieWriters workshop (prompts) hosted this week by Frank Dixon Graham:

•••Fri., 4pm: Writing from the Inside Out workshop by Nick LeForce. Reg. in advance at: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. (If you have registered before, use the same link.)

* * *

Also this week:

•••Fri., 7pm: The Art of Storytelling and Poetry presents Stories from the Old Neighborhood, hosted by Mary McGrath. Contact Mary at to request a time for telling a story, 5 minutes or less. Zoom at;
Password: speak-up

•••Fri., 7:30pm: Video poetry reading on Facebook by Davis Poet Laureate James Lee Jobe at or

For more about El Dorado County poetry events, check Western Slope El Dorado poetry on Facebook:



—Public Domain Illustration


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