Monday, November 30, 2020

Monday Morning at the Taco Truck

—Poetry by Joseph Nolan, Michelle Kunert, Caschwa
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of Joseph Nolan

—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

I eat out at the taco-truck
Every day
For lunch.
All the dining
Is outdoors.
All the germs are blown away
By breezes from passing cars.

It’s all stand-up.
There are no seats.
You can distance as much as you choose
And the food is pretty tasty,
So what have I to lose?

It’s better than staying home,
Rhino with 24/7 Guardian

—Joseph Nolan
A nickle won’t buy you a pickle,

A dime can’t buy any wine
As it once did, before.

It won’t even buy
A coffee,
As it did in the Great Depression.

Now, a Starbucks’ Special Latte
Will cost you four dollars, or more.

Where do we get the money
To wait in line at the store,
With our engines running,
While exhaust through
Our rears, does pour,

Out into the air we breathe,
So we can get our
Hot paper-cup,
Surrounded by its paper sleeve,
So we don’t get our hands too hot,
When we slurp down morning’s
Unto the jobs we grieve?

—Joseph Nolan

Sometimes electrical failures
Come from mice
Chewing through wires,
Little creatures, hungry,
That gnaw through
Holes in walls.

The failure may come
Little by little,
All at once,
All in all
Or not at all.

It happens in dark places
When little, hungry creatures
Come to gnaw,
Quietly and by nibbles,
Little by little,
The light won’t work at all!


—Joseph Nolan
Let me dredge the channels
Of the back-streets of your mind,
Where you wander in amnesia,
Leaving the world behind.

Off into your future-world,
Eclectic, yet un-shined,
Where you set up all your boundaries,
To keep the world at bay.

I only shout
To the former self I knew,
Or, at least, I thought I did,
Whatever we went through,
But I can’t catch up to you,
No matter what I do,

It was only yesterday,
But yesterday is gone,
And now a lonely traveler
Must now wander on.


—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

(Ekphrastic form based on the public
domain photo of a hand with a pen
making notations on a spiral bound
notepad, found at end of Medusa’s
Kitchen, November 27, 2020)

Oh how I remember the awful imprints
left on my left hand, below the little
finger, when I attempted the task of
writing on a standard issue notepad with
a big, lumpy, wiry spiral on the left side!

I would have quickly traded grammar
school in Southern California for
Hebrew school anywhere else, where
the writing is done from right to left

the evidence was gone by the time I
had walked the mile to get home from
school, so day after day I was just
left alone with my problem

looking around the city today, its Old
Town, downtown, suburbs, etc., one
can only wonder how many other
individuals there are… who, day after
day, are just left alone with their


before I was born
people spilled things a whole lot
and learned not to cry


I started out by
crying my little head off…
rewards came my way


little by little
my brain reached great proportions
not that you could tell


being left-handed
imposed some adjustments, so
I eat with both hands


I’d get arrested
just for being natural
it takes discipline



(“Sandwiched by Sevens” form, based on
Medusa’s Kitchen Seed of the Week:
“Things you should be grateful for,
but aren’t”)

you are choking on something
there is no song you can sing
quick response to your
huffing and puffing:
Heimlich maneuver
snap! pop! crack! and zing!
obstruction dislodged
sorry ‘bout those broken ribs,
lodge your complaint with his nibs


Suspicions? Call 911
the police force sends a gun
they will kill your dog
and the neighbor’s son
if it moves it is
target number one
Chicken-Little style
trying to be big heroes
reducing trust to zeroes


I have the white right to vote
in person, by mail, by boat
born to privilege
not cast as the goat
they gave me a bridge
for crossing the moat
I do what I want
Oh look! the Dow Jones is up
drop a penny in my cup 



whether a young child in class
whose performance reflects
on the teacher, or

a member of an athletic squad
whose contributions affect
every other member, or

a consummate professional
upon whom many others rely
for getting the job done properly

you can be tossed out, traded,
or held face down, whether or
not you are part of a winning

hand, and then after the chips
are scooped up, the cards are
shuffled and dealt out again…


—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento, CA

              For me the Christmas season can’t possibly be complete without "Reverend Billy Talen and his Church To Stop Shopping” choir
              Where are you, Reverend Billy,
              my favorite liberal who used to get arrested by cops just for peacefully protesting things such as the crass materialism in our culture?
              The Covid virus certainly didn’t stop the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade—
              a corporation which promotes shopping that somehow fulfills all humans’ spiritual desires—
              so why should it stop Reverend Billy from crashing in on the parties held by corporations exploiting Jesus’s birthday?
              Yeah, your offering on your Facebook page of a musical choir version of William Butler Yeat’s “Second Coming” was interesting,
              But for me, as well as the rest of the world, we need to see you doing your community activism
              So come on, man,
              in this season in which churches are being ordered by our government officials to be closed for safety reasons
              but the stores and shopping malls are open, chanting “buy buy buy” as if it were people’s sole purpose in life
              There needs to be a stand taken against such corporate greed on the holidays
              even if they consider you a “grinch” or Ebenezer Scrooge
              Demanding to ruin what they want Christmas to be about 
              For instance, it’s thanks to you, Billy, I bravely have said what you tell companies like Starbucks: “I don’t take slavery with my coffee”  
              as well as learning from you that I shouldn’t be taking for granted any of the human-labor costs behind anything else I may want


Today’s LittleNip:

—Joseph Nolan

If you made a deal with the Devil,
You may have to pay the price.
The Devil counts
What he’s done for you,
Every little thing, twice

And counts whatever
You promised to do
And did
For the Devil’s pleasure,
Only half-a-measure,
Or only
Since the Devil intends
To keep his deal
And run off with your treasure.


Thank you to our three impresarios today, for poetry on a Monday to tie off November, 2020!

Sacramento Poetry Center is still reorganizing, but this week we have:

•••Tonight, Mon. (11/30), 7pm, the new Sac. Poetry Alliance ( presents Charitable Reading for MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) online. Many readers, hosted by Frank Dixon Graham at To make a donation:

•••Thurs. (12/10), 7:30-9pm: UCD PhD candidate Thomas Hardy speaking about Language Acquisition & Language Learning on Zoom: Host: Frank Graham. Info: Meeting Rm. ID: 828 3933 9639.

•••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:

A reminder that Women’s Wisdom Art is holding Virtual Poetry Classes; go to their schedule at for info.

If you refer back (scroll down) to last Friday’s post, you’ll note that I’ve gone back, at his request, and centered Caschwa’s twa-par-wee—if you know what that means…

Black Monday? Maybe we should read Michelle’s poem again…



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—
for poetry, of course!



Sunday, November 29, 2020

Happy 100, Wayne!

 Wayne Thiebaud

—Tom Goff, Carmichael, CA

We learned to love the sweetest of extremes 

From your whipped frothy rows of Boston Creams. 

We learned to explore the dizziest of reaches 

(Take Lombard Street’s chicane of serpentines, 

Whose S-curves quill the skin like porcupines) 

When you turned what was giddy enough in hills 

To roller-coaster verticals, the thrills 

Not only like railed plunges through deep vales, 

But how the mechanical clank tugs us aloft, 

The stomach suspense, our bowels turning soft 
With dread that only masquerades as fun. 

We bonk against each cliff’s right-angled pun. 

Your landscape cover art dazes and regales 

On Sacramento’s poetry book, Late Peaches.
Happy birthday, Wayne Thiebaud!

(Posted online among the Crocker Art Museum’s
100th-birthday tributes to Thiebaud)


—Medusa, with thanks to Tom Goff and belated birthday wishes to Sacramento’s Wayne Thiebaud! For more about him and his birthday celebration, see and
—Cover Painting by Wayne Thiebaud, 2012

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—
for poetry, of course!



Saturday, November 28, 2020

Bashō Crosses the River

 —Poetry by James Lee Jobe, Davis, CA
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of James Lee Jobe

Heavy wind. Hard rain.
The pines across the street
Are taking it like soldiers
On the front line of battle.
Oh, but it isn’t a battle, friend;
The storm is a blessing,
Water is a blessing,
And pines are really bowing
As a way to say Thank You.

An odor in the streets, the smell of poverty.

Hunger. Fear.

In one slum they count their old potatoes,

In another there are no potatoes to count.

Bone-thin children, a wild-eyed mother,

And in the east? Donald Trump laughing

And tossing money in the air,

Money that isn’t his.

Hundred-dollar bills with his face on them.


The smoke from a forest fire fills the valley
As if it were a bowl. I haven’t seen a bird all day.
A fine ash has settled on everything, on our lives.
Even the sun looks hazy and gray,
But it pleases me to know that the sun is actually safe,
Far above this gloom.
Something moves in one of my redwood trees;
There is a bird after all.

A lark.


My old house is framed with color
As the bright orange leaves drift down
In the light wind and soft, soft rain.
A wet afternoon on November,
Looking up in the drizzle.

And if we could live for five hundred years
But spend every day hiding in these same rooms,
What would it mean to be alive?
Sometimes I think I could just kiss the Angel
And let the darkness take me.
Free. My own choice.
Here, take my mask, take my gloves.
See me smile before I touch my eyes.


Today’s LittleNip:

Napping after church, dreaming of Bashō crossing a flooded river on horseback. Nighttime. Rain.

—James Lee Jobe


—Medusa, with thanks to James Lee Jobe on this Thanksgiving weekend!
—Public Domain Photo
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—
for poetry, of course!
 Dreaming of Bashō


Friday, November 27, 2020

Thanksgiven, and Many More in Return

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


This chilly morning,
the wild honkers rest at ease—
between painted lines
of supermarket parking
waiting for thanksgiven crumbs? 



The trees keep secrets to themselves
of ferns and nestlings, maybe elves,
of twig and leaf-fall,
and the thrush’s call;
mossy hall, rocky shelves—

while sleek as moonbeam or the doe’s
elusive print through shadowed rows
slips a silver car
as some wayward star
from a-far silent goes

and passes. And still the woods keep
their hold and fastness of the deep.
Each new fall, each spring
when the crown-birds sing
and bells ring waking sleep. 



Setting our table:
2 dinner plates, knives, forks, spoons,
2 bowls on the floor—
just our homey little pod
you and me and dog and cat. 



How long before I
started counting? Let’s just say
I hopped a boxcar—
not a paying passenger—
on track to discover.
Is this truth or metaphor?
Plenty of time to
calculate particle by
particle my miles
of earthly doings and un-
doings, stuck on a
siding staring at headlights
on another track,
riding the moan of whistle
through the dark. Do I
confess to bungling moments,
unfulfilled wish-lists?
Vast landscapes passing me by.
What was it I found?
Thunder resounding pulse-like
in the heart, that rail-
rattling box traveling under
countless strikes of lightening. 



Tap-tap on my shoulder—my cat
craving attention, food or pets.
Mistress of unlatching wishes
she understands words, sentences,
and also the language of hands.
Mistress of unlatching wishes,
craving attention, food, or pets—
tap-tap on my shoulder. My cat.  



no Covid close to home—
in the grocery store, bulk foods back in their bins—
from the phone co., my voicemail access #—
license for my “new” car (stuck in Covid backlog)*
in 2021, a real live poetry reading—
wildfire season that isn’t all-year-long—
solitude, homey pleasures enduring past lockdown—

* license arrived before Christmas—giving thanks! 


Today’s LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham

Target practice
across the way—
I find arrows
in our pasture, inside our gate.
Is it bad aim or on purpose
I find arrows?


Our thanks to Taylor Graham for her poems and pix today, some being “list”-related for our recent Seed of the Week: Christmas List. Rummaging around through her forms today, we find a Clogyrnach (“Leaving Scant Trace”); a Choka (“Fifty Years of Seeking”–and yes, the last word is “lightening”, as “enlightening”); a Termelay (“Quiver”); an Octo (“Feline Wish List”); plus a List Poem, a Tanka and a Waka. I asked her about the word, “thanksgiven”, which I could find no reference for, and she mentioned a favorite teacher’s favorite word. I’m glad she had that straight; two of the words I most often find reversed are “lightning” and “lightening”. Well, I guess you could say they are indeed reversible: “It was enlightening like a bolt of lightning.” Never mind…

And now it’s time for…


It’s time for more contributions from Form Fiddlers, in addition to those sent to us by Taylor Graham! 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, by golly! (See Medusa’s Form Finder at the end of this post for links to definitions of the forms used this week.)

Joyce Odam is with us again, this time with a lovely Rhyme Royal (Rime Royale); see
—Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA

We step outside and feel the first rain come
in soft gray slant and watch a first white gull
drift in on its soft glide—no loud wing-thrum.
We let this be the momentary lull
in our goodbyes.  Our winter hearts are full
of love’s sad joy.  A few more gulls appear.
We shiver for the ending of the year.


On yesterday’s post, you may’ve noticed that Carol Louise Moon had three Sestinas and a Pantoum in her lovely collection. She also sent a Pentina, which I saved for today’s post. A Pentina is the same as a Sestina, using five repeated words at the end of the lines, except it has five lines per stanza instead of six. If you’re not familiar with the Sestina, refer to Here is Carol Louise’s Pentina (

—Carol Louise Moon, Placerville, CA

We have come to the bay, to the rock
in all her glory. How many stories
tall is El Morro whose top floor houses
a peregrine pair still on honeymoon?
We’ve told these two, “Stay as long

as you like. Just be sure your long-
ing is for little peregrine chicks to rock
to sleep beneath a windy moon.
We, who love you, have heard stories
of how you need protection. Houses

aren’t for you, like aviary houses
for other birds. There’s a long, long
list of extinctions, like the Dodo story
we all know so well. And so, this rock,
a sanctuary… and so this moon.”

Outside our window the moon
shines full, as we sleep in beach houses
near to you two. We know the Rock
Of Ages now is smiling. The long
view through history and the stories

say that this preservation story
will be sure. We like to think the moon
is a proud witness of the long-
patience of biologists in their houses
of research. Now let’s read “Rock-

A-Bye-Baby” (a long story) by moon-
light in our house near your rock. 

Caschwa (Carl Schwartz) was intrigued by Joyce’s Termelay last week, so he cooked up a Chain of ‘em:

—Caschwa, Sacramento

can’t stand that talk?
interrupt it
stop it right there
and that extends to human life
if it does not support your dream
stop it right there


classroom is closed
switched to online
pay attention
there are no wrong answers today
you will be graded on progress
pay attention


worst, triple X
lewd images
samples are free
you can make up some rules for this
to suit your own moral compass
samples are free

Carl comes up with the dangedest subjects! Here is his Argonelle about string cheese:


to put in your mouth than
kites or even yoyo’s
it won’t knot or fall from the sky
popular choice, need not ask why
you’ll get more if you can 


And an Alouette about Medusa's Seed of the Week: "Things you should be thankful for but are not…"


awful, terrible
big, black hole where stars once shined
left in waiting rooms
by witches on brooms
we said yes, should have declined

And this poem of Carl’s is a crazy-quilt of forms. He says, “Here I used a few different formats to give a different treatment to the same subject: the Tanka, Termelay, Tetractys, and Trois-par-Huit.” Such poetic prestidigitation! I like saying Trois-par-Huit (twa-par-wee).
By the way, I looked up the form, Crazy Quilt, and couldn't find any pre-existing poetry form by that name. Shall we say it's a new form, devised by Carl? Or perhaps a different name? What are the exact rules? 


the leaves, along with
mercury level, descend
forcing my valet
to put out longer sleeves and
leggings to cover cold skin


we knew this would
happen again
like every year
so sorry to see summer go
welcome to cold and flu season
like every year


changes can
cause pain in joints
even when it is comfortably cool


touch my hand
doesn’t that feel cold and
frigid, like I’ve become a snowball?

awaiting your exit from the great dancing hall
innocent, peaceful, like a wee girl’s baby doll
soon I will rise and knock off your crown

you’ll lose your sweet renown
falling down

Many thanks to our SnakePals for their brave fiddling! Would you like to be a SnakePal? All you have to do is send poetry—forms or not—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!



See what you can make of this week’s poetry form, and send it to! (No deadline.) This week's challenge is the Rhyme Royal: see and Joyce Odam’s fine example above.


MEDUSA’S FORM FINDER: Links to poetry forms mentioned today:

•••Choka: OR
•••List Poem:
•••Rhyme Royal:


—Public Domain Photo

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.
LittleSnake under his pilgrim hat,
sleeping off Thanksgiving! 


Thursday, November 26, 2020

And Prayers In Between

—Poetry and Photos by Carol Louise Moon, Placerville, CA


Two oxen, and an ox cart too,
a pile of kindling bound and rounded
by cloth tarp—cart wheels of wood.
They’d hitched their two gray
oxen to a carreta with water
jugs strapped on. We’d guessed

they were headed home—guessed
wrong. The elder gentlemen, two
brothers, ventured out; enough water
to drink for a week for well-rounded
visit, Cerro Verde, to stay with graying
Tia Solterona. The cart of wood

held a bundle of twigs and wood
for Tia’s wood stove, we’d guessed.
The elder brothers’ home with gray
tin roof had collapsed, crops, too.
They left for drier ground; rounded
the old church, headed where water

was less plentiful, no rainwater
flooded canton, El Salvador. Would
they be gone a full-rounded
month? Others had guessed
longer. Aldeanos, tin roofers, too,
had put in their wagers: gray

coins. Now thundering gray
temporales threatened more water
dumped onto roads. Wells too,
(though full wells were good) would
be plenty for summer, we guessed.
A full teaspoon of luck rounded

with prayer! The men rounded
la colina just as a cloud, dark gray,
appeared as unwelcome guest.
Oxen plodded through slick water,
loaded down with jugs and wood,
the burden almost too

much. We rounded plaza so water-
logged, gray-cast—in our own wood
carreta—guessed we’d be leaving, too. 



There is not much to this story,
yet—a story of leaving the Wales
my mother never knew. Her copper
hair shone just so in the light,
Mom’s Welsh heritage. This gift led
her on a discovery as rolling

and true as any ancient rolling
adventure over blue seas. A story
of a land where Mom’s mother led
a pony through meadows in Wales,
as green as green with light
as bright as sunset’s copper.

Mom’s mother had hair of copper,
too. She watched her mother rolling
and twisting a bun of auburn light.
She may have read the story
in her blue eyes, seen through Wales
and the country life her mother led.

The story: Mom’s grandfather led
the family in dinner prayers, copper
chalice, family Bible. Anglesey Wales
with daffodils and cattle on rolling
hills, stone chapels seemed a story-
book land in 1880s. The light

of the gospel spread in Wales, light
of church rule. Non-conformity led
to a way out. Men sailed three-story
steam ships of wood, steel, copper
for weeks through storms in rolling
seas—to Liverpool from Wales,

Liverpool to Nova Scotia, Wales
being left behind. A light
load of one trunk each in rolling
seas of familiar faces were led
aboard to blue carpets and copper
gas lamps in hallways. Stories

of Wales shared: Welshmen led
by faith’s light, through
sunsets of copper—
stories roiling in our family’s history. 



Early morning lessons
under a leafless tree—
Now, begin to write,
all of it downhill
about winter morning.
Or, about a day which carries

into its own theme, carries
into autumn lessons
of the mourning
dove returning to this tree
atop this barren hill.

then, your birthright
which carries
death like Boot Hill
is no less on
the page, that last leaf of tree
fallen one late morning.

Any dull morning,
like now seems right.
This ancient and dark tree,
and this thought which carries
its own lesson,
sits here on this hill

along with you, on this hill.
The morning
is wasting! Lesson
Number One: write—
then keep writing. It carries
through like wind in a tree.

The sound of “tree”
or the word “hill”—
a sound which carries
weight like mourning
or joy—the right
blend which lessens

definitions of “tree.” This morning
atop this warming hill you’ll write
what carries the day,
until this light lessens.


Today’s LittleNip:

—Carol Louise Moon

We count our blessings
day by day
making sure to say
a prayer in between.

Day by day
we listen and hear
a prayer in between
conversations with friends.

We listen and hear
their sorrows, their joys.
Conversations with friends
reveal much in the spirit.

Their sorrows, their joys
echo much of our own—
revealing much in my spirit.
We are truly blessed.

Echoing much of our own
makes us sure to say
we are truly blessed.
We count our blessings. 


—Medusa, with Thanksgiving blessings and thanks to Carol Louise Moon for these wonderful poems (three sestinas and a pantoum, by the way) and photos to go with them. And Happy Thanksgiving from my pod to yours! 
"We are all pilgrims and strangers in the world." —Wm. Bradford, Jamestown, 1620 






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—
for poetry, of course!


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Reflections on Impermanence


—Poetry by Linda Klein, Los Angeles, CA
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of 
Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

There are differences in reflections that appear in every
polished stone, body of water, glass, or mirror.
I have pondered as to whether such variations
are caused by the particular properties
inherent in those reflective mediums,
their qualities and composition,
or are the differences due to
the amount of light available
at the time an image is viewed.
What is seen might also be effected
by one's state of mind when viewing it,
and might vary from individual to individual,
meant to communicate a unique message to each.


He had a broad nose and agate eyes that looked directly at you.
A golden mane encircled his large face and head like a halo.
Other lions either admired or envied Lyman.  He preferred his 
admirers. He trusted them, for they nurtured his sensitive nature.

Lyman was one of seven siblings.  He had only one brother.
Morgan was slightly older than Lyman, his best friend and hero.
The others were five sisters, whom Lyman judged were foolish 
and flighty.  It was actually not the case. Zyl, Zal, Bara, Dori, 
and Gita were nice, normal, young lionesses. The pride also in-
cluded their father, Moro, and their mother, Rishi.

The young lions were now adults and still without mates.
They were devoted to each other and to their loving parents.
By day the entire pride roamed the veldt in search of prey.
Moro, the leader, along with his sons, Morgan and Lyman,
had the task of cornering and killing small animals which might 
have been spotted by any member of the pride.  Rishi and her 
daughters then joined them to systematically tear the animal 
apart with their claws and teeth.  They then feasted upon it,
right at the site of the kill.

On sunny days, Lyman and Morgan liked to walk together,
down to the marsh to drink from the shallow lake, perhaps to 
have some time away from their ever-present sisters. Lyman's 
stride was proud and deliberate with his head tilted toward the 
sun.  He basked in the sun's warm radiance.

On one such walk, Lyman failed to see a stealthy hunter
hiding in the high grass, neither had Morgan as he walked
beside his brother.  The hunter rose and pointed his rifle at 
Morgan, smiling as he fired, killing the lion instantly.  Morgan's 
body dropped down beside Lyman.  He murmured a soft purr.  
Those sounds—the shot, thud, and Morgan's final whimper of 
distress ignited a fire in Lyman more powerful than that of the 
lethal bullet. The lion leaped into the air.  His body slammed 
the shocked the hunter with great force, discharging a second
bullet that entered the hunter's heart.

When Moro and Rishi learned of their eldest son's death,
a dense cloud of depression engulfed them both.  The family
knew their aging parents would never recover completely.
Without hesitation, Lyman assumed leadership of the pride.

He took on the responsibility of finding mates for his sisters.
At first, he thought it would be difficult, but it went well.
Each of them was paired with a compatible male from
a neighboring pride and went to live with a new family.
Lyman was left with only his parents to care for.  He did this
unselfishly, without regard for his own personal happiness.

Coincidentally, in the process of visiting other prides
to negotiate matches, Lyman met Gala, a lovely lioness,
who was the sister of Kong, the mate he had chosen for his
own sister, Bara.  Eventually, Gala became Lyman's mate,
strengthening his pride and reuniting them with Bara.

They lived happily until a terrible tragedy struck the combined
pride.  Gala succumbed to a serious illness and was suddenly
taken from them.  Lyman felt that life no longer held anything 
for him. Confident that his remaining family was secure, on a
quiet, starlit night, he curled his sad, tired body up under an 
acacia tree and went to sleep, a sleep from which he would not

I have heard the nearby villagers speak of three lions they 
often see strolling through the marshlands along the lake, two
males and one female.  One of the males has a broad nose, a
full golden mane, and agate eyes that, when not looking up to
the sun, look directly at you.



In time, everything changes, crumbles, crashes,
or tumbles, and crumples to tiny bits of dust.
All things wither and waste away, while we watch,
Some things rust, eroding, corroding,
often exploding, as they spontaneously combust.
Some things grow rotten when they are forgotten,
            or become broken from
overuse and abuse.

We too, stagger, stumble, and mumble
as we fumble in our foolish, humble existence.
Dreary, wary, weary of wearing down badly, in spite
            of our persistence.
Graying and wrinkling, worrying sadly,
with never an inkling of what will happen to us,
            until it            hits,
until it pits us flatly against a wall,
                           calling out—
life is appalling.  What is it all about?

Remember when we were bursting with dreams and wishes,
            looking ahead with longing,            thirsting
for the paradise we promised ourselves.  —Wouldn't it be nice?
Perhaps we missed that chance while pondering our pitiable


Today’s LittleNip:

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the river, and he is not the same man.



—Medusa, with thanks to Linda Klein for today’s leontine poetry!
—Public Domain Cartoon

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