Monday, December 27, 2021

When You're Having Fun . . .

—Original Artwork by Norman J. Olson, Maplewood, MN
—Poetry by Joseph Nolan, Stephen Kingsnorth, 
Caschwa (Carl Schwartz), and Michael Ceraolo
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of 
Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

—Joseph Nolan

Red color is noisy.
It screams in vain
With nowhere to go.

It isn’t just thinking
That makes it so.

It’s also
Inside scones
Served at brunch
Upon a deck
Under umbrella awnings
To shelter
From encroaching sun
That makes it melt,
Before ten.

Reads the awnings’ fringe,
As underneath
We espresso, binge
And wave off
Burning sun,
That will not, yet,
Drive us off
Until we’re ready
To beach,
To go,
All together,
In one moving
Artwork by Norman J. Olson
—Joseph Nolan

Dark like night,
Floating among
All the stars.

Whispers in a vacuum,
Infinity of space—
Silky blackness
Smooth as velvet,
Slick as silk!

Distant, in this vacuum,
I, you, await,
Longing to behold you
After your suffered fate.

Is full of brilliant colors,
But many of our comrades
Lurk about the dark sides of
Many far-flung moons
That circle planets
Who couldn’t care less
What fleas might
Inhabit their satellites,
Or in which dimension
They are floating around.
It seems it’s been too long
Since our Revolution.
Artwork by Norman J. Olson
—Joseph Nolan

How can you
Get to
Shtoop a star?
Become a big wazoo!

Small potatoes,
Close to earth
Won’t get
Cosmic mating
That goes to
Biggest fish—
The top of the

But Heaven’s full
Of strange surprises—
Stormy nights,
mucho, macho Jack Daniels
And pay-offs down the road.

—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales, UK

Does cone mark reserved waiting place,
held high by pads and fibrous roots,
like accusation, dunce’s cap,
Giverny corner, masterclass?
Or is it warning, obstacle
that danger lurks, entanglement,
as stronger lilies claim their space,
as we keep eye for ticket man?

And would we rest, wrest water paint,
with unseen gnats from float egg rafts,
like kingfishers of halcyon,
which flash by farther passing banks?
The stagnant, humid midges stream
within speck hover threaten cloud;
perhaps that’s why the brushstrokes short,
where beast and beauty share the air?

That sinking feeling, trolly dash,
bright orange brand of quality
with wobble wheels and toddler mesh,
a drag net, lazy customers.
Near clogged, enclosed with bridging, lone
invasion force of human craft,
where fluency is still, unknown—
despite the influence, Japan.

Like vandal’s dagger, tearing frame,
it strikes the eyes as blasphemy,
except old canvas still intact,
impressionism fresh defined.
And as all art, a question mark,
an observation, target reached;
itinerary not Giverny,
ubiquitous, cones, shopping aisles. 
Artwork by Norman J. Olson

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

(after reading “Time Again” by
Stephen Kingsnorth, Medusa’s
Kitchen, December 23, 2021)

always asking questions, I Googled
“Tardis” to learn it was some kind of
time machine utilized by Dr. Who, or
Dr. Whom? to employ the accusative case,
which would bring along with it the new
term, “Tardism”

as different as mitigate and aggravate,
one who already has all the answers would
take a Tardis to quantify and confirm such
knowledge, whereas one who is wary of
premature conclusory statements might say

you’d better frame your question well
or the answer could be your living Hell

so here I stepped into the shoes of Dr. Whom
and chose to take a Tardism to better learn
how to frame the question, so the answer
doesn’t cause serious injury 
Artwork by Norman J. Olson


Russian KGB researched America
and found its true heartbeat right there
in Hollywood, depicting the Roman “due
process” of throwing losers to the lions,

and that teasingly realistic Gong Show,
where vociferous voices of dissatisfaction
rang out to decide the fate of contenders,
and it was goodbye, merit system

who better to destroy our democratic
principles, rule of law, and fair practices
history than a virtual reality star who invites
criticism and boos, all to better the game?

the more time, effort, and money we throw
into berating any of an assortment of
incompetent fools parading as our leaders,
the more the KGB can just sit back and
say “The game is on, and we are winning”

meanwhile, we predictably persist in
burning witches, throwing losers to the
lions, and putting all our might and muscle
into ringing that confounded gong



My local, Sacramento, professional basketball
team has players who have served leading roles
on other, winning teams. Good for them. But
when they hit the court together, they are strong
for half the game, then fall completely apart

Ever see the Indy 500? Every single entrant
is ready to go all 500. Imagine the disappointment
for fans if half the contestants had nothing more to
offer once about half the laps were completed

We need to carefully examine and monitor these
performers: 1) give them each a blood test at tipoff,
and check them again after halftime, when they peter out;
2) open the books on their personal financial
transactions and see if they are getting paid to
bring about a different outcome to the game than
their typical sparkling command would suggest

Open notice to the organization and all its sponsors:
I will boycott watching this team perform unless and
until whatever that is that smells so bad is gone 


viewing me in person, my
sagging shoulders betray
an absence of wings, as if
they had been clipped by
an angel who needed them
more than I did

I will never know for sure,
kind of like that moment one
awakens from a coma and
relies heavily on the hearsay
of whomever is handy to know
what had transpired

what I do know is this, I always
get motion sickness from those
danged playground spinning
devices, and harbor a sincere
respect if not fear of great

so maybe I’m just not a good
fit for having wings, and I am
more than content to grant the
wish of “more power to you” to
the angel who took them from

MODERN OLYMPIAN ODE #56 (1900): Ignore It If It Doesn't Fit the Narrative
—Michael Ceraolo, S. Euclid, OH

In his book on the history of the Olympics,
written from his leftist perspective,
Goldblattherer rightly rebukes Olympic officials
for the glacial pace of the inclusion of women;
he also writes encouragingly
of the deaf-separatist sports movement
Yet he makes no mention of Charlotte Cooper,
the first woman to win Olympic gold:
she won singles and mixed doubles
in Paris this year, and she did so
after having become deaf a few years earlier
(she had won Wimbledon
both before and after she became deaf,
overcoming the disadvantage
of not hearing the sound of the ball
coming off her opponent's racquet)
She deserves to be remembered,
even commemorated,
you'll have to ask Goldblattherer
the reason for his sin of omission


Today’s LittleNip:

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.

—Michael Altshuler


Here we go, wrapping up 2021 and hopefully headed for a fruitful, more peaceful 2022! And our thanks to all our SnakePals who visited us today. For more information about Banksy, go to

Sac. Poetry Center ( workshops will be on a break until the first week of January , but tonight at 7:30pm on Zoom, Mario Ellis Hill will wish the year good-bye at (Meeting ID: 763 873 3462; Passcode: r3trnofsdv).


Charlotte Cooper, US Olympic Tennis Champion, 1900

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