Saturday, June 03, 2023

A Thousand Secret Ways

—Poetry by Johnathan Herold, Lodi, CA
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of
Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA

When I first passed through
Budd, Locke, and Danner
there was no Goleman
(under construction);
for books we gave
Yokuts a tour.
I walked in the courtyard,
ran with the Mustangs, but
I had my sights set
on more.

We in the guild drove
west to The City,
ate dust and dim sum
(urban seduction);
they gabbed about
what was in store.
We compared report cards,
opined our options, for
our youthful hearts
wanted more.

All of the bright lights,
lanterns and lecterns,
they spark up a fire,
a burning inertia,
that sizzles and bubbles and
rages right down in your core.

But you can’t go somewhere
(onwards or upwards)
until you’ve been someplace
(Until you know what
you stand for.)

So, looking back now,
bolder and wiser,
I see it more clearly
(wipe off the goggles);
I’ve long since swum
back to the shore:

Sometimes the first place
(far from obstruction)
can mold you as much as
the door.
Sometimes the birth place
(not the abduction)
can hold you as high as
the more.


The field fence attracts the vine,
Which slither-swoops into my mind,
For rooks will roll as forces will,
And settlers foot a traveler’s bill,
‘Cause time won’t wait for what’s before,
Like man unmoving moved by more,
Or tempo pitched by slender hands,
To bring the rain to empty lands…
…And as my breath begins to fade,
That same-strong wind will bring me shade.
She’ll cloud me, crowd me, shroud me in,
A purpose for my days, A light amidst the haze,
And move me,
        In a thousand secret ways.


Ever watchful
Purple Bird
in the corner
of the frame,
where is it
you always seem
to aim your aim?

Have you found
a love to last
through howling
winds of winter?

Have you seen
the morning come
to warm
and melt
the snow?

If you come
to know
these things,
do please let me know;
do please let it show;
For I, too, need
to know.

Ever watchful
Purple Bird
in the corner
of the frame,
why is it
you always seem
to sing the same?


I flew away,
passed the future I am in,
and all that I could think about
was seeing you again.

I flew away,
past made future once again,
and all that I could think about
was being you again.

If I die tonight, please let it be,
that those in life I loved remember me.
For I will not remember,
when this life will set me free.


Today’s LittleNip:

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.
― J.R.R. Tolkien


Welcome back to NorCal poet Johnathan Herold, and thanks to him and to Joe Nolan for today’s fine fare! One of Johnathan's poems was posted on Medusa's Kitchen yesterday in Form Fiddlers' Friday.

Molly Fisk will read at Silver Tongue Saturdays in Auburn, CA, this afternoon at 5pm. Click on Medusa's UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS ( for details about this and other future poetry events in the NorCal area—and keep an eye on this link and on the Kitchen for happenings that might pop up during the week.


 Johnathan Herold

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