Monday, October 16, 2023


—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of
Stephen Kingsnorth
—Poetry by Stephen Kingsnorth, Nolcha Fox,
Sayanı Mukherjee, Joe Nolan,
Michael H. Brownstein, and Taylor Dibbert
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of
Stephen Kingsnorth and Joe Nolan

—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales

Lace, white and light with hints of dew,
delicate pattern, blocked by space,
hung life surrounded brittle dead,
like waking morning manna field
as I remember, walking dog.

Those waking dawnings, chats with Dad,
where he led path but we wheeled free,
peered nests, found fledging, kestrel flights,
while treading boards of conker rugs,
my drama stage of teenage angst.

He pointed tadpoles turning frogs,
pricked ears, woodpecker, hammered trunk,
revealed rush beds, both bearded tits,
and long-tailed, warblers in the reeds,
home schooling whilst the term unknown.

And on completion, collar, lead,
the chain-link fence that took us home—
we said farewell to nature’s class,
drip trace where fly had found its web,
and witnessed death, when day fresh born.
How easy to be trapped by space. 
 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of
Stephen Kingsnorth

—Stephen Kingsnorth

Tubular quells the extrovert—
an old field for the well aware—
and once confined, more pliable—
the packed, but not the package, here.
Here’s how it’s done: ‘fit man in tube’—
the ‘fit’ is verb, not adjective—
no need for lube, just push and pull,
for gritty stuff brings smooth from rough—
an oyster, with a pearl of price.

Despatch him, slim-fit, down the line,
compact his stretch, no wriggle room,
his span contained in longitude
and keep him calm, stare fixed ahead.
Await arrival—mind that step—
stamp not his carriage ‘fragile’, red,
for that invites a final fling—
the last thing for the travel sick,
or there we are with Kwells again.

A plain brown wrapper—I misheard
for Rasta with his sharp clipped verse—
meant mail of doubtful parentage,
(know what I mean, discreet in lieu?)
a top shelf, though too, top drawer choice—
leave bottom drawer for wedding bits.
Me, old days, parcel tied with string,
containing knobbles, wobbles, spill,
for shoving through a letter box.

But here prepacked, cylindrical,
like blooms sent, overnight bouquet—
while escalating queues stand still
though carried forward, standing right,
both up and subterranean—
my pre-trapped lad arrives on cue,
on door mat waiting my pick up,
a straight-laced boy (just see his face)
because of his straightjacket tube. 
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan
—Nolcha Fox, Buffalo, WY

I trapped the sunlight in a glass
and stored it in the freezer.
When gray clouds turn
my thoughts to dark,
I’ll thaw the bright
and drink it.
—Photo Courtesy of Public Domain

—Sayani Mukherjee, Chandannagar,
W. Bengal, India

A little hibiscus
Penchant its chore
Gullible a short stature
Behold her majesty
Under the trees of
Sycamore and olive branches
A casual symphony of
Criss crossed margins
A little hibiscus
Redden with dusty shadows
Autumn wraps her in molten golden
Now my hibiscus is ripened
All edible in bountiful decency
October's mosaic hearts
Keeping my broached napkin
Under your solemn boughs
It revels in redness. 
 —Photo Courtesy of Public Domain

—Sayani Mukherjee

Merriment of London walks
Sunshines of New York
The latté amore, my Paris
I bespoke every little detail
With my buckets in hand

I go down a little
Like white swans in
Deep blue lakes
My overarching newly molten
My guitar friends like those
Who know how to tune
Into a little merriment
My forever Paris in his hand
Lakes Cities Sheds Apple branches
Spread everywhere
Like a little kid
She got her cake a blueberry almond pie
My London walking in evenings
Forevermore in bejewelled spectacle

I go up now
In New York
Amidst thousands hand clappings
I found home
A little louder
A little bird her squeaky quick
The little blueberry muffins
London the pink world
My one day in London. 
 —Photo Courtesy of Public Domain

—Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA

An old man
In a Panama hat
Uses suspenders
To hold up
His breeches
Underneath his
Bulbous belly.

He laughs a lot,
Like Santa Claus,
And always carries candy
He gives away
To kids for free
Because he likes
Their smiles.

He makes his rounds
Around the town
On his morning
Just like many
Men before him,
Having reached
 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan

   (After Dylan Thomas’s poem, “And Death
              Shall Have No Dominion”)
—Joe Nolan

In the competition
For living-space
Among the living
And the dead,
The dead shall have no dominion.

Let them come—
Come, all they will.
We shall send them away
To the Heaven of their religion.
The dead shall have no dominion.

We’ve had them
In an open-air prison
For years
Without hope
Of aught but prison life.
But if they wish to escape,
The dead shall have no dominion,
Even over the little they had
As prisoners in a prison.
We’ll bomb them all into rubble
And the dead shall have no dominion.

We’ll do the same with them
As the Americans did with the Indians—
Kill and shatter,
Bomb and scatter.
Survivors, we’ll bottle up
On reservations
In hinterlands
Where they won’t be in the way
And the dead shall have no dominion.
 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy
of Joe Nolan

Today’s LittleNip(s):

a mist of cotton candy
slides over the green hills--
sunlight opens its blue door

—Michael H. Brownstein, Jefferson City, MO

* * *

—Taylor Dibbert, Washington, D.C.

Only after
Losing everything
Did he begin
To see
How much
He actually has.


Good morning, and thank-yous to our contributors today. Some of them have leapt on our Seed of the Week: Trapped, and others have moved into different pastures. Be sure to check each Tuesday for the latest Seed of the Week.

It’s a busy week in NoCal poetry; click on Medusa's UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS ( for details about 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. And save some of your strength for the Sacramento Poetry Day celebration at Tsakopoulos Library Galleria coming a week from Thursday, Oct. 26!

Patrick Grizzell reports that Dial-A-Poem is still available at 1-917-994-8949. Go to for more info about that long-running feature.

And this quote from Nobel Prize-Winning (2020) Poet Louise Glück, who passed away recently at the age of 80:

“It seems to me that the desire to make art produces an ongoing experience of longing, a restlessness sometimes, but not inevitably, played out romantically, or sexually. Always there seems something ahead, the next poem or story, visible, at least, apprehensible, but unreachable. To perceive it at all is to be haunted by it; some sound, some tone, becomes a torment—the poem embodying that sound seems to exist somewhere already finished. It’s like a lighthouse, except that, as one swims towards it, it backs away.”

—Louise Glück


Did someone say party??
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan


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LittleSnake’s Glimmer of Hope
(A cookie from the Kitchen for today):

only the leaf-tips
are red—
I guess autumn
isn’t quite dressed