Caschwa, Shiva Neupane, Sayani Mukherjee,
Michael Ceraolo, and Joe Nolan
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of
—Nolcha Fox, Buffalo, WY
She was such a gossip,
to be polite, not spill the beans
whenever she was near.
Suddenly, she shut her mouth,
she wouldn’t say a word.
Her nephew asked her
to reveal the reason
for this change.
She cried a bit, then told him
that she overheard some say
that people didn’t like her
and avoided her. She understood
how much it hurt to be
the subject of the news.
—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales
A silent awe at what perceived,
some sense, a sound of angel choirs,
the message, sight to open wide—
or Gaza, stripped bare, rubble crushed,
for there lies wounded God with kids,
the scapegoat for a race defiled.
The one with other, tears, despair,
as Babel sounds in drones, through dust
the trump may sound as walls descend
in baby wail, unstable ground.
His might unrecognised by most,
for ’tis in meek, the mild of child
that is revealed, though cribbed by few,
and least by chosen, from their view.
New lamp for old to lighten way,
though heavy burden to display,
and even worse, the word convey,
religious garb to hide, revealed.
So sell your pardons, rites rehearse,
whatever lore of God you hold,
but in the wilderness find truth,
where all is gone save human need,
the deed beyond our own resource.
Community, shared humankind,
as that alongside natural world
is scene for those, eyes open wide.
All may be seen by clearer minds,
for at heart life has greater core.
THE RAIN IN SPAIN
—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA
the first time I encountered AI
was probably in elementary
school when the teacher (a
righty) attempted to show me
(a lefty) how to write in cursive
we were Mars and Venus,
assuredly in the same solar
system, but definitely not
following the same orbit
this planted a seed, that when
harvested, resulted in me turning
in typewritten papers, to the utter
delight of my university professors
who struggled with stacks of hand-
written submissions daily
no longer did I have to bother with
considering all the variant configurations
required to scribe the letter “Q”, just tap
the key and done, and it is a very
legible one, thank you
TOO MUCH TEACHING
in early elementary school
teachers noticed I had a
kind of flair for drawing
pictures, so they gave me the
time and place to just draw
they really, really liked the
pictures and said the work
was comparable to what
they’d expect several grade
levels above mine
so when I moved up to Junior
High school, of course I
enrolled in an art class
they had the class sit outside
under a tree and told us to
render it in charcoal….OK,
give me a box of matchsticks
and I’ll ensure that you can
wallow in that dirty, nasty
charcoal all the live long day
as one might suspect, charcoal
was not my medium of choice
ALL TECHNIQUE, no inspiration
like being an oarsman on a
slave boat, propelling the craft
forward, but not even seeing
where the boat was headed
like two total strangers having sex,
with no time for romance, or love,
or plans for family, just do it
ALL TECHNIQUE, no inspiration
defined the entire school curriculum:
take these classes, learn these
skills, move on up, watch kids
from families with more money
appear to excel, sport the finest
clothes, hang out at the right spots
drive terrific cars, be the envy of
eventually graduate and attend
Homecoming, where no one is as
happy to see you as the cashier,
buy an entrance ticket or go home
that same tree is still there at the
Junior High school, and they have
plenty of charcoal sticks for all
convicts spend all their
hours locked up, shadows
being the only relief from
walls, oppressed by the
very truth that led to their
their only hope is that a
higher court will see a
higher truth that will set
them free, a brand new
that will emancipate them
it may not keep them out
of trouble, but out of prison
will be a good start
so they find God, who had
been patiently waiting for
them up in Heaven, and
seek His forgiveness, not
ever suspecting that God
serves as an hourly employee
who has his own bones to
pick with humans who use
Him for selfish purposes
up in the Heavens, all the
little Gods that people on
Earth invented for their own
satisfaction formed a labor
union and sought collective
bargaining with those free-
willed humans who could
never be satisfied
no longer would these Gods
offer Revelation just for the
asking, it now required a
prophylactic cleansing of the
soul, and some folding green
or else no deal. So if you
are out of jail and want to
stay that way, tip your barista
—Shiva Neupane, Melbourne, Australia
What a nice cat!
Walked on the crazy paving in a meticulous
She walked sexily and innocuously.
Her tapestries of furs have been intricately
The joy that she brings to us is humungous.
By all accounts, it is a gift of nature,
which is overloaded with beauty.
By the look of it, anyone
can extrapolate the aesthetic beauty of cat.
It is a replica of tiger but a cool and collected
The attractiveness of cat is beyond our
—Sayani Mukherjee, Chandannagar,
W. Bengal, India
Amidst cherry pines
And dewdrop smiles
I knitted my waded path
Full of allegory
Rich and sumptuous
It rose around the Globewarm sun
The confetti lays bare
The sea grew tired
The blue butterflies wore
A ravenous hue
My aching music and symphony
Of lost leaden islands
The earth's new cicadas
The upward sun
The swan's long journey to the West
My blueberry garden
Full of rose thorns
Sublime ecstasy was fought
Around the globe
For it was a merciless plight
Into the endless warmth.
MY BRILLIANT CAREER
—Michael Ceraolo, S. Euclid, OH
The lines above encapsulate
my high school tennis career:
I never played a varsity,
or even a junior-varsity, match,
and I was surprised at the time;
after all, I was a better athlete
than most if not all of the others
I was competing with for a spot
(gym class and other sports didn't lie),
and I thought that would carry me to glory
And it did, for a game or two a set,
but no further than that
And the lesson I learned
was that athleticism wasn't
a substitute for tennis skill,
something the others had the edge on me,
and I've regretted ever since
not practicing enough
DEMANDS ON A MILKMAN
—Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA
Think of marriage
As one long date—
Brings the milk in.
He’d better not be late
Or else we’ll let him know
In no uncertain terms,
Because it goes on forever—
Each one has his chores.
You have to get your work done
Or no one has any fun.
He could even be replaced.
Do you have a checklist
To track what you must do,
A never-ending list of
Get used to it.
No one said it would be easy
To be on a life-long date
Where you have to keep your end up—
A milkman can’t be late
Or he might be replaced
Or suffer some other twisted fate.
THERE IS TIME
There is time,
Time to give back,
But time has its end,
Its pull, its wink.
When it’s time,
There’s no time to even think.
We only feel the way we sink,
Knowing something’s gone—
Gone in just a blink,
Then come the tears—
Then is the time for crying.
A NEW WAY TO FLIRT
How’s about a little
Thank you, ma’am?
It’s not like the wham-bam
Everybody’s done that one.
W-w is a new way to flirt—
From opposite sides of a tennis-court
Or something of similar size,
We wave and smile
Back and forth
To each other.
If we don’t make each other smile
Within twenty minutes
Or have some other pleasant reaction
We’ll know it ain’t got no traction
And we’ll move on.
END OF SEASON
Another high school season has ended,
and the only things on the courts today
are the fallen leaves and a rain puddle
The nets haven't yet been taken down
for the winter,
but it's not too early
for me to say Wait 'til next year
Our thanks to our contributors today for riffs on this/that/t’other, including our Seed of the Week, Revelations. Be sure to check each Tuesday for the latest Seed of the Week, but don’t confine yourself to that—or any particular—subject. The Kitchen has room for anything and everything. (Well, almost…)
read-around takes place in
Placerville this morning; and
Denise Nicole Andrews and José Vadi
will read at Sac. Poetry Center tonight.
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Northern California and otherwheres,
UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS
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