—Photo Courtesy of Public Domain
* * *
—Poetry by Nolcha Fox, Stephen Kingsnorth,
Sayani Mukherjee, Caschwa, and Joe Nolan
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of
Joe Nolan, Stephen Kingsnorth
—Nolcha Fox, Buffalo, WY
They’re slippery little critters, those dreams. They are toothpaste squeezing out of your fists that melts into morning. They leave a slime trail on the window that evaporates as soon as you notice it’s there. They tease you into believing they hide under the stack of junk mail you never get through. By the time all that mail is scattered on the table and floor, you forget what you were looking for. You can’t trap them with a butterfly net or a dreamcatcher. They tickle your brain and escape to a dreamscape that haunts you to distraction until you return the next night.
—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales
How do we manage fearsome dreams?
Substantial horrors, nightly dealt,
yet insubstantial in their form,
so often passing with the dawn,
yet saved repeats, continual loop.
Might late night cheese or drinks provoke,
but likely unforgiven smears,
the lifetime albatross rehung,
in tension, panic, looming tears,
forgotten lectures, clothes, no loo.
Escape is, for a nightmare, gloss,
a fire exit, though rarely found.
Though scape alone, redundant term,
for I’ve not known such picture frame
so screened, landscape or portrait scened.
My peers report their medicines cause
the worst of mares in ghastly storms.
But mine, clear founded on my fear
of what would happen if I did
fail to deliver what I should.
So what of dreamscape as the best,
one image that evokes the rest,
to childish mind, excitement dressed
as pleasure simply unalloyed,
medicament known by self alone?
I’ll brief recount that foreign land,
my heaven, to you quite alien,
though surely you can dwell as well,
share with yourself own children thrills,
revisit spells, your wonderland?
Wrought iron, squat gate fore the drive—
that had been timber in our days—
sundial grass as frontispiece,
pink-wash, verandah, timbered cream,
the final house before the greens.
And white, to suit lawn tennis courts
small wicket gate, then pristine, clean,
(recovered, ’80’s video)
for neither entry, or for block,
but for the set, our paradise,
Plates, willow pattern, clotted cream,
pram push past pavement ‘picture ma’am?’,
sand dug ‘daddy boats’, donkey rides,
the black white blur through album, glass,
to see that tingle, my face, past.
—Sayani Mukherjee, Chandannagar,
W. Bengal, India
The lonely escape
The undulating scratch of time
The beaded pearl stones
At my fingertips
They show me
A life of pentagon
Epiphanies lull around
All into a spasm
The ravishing ending
Corners lighted up
Forging a new dimension
The revelation of time
Just all around
Squares of life
Shapes and direction
For the time
A pearl bead at my nails
Just honing a new escape
My epiphanies of moments
Carved in a new nest.
A SLICE OF PARADISE
—Shiva Neupane, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne is a slice of paradise
Where I had pursued my Utopian life,
By materializing my dream
With every fibre of my being.
The city of Melbourne is marvelous
The landscape is immaculately scintillating
The architectural miraculous is alluringly
The weather is soothingly pleasurable
As when the rain pitter-patters on the streets.
The sunrays and rains swiftly orchestrate
The marriage ceremony
By hoisting the bride vixen on
The sedan of rainbow.
—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA
My gal Sal, oh what a gal, oh my
Kaboom! won’t happen again Kaboom!
For he’s a jolly good fellow, but what for?
Wine pours emotions before we pour the wine
precision instrument to measure precision
lost my way in the city, no cell phone, lost
big ads to enhance genitalia, big ads
to split hairs in half, or not to
nonetheless I came in last, nonetheless
HOW R U
Hell O, how R U
I M fine, thank U
Zerr a lesson 2 day?
O I C
I dea is 2 Q the 8 ball
Bill Yards, Cattle Yards
from 35 to 45 cents/head/day
EZ 2 sell
I’ll bye 100
Nice doing biz with U
Gladly Pay U 2’s day
it was raining
then it stopped
or maybe paused
while a fold of giggling
gods above hold their
remotes, playing a game
one god could charge
rain with delay of game
while another forces
the clouds to back up
blindfolds the human
referee to miss an
insist on placing their bets
to feed the giggling gods
—Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA
To dream is to float
Across an azure sky
Drifting through a landscape
Unburdened by questions why
Daffodils, in early Spring,
Run and sing,
While bubbles just drift by.
To dream across a dreamscape
Is not to embrace escape,
It’s more to float
Above our plane,
With beauty to embrace.
Seen in the distance,
Beneath us, vast roiling seas,
Beauty and pleasure surround us—
Sweetness that will never cease.
In bizarro world,
Nothing makes any sense
To anyone in our world
Everything is backwards.
Down is up.
Up is down.
Love is pain,
Like my last date.
Future is past.
Hope is fate.
Is boiled silt
With no milk.
Income tax is
Winning the lottery,
War is pax.
It’s not hard
If you practice with mirrors,
Stand on your head
And dance on your ceiling.
In bizarro world
You cry without feeling,
Laugh without knowing the meaning
Of jokes to which you don’t listen.
You drink so you can
And crucify your prophets.
Eventually, your planet
Devolve into tropics.
Deserts turn into swamps.
Bizarro can happen
IF YOU WANT IT!
BRANCHING FROM NOW INTO INFINITY
Here and now is not enough.
We require more infinite stuff.
Not only for today,
But for every day,
Because we like it that way,
Salvation in extension of today,
Beyond what we can see
With our minds
Or our eyes,
Into which we feel—
The spinning of a wheel,
Come what may.
CAT ON FENCE
A cat was a furry, sad poet
As he sat upon a fence
Willing to stare
At whoever might glare back,
As though he did not like him
Or cats in general
Or cats sat atop his fences.
At last, there was nothing to say.
Cats are often that way—
Difficult to read.
They just go away.
Our thanks to today’s contributors from here, there, and elsewherz, as they sing of Dreamscapes, our current Seed of the Week. Be sure to check each Tuesday for the latest Seed of the Week.
Sixteen Rivers Press, a nonprofit poetry collective dedicated to providing an alternative publishing avenue for Northern California poets, is currently open for submissions of book-length poetry manuscripts, with the submission window closing on February 1, 2024. Submission is free! To find out more about this opportunity, visit Sixteen Rivers home page (https://sixteenrivers.org) AND/OR its Submit Work page (https://sixteenrivers.org/submit-work).
And stop by the Kitchen this coming Wednesday for more poetry by Sayani Mukherjee!
—Medusa, wishing you a peaceful day of remembrance and dreams on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2024.
read-around in Placerville
this morning has been cancelled;
but Sac. Poetry Center will present
an open mic in honor of
Martin Luther King, Jr.
tonight in Sacramento, 7:30pm.
For info about these and other
upcoming poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS
in the links at the top of this page—
and keep an eye on this link and on
the daily Kitchen for happenings
that might pop up
—or get changed!—
during the week.
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.
Find previous four-or-so posts by scrolling down
under today; or there's an "Older Posts" button
at the bottom of this column; or find previous poets
by typing the name of the poet or poem
into the little beige box at the top
left-hand side of today’s post; or go to
Medusa’s Rapsheet at the bottom of
the blue column at the right
to find the date you want.
Would you like to be a SnakePal?
All you have to do is send poetry and/or
photos and artwork to
firstname.lastname@example.org. We post
work from all over the world—including
that which was previously published—
and collaborations are welcome.
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!