Monday, March 11, 2024

Moody, Moody March

 Spring is Springing!
—Poetry by Nolcha Fox, Stephen Kingsnorth,
Annette Towler, Caschwa, Sayani Mukherjee,
Taylor Dibbert, Shiva Neupane, Joe Nolan,
and Ann Privateer
—Public Domain Visuals Courtesy
of Joe Nolan
—Nolcha Fox, Buffalo, WY

March winds blow a snowstorm in.
She wraps herself in wool.

Sun melts snow.
She digs herself a garden.

Clouds pour rain.
She runs inside.

This March day won’t stay one way,
She shuts the curtains, burrows into bed.

—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales

For those with hymnbook, yesteryear,
with Sankey came the Moody steer,
for Ira sang while Dwight, he preached,
revival, thirty years’ campaign.
But could a faith, religious creed,
ensure a future, hope’s fresh seed,
to battle greed that feeds just self
and find contentment, settled ease?

Yet if the Nazarene your man,
he turned the tables on corban,
for whip lash sometimes mood required
and Jesus, ‘mild and gentle’ died.
To share the moody blues as news
that we too wear our fears, abuse,
why tell the sky to sympathise
with rays of light or billow clouds?

Though moody must mean changeable,
an outlook, unreliable,
a darker feel, behavioural,
our choice, or body chemicals?
Robotic not the folk, globe seeks,
but world including freaks judged geeks,
for those outside conforming norms,
they set the mood, excite surprise. 

—Annette Towler, Milwaukee, WI
Ripping the spaghetti in half with my hands

No need for utensils, I place the whole-wheat
pasta into the boiling

Water and think back across the years of

Many throw a party to celebrate the day in

Yet I choose to throw the pasta into the pot
rather than into the air

To remind myself that I am a reasonable cook
with a flair for adventure

Sometimes, choosing Linguine, or Farfalle
bows, or the wide sheets for Lasagna

To remind myself that within me is a cook,
waiting to be discovered, not a chef

Cordon Bleu, just a woman who can take the
basic ingredients of pasta, some tomato sauce,
and a smidgeon of garlic and whip it into a
meal that is good for one or two

Not a large dinner party where everyone is
invited but a simple meal to celebrate what it
feels like to awake in the morning feeling that
you have the capacity to boil water in the pot,
strain the pasta in the sieve and sprinkle
parmesan cheese on top of the pile of spaghetti
in a solid bowl that is not overflowing or
abundant with meat and vegetables, just a
simple meal of freedom.
The Plumed Hat
—Painting by Henri Matisse
—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

The Plumed Hat
by Henri Matisse)
Wearing the Hat
by Joyce Odam, MK, 3/5/24)
(after I finish my breakfast)

her mother convinced her
let’s get you dressed up
and we’ll go to Church
and pray to the preacher’s
God, he/him all day long

she so wanted to be in her
comfy jeans, at the creek,
playing with baby frogs and
counting clouds as they sailed
quietly overhead

on the way home from Church
she drove too fast and got
pulled over by a serious officer
who didn’t know it was Sunday
and didn’t recognize her plumed
hat as a marker of royalty, of
stop what you’re doing and just
let this youngster get home

now she has paperwork to
complete and fines to pay and
Mother! I will never let you
talk me into going to Church
ever again, and that awful
outfit can serve to warm us up
on a cold, winter night with its
flames in the fireplace

have no worry, little frogs, I
haven’t forgotten you.

went into the general store
to buy a big barrel, had to
have one, I explained because
I am always being asked to
hold my applause

so what would be better than
to just have a big barrel handy
and ready when I need to get
up and add some applause to
the supply I haven’t used yet?

so far, it is working out quite
fine, though there was this one
time I almost put applause into
my barrel of laughter, no joke,
I must act when it’s time to renew


what do you call someone
whom you haven’t really met?
a band buddy introduced
me to his celebrity wife
who was across the room

we both held up a hand
and waved it to say hello
and that was all of it, so
we did kind’a, sort’a, meet
but no dialogue, no exchange

my friend’s wife directed a
beauty pageant and I played
in the ensemble in the orchestra
pit not seeing much, so again
we were in the same auditorium
at the same time, participating
in the same event, but didn’t
meet and talk

at my friend’s memorial service,
his widow thanked me and a host
of other band buddies for helping
to celebrate his life, but the gesture,
through solemn, was not personal,
more like when they swear in a jury
all at once


was stopped in traffic
waiting for the light to
change, and a truck
pulled alongside bearing
a small sign reading:

“Certified Clean Idle”

it took every ounce of
restraint I could muster
to not whip out my bold
permanent marker and
complete the message
to read:

certified clean idle hands
are the work of the devil

then the light changed,
traffic resumed flowing,
opportunity gone

maybe next time 
Sky Dancer

—Sayani Mukherjee,
Chandannagar, W. Bengal, India

The dreaded past before me
I pine before an obliged smile
The hooded troops of trumpet
Fell over
Behind the lake of frostbites nothing
It's scourging to heal
When the kites have flown
Before the red parchment sky
A long daisy before my unwritten script
To skim a milken pond
Lost reveries, beaded smile
The scoopnecked tapestry of humdrum beats
I once knew before it fell from a torpid sky
As all happens in a skydrawn dance. 
—Sayani Mukherjee

A playground of damsels
The orchard bowed green fever
Strikes me as hard as a penknife
A red tissue over my scarred brow
The pencil-stricken leather boots
The church bells passed away
I reckon in the purple wondrous sky
The coffins are too loud today
To pluck a white rose from the people
Sky roads are always high
They said in hibernation
As if my brown skirmish high swam too often. 

—Taylor Dibbert, Washington, DC

Love and
A blended family,
Disagreement and
Child custody litigation,
All kinds of love and
All kinds of disagreement
All over,
They took
Too many hits
Too early,
They had
Enough drama
To fill
A lifetime
Of marriage
And so they
Crashed and burned
And by the time
The divorce was finalized
There was nothing there
Except the fear
Of trying again.
Shiva Neupane and his grandparents

—Shiva Neupane, Melbourne, Australia

When I was a toddler
I used to play with grandparents
On their laps.
I tried to make fumbling steps
But fleetingly fell back on their laps.
My journey was confined to their laps
But that very journey shifted me
On the lap of earth here in down under
Where I had shared my moment with them.

—Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA

I got a clinical degree
To become a bureaucrat,
Managing my minions,
As if I were “all that.”

At first
I thought
I could try
To change the
And make it better,

But I finally came
To understand
Idealism is a fetter
Against progress
Up the social scale.

So I have
My desk,
My chair,
My place
Within an
Office building.

I show up to work
On time,
Every day,
Always sober.

I never drink
Except at home
At night,
When I’m alone.

—Joseph Nolan

When you choose
To venture through
A gauntlet,
To suffer all the
Battery, within,
To endure
All the suffering
That comes naturally
From this world of sin,
Remember Me,
Since I am
With you.

I went there
Before you,
To save the world
From sin.
If you carry cross
Across the mayhem,
Walk on fire
Across the coals of Hell,
Remember Me,
Since I am
With you,
I have walked that
Path before.

I am with all
Who bear suffering,
When they offer
It all up to Me.

I can carry every weight
Every horror,
Every fate,
Bearing it all
Into Me.

—Joe Nolan

Who will save
Our crumbling empire
When the Visigoths
Are in town,
Colliding with the Vandals
And every Goth around?

When they’re burning
Down the temples
Of Zeus and Apollo
And no lightning-bolts
Shock them down?

Don’t they know
God’ll get them
For that?

We’ve always had our motto
Printed on every coin
Ever since Remus and Romulus,
That says, “In God We Trust.”

Now, though,
You’d better check your coins,
‘Cause your gold has turned to rust,
Zeus is on vacation
And Apollo’s sating his lust.

—Joe Nolan

Are you ready to die for beauty?
Devote all your days?
Worship with your dying breath
When life is slipping away,

Live each moment in
When your wind
Is sucked out of your chest?

Live each moment
In breathlessness
In awe and total wonder?
Struck dumb,
With nothing left to say,
“Please don’t go away!”

If so, then,
Dear children,
Go and run and play
In the Garden
I’ve made for you—
To be in love, each day.

—Joe Nolan

She seemed
Like a good model
Of someday, maybe,

So I
Asked her
For her
And called her
Half the time,
When I
Out with
I was
Doing fine.

Then one day,
She went away
And I
Was left

I wonder
Where she
Went to...

If she’s
Had her
Babies, yet?

I’ve had mine
With another lover.
I wonder
With regret.

—Ann Privateer, Davis, CA

My bookshelf contains a rainbow
Of places I’ve never been to
Gunga Din, Nosferatu…nostalgia lands

And mysterious creatures that don’t
Live here, unlike my neighbours
The folks with campers that travel

And view other places
The unseen miles along
The road while living in

Their house cars
And, after weeks
Out there they say

How lovely
It is to be home.

Today’s LittleNip:

—Ann Privateer

Father of the moment
Mother of the underdog
Brother of wisdom
Sister of stars
Lover of a gypsy
The morning call.


Many thanks to today’s huge variety of contributors, some of which riffed on our Seed of the Week, “Moody”. Be sure to check into the Kitchen on Tuesdays for a new Seed of the Week.

Newcomer Annette Towler is a psychotherapist who lives in Milwaukee. She was born in England and moved to the United States thirty years ago, and is now an American citizen. Welcome to the Kitchen, Annette, and don’t be a stranger!

Spring is inspiring poets everywhere, and fortunately they're sending their handiwork from around the world to the Kitchen, so we have many tasty posts ahead to look forward to. Don't be left out—send poetry to The snakes of Medusa... well, you know...





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Feelin’ moody today?