Monday, April 15, 2024


 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Nolcha Fox
* * *

—Poetry by Nolcha Fox, Stephen Kingsnorth,
Caschwa, Sayanı Mukherjee, and Joe Nolan
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy
of Nolcha Fox and Joe Nolan
—Nolcha Fox, Buffalo, WY

When I was too busy running toward tomorrow, I forgot to see the world around me. My tomorrow is now, the clock ticks to its finish, I have only one last wish. Please wind the clock back twenty minutes. I want to walk the path I raced, to smell the flowers in the vase, to taste the fruit, to pluck it from the tree. I want the sun to warm my face, to hear the bird that flies above. Please wind the clock back twenty minutes. Please. 
 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

if a man had a uterus
he wouldn’t know how
        to use it

it would be a negative
not at all a plus, and he’d
        confuse it

all of that lore passed from
father to loving son, he could
        not reuse it
pregnancy not a prerogative
if raped, must follow the course
        not abuse it

when high court rulings have
redefined all our adjectives
        can’t recuse it

now inky like an octopus
his only real choice is to
        amuse it 
  —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan

—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales

Tautology, like slopes, inclined
to be pedantic, accused fault,
when pedagogy as its root
to be admired in polymath.
The Oxford comma, written notes,
infinitives, on newscasts split,
apostrophes scattered around—
except of course, where should be found—
it’s not the route to understand,
or to be understood, indeed.

As when I teach or preach, just speak,
I use a term, three ways defined,
in case my first not recognised,
but hope that one mind land aright.
So when dear Mozart questioned, score,
his composition praised for worth,
‘just little notes’ was his response,
‘that like each other’, how described.
Is that our theme as words combined
to emphasise and celebrate?

See Hebrew parallelism,
a phrase repeated, other terms—
Old Testament when poetry.
Though that style too could be misused,
by translator misunderstood.
As when gospeller Matthew writes,
recalling psalm with donkey, foal,
has Jesus walk where palms were laid,
both beasts seem yoked, for both astride,
‘he sat on them’, the solemn words:
I ask, who’s taken for a ride?

My essay earned a higher grade,
yet marked in red, ‘God!’ underlined,
which was remark I cherished since—
my teacher, atheist pronounced.
I knew his meaning, laughed a lot;
though he less sure, corrected it.
I could suggest alternative,
an add to make ‘Good God’ to read—
or that perceived, by me at least,
less exclaim as tautology? 
  —Public Domain Illustration Courtesy of Joe Nolan

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

riding my steed to
Wild Westwood Village

didn’t want to
Fall Downtown Los Angeles

will stop for food
Before Long Beach

there’s a hitching post at
Dis Mount Everest

we might avoid
Kiss & Tel Aviv

it’s a little early for
Ho Ho Ho Santa Barbara

though we were given the
Don Key to the City
 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan
they are my minions
I review and judge them
then set them free
to spread my message 
some of my minions
have become popular,
even celebrities, and
you will believe them 
more readily than you
would ever consider
believing the messages
embedded in my little poems 
whistleblowers, non-experts
who disputed the call to proceed
with the fatal 10th launch of the
Space Shuttle Challenger 
but were disregarded because of
economic priorities, consider the
source, lack of collaborating evidence,
unchangeable deadlines 
sometime, anytime, now
or later, one of my minions
will visit your ear and touch
a nerve; you will not forget
  —Public Domain Illustration Courtesy of Joe Nolan
—Sayani Mukherjee, Chandannagar,
W. Bengal, India

I am at a wildflower’s edge
Memories sprung open
Beside the widowed lounge
A paper plane flung open
At eternity's edge
Dried moringas at my feet
For the twopence wildflowers sang
The vicious moonbeamed shadow
It fell over
My bemused mornings
Flying kites at a shore
Thus to be alive
To inhale the speckled dustbeams
  —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan

—Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA

I don’t normally
Have allergies,
But sometimes,
It seems
I do,
When I sneeze
And sneeze
And sneeze
And sneeze,
One time
After another,
From something in
Our atmospheric stew.

What is there to do?
Close the windows.
Turn off the fans.
Stay inside.
Pray it stops.

There’s something banned
From your particular system
Making your nose
Go ballistic.
Ah-choo! Ah-choo! Ah-choo!
  —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan

—Joe Nolan
Underneath a canopy,
Organic engineering,
A wizard’s wonders grow,

Hiding ancient ruins
For centuries—
Completely overgrown.

To only lizards
And spiders
Until stumbled-upon
By a random explorer,
Revealing Angkor Wat. 
Get it? 
—Public Domain Illustration Courtesy of Joe Nolan

—Joe Nolan

In a dream of inner-beauty
I found a paradise
Three layers above the ground
In a world of archetypes.

An accurate diagnosis,
A foundation for knowing,
Is a reassuring gnosis,
But Gnosticism is heresy—
Few want to be
So clearly known.
It’s playing six moves ahead.

Once you know
The archetype,
You’ll also know the reasons,
Theorems and corollarie—
Which insanity is in season
Around each time of year,

Like postpartum depression,
As the archetype
Of maternity
Unfolds its war against reason,
With feelings, overwhelming,
Sucking out all motivation,
As becoming “a mother”
Demands a huge transformation.

Angels swoop in from above,
Shadow sweeps in from below. 
—Public Domain Illustration Courtesy of Joe Nolan
—Joe Nolan

Hoping for people with dirty glasses
With blurry lenses.

Hoping for lack of clarity—
Clothes that fit loosely
So as not to show
Exact contours
Of shapes that lurk below.

Preferred to blinding light.
So much more
Can be done with shadow. 
 The Lost Sheep by Nerina Canzi
—Illustration Courtesy of Public Domain

Today’s LittleNip:

By means of an image we are often able to hold on to our lost belongings. But it is the desperateness of losing which picks the flowers of memory, binds the bouquet,

—Sidonie Gabrielle Colette


—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors for all these Unexpected Surprises (our Seed of the Week). Be sure to check into the Kitchen each Tuesday for our new Seed of the Week.
 —Public Domain Illustration Courtesy of Joe Nolan

A reminder that
Poetry in Motion read-around
meets in Placerville
this morning, 10:30am; and
Sacramento Poetry Center
presents HOWL AGAIN!
tonight, 7:30pm.
For info about these and other
 future poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
click on
in the links at the top of this page—
and keep an eye on this link and on
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—or get changed!—
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