Monday, April 01, 2024

National Poetry Month!

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

You know I’m no spring chicken.
My step has lost its pep.
I’m past the age to spread my wings,
they’re molting anyway.
My meat is mostly gristle.
I’m no sweet tender thing.
All I can give is foot rubs
by the fire on winter nights,
an ear to listen to your woes,
a smile to share your breakfast.
If you want a younger chick
to drape upon your arm,
you can take the car and house,
I’ll keep the retirement money. Honey.

—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales

Brought better price, those spring-born fowl,
while winter took its toll of course;
so farmers sought to dress old birds—
to kid their custom—quite absurd—
but clients charged, not spring at all!

Three hundred years, that term now slang,
thus just like mutton dressed as lamb;
the men cast off, with insult trade,
as some aged women are afraid
their value lies in outward skin.

But wisdom runs through wrinkle lines
and seeps from pores in wizened skin;
as names the bard, in blaming flame,
expense of spirit, waste of shame.
The cuter chicks don’t stay that way.

So strip the paint, the model stance,
and cease to be the mannequin;
experience, the boast of old,
and broaching subject of fool’s gold,
toast with simple ring and brooch.

Ignore the spin of media,
the advertising, social trends;
the broiler may be tougher eat,
but that’s the meat I’d rather meet;
though won’t protect me from the Fall. 

—Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA
Blue, butterfly, blue,
Every abstract artifact
Had done all
It could do
Before it turned to stone.

Fallen leaves
Have blown about
Into piles.
Children shout,
Jumping in with glee!

The falling
Of dew
Each morning
Is mercy—
Glistening the grass.

Dogs on leashes,
As they pass,
Sniff the grass
To tell who’d passed,
This way and that way,
Or before.

Blue, butterfly, blue,
What, this day,
Should you do
If this day
Were your
Last day?

Butterfly, blue,
You would do
What’s in your
Nature to do.
You would not do
Any other. 

—Joe Nolan

In the shadow-world
Of salvage title
Prices are much lower,
But you never know
When you might need
A tow-truck to come over
And haul your wheels away
Because you cannot pay
To put it back together.

Someone had the wherewithall
To buy replacement parts
And screw them in
Where they should go.

Hopefully, they know,
But maybe not?
Maybe they missed a clip,
A bolt, a nut or some
Other part
That keeps your buggy
All intact
As you roll on down the road.

Such a heavy load
To have to worry. 
 Bee Bizziness

—Joe Nolan

Everything old
Has been scorched
By the wind.

Canvas, bleached
By the sun,
Wood dried brittle—
Its strength undone.

All things
Left out
Have been burned
In the sun.

Clothes left out
To dry on a line
Grow lighter
Over time.

Everything bright
Gets bleached
In the sun.

Baby faces
And run
Into deeper
When weathered
In the sun.
Froggy Goes A-Wooing in the Spring

—Joe Nolan
Who’s withheld
The kibbles
From the bits
When offering
Food to a pet?

Who, indeed,
Would be so mean,
So petty,
To a darling pet?

The sad eyes
That look up
At you
With their sad regret,
“How could you be so mean?

“What exactly do you
Plan to do
With all my kibbles
That you
Should hoard them so,
Against my delicious bits?”

Betrayed eyes
Want to know. 

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

I remember those
happy days in school
in the time of vacuum
tubes, printed circuits,
rabbit ear TV antennas,
reel to reel film projectors
and tape recorders

before even the punch
card stage of computers,
before micro-circuits, and
cell phones and faxes, before
direct debit or deposit, floppy
disks, or hard drives

back before it was considered
a normal everyday experience
for strangers on the Internet to
hack into your accounts and
drive you crazy

but we took the big step, bit the
forbidden fruit, and now there is
no going back, so we live and
learn, forget and smile, fall asleep
to dream of more inventions 
Housing in Hong Kong

(If corporations can act like they are
people, then people should be able
to act like they are big business)

you order an item and wait for delivery
and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait
then finally get a notice that the item
has shipped

That doesn’t mean it has moved even
one inch, only that a shipping label
was prepared and maybe applied to
the item

well, two can play that game: when payment
is due, I’ll write a check to pay for the item,
date it the day I write the check, mark the
invoice “Paid” and hold onto if for at least a
week or two, until finally tearing it out of my
checkbook, putting it into a mailing envelope,
adding necessary postage, and dropping it in
the letter box


she emerged from her chamber
refreshed and awakened, soon
to be escorted by a parade of
palace guards with a beautiful
chariot adorned in many ornate

her assigned destination, a gas
station in suburban Sacramento,
where she could improve her ability
to carry on intelligent discussion by
getting in some good people time
while tending the cash register

sure enough, customers would be
quick to voice their critical comments
about the exorbitant price of a mere
gallon of gasoline, some even trying
to pin the blame on the cashier, having
no clue how far down the chain of
command she was, how distant she
was from the company’s real decision

but some customers went on to pursue
the idea that she was part of the royal
order, and upon returning to the palace
after work she could say or do something
to lower the price of one gallon of gas

They wished and wished these powers
upon her, day after day, but saw no
change so they increased the pressure
and frequency of insisting that she meet
their immediate desires, but still, nothing

some became angry and vented their
anger toward the cashier, as if it was
within the realm of her divine guidance
to change their world for the better of
the customers she served

As for me, I pay in cash with exact change 


if I could I would
inhale a rose
and breathe
the garden
dew and all

if I could I would
inform the poor
of ways
to get more
and more

if I could I would
force courts to
follow the law
like we have to
or else

if I could I would .
separate church
and state the way
our forefathers

if I could I would
separate guns
and children
of all ages

if I could I would
pay for all sins
then declare
due and all


Today’s LittleNip:


pinto beans, various produce
in the store
already washed, one less
thing to do

so after I have bathed 3 times
how much time
does that buy me until
the next bath


Many thanks to our contributors today, as they fiddle with the Seed of the Week, Spring Chickens, on this, the first day of National Poetry Month—and no April Foolin', either! Go to  for more info and for ways to celebrate NPM.

Sacramento Poetry Center is celebrating National Poetry Month with its Sacramento Literary Festival. See for its calendar of events at SPC and around the Sacramento area, or go the new (April) issue of
Poet News at


Happy April, Fools!


Tonight at 7:30pm, come have
Coffee & Pastries with the
Sacramento Poetry Center 
Board and Staff
and share your ideas for
improvements at SPC.
For more info about this 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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