Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Write What You Know

 —Poetry by Joshua C. Frank
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of
Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA
CENSORED BEAUTY (a Nonce poem)

The modern reader’s such a prude,
He’ll brand me both depraved and crude
If I should write about conception,
Where sperm and egg become one flesh
And both their genes together mesh
To cause a human life’s inception—
Unless I preach the modern creed
That women just need men for seed.

Without this prudishness of others,
I’d write of pregnant and nursing mothers,
Of how through womb (and later, breast),
Just as her body’s made to do
(Though saying so is now taboo),
A mother feeds her honored guest.
The only pregnancy they’ll fail
To censor is a pregnant “male.”

But God keeps calling me to write
The Truth I see beneath His light.
I won’t deign to accept a duty
Not to trespass from the box
Of placid verse that never shocks;
I won’t stop writing truth as beauty.
They always say, “Write what you know.”
I know His Truth; that’s what I show.

(First published in New English Review)


When boys are told they’re useless and no good,
And girls are pushed away from motherhood,
Told children aren’t a blessing, but a blight,
To fight the power, I fetch my pen and write.

When mothers have careers as if they’re men,
And every cultural mouthpiece says Amen
To children only having moms at night,
To fight the power, I fetch my pen and write.

When fathers lose their children to divorce
As slaves lost theirs when sold, just like a horse,
Or worse, to their own wives’ abortion “right,”
To fight the power, I fetch my pen and write.

When Christians must deny their faith’s beliefs
To keep their jobs because of left-wing beefs
And thus submit to rainbow-colored spite,
To fight the power, I fetch my pen and write.

When rainbow flags eclipse the church’s steeple,
And priests preach leftist lies to media-sheeple
And from the faithful few obscure the light,
To fight the power, I fetch my pen and write.

When people claim oppression, despite all gains,
While new oppressed must suffer silent pains,
I’ll be the voice of victims leftists slight—
To fight the power, I fetch my pen and write.

(First published in New English Review)

LEFT IN THE COLD (a Nonce poem)

His parents left him frozen cold,
Three-hundred-plus degrees below.
An embryo at five days old,
For seven years, he’s ceased to grow,
With bio-functions all detained;
His house, a cryo-sleeper hole.
Although too young to have a brain,
He’s human life and has a soul.

The lab conceived him on a plate
With seven sisters, seven brothers,
And gambled with implanting eight
Into the body of his mother.
She bore two kids, two years apart;
Six others perished on the way,
While six more, with him from the start,
Have stayed in stasis to this day.

Instead of their beloved son,
He’ll be a snowflake in that room.
There’s nothing more that can be done;
He has no home but Mother’s womb.
His parents call two kids enough;
Three is too much, they want no more.
He’d need the cash that buys their stuff,
And in their minds, he’s just a spore.

Rejected runt, no conscious mind,
His whole life in a freezer pod.
When he leaves his cells behind,
Will his soul ascend to God?

(First published in New English Review)

IN EVE’S FOOTSTEPS  (an Interlocking Rubaiyat)

Based on “Genesis 2: Teaching its Truth to Women” by Kimberly Hartke:

“And the Lord God said: It is not good for man to be alone: let us make him a help like unto himself. ... And the Lord God built the rib which he took from Adam into a woman: and brought her to Adam.”  —Genesis 2:18, 22

God said, before He wrote on slabs of stone,
“It is not good for man to be alone.”
From Adam’s rib, He fashioned him a jewel:
A woman helper of his flesh and bone.

The rest is history, taught in Sunday school,
Called cruel by every feministic fool.
The serpent slithers ’round the world to hide
That woman’s made as helper to man’s rule.

Now Kimberly had never been a bride;
Near barren thanks to age, she’d tried and tried.
Her clock wound down as children slipped away
And seminars and sermons gave no guide.

One Sunday morn, a preacher came to say:
“You need to read your Bible every day!”
Her threadbare faith in tatters, she agreed
To cling upon God’s Word and then to pray.

She opened at the front, began to read
That God made every beast and star and seed.
She read the verse here quoted at the start
And saw her spiritual fog recede.

“Is this,” she prayed, “what You would now impart?
Was I created for the home and heart
Of one specific, lonely man out there?
Is this how You decree I play my part?”
She meditated on the verse in prayer
And felt her heart become as light as air,
For Genesis was true, no Aesop fable—
Man’s past, and not “The Tortoise and the Hare!”

Hence Eve was made to bear Cain, Seth, and Abel,
And fill the just-invented kitchen table
With sons and daughters, helping Adam raise
Them all to love and follow God as able.

The spark from God became a roaring blaze
Illuminating modern culture’s ways,
Its families ground between its factories’ gears,
And churches’ neutered preaching, prayer, and praise.

Her pastors all had preached for twenty years
That women find fulfillment in careers
And marriage must distract from serving God,
Thus soothing all those feministic ears.

Our comfort from our Shepherd’s staff and rod
And membership within His holy squad,
They said, should give us all our happiness,
And seeking marriage would at best be odd.

This heresy served only to depress
And never let her wear a wedding dress,
As did her seeking for a man to be
Her helper in her corporate-throne success.

She prayed that God would finally help her flee
Misogynistic feminists’ decree
To serve a distant boss and swing an axe
And chop the roots of every family tree.

She could admit the truth and then relax:
She did not wish to own big dollar stacks,
But only cared with children to enrich
And give a man the female help he lacks.
She flipped her just-discovered mental switch:
Instead of her career making her rich,
She’d work from home, for no one else on earth
Except the man to whom herself she’d hitch.

She married soon; the job of greatest worth
Became hers in conceiving, giving birth,
Her fondest wish fulfilled in dividends
From treasures in God’s Word all may unearth.

This isn’t where our marriage story ends,
For Kimberly helped many hurting friends
In storm-wrecked marriages and singles spurned
With what she’d found, with God to make amends.

As long as she still breathed, she always burned
To share the truth that in God’s light she learned.
The women welcomed words they’d longed to hear;
To her delight, their mental switches turned.

Jane sold her business, married in a year,
And Abigail would scale back her career
To homeschool any children; soon she’d marry,
And Celia soon became a man’s most dear.

Sue left her desk job in the military.
Career-bound women made her guy friend wary,
But soon they fell in love with one another,
And now she helps him farm his beef and dairy.

More single women felt free not to smother
Ambition towards careers as wife and mother,
And wives could value building up the clan—
No more did they feel less than any other.

For Genesis presents God’s marriage plan:
A woman’s made to love and help her man—
“It is not good for man to be alone.”
So spread this truth as widely as you can!

(First published in The Society of Classical Poets


Today’s LittleNip:

—Joshua C. Frank

The ghosts of children never made,
In child-poor homes, I always see.
One day, when I a visit paid,
The ghosts of children never made
All ran around the house and played,
From ages eighteen down to three.
The ghosts of children never made,
In child-poor homes, I always see.

(First published in The Society of Classical Poets)


—Medusa, with thanks to Formalist Poet Joshua Frank for his fine work in the tricky House of Forms. (See Form Fiddlers’ Friday in Medusa’s Kitchen for more form-play from Joshua and other Snake-Pals.)


A reminder that
Open Mic at The Roux
takes place in Sacramento
with Khiry Malik
and open mic, tonight, 9pm.
For 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
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?
Guidelines are at the top of this page
at the Placating the Gorgon link;
send poetry and/or photos and artwork
to We post
work from all over the world—including
that which was previously published—
and collaborations are welcome.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!
LittleeSnake celebrates
Cherry Blossom Season~