Monday, June 03, 2024

Them Ornery Poets

  Wheelbarrow Man
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Medusa

* * *

—Poetry by Nolcha Fox, Stephen Kingsnorth,
Sayani Mukherjee, Ernest Federspiel,
and Caschwa
—Public Domain Visuals Courtesy of
Joe Nolan, Ernest Federspiel, and Medusa
—Nolcha Fox, Buffalo, WY

One ornery dog stole an eggshell
that her daddy didn’t notice
missed the kitchen trash.
Her mommy wondered why
her girl was quiet, way
too quiet, on this lovely day.
Her mommy solved the mystery.
She found eggshell
confetti fluttering
around her office floor.
 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA

—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales

From root to shoot, all be it, side,
vox populi define a word,
for by their usage stake the claim,
though undermining ground as was.
It irritates, the textspeak screen,
that it should transfer, written work,
the more so, flow without a pause,
no punctuation, making plain.

I’m all for speaking plain myself,
and not awake to what woke thought—
though there’s a term, like gay I guess,
where spin invaded lexicon.
It’s all the power of ’60’s flower
as Okie from Muscogee flagged,
and as for ‘Nam, what happened there,
conceded, stayed out there as needs.

They talk of apps—applied at night—
they drink from plastic, not the tap;
the biggest threat said climate change—
but pay a pound for bottle waste.
Correct phrase judged political,
a would-be, banished from my tongue;
for granted, unreliable,
like those, offensive, ‘round the Tet.

I calculate, iPhone on tap,
their cheatings more than notes on cuff—
recalling my work at the till—
the joke was me, a Tiller Girl—
but young can’t count out change, as we;
their body image seems to be
of paramount—thought me dis-eased—
splenetic, vexed, dyspeptic, peeved. 
 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan

—Sayani Mukherjee, Chandannagar,
W. Bengal, India

A perfectly new morning
The hidden hydrangeas hide in the blush
A soulful symphonic trodden path
For full of nectar the heavens drank
The river runs deep ahead
Porcelain touches lose my vision
Yet the morning is beaten against
The sweeping currents of adversity
Proclivity for the blissful Hippocrene
I hear a Byzantine reverie
Enter the summer breeze breeding of beads
For the first touch of dropped waterfall. 
—Visual Courtesy of Ernest Federspiel

—Ernest Federspiel, Litchfield, MI

Where did all of the butterflies go, when in my
heart it began to snow.
Did the springtime joys all fade and die away,
when my heart started to turn cold and grey.
Was everything destined to remain dark blue,
just because I was no longer in love with you.
How did I let life become so harsh and stale?
Why did my mind become so weak and frail.
What can I do to have the sun shine back on me?
Please give me a clue to help me see.
My love of life didn't really die,
but for the pain I forgot how to cry.
Springtime flowers are what I need to deep-breathe,
and bring the butterflies back to see.
 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

ere I err and
kick your ass

ere I err and
dump on you
my candidate’s

ere I err and
rely on the polls

ere I err with air
and inflate the issues

ere I err and
deny the heir
to the throne

ere I adopt the
royal air and
err in all my

ere I err and
shoot an arrow
at no particular

ere I err and
start with the
eraser and
miss the point
 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Medusa


when I can give my whole family
an upscale wardrobe, then take
them in a chauffeured limousine
to enjoy the meal of their choice
at a five star restaurant

the economy looks like it is operating
at a very strong level….for me

but in the real world, I’m more likely
to struggle with the decision of
whether or not I can afford to add a
mere slice of cheese to my burger order
at the drive thru 
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Joe Nolan


the United States of America,
hard at work making changes
to form a more perfect Union

until those changes don’t respect
the long history of blacks and
women being the property of
Pure White Men!

and then the USA is hard at work
making excuses founded on the
same royal privilege that prompted
our Revolutionary War

Pure White Men! top of the chain,
power to rule over all blacks and
women just like a king over royal

it is there on paper, we freed the
slaves, then gave them the right to

we gave women the right to vote,
also, but…

we manage to deny many blacks and
women the means to vote, or to enjoy
many other rights and privileges we
eagerly extend to Pure White Men!

so here we are, still puppeteering the
everyday lives of blacks and women
like that is our civic duty

to Hell with a more perfect Union!
there are some changes Pure White
Men! cannot tolerate 
 Blue-Footed Booby
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy of Medusa


remember way back when
you first learned the meaning
of the word decapitate

and then you were certain
sure you also knew what
the meaning of deliver was?


Today’s LittleNip:


here sits a commode
respectful of code
won’t use more water
than one flush oughter


Thanks to our contributors for today’s poetry—some of it rather irreverent in keeping with our Seed of the Week, Ornery.

Newcomer Ernest Federspiel writes that he is a retired poet—but there’s no such thing. Once a poet, always a poet, yes? Welcome to the Kitchen, Ernest, and don’t be a stranger!
 Ernest Federspiel

The June issue of Sacramento Poetry Center’s
Poet News is available online now at Editor Patrick Grizzell reminds us that the deadline for SPC’s next Tule Review is July 15.

Another publication of note, Berkeley’s
Poetry Flash and its editor, Joyce Jenkins, will be celebrating 50 years of publication this year! Check out the June issue at

And Medusa’s Kitchen celebrated its 19th anniversary last week, on May 31. Poor Old Medusa is getting kind of long in the... snake…


 —Public Domain Photo 
Courtesy of Joe Nolan

A reminder that Sac. Poetry Center
features Poetry FORMulas
with Susan Kelly-DeWitt’s
Workshop Group tonight, 7:30pm.
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.

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send poetry and/or photos and artwork
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Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!
 LittleSnake in ornery mode~