December 18-24, 2023: Poetry from Nolo Segundo and Kelley White

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Nolo Segundo

Nolo Segundo, pen name of L. j. Carber, 76, has in the past 6 years become a published poet in over 150  literary journals/anthologies in 12 countries and 3 trade published [] poetry books: The Enormity of Existence [2020]; Of Ether and Earth [2021]; and Soul Songs [2022].  A retired English/ESL teacher [America, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia], he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Nolo Segundo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

After Costco, Before Ukraine

You saw the lines weren’t too long
so you went for the gas first—
spend a little time, save a lot of
money you thought. But it took
longer than you expected [too
many ‘tanks’ as you call SUVs
filling up their 50 gallon tanks]
so by the time you went into the
giant store, you were feeling like
a crab trapped in a net as you
wrestled through the weekend
horde of bargain hunters….

Finally at home, you plopped
down in the comfy chair as
the nightly news came on and
sipped the fresh brewed French
roast and ate a piece of rich
chocolate cake you bought at
Costco and felt a bit sad for
those poor people in Ukraine
as you watched war in hi-def.

Still, the thought uppermost in
your mind, as your eyes scanned
so many dead bodies lying quiet
in the streets like stones thrown
randomly, was just how damn
good the coffee was and how
much you had saved going to
the big box store….


Tasting Eternity

My friend Marco and I went out to for lunch, to
a ramshackle little place, but my friend told me
the food was great—and it was! Three different
chicken curries, a lovely lamb korma, with a half-
dozen veggies, and mango drinks to wash it down.

I suppose we visited the buffet more times than we
should have but we were talking philosophy as we
always did when we got together and speaking of
God and the soul and the meaning of life really
can make you hungry–then my friend said he
believed in God but had trouble with eternity–
it seemed scary, terrifying even to think of time
going on forever, endlessly, a road never ending.

I laughed a little, then smiled at my old friend–
‘THIS is eternity! ‘ I said, and swallowed a
mouthful of delicious lamb korma.
The next moment, I asked him
if he had room for the rice pudding….

Kelley White

Pediatrician Kelley White has worked in Philadelphia and New Hampshire. Poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her most recent chapbook is A Field Guide to Northern Tattoos (Main Street Rag Press.) Recipient of 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant she is Poet in Residence at Drexel’s Medical School. Her newest collection, NO. HOPE STREET, was recently published by Kelsay Books.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Kelley White and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Long John Silver Says Aaarg-Men

I have to look it up. OK, according to Wikipedia he doesn’t die
at the end of the book. But I’m telling you he’s bad. Maybe
he saves Jim Hawkins but he’s a pirate none the less. Your perception
is colored by 1950’s TV when he had his own show and became
a hero to you just like Robin Hood and Hopalong Cassidy and Willie
the Worm. (There you are in your childhood bed
room with your Hopalong Cassidy blow up chair and rug
and a pair of six-guns.) Ah, I had a pair of six-gun too. But I
was Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley and THEY were heroes.
Never betrayed anybody. But back to you. You say the Robin Hood
(Robin Hood riding through the glen) series was art-imitates-life as
the writers were all blacklisted communists making Joe McCarthy
Prince John and Roy Cohn the Sheriff of Nothingham. And what am I?
Little John. Yes, I know there was a Philly boxer called Willie the
Worm and the one grainy image we can find of your earthworm hero
looks a lot like a bloated slug wearing glasses or my memory of
whatever it was we dug up when we try to dig a hole to China.
You got interested in Long John again when I thought of moving
to Old New Castle. All, the tavern there looks like Miss Purity
Pinker’s. Yup. We looked it up. And there’s the Sea Cook himself. Ah,
as Gram’s pirate said, he was ‘just cooking’ (but that’s another pirate’s
tail, remind me to tell it, but this is the English speaking world, not
China.) And what English he speaks, “Yarrrrrrr Matey, Jim lad. No,
I’ve never seen this before, but I’ll remember. See, Talk Like A Pirate
Day’s my birthday. Nineteen. September.

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