Chairman Mao by Percival P. Pennywhistle

Chairman Mao

My cat’s named €œChairman Mao €:*
She’s dropped the €œi € somehow.
She’s dropped the thing,
But, Marx bless Ming,**
Still has a frightful Yao.***

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The image above is a 2012 scan of a 1999 oil on oilcloth reproduction of a 1942 photograph of a late Victorian cameo of an early Victorian watercolour portrait of Chairman Mao’s maternal great-great-great-great-(yawn)-great-great-great … great-grandmother, who looked just like her, but was considerably more pleasant.

* Chairman Mao, otherwise known as Mao Tse Tung, is widely considered the founding ruler of the Chinese Communist Party, which is either revered or despised depending on the holiday and/or who’s looking over your shoulder.
The Miao people together comprise what is called an €œethnic minority, € and a fairly large one at that, which typically means they eat more interesting things than everybody else and are happy to invite you for dinner. They live in Southwest China, in Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan, Hubei, and Hainan provinces, and in the formidable sounding Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Prefecture. They believe that everything has a spirit, even Chairman Mao. Continue reading “Chairman Mao by Percival P. Pennywhistle”

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Caught in Snow by Will Reger

Kalina Reger--Monkey Escaped

Her race presumes
Imperious cuteness

Conquers all €”even
Monday snowfall when,

From her comfortable nest
At the top of the stairs,

This scroll of fur and claw
Uncoiled, shot outside,

Her eye distilled
For the hunt: tiger demon
Fell to winter’s ambush €”

Snow knives, hawk
Shadow circling,

Coyotes lambent
Among the weeds, iron

Curve of sky €”and
Beyond the clouds

Orion tips his sword
At each of us.

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Will Reger is a history professor at Illinois State University in Champaign. In addition to his contributions to WIZ, he has recently published in Fire in the Pasture and songs/cycles.

Photo by Kalina Reger. Used with permission.

Victorian Violet Press seeks poetry

Victorian Violet Press editor Karen Kelsay, a frequent contributor to WIZ, sent this announcement:

Victorian Violet Press, an online poetry magazine, is seeking submissions for the December issue. Please check out the magazine to get an idea of what type of poetry is published. You can find the magazine here.

Guidelines: Our taste in poetry is eclectic, but these subjects are preferred: inspirational, poetry for children, poetry about children, nature and life. Formal and free verse are both accepted, we particularly enjoy metrical poems that have lyricism, originality, accessibility and beauty.

Poems should not be obscure or overly abstract and should have a strong element of rhythm and a strong metrical element whether they are free verse or formalist.

Send 3-5 poems pasted in the body of an email with your name in the subject line. Simultaneous submissions and previously published poems are okay. Please wait three months after your last submission, before sending more poetry.

Oreo v. the Expedition

Last week my husband found himself in need of a computer monitor.   In our part of SE Utah, if you need affordable computer parts of middling quality right away, you drive the 160 mile round trip to the nearest Walmart, located in the shadow of Mesa Verde in Cortez, Colorado.   He left late and returned home about 1:30 a.m.   Our household keeps late hours so we were all up when he arrived.   He came through the door in obvious distress carrying something wrapped in a sheet of plastic.   He’d hit a cat that ran out in front of him near a neighbor’s house about a mile and a half away.   When he stopped the car and turned it around to see what had happened to the cat, he found it lying in the road, down on its side but still breathing.   Rather than wake the cat’s (possible) owners at 1:30 in the morning, he brought the unfortunate creature home. Continue reading “Oreo v. the Expedition”