Calendar of Coming Features

4/24/2017 REMEMBERING LARRY CHRISPYN hosted by J. D. 

Larry Chrispyn passed away Feb 19, 2017 We will salute the Poet and honor his memory with readings from his works.  Dedicate a poem, share a memory, tell a Larry story, say farewell.... Remember Larry Chrispyn.

I started writing poetry in graduate school, the same hour that I started Zen meditation. I am fanatic about fitness and have been exercising daily for over 31 years. I have studied the healing uses of herbs for 43 years and taught private classes in Maui and San Diego.
Two of my poems were translated into Ukrainian and twice into Russian. This is not a big deal as it might sound. 

I taught Humanistic and Existential Psychology at a university in New Jersey for two years. I am very happy to have taken early retirement from the  US Post Service where I worked with computers and as a General Expediter.  Now I am a full time poet.
My themes include: humor, animals, my dad, growing up in Indiana, nature, runners, infatuations and lost love. 
I have traveled:  four continents, 31 countries, 49 states and crossed the USA 61 times.  

Christina Hutchins is my mentor and she has influenced my poetry more than any poet, living or dead.

This poem was translated into Ukrainian, and into Russian twice.  The first translation was part of a University project in Ukraine.

   Your  Mona  Lisa  Smile 

I have seen the Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre
I have viewed the Sistine chapel and EPrado too
and I know for certain 
no work of art compares
to the work   of art    of  God
to the loveliness       of  you

Larry  A  Chrispyn

5/1/2017 Selene Steese hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? "My Last Ten Passwords" -- you don't have to use those words.)

Selene Steese started writing poetry from the moment she learned to write. The first piece she penned was a short poem containing the line "Sorry sir, sorry sir." To this day she listens for the music of alliteration and onomatopoeia whenever she embarks on a journey across a blank page. She invites you to listen for the music in the words.

5/8/2017 Juan Sequeira & Son Juan Carlos Sequeira 
hosted by Jim

(Need a prompt? "Over Troubled Waters" -- you don't have to use those words.)

Juan R. Sequeira M.D. was born in Nicaragua. He was raised in the Mission District of San Francisco. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco and obtained a Medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco. He is a practicing Physician. He has a lifelong interest in poetry. His work  appeared in Alive, Black Bear Review, Blue Unicorn,

California Poets, Carquinez Poetry, Mobius, Poet Talk, San Fernando Poetry, ZYZZYVA among others. Two collections, Marimba Dreams 1999, and Jaguar Footsteps 2006. 2017 1st place BAPC contest 2nd place Poets Dinner.

A Memory

My mother worked
behind a splintered counter
under the volcano breath
of the gold brushed sun

her thorn pierced hands
poured water into glasses
shaved melting ice blocks
served tropic fruit drinks
to sweat painted shoppers

lullaby nights by candlelight
raised me from crib playground
to the spring nest of her arms
kissed the leaves of my feet and

rocked me to the rosebud of sleep
  Juan Carlos Sequeira is a 13 year old boy who has been writing poetry for 3 years. He is a resident of Pleasant Hill and attends Christ the King Catholic School where he currently stands as a 7th grade student. He has been influenced to write poetry by his father and has been taught by him ever since he heard his first poem. He says he goes outside, inhales, and feels the breeze enter and escape his lungs. After that, he sits down, and looks around for a few minutes to absorb and observe the world’s beauty. Then will he be able to write poetry to express the world and his great love for it. Poetry has always seemed simple for him, as long as he is exposed to the great outdoors, in the presence of God’s creation.  

My Night Light

Your light dances around my shelter room

my heart feels protected under your cotton shade

happiness fills me as I look up

to glistening mirrors shining on my star

your metallic structured light

spilling on my barrier windows

I look to see the moon past my shudders 

and I realize it is safe to close my eyes 

5/15/2017 Joyce E. Young hosted by Bruce
(Need a prompt? Convey a meaning without saying it; use imagry instead -- you don't have to use those words.)

Joyce E. Young currently lives and writes in Berkeley, California. She has read at venues as diverse as The M.H. de Young Museum, Intersection for the Arts, La Peña Cultural Center, Art & Soul Oakland, and Smith College, just to name a few. She has taught with California Poets in the Schools, The Museum of Children’s Art, The Oakland Museum of California, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Youth Speaks. She was also an English teacher for the Mills College Upward Bound Program for 3 years. She is the founder and facilitator of Write in Peace. She has received grants from the California Arts Council and the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation. She was awarded a Writers on Site residency through Poets & Writers, Inc. and has also been awarded writing residencies at Hedgebrook, Soapstone and Vermont Studio Center. Her work has most recently appeared in riverbabble, New Voices of the American West, and Temba Tupu! (Walking Naked): The Africana Woman’s Self-Portrait. She works privately as a writing consultant and with student writers at John F. Kennedy University. She is currently writing Parallel Journey, a novel, essays and poetry with her muse, President Cindy.

President Cindy’s Counter-offer 2017 (Excerpt)

Why worry my spleen, my mad?
I deserve a better gig
than holding these cinders

Fire has a purpose, but
not one I am always
able to understand.

I love to hold a torch,
which is not the same
as carrying a torch.

My mind swirls orange, red,
yellow, flame-like.
30 mph winds sweep through.

Fire’s wake requires tearing down
or rebuilding. Your choice.
I’ll wait; hold a cup of water.

Drink it slowly as you consider
my offer. Your hair is gray,
You don’t have much time.

Let me help you.

5/22/2017 Jeremy Cantor    hosted by J. D. 
(Need a prompt? Read Jeremy's poem below and riff on it..)

Jeremy Cantor began writing shortly before retiring from a career in laboratory chemistry.  He has made and tested engine oil additives, detergents and pharmaceuticals, driven a forklift, worked in a full-body acid-proof hazmat suit, tried to keep his fingers working in a walk-in freezer at -40°F and worked behind radiation shielding. He prefers writing.

His debut collection, Wisteria From Seed, with a foreword by former Boston Globe Arts/Classical Music correspondent Michael Manning, was published in 2015 by Kelsey Books.  He is currently working on his second volume of poetry.

Jeremy's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, published in conjunction with Oxford University Press), The Naugatuck River Review, Glassworks, The Bicycle Review, Pirene's Fountain, Poetalk, and other journals. His poem "The Nietzsche Contrapositive," was awarded first prize in the Grey Sparrow Journal's 2014 Poetry and Flash Competition and appeared in Grey Sparrow's annual, Snow Jewel.   He was a semi-finalist in the competition for the 2016 Dartmouth Poet in Residence at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire.

​Wisteria from Seed

"Almost no one grows wisteria from seed,"
I told my sons.
"This one has a healthy set of leaves
so it ought to flower
in about ten years."

I'm sixty now.

A botany professor showed our class
a bamboo plant.  He said,
"This flowers every forty years.
I won't be here to finish the experiments
I might start now.
If any of you are planning graduate studies,
please see me after class.
I've got some ideas I'd like to try."

I never thought myself a man of faith
yet I grow wisteria from seed
while others study bamboo,
plant vineyards,
grow olives,
raise children.

© 2013 by Jeremy Cantor

All rights reserved

5/29/2017  Challenge: -- use the following opening line: "It’s Very Strange…." bring your completion of this into a poem. hosted by J. D. 

6/5/2017 Jan Steckel   hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? Use a license plate or bumper sticker on a car to start your thoughs -- you don't have to use those words.)

6/12/2017 hosted by Jim

(Need a prompt? "Barrel " -- you don't have to use that word.)

6/19/2017 Jeannie Lupton hosted by Bruce
(Need a prompt? Write Tanka)

6/26/2017 Johanna Ely hosted by  hosted by J. D. 
(Need a prompt? "The Lower" -- you don't have to use those words.)

Johanna Ely is a retired teacher who has been published in several anthologies and online journals including, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Poetry Breakfast, California Quarterly, and most recently, The Poeming Pigeon. In 2015, Johanna published a small collection of her poetry titled Transformation. Johanna is the host of a monthly poetry series in Benicia at Rosanna’s European Delights, and also facilitates the First Tuesday Poetry Group at the Benicia Public Library. She is honored to be the current Poet Laureate of Benicia, California.

After the Storm
children’s voices
in the alley.
Everything outside is
sharp and clear again,
a new lens with which to
look through and view
the silent green mountain
as close as my hand.
All the swollen grey clouds
blown off the surface of sky,
the wind’s breath really
a giant sigh of relief
to see blue again,
the promise that nothing
lasts forever-
not the rain,
not sorrow.

Johanna Ely

7/3/2017 Connie Post  hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? "Cold Mountain" -- you don't have to use those words.)

Connie Post served as Poet Laureate of Livermore, California  (2005 to 2009). Her work has appeared dozens of journals, including  Calyx, Comstock Review,Cold Mountain Review  Slipstream,Spillway Spoon River Poetry Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review and Verse Daily. She has written seven books of poetry.   Her first full length Book “Floodwater” (Glass Lyre Press 2014) won the Lyrebird Award.  Her other awards include the Caesura Award and the 2016 Crab Creek Review Poetry Award.

7/10/2017 hosted by Jim

7/17/2017 Rose & Larry hosted by Bruce details to follow soon...

7/24/2017  Elaine Brown    hosted by J.D
(Need a prompt? "Key" -- you don't have to use that word.)

Elaine Brown – “E Spoken”

I have been writing ever since my Mother and siblings taught me how to hold a pen. I grew up listening to the stories my Grandmother and Mother would tell me about my family and their struggles wondering how I could change things. So, history and writing became my passion. I have been writing Free Style Poetry for almost 30 years combining past and present issues that affect our daily lives; motivating people to change their mindsets.


I feel like it’s Easter Sunday
The way we have gathered here today
So Please  allow me to take you to Church
I mean I do believe that one day
Black lives will matter
But the fact of the matter
When the word Nigger
Has more status then God
Then we need to do more than just march
Concerned with all the negative
Allowing media to raise our kids
And hate has become the foundation of our lives
The truth is the farthest thing from our minds
We’re so quick to defend the lies
And our future is hooked on these lines
That we have cast out!
So I’m Going Fishing!

7/31/2017 Maverick Night hosted by Jan, subject TBA

8/7/2017 David Alpaugh hosted by Jan

(Need a prompt? "Spiral or Gyre " -- you don't have to use those words.)

8/14/2017 hosted by Jim
8/21/2017 Cassandra Dallett hosted by Bruce

(Need a prompt? "Skin" -- you don't have to use that word.)

Cassandra Dallett lives in Oakland, CA. Cassandra is a two-time Pushcart nominee and Literary Death Match winner. She has been published online and in many print magazines, such as Slip Stream, Sparkle and Blink, Chiron Review, Stone Boat Review, and Great Weather For Media and reads often around the San Francisco Bay Area. A full-length book of poetry Wet Reckless was released on Manic D Press May 2014. In 2015 she authored Bad Sandy (Lucky Bastard Press), Pearl Tongue (Be About It Press), The Water Wars (Pedestrian Poets Series), On Sunday, A Finch (Nomadic Press) which was nominated for a California Book Award, and most recently Armadillo Heart (Paper Press) with MK Chavez.

8/28/2017 Georgette Howington  hosted by J.D

Georgette Howington is a closet poet and short story writer who came out three years ago.  Her poems are published in Iodine, Sleet and Poeming Pigeons, among others.  Several poems won Honorable Mentions at the North American Women’s Music Festival and Ina Coolbrith Poetry Contest in 2016.  As a naturalist and horticulturist, her niche is Backyard Habitat and secondary-cavity nesters.  She is a County Coordinator and Assistant State Program Director for the California Bluebird Recovery Program and an activist in the conservation community in the SF Bay Area for over 30 years.  Georgette is also a published garden and environmental writer.  

If a Homing Pigeon Were My Lover

Fluffed and preened on the shelf
I could not help but notice
your bobbing head and piercing eyes
twisting and turning to see if I was
looking at you the way you looked at
me in that wanting way as if my
human form was a pigeon too.
How unlike me it would be to take
off into the sky, fly across the expanse
in circles feeling the wind, gliding on
our wings, not arguing about who did
not fold the laundry, or if I am too tired
to have sex tonight or being pressed
to spend time with family I don’t like
and living from moment to moment
dining on seed offerings from the keeper
moving aside to let him do all the
cleaning and arranging of our coop
while all you and I do is fly, eat, and
think about making baby pigeons…

**** Published in Poeming Pigeons, “Poems about Birds”, 2015

9/4/2017 hosted by Jan jan
9/11/2017 hosted by Jim
9/18/2017 Lenore Weiss  hosted by Bruce
(Need a prompt? Use some English words that are not common anymore, examples "jargogles," "apricity, "monsterful," or look up some of your own -- you don't have to use those words.)

Lenore Weiss is enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts Program at San Francisco State University. Her poetry has been published in many journals including WovenTales, Midwood Press, Maple Leaf Review, Kindred, San Francisco Peace and Hope, Cactus Heart, Ghost Town, Poetica, Carbon Culture, BlinkInk, The Portland Review, La Más Tequila Review, Digital Americana, The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Nimrod International Journal, Copper Nickel, The Reform Jewish Quarterly, Feminist Studies in Religion, and Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal. Her books include Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island (West End Press, 2012) and Two Places (Kelsay Books, 2014).  Her blog resides at

9/25/2017 hosted by J.D
10/2/2017 hosted by Jan
10/09/2017 hosted by Jim
10/16/2017 Alan Harris hosted by Bruce

Alan Harris has been an actor and a stand-up comedian, which might explain why his "poetry" sounds like it does.  He has lived in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and would someday like to live in Cranky Corner, Louisiana.


I dreamed that I stood naked before Fred and Ethel Mertz
Who told me to stop watching so much TV
And listen more to the noise of the holiday methadone-addled poor
And see if I can catch a glimpse of a glimmer of a glint of a shard of a fragment of a sliver of
 Amidst the jostling for position of Jesus wannabes dipping their fingers in bowls of digital holy 
While their collective flickering morality intermittently illuminates the compulsive saluting of
       Napoleonic beat cops who are just doing the job they were hired to do
Which apparently includes hassling the ever-multiplying numbers of cosmic orphans
Who can only stare blankly at the overrated reality of mega-mall fascism and masturbatory
 Their ears ringing with the hipster lingo of the day-glo soccer mom
And the demands of infants to be taken off speakerphone
Their to-do lists awash in reminders to update their self-destruction
Before returning to their refrigerated apartments
Where Fred and Ethel Mertz await
Somewhere in the world

Every second of the day

10/23/2017 Melinda Clemmons hosted by J.D

Melinda Clemmons lives in Oakland. Her stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Cimarron Review, Kindred, Daphne Magazine, West Trestle Review, Eclipse, 300 Days of SunCavalier, and The Monthly.  She worked for over twenty years in programs serving children and youth in foster care, and is now a freelance writer and editor in the child welfare field. She is a frequent contributor to the online child welfare and juvenile justice news site, The Chronicle of Social Change


Walking Out
This is how you greet a field of corn: quietly,
tilting your head to listen before stepping in between the rows,
lightly brushing against the silks as you pass.
You’ll want to head toward the center
where the corn grows tall and strong,
much taller than you, crazily taller than it looks from the road.
Even if it’s your first time standing in a cornfield,
you’ll feel at home.  Beneath you, soil; above you, sky.
Perhaps you’ve brought a grocery sack your grandfather
(back at the car, having a smoke) handed you at the edge of the field.
Twist off however much you came for, plus a few extras.
Maybe someone’s got a pot of water set to boil back at home,
a pinch of sugar, a dish of butter beginning to melt.
Take what you need. Remember to breathe deeply
because this is the best air there is. 
You can learn a lot from a field of corn so take your time.
Here’s something: the stalks in the center are the ones that thrive,
fed by pollen drifting from those around them.  Those on the edges
don’t amount to much.
Besides each other, all corn stalks need is: sun, soil, water, and time.
Now turn around carefully and walk out the way you came in,
being sure to listen as you go because they say you can hear corn grow,
and it’s true.

First published in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Kindred from Anchor & Plume Press

10/30/2017  Maverick Night hosted by Bruce, subject TBA
11/6/2017 Charlie McCauley hosted by Jan
11/13/2017 hosted by Jim
11/20/2017 hosted by Bruce
11/27/2017  Elizabeth Alford  hosted by J. D.
12/4/2017 hosted by Jan 12/11/2017
12/11/2017 hosted by Jim
12/18/2017 hosed by Bruce
12/25/2017 NO PE H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S !
01/01/2018  NO PE -- H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S !
01/15/18 Fred Dodsworth hosted by Bruce 

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