Calendar of Coming Features

8/26/19 Jerry Ratch hosted by Gary 

Jerry Ratch published 18 books of poetry, and 7 books of prose including the novel: Wild Dreams of Reality, and the Memoir: A Body Divided, the story of a one-armed boy growing up in a two-fisted world. His work can be purchased through the author’s website: . and as kindle books on 

The Fly on Our Pickle

I think I know that fly
That fly followed us from our apartment
On W. 11th St
When I opened the door he flew right in
And when we left, he flew right out again

Followed us on the subway to Times Square
Took the Shuttle apparently
Followed us all the way through the tunnels
Up the escalator and into Grand Central Station

Then down to Juniors in the food court below
Where he joined us for lunch
The best Chicken Caesar Salad on the planet
So famous, even the flies know about it
We asked the waitress for an additional chair
But he took a seat on our pickle instead

“Oh, don’t worry,” we told her
“We know him. He normally lives
“Down in the Village”

The waitress eyed us suspiciously
“East Village or West?” she asked

“Come on!” we said.
“As if that really matters!”

 host Elaine
9/2/19 NO PE, BAPC Picnic.

9/9/19  Tureeda Mikell        hosted by Jim

Tureeda Mikell, Bay Area Writing Project Teacher Consultant, Story Medicine Woman, published poet and writer, Qigong Healer, storyteller, lyricist, astrologer and performance artist, has published 72 CA Poets in the Schools student anthologies since 1989. Has performed at Lawrence Hall and Golden Gate Academy of Sciences, MoAD, Randell, Oakland, and The DeYoung Museums, and has been featured storyteller for National Association of Black Storytellers.    Her book, Synchronicity, Oracles of Story Medicine, soon to be published. 

   excerpts from
Spell’s Labyrinth

Why alter the altar?
Silence the Arc for an Ark?
Why douse sacred fire of every kind?
Who enters prize for this enterprise?

Why did the son of the sun worship with warship?
Prey on those who pray for peace,
Set sail for sale of piece,
With pair-of-dice for paradise?

Governments profit
Gamble with prophets
Covenant of light

Will joules perish in parish of jewels?
Who’s good is sacrificed for concepts of god?

By Tureeda

9/16/2019 Dennis J. Bernstein hosted by Bruce

9/23/19 Sandra Anfang  hosted by Gary

Sandra Anfang is a poet, teacher, and visual artist. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including San Francisco Peace and HopeUnbroken Literary Journal, Rattle, and Spillway. Her chapbook, Looking Glass Heart, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016. Road Worrier: Poems of the Inner and Outer Landscape (Finishing Line Press, 2018) followed. A full-length collection, Xylem Highway, was released in March, 2019 from Main Street Rag. Sandra was nominated for a Best Short Fictions award and a Pushcart Prize. She is founder of the monthly series, Rivertown Poets, in Petaluma, California, and a California Poet/Teacher in the Schools. 

Core Samples

At the Nevada mining museum
our seven-year old has a chokehold on my arm
timid at first, his tentative eyes—
as if searching for rattlers—
sweep the iron-incensed bunker 
before they lock on the rows of core samples.
He pronounces the name
which doesn’t quite fit in his mouth
carves new grooves on his tongue.
The desiccated docent
voice bald as his quarry explains 
how cylindrical drills drone deep into stone
probe Earth's mantle
yielding smooth columns, pygmy pillars 
relics of a place where dinosaurs 
once cut their terrible teeth.
Drawn in, my child dons a scholar’s mask.
This is proof of something real
a piece of the fossil record
truer than anything I can give him
a staff to wrap his brain’s heart around
bed of rock his feet can trust 
no ephemera in this metamorphic floor.

I flash on the day I could finally read most anything 
the skeleton key of my brain cracking the code
translating the thatch of storefront signs
the irony of the missing “i” in “realty”
my hopeful eyes pleading with my mother:
can we bring some home? 
At five I knew we were already fresh out.

Sandra Anfang

9/30/19 Maverick Night host tba

10/7/19 host Elaine

10/14/19  Lucy Lang Day and Diane Frank hosted by bruce
 Fire & Rain book reading 

Lucille Lang Day’s latest book is Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, an anthology she coedited. She is also the author of ten poetry collections and chapbooks, most recentlyBecoming an Ancestor and Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems; the coeditor of Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California; and the author of two children’s books, Chain Letter and The Rainbow Zoo, and a memoir, Married at Fourteen: A True Story. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, and her many honors include the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in Literature, the Blue Light Poetry Prize, two PEN Oakland – Josephine Miles Literary Awards, and nine Pushcart nominations. She is the founder and director of Scarlet Tanager Books.


Rust-colored ladybugs, clustered like grapes,
mate on horsetails that wave by a creek,
where silvery salmon spawn and leap
when the sandbar breaks at the gate to the sea.

The ladybugs have come hundreds of miles,
from valley to coast, for this singles bash.
The females are choosy:  they twiddle the males,
seeking appendages padded with fat.

And all around—high in redwood burls,
on elk-clover leaves, and in the rich soil—
the meaning of life is to stroke and prod
under a humpbacked moon, dissolving in fog.

From Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California (Scarlet Tanager Books, 2018)

Diane Frank is author of seven books of poems, two novels, and a photo memoir of her 400 mile trek in the Nepal Himalayas, Letters from a Sacred Mountain Place (Nirala Publishing, 2018). Her new book of poems, Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines, was published by Glass Lyre Press in 2018.Blackberries in the Dream House, her first novel, won the Chelson Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.  Diane lives in SanFrancisco, where she dances, plays cello in the Golden Gate Symphony, and creates her life as an art form. She teaches at San Francisco State University and Dominican University.

A poem from Fire and Rain:

            In the Mendocino Woodlands

He walks into the forest
where trees are burning
finding his path in the silence.

Woodpecker, memory, larkspur
in the night of burning.

His eyes ask me to wait,
to keep the connection inside
the silent place where I find
pebbles of intuition, rose quartz.

In the morning, lupines on the trail
to the cliff where the giant trillium blooms,
kelp and seals swimming beyond
the tide pools below.

I run through Indian paintbrush,
milk maids, cinquefoil,
climbing the path where he finds me.

And what is love?
A fire walk initiation
from the ocean through a cathedral of trees,
fuchsia, wild grape, sudden
blue streaks on the wing of a moth
stellar jay wanting to fly free.

                        Diane Frank

10/21/2019 Georgette Howington hosted by Bruce

10/28/19 Grace Graftin hosted by Gary

11/4/19  host Elaine

11/11/19 Bruce Fessenden hosted by Jim

11/19/2019 Joyce Young hosted by Bruce

11/25/19 Dave Holt hosted by Gary

12/2/19  host Elaine

12/9/19 Becky Bishop White  hosted by Jim

The east coast, the SF Bay Area, and Lake Tahoe are threaded throughout the poetry of Becky Bishop White. An emerging poet, Becky won the 2019 First Prize in the Benicia Love Poetry Contest for her poem, Flying Start, and was Second Place winner for an unpublished poem, Ghost Fleet, at the 2019 Solano County Fair. Becky lives in Benicia with her husband, author James W. White, who is her very best friend.

To try to set a problem right
requires courage. Some might
think to leave or just pout
in silence, but to talk it out
or try for a hug is huge.
You are no longer fugitive
from your best self.
You have broken the spell
that makes you think ‘other.’
But it’s not really another
who aligns with you.
Here is what is true:
The soul who makes peace is nearer
to the person in the mirror.

            © Becky Bishop White

12/16/19  Andrena Zawinski  hosted by Bruce

Photo Credit: Don Dutra

Andrena Zawinski’s latest poetry collection, Landings, is from Kelsay Books (Hemet, CA). She has published two previous full collections of poetry: Something About (Blue Light Press, San Francisco, CA), a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award recipient, and Traveling in Reflected Light (Pig Iron Press, Youngstown, O), a Kenneth Patchen competition winner. She has also authored four chapbooks and is editor of Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry (Scarlet Tanager Books, Oakland, CA). Her poems have received accolades for free verse, form, lyricism, spirituality, and social concern. She founded and runs the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon and is Features Editor at

In Landings, Zawinski presents poems that embrace, in original ways and with deep-rooted emotional power, the worldwide condition of women, immigrants, and the working class alongside an abiding reverence for the natural world. Of this work, Jan Beatty says Zawinski is the necessary voice of the truth teller, speaking trouble among the beauty. Rebecca Foust lauds the collection as a book that offers wisdom and solace and one you will take comfort in reading again and again. Carolyne Wright goes on to say in these Landings, she embraces the richness of human experience and praises the courage of those who go on ‘living as if they could do anything.’
poem recited with images: 

Andrena Zawinski:

Sun spills silver stars of light along rippling summer waves.
A string of pelicans wing the horizon,
light in flight for all their heft.

Children squeal and squirm inside their plastic inflatable.
One slips over the side, feigns drowning, splashing and kicking,
holding onto his crying sister, jumps back in to tickle her side––
all of them then swimming in giggles and smiles in frolic and fun,
family picnicking at the shore, waving from bright beach towels.

Other children, roped onto rafts in flimsy life jackets, float in
from Aleppo across the Aegean away from bombs and bullets
to find a way out, forge a way in, whole families cattled
by smugglers, squeezed in dozens deep. But those who slip
into this dark sea cannot be rescued with innocent teasing and mirth.

A three-year-old washes up onto the beach face down on the sand,
limp body leaden in his father’s arms,
water lapping the wounded shore.

Publication Credit:
Reunion Dallas Review, Vol 6, 2017. Univ. of Texas, Dallas, TX

12/23/19 hosted by Gary

12/30/19 No PE, Happy Holidays host  S Clause 


1/13/2020Paul Jolly hosted by Jim

Paul Jolly was raised in Oakland, and, after a thirty year detour on the East Coast, returned to Berkeley in the summer of 2019.  His poems have appeared in Permafrost, the Columbia Review, and Straylight.  His first book, Why Ice Cream Trucks Play Christmas Songs, was published by Fernwood Press in December of 2018. 

Miracle drugs

Sunlight through clouds, taa-daa!  Trumpet
fanfares in the lab window, refracts
on beakers and test tubes.  Lab
drudges halt their rote to compare

charts with angels.  The apothecary
cleric’s shelf recently held a smatter
of cures: saints’ relics, holy
water, tinctures, unguent.  Now

many shelves hold baskets and baskets,
loaf baskets, fish baskets. 
High church muckety mucks
(mucks at least) preside at drug

trials.  The mucks want crutches
heaved by healed cripples, billion
dollar profits, Nobel prize, handicapped
stickers discarded from cars.  Proof

requires reams of forms.  Check
miracle type: blindness cure,
hemorrhage plug, cripples walk,
or the Lalapalooza: Lazarus alive

post-flatline.  And randomized
samples!  No chocolate sampler
was ever so random.  Did placebo
-takers get prayed at same as druggies? 

Did all the docs carry the same tracts
in their grand round lab coat
pockets?  Did prayer warriors spout
glossolalia in the same dead language?

Was there a between-shifts non sectual
moment of silence at the nurses station
in each clinic?  Identical hymns, time
-release capsules, scriptures, syringes,

Hallmark prayer cards, patches, inhalers,
beads, inhibitors, enzymes, chants,
implants?  Double-blinders want to know:
Was the philanthropist who endowed each hospital

faithish?  Does a buried urn in the arid
land of Genesis hold test results that went
wrong for pharma, papyrus
that proves placebo as helpful as drug? 

1/20/2020 Caroline Goodwin host Bruce

1/27/2020 hosted by Gary

2/3/2020 host Elaine

2/10/2020 hosted by Jim

2/17/2020 host Bruce

2/24/2020 hosted by Gary

3/02/2020 Ashia Ajan host Elaine 

3/9/2020 hosted by Jim

/16/2020 Lynne Barnes host Bruce

3/23/2020 hosted by Gary

3/30/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA

4/6/2020 host Elaine

4/13/2020 hosted by Jim

4/20/2020 Tony Aldarondo host Bruce

4/27/2020 hosted by Gary
5/4/2020 host Elaine
5/11/2020 hosted by Jim
5/18/2020 host Bruce
5/28/2020 hosted by Gary
6/1/2020 host Elaine
6/8/2020 hosted by Jim
6/15/2020 host Bruce
6/22/2020 hosted by Gary
6/29/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
7/6/2020 host Elaine
7/13/2020 hosted by Jim
7/20/2020 host Bruce
7/27/2020 hosted by Gary
8/3/2020 host Elaine
8/10/2020 hosted by Jim
8/17/2020 host Bruce
8/24/2020 hosted by Gary
8/31/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
9/7/2020 host Elaine
9/14/2020 hosted by Jim
9/21/202 host Bruce0
9/28/2020 hosted by Gary
10/5/2020 host Elaine
10/12/2020 hosted by Jim
10/19/2020 host Bruce
10/26/2020 hosted by Gary
11/2/2020 host Elaine
11/9/2020 hosted by Jim
11/16/2020 host Bruce
11/23/2020 hosted by Gary
11/30/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
12/7/2020 host Elaine
12/14/2020 hosted by Jim
12/21/2020 host Bruce
12/28/2020 hosted by Gary

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