Calendar of Coming Features




05/21/2018 Marty Williams hosted by bruce




Oakland poet, Marty Williams's work appears most recently in Atlanta ReviewThe Heron Tree and Poetry East, as well as in anthologies, Bearing WitnessPoetry By Teachers About Teaching and Winged: New Writing About Bees. With the Bay Area Writing Project and Amherst Writers and Artists, Marty leads writing workshops through Room to Write for writers of all ages. She also co-coordinates the monthly Bay Area Writing Project reading series, Teachers Write – Writers Teach. Marty is currently working on a manuscript, The Forest Within, poems about hometown Oakland, California, and her homeground, Alaska.
 THE CLEARING (FOR MY FATHER)

That year, well before thaw, he cleared

a path through scrub alder and spruce,
halted where the slope flattened out,
drove a stake into the hard ground.

He sunk pilings for a foundation and returned

to build a cabin on the bog. Alone, foot stopped
on the shovel, he heard a loon. Knew the raunch
of bear nearby, outside the circle of light.
Season after season, he left his work in town,
went there to that clearing. Peeled back the trees
with his axe, salted the bog with gravel
from the lakebed. There were summers
full of sawdust and hammers,
wheelbarrow handles cleaved to his palm.

Warm in the snug, square cabin he dreamed a garden

full of flowers and daisies gleamed
bold and white in the evening. Made a home
for themselves there. In the face of the mountain,
on the shore of the lake.

In the afternoon, all wood smoke and gin, he watches

the young birches grow, block the lake from
his view. He sits there, still, into evening,
waiting for the loon or the bear to return.
Gravel sinks, the woodpile falls out of its rows.
Trees creep back into the clearing.



05/28/2018 Memorial Day  NO PE

06/04/2018  Ken Risling   hosted by Gary







Bay Area singer-songwriter Ken Risling has been having a love affair with music since childhood: singing before he could talk, learning his tribe’s traditional dances, and playing instruments -- piano, trumpet, French horn, guitar, bass -- at every chance he could grab. But it was grief that broke the dam and released the songs within him. He was 40 before he finished his first testimonial to loss, “Down To Jonestown”; it's critical acclaim signaled the emergence of his voice from the ocean of silence, and so began the gentle rain of songs. There are many, now, in all manner of style and subject. It is the delicate pas de deux between words and music that fuels his enthusiasm for the art; and it is the connection with the audience through songs that feeds his love for performing.







06/11/2018  Nancy Schimmel hosted by Jim


Civilization

In the juncture between two narrow roads
The last fragment of a once-great circle of trunk still stands
Shaggy redbrown bark worn down
The tallest part upthrust higher than a person’s head
But not by much
Around the tip of this finger of wood
Someone has wrapped a telephone line

A redwood must be even slower to anger than I am
But as I stand in the road
It is clear to me which finger
It holds up


06/18/2018  Tongo Eisen-Martin hosted by bruce



Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a poet, movement worker and educator. His book titled, "Someone's Dead Already" was nominated for a California Book Award. His latest book of poems “Heaven Is All Goodbyes” was published in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series.

















                                                                                                                     
06/25/2018  Sandra Anfang  hosted by Jan 




Sandra Anfang is a Northern California teacher, poet, and visual artist. She is the author of four poetry collections and several chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Poetalk, San Francisco Peace and Hope, two Healdsburg Literary Guild anthologies, Unbroken Literary Journal, Rattle, and Spillway. Her chapbook, Looking Glass Heart, was published by Finishing Line Press in early 2016. Road Worrier, her new chapbook, is due in March, 2018. She was nominated for a Best Short Fictions in 2016 and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Sandra is founder and host of the monthly poetry series, Rivertown Poets, in Petaluma, and a California Poet/Teacher in the Schools. To write, for her, is to breathe.

Board of Directors

The first one I'd appoint is Rain, for humility.
I'd taste my tears, bled from the mask
as they roll down to court heaven's effluence
watch as both commingle in a stormy sea.

Next, I'd seat the Moon, for mystery
who rules my dreams and guides my pen.
I want to climb inside her iridescent skin
to die before I parse her essence
into tiny, measurable things.

Finally, I'd invite the Sun, for kindness and for love
the warmth of his beneficence
the way he enters me, encircles grief
melts the ice-glass curtain of the heart.

These three would be
the only guests I'd need
my pantheon
my holy trinity.


Sandra Anfang --Author of Looking Glass Heart, a poetry chapbook, published by Finishing Line Press © 2016. Available at finishinglinepress.com and Amazon.com. My new chapbook, Road Worrier: Poems of the Inner and Outer Landscape, is forthcoming from the same publisher. Pre-order by January 26, 2018, at a discounted rate:  https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/road-worrier-poems-of-the-inner-and-outer-landscape-by-sandra-anfang/


07/02/2018  Roopa Ramamoorthi hosted by Jan



 Roopa is a biotech scientist and poet who grew up in India and calls Berkeley home. She was a finalist for the National Poetry Series in 2011 and her work has appeared in the anthologies, 'She is Such a Geek', 'Dismantle' and 'Red Skirt Blue Jeans' and on Perspectives on NPR and in  India Currents, Berkeley Daily Planet, Khabar, Ursa Minor, Spectrum and other venues. 





Family Tree
By Roopa Ramamoorthi

Few weeks ago I spent two days in Mendocino 

tucked away on California’s northern coast 

Heard the waves lashing the rocks, saw a red-breasted robin 

ready to take flight, a young seal on the rocks 

sunning itself, then setting out for a swim 

When I hiked in fern canyon  

I touched the trunk 

Of one sturdy redwood tree 

Climbing the narrow trails, inhaling the misty air 

I saw nobody else out there this Tuesday 

Only those ancient pteridophytes  

Layers upon layers of green 

Beckoning and bewitching from the other side of time 



I descended back to pygmy forest 

Nature’s bonsai of acorn and cypress 

Stunted trees adapted to the saline soil 

five hundred thousand years old 

The landscape here became more stark, less serene 

I stood transported to a different tree, a different time 

A photocopy in charcoal black, empty white and shades of gray 

From five full years ago. It could have been  

a Japanese artist’s ink brush drawing  

A single tree standing on a winter’s night, severe and still 

Or a botanist’s sketch of a new species 

with nodules narrowing four branches 

But no, it was my mother’s arteries 

Captured from her angiography 

In Jaslok hospital, Mumbai 

soon after her heart attack 



I took that image—consulted cardiologists  

In Palo Alto and San Francisco 

A month later she became ashes sprinkled in the Godavari River 

Traveling to where the Arabian sea kisses the star-studded sky 

Becoming engulfed in the universe’s eternal canopy 

A black and white sketch that still breathes in a cardboard box of mine 

Along with the torn black book of her recipes and her childhood photos 

One of her sitting in her chubby frock at one 

Another of her watering young saplings 

as a girl of eleven 

One more at twenty-four 

Holding her newborn baby 

standing next to a budding jasmine tree 


This poem was published in http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2008-12-23/article/31888?headline=Family-Tree 

07/9/2018 Nadine Lockart hosted by Jim



Nadine Lockhart received her MA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University; she is currently earning her PhD in Literature from the same university. She received the Lattie and Elva Coor Fellowship for Building Communities toward research on her dissertation. Along with Rosemarie Dombrowski, she co-founded/co-hosts the Phoenix Poetry Series. She spent the last four years absorbing the intensity of the San Francisco/East Bay Poetry scene, including working for Poetry Flash. She splits her time between California and the American Southwest, and loves an orange cat named Badger.


The Birth of Beauty: A Haibun


To everything—a toast! Because no one thing is any more than anything else. A feather,
some birds, a wild star called the Sun. These three awake each morning on the ridge.
Pageantry. Who knows whose feather, one here, another near the trail’s edge. The quail family runs for cover under a split fence and dry brush. Above, a red-tailed hawk circles on thermals,
a graceful flap, the rise, then out of range. In the parking lot below, turkeys . . . thirteen or fourteen . . . peck at the side doors of a shiny black SUV. They peck their own reflections.
Their own beauty. Any truth to it? Tonight, the sunset, a violent orange through tree leaves. Tomorrow, an eclipse, end of summer.


in the beginning
a leaf, a feather, morning air
the way it carries
--Nadine Lockhart

07/16/2018 TBA hosted by bruce

07/23/2018  Coleen McKee  hosted by Gary 



Colleen McKee is the author of five collections of memoir, poetry, and fiction. Her latest book is called The Kingdom of Roly-Polys (Pedestrian Press). http://thepedestrianpress.weebly.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html For upcoming appearances, visit http://colleenmckee.blogspot.com/.

 GIRAFFES

When I was little, a wild hill girl
of sun-scratched prairie
and shadowy woods cool
with the breath of the river,
I would spend hours in the tall tick-filled grass
just thinking about giraffes,
the mahogany and pale gold fur,
the arch of their necks bisecting the sun,
their elegant limbs listing and loping—
I’d dream of the giants of Africa
and play with the critters of Missouri,
walking sticks looking with paranoid eyes
at the tiny brown twig of my finger,
dizzy at being lifted
a mere two inches
from the dark grass.

                                                                                                

Solace is a Small Gray Stone


Solace is a small gray stone
at rest in the palm of your hand.

It is smooth. Curl your fingers
around it, but slowly. How solid

it is. Unlike sorrow, the stone
is finite. It can be weighed.

Feel the way
it carries the sun

even in the shade
of your thumb.


07/30/2018 StoryTelling / Flash Fiction Night hosted by Jim

08/06/2018   Steve Arntson & Loie Johnson  hosted by Jan
08/13/2018 Avotcja hosted by Jim


Poet/Playwright/Multi-Percussionist/Photographer/Teacher  



Avotcja has been published in English & Spanish in the USA, Mexico & Europe, and in more Anthologies than she remembers. She is an award winning Poet & multi-instrumentalist who has opened for Betty Carter in New York City, Peru's Susana Bacaat San Francisco’s Encuentro Popular & Cuba’s Gema y Pável, played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bobi & Luis Cespedes, John Handy, Sonido Afro Latina, Dimensions Dance Theater, Black Poets With Attitudes, Bombarengue, Nikki Giovanni, Los Angeles' Build An Ark, Dwight Trible, Diamano Coura West African Dance Co., Terry Garthwaite, Big Black, The Bay Area Blues Society & Caribeana Etc. Shared stages with Sonia Sanchez, Piri Thomas, Janice Mirikitani, Diane DiPrima, Michael Franti, Jayne Cortez, & with Jose Montoya's Royal Chicano Air Force & is a Bay Area icon with her group Avotcja & Modúpue.  Avotcja was the opening act for the legendary Poet Pat Parker the last three years of her life. She both composed & performed the film score for the Danish documentary MuNu. Her Poetry &/or music has been recorded by Piri Thomas, Famoudou Don Moyé (of The Art Ensemble Of Chicago), Bobby Matos Latin Jazz Ensemble, & performed by The Purple Moon Dance Project, and was the 1st Poetry performed by New York's Dance Mobile. She's appeared at The Lorraine Hansberry Theater in S. F., The Asian-American Jazz Festival in Chicago, as well as The Asian-American Jazz Festival in San Francisco.  She's been featured 5 times at Afro-Solo, twice at San Francisco's Carnival, The Scottish Rite Temple & Yoshi's in Oakland & San Francisco, Jose Castellar's play "Man From San Juan", Club Le Monmartre in Copenhagen Denmark, Stanford University, at San Francisco’s Brava Theater For The Arts with Cine Acción, New York's Henry Street Settlement Theater and The Women On The Way Festival in San Francisco. Avotcja a is popular Bay Area DeeJay & Radio Personality, and the founder/Director of "The Clean Scene Theater Project (AKA) Proyecto Teatral De La Escena Sobria". She continues to teach Creative Writing, Storytelling & Drama in Public Schools & thanks to the California Arts Council she was also an Artist in Residence at the Milestones Project & San Francisco Penal System. Avotcja is a proud member of DAMO (Disability Advocates Of Minorities  Organization), PEN Oakland, California Poets In The Schools,  IWWG & is an  ASCAP recording artist.

08/20/2018  Judy Bebelaar hosted by bruce

08/27/2018  Clive Matson hosted by Gary 

09/03/2018 Labor Day, NO PE, BAPC Picnic instead, see Bay Area Poets Coalition for details.

09/10/2018 TBAhosted by Jim


09/17/2018 Clyde Always hosted by bruce

09/24/2018   Missy Church  hosted by Gary 

10/01/2018  Marvin R. Hiemstra hosted by Jan



Marvin R. Hiemstra appeared a valiant Leo in the Year of the Rabbit and was instructed by a tiny prairie grass frog on his wrist at age three.  Honors Graduate from Iowa Writers Workshop and founding Editor-in-Chief of the Bay Area Poets Seasonal Review with work in Caveat LectorAmsterdam QuarterlyThe SatiristNorth American Review, and elsewhere Marvin publishes and performs around the world. Dana Gioia called the DVD French Kiss Destiny, “superb work.” Shawn Pittard, The Great American Pinup, said, “What I hold closest to my heart is Marvin’s reminder of the importance of human affection in this totally terrifying 21st Century.”  Library Journal reported, “Whimsical poet/humorist Hiemstra shares his thoughts and observations on society: a very agreeable addition to contemporary American literature.”



AUTUMN DAZZLE

The last bowl of red cherries
for this year means autumn.
Oops!  One clever cherry escaped
the bowl.  Everyone laughs.

I am carefully arranging wildflowers
in a boat-shaped basket.
Wind hits verandah, twists
arrangement.  It looks better.

Pure wind from the North
transforms a quiet hill of flame
maple brocade into a shimmering
spirit forest, all ablaze.

It’s time to put fresh white paper
on all the shoji.  No more
patches!  Oldest tree in the garden
wears brilliant persimmons.

“Pearls!” shouted Yogi when snow fell
through a ruined thatch roof.
Pearls tumble through our sun yellow
wisteria leaves.  It makes me blue.


10/8/2018  Saswati Das hosted by Jim

Saswati Das, an engineer by profession and a poet by heart, lives in Milpitas, California, and writes poems and fiction in both English and Hindi. She publishes her poetry in local magazines and anthologies. She has recited her verses in cultural and poetry events such as Lit Crawl, 100k poets for change and Oakland Poetry Slam. She has published a poetry book in English captioned “Fragrant Flute of Fire” which is available in Amazon. She maintains a blog at www.kalpanain.blogspot.com.

Struggle for Liberty


Oh listen, listen to the voice,
For there the cuckoo cry-
We'll have to sail through the ocean of blood-
For the deep blue sky.

Here's misery and whips of tyranny,
Pains, pathos outcry-
There the bird of liberty and freedom
Throughout the day fly.

Exploit us they, our feet chained
But amidst darkness, the candle flames-
Every drop of blood that runs through the veins
Sings, Sings and says again-
Thousands of blazes is the demand of the day
Fight we must, die we may.

History of Justice always summons
Sweat, tears and martyrdom
Let’s measure the nights of mourn and sacrifice,
The brilliant sun there arise-
To heel our hearts and charm souls with gaiety
By the songs of love and liberty.

10/15/2018  Constance Mastores hosted by bruce
10/22/2018 Andrew J. Thomas  hosted by Gary 
10/29/2018 Other People's Poems  Guess who wrote it? hosted by 

11/05/2018   lana Levy   hosted by Jan

11/12/2018 Sophia Moore  hosted by Jim



Sophia Moore is 20 years old and attends UC Berkeley for English and Gender and Women's Studies. In high school, she sat on the Alameda Island Poets Board and served as the Poet Laureate at her school, Alameda Community Learning Center. Additionally, she interned at the Dancing Poetry Festival and performed in a number of the dances at Palace of the Legion of Honor. 
The Possibilities of Half a Tank of Gas and Two Healing Hearts

There might be beauty in the way she cries,
In the way blood leaks between ribs from her breaking heart.
There might be beauty in the security of a setting sun.
One golden horizon intertwines at the top of their fishbowl
With the deep blue of another skyline,
But when she looks up, she only sees his eyes.
Oncoming armies melt away into the fickle clouds.
There might be beauty in the way the dawn lifts the twilit dew into a burning night.
The ghost of an undetermined future sits in the driver’s seat of a motionless car.
The passenger closes her eyes, bathing in each pulse of electricity,
Clinging as if the beat of her heart relies on every shock.
A fog climbs down the mountain in waterfall determination,
While calloused memories slip down the rocky slope in a bubble of giggles.
There might be beauty in the silence of their conversation.
Every spoken phrase already known between them:
“Hide your eyes so they don’t know this is private property.”
There might be beauty in the way she wishes on shooting stars,
There might be beauty in the way she falls deeper into her own heart with each breath,
There might be--
There might be--
There might be beauty in the way she cries,
But it might be the glimpse of a dream-- intangible as the burning sky.
There is beauty in the way she falls asleep alone, asking still for tomorrow’s blessing.
Next time these piggybacking fictions hop from one island of light to another,
I promise not to leave the stitching between their hearts so unfinished.

11/19/2018 Joyce Young  hosted by bruce
11/26/2018  TBA hosted by Gary 

12/03/2018  Barbara Saunders  hosted by Jan

12/10/2018 TBA hosted by Jim

12/17/2018 Barbara West hosted by bruce

12/24/2018 NO PE H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S hosted by Upta Yu

12/31/2018 NO PE H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S hosted by Upta Yu

09/16/2019 Dennis J. Bernstein  hosted by bruce 
10/21/2019 Georgette Howington hosted by bruce
11/19/2019 Joyce Young hosted by bruce


Attachments area








No comments:

Post a Comment