Sunday, March 8, 2009

14 poems from SGVPQ #41

Maja Trochimczyk

2. Bliss, unveiled

the more I love
the more dangerous
life becomes
in its graphic beauty
carved with a dagger
stolen from time

the blade cuts
old wounds open

it slides on the skin
of the moment

pierced by knowing

The sun seared skin even at its impending setting
We watched as a golden pagoda appeared in the west
and then metamorphosed lavender pink also melon
Two poets on a Pacific beach stared at the magic
trick of an appearing and disappearing configuration

North Avenue Beach on Lake Michigan
The sun glowed and tattooed burn marks on skin
I embodied but a teen listening to easy rock and wishing
for a bikini figure clear skin and a more flirtatious demeanor
The years ran like antelope outmaneuvering a lion

My daughter strongly stated she would never leave
She would stay home forever
Next week she leaves for Newport Beach
The waves call her name The sand caresses her skin
Dinner once a month would be nice by the beach

Today I stand on the beach of my imagination
Residing in a blanched villa on some ancient shore
I speak in alliteration and near rhyme
in loud metaphors and simple similes
I am confused as I hear whales or sirens sing

Beaches rise and fall much like the dreams of empires
Rona Garcia Pangilinan

Whenever there was any green
in the patch of brown soil to the right of the orange tree,
I pinched and pulled it.

Raking the ground until everything was even and brown,
made me feel that the area was how it should be,
bare and smooth.

But today, there was no brown,
it was all green.
Days of rain soaked the ground,
pampered the greens, and even made them bloom.

I asked myself why I did not check for greens sooner.
Would I have caught them when there were only two, three, or four?
Oh yes, I could have.

But I would have missed writing letters and talking to friends,
reading books and quickly falling asleep,
laying a relative to rest,
cramming on a pressing task at work,
and posting birthday greetings in my favorite website.

How could I give up
daily dances with my daughter
when she puts her feet on top of mine,
as I wrap my arms around her, hum a tune,
while we dance with only two feet on the ground.

The weeds snuck in while I lived my life.
So I lifted my arms with the palms toward the sky,
put on my straw hat, coat, and surgical gloves,
and proceeded with a major operation.

I scooped the ground with a flat spade,
laid the patch of green on my palm,
and in revenge,
tickled it until it gave up the brown.

Now, as I sit on the handle of the spade,
and prop myself against the wet, cold wall,
I stare at my dirty jeans,
and thank the weeds,
for giving me a reason to stay out in the rain,
reflect, and live life some more.
Toti O’Brien

In her bed
half awake
she heard a voice
it said
you’ll be happy
one day
in a place that’s named

Is it why
the girl came?
For what was predicted
that night?
Not at all
Life brought her
and the prophecy
she forgot


When she came
did she look
for happiness
Of course
Did she find it?
So she believed
once or twice

And each time
oh well
she remembered
the mysterious
and she thought
that it was for good


‘Cause indeed
she was where the oracle
had pointed
but Lord
can you please
What’s the promised land
and what’s happiness?

it keeps sliding
behind clouds
and over
the rainbow
‘cause she
doesn’t know
Katherine Norland

The punk-rock gentleman in front of me, overcome with fear;
Asking question after question whenever the waitress is near.
Scared of the content of every item in his vegetarian food;
Heard the warning that recalled the spouts left him unglued.
What got him so paranoid about the water set next to his plate;
Examining the glass and asking the waitress if the water’s safe.
I wonder how much brain power it took, how much he had to think,
When he got sleeves of tattoos, did he question what was in the ink?
Ruth Nolan

You were so young I couldn’t embrace you,
small as you were,
your hair blonde, shoulder length,
we could not aptly name

the scary man tightening his belt,
we could not presume
to know his name
the fire tip of his cigarette, small flame

young, oh, you were so old
as not to know the figures in a dream

the moon, in her small stepping
over ancient beach stones, the fish traps
are lonely without the sea, without their catch
the people are so few they seem large
and men take young boys aside

your sun, waiting to show its face
too bright in its asking for love

and far too wide to hold
your shoulder length hair, the unnamed man
hovering behind you
rising with the tide, a sleeper wave
and the villagers run to greet you

so few, they seem large, not cruel,
spears ready with burning arrow tips
Terry McCarty

I want to write the first self-published
chapbook that sells a million copies.

I want to be the first poet to sell out arenas.
Not once.
Not twice.
But five nights in a row.
And perform three-and-a-half hour sets
just like Springsteen did in the 70s and

I want to invite my brothers and sisters in
poetry to help me create an annual festival
It will consist of three days of peace, love
and metaphors.
I want it to be so big and important that
people will smash through the fences
to witness incredible poetry for free—
but not until we’ve turned a profit.

I want to see an hour of verse on prime-time TV every night of the week.
Think about it, NBC.
It will be cheaper to produce than a
ten o’clock Jay Leno show.

I want to kickstart a new kind of future.

I want to teach the majority of
humankind that poetry doesn’t suck.

I want to….think about this to-do list
some other time.

It’s getting really cold in the break room.
Time for me to go back to work.
Ellaraine Lockie

When I order
two shots of espresso
The order taker and coffee maker
at the Bar La Cisteria says
You want two espresso
holding up a demi-cup in each hand

No, two in one cup, I say
He carries both cups to the machine
No second cup I say louder
He flings arms wide enough to hold
every American word he's ever heard
Palms open to the heavens in a plea
probably for no more customers like me

In my first Italian body-talk lesson
I take a used cup from the counter top
With a sweeping flourish hold out two fingers
and poke them into the cup
His prayer slips into shoulders that shrug
You want doppio, why not say so
Sharmagne Leland-St.John

Your moods intrigue me
Quiet now brooding
I wonder where your thoughts have been
Then at dinner
I see a side of you
That I have never seen
You make us laugh
The things you say
The smile you flash
Makes the evening slip away
Today you're pensive
Your mind is occupied
I cannot read your thoughts
No one can who's tried
Sometimes you're like a puzzle
That's hard to put together
You're moods are always changing
Just like the English weather
Has the sun come out?
No there's rain, but I think
The sun is trying
I thought I heard you laughing
Or was it was just the murmur
Of a winter wind sighing
Karen Klingman

I wonder what it is about Monet
I'm not the only one
drawn to quiet
peaceful skies
seas of rippled calm
reflecting life in such an easy way

I see no tension in his strokes
moss green poplars float along with breeze
majestic skiffs glide without destination
old world white buildings
crowned with caps of sienna and ochre
await my visit

I'm lost in pleasure
just being here
vibrant hushed blues and greens
embrace me
indulgent clouds caress me
I surrender to the bliss
Mina Kirby

On the deck
outside my bedroom
my seventeen-year-old tabby sleeps
curled up
beneath a chair

A frisky backyard squirrel
climbs onto the deck
looking for adventure
furry tail wrapped
around the railing
front paws
below on the post
ready to jump onto the floor
he spots the cat

Backing up
onto the rail top
he darts quickly
until he has kitty
in full view
His sleek body turns to face her
muscles tense
beady eyes focused
on the gray bunch of fur
under the chair

Wide squirrel tail
fur now puffed up
starts to undulate
up and down
up and down

The cat
sensing something afoot
opens her eyes
lifts her head
and watches the squirrel

being an old cat
realizing she has seen it all before
curls up a little tighter
and goes back to sleep
Ron Gregus

I'm a sittin' here not drinkin'
Un-heartbroken I'm a thinkin'
How a foolish man loves swimmin'
In the guilt that's spilt by women
Even though he gets insulted
By the women he's exulted
This type of man will swear it's wrong
To sing the un-heartbroken song

When a woman's heart is broken
Lots of sympathy is spoken
And the man who bursts her bubble
Soon finds out that he's in trouble
But a man who's been rejected
Finds no sympathy projected
And he who has a heart that's broke
Is celebrated as a joke

All my heartbreaks last a minute
I don't have to bare and grin it
Like the fool who pines forever
Losin' all of his endeavor
Takin' drink, weed, pills, or powder
Just to advertise it louder
How he's been jilted in a sham
By women who don't give a damn
Michelle Angelini

I have seen
curving roads
and curiously followed where they led
a starless night sky as she conversed
with the full moon
and in the sun's light i have
dreamed that each billowing
cloud through which jets passed
turned into a sailing
ship that took me
far away

i have held
rainbow-hued leaves
after they fell from the branches
which rejected them
a spatter of unsalted raindrops on my
cheeks as if they came from my eyes
and velvet burgundy rose petals in my hands
comparing their softness
against a thorn's piercing harshness

i have nurtured
words from singleness blooming
them into poetic expressions
experienced the stretched pain
of sadness that grew
into a numb vacuum
where my shredded heart
allowed me to love again
and i have always considered
the full moon an equal partner
in conversations about what
she understands
and i have yet to learn
Lynn Allgood

Girls were not allowed to wear pants
In my elementary school.
No education for female pant wearers,
Until hot pants burned away
The ban on legged garments for girls.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban
Arrested and imprisoned women
For “walking in loud shoes.”

If our clothes
And sound of our shoes
Pose such great threats,
Then our legs and feet
Must be very powerful.