san francisco peace and hope

“Arrange whatever pieces come your way.” Virginia Woolf


Dust Motes of Morning

If a tree falls, what happens to the nest?
If the nest tips, what will happen to the egg?
If the egg cracks, what happens to the finch?
If the finch doesn't sing, what becomes of song?
No tree, no nest, no egg, no finch, no song?
This then may be the dire dust-up of time.
If there's no song, how will our summer come?

In the dark of the moon, will airplanes fly?
If the airplanes fly, will bombs start to fall?
If bombs start to burst, will the town catch fire?
If fire rages on, will there be no song?
Dark sky, airplanes, black bombs, hot fire, no song.
This then may be the dire dust-up of time.
If there's no song, how will tomorrow come?

Susan Terris


visual poetry

Terry Turrentine and Susan Gangel, Visual Poetry

Do you not see

how you are breaking your heart
with each small snap
of twig from limb?
with each pulled bud
that will not unfold?
with each longer
and longer exhale
in the night?
Look – see how the winds, how
the birds bend through –

M.S. Rooney


An unusual sequence
of humid winds
warmly enters the Pier 39
furled masts unfurl
yachts, sailboats
catamarans clatter
large winged birds
sleeping on the tops
of booms and spars
wake up squawking
lift from their nests
the sultry blows
blows, blows forward
a briny gull wind
then stops
ends one thing
without starting
hurries it closer.

Eileen Malone


haven at the edge

With 40 years in Bay Area I associate the tall pines and arching bay trees with a sense of refuge. Why do we come here, to pause at the faulted edge of continent, look out over the vast ocean, and set down roots? Our haven at the edge–infinite, volcanic, Pacific. – Jane Norling


Let this poem be
a few moments when
nothing happens
If anything begins
let it go. After all
it is nothing
Yet, if you must,
see a prayer wheel
forever turning
Let this poem be
a few moments when
nothing happens
but a prayer
you are meant to hold
lightly, lightly.

© Claire J. Baker


the madonna

Courtney Holsinger, The Madonna. Graphite and Conte

The Indoor Beachcomber
-- after September 11, 2001
by Deborah J. Shore

Only driftwood will fit my mood today.
Smooth, this child's skin
is whiskered against the grain,
mindlessly runs over my face.

Smooth, this child's skin
carried by spinning waves
mindlessly runs over my face,
these seas that crash and caress.

Carried by spinning waves,
now separate from them--
these seas that crash and caress--
it rests in my left hand.

Now separate from them,
seasoned by sun and storm,
it rests in my left hand.
It is lighter than this world.

Seasoned by sun and storm,
painted by a wandering script,
it is lighter than this world
so patiently traversed.

Painted by a wandering script,
the knotted cross-section of time
so patiently traversed
where three coarse splotches lie.

The knotted cross-section of time
is whiskered against the grain
where three coarse splotches lie.
Only driftwood will fit my mood today.

© Deborah J. Shore, 2001

after 9/11

Philip Lewenthal, After 9/11, photograph



first: admit that you are not harmless, take back
that long-abandoned heartfield


plunge: into that fallow richness,
twine yourself deep, then deeper still


seek: the sweet waters beneath bedrock
that seek the tree that holds

the bird on the branch eating,
the fruit on the branch yielding,
the bird on the branch watching

M.S. Rooney


norling trees

Going through ephemera from my father's house, I came across a charcoal drawing I made of trees in Golden Gate park, dated 1977. I was struck by the sense of branchy canopy of those years in the park, the crazy overgrowth, dense next to open meadow, that exemplifies that soulful place. The riot of color neighborhood cultural mix of SF in the '70s was always balanced by a cool walk in the tall trees black against white sky, and festivals there were all about peace and hope. – Jane Norling


Poems by Kit Kennedy


The moon flowers
into full bloom.
We cradle hands
for mystical light.
We have waited years
for such a night.
splendor slips
into cupped hands
like a prayer
we were born to

© Claire J. Baker


(from Berkeley hills)
Light years ago
land mass anchored cells
which evolved from
swamp-jell, chance
and circumstance:
gifted with a thumb
a reasoning brain
reached out,
took hold, held on
made temples,
constitutions, war
mansions, shanties
zoos and laws, built
churches and jails...
We lie on a hilltop
watch cloud-islands
   move together
   and apart
on the ocean we float upon
mere moments.

© Claire J. Baker

shinobu santa cruz

Miya Ando, Shinobu [santa cruz], medium: aluminum, patina, pigment, laquer



Some mornings, silence is counterpoint
to the usual cacophony,
softening energy’s intention
as the air gentles to reverence.

In the garden, time lengthens,
birds’ liquid notes
echo the litany of leaves,
offering a deeper point of departure.

Receiving stillness
is blue heaven on the skin,
a dawning joy,
fluency leading toward
transformation’s house of gold.

Sherri Rose-Walker