san francisco peace and hope

Chapter 4 - NOW
“Nothing is worth more than this day.” Goethe



Notice the tree of discarded leaves
bent by the river where a woman holds a line.
Metaphors hardly visible,
shadings of weight, pauses in tone,
flick of memory,
as the river yields light and motion
of current.
She never tried to triumph in whitewater
or upon sheer faces of rock.
Instead, fading pictures

where slouch and grace showed them
all without clothes,
sharing ripe fruit,
as, one by one, they traded images,
dropped numbered expectations
while cast off pips
bobbed drunkenly downstream.
Love of lost time is a bottomless eddy
where her line will circle and keep on circling.

Susan Terris (Arctos Press 2003)


history goes around

© Squeak Carnwath. History Goes Around, 2009, Acrylic, oil, modeling paste on gessoed panel with oak skirt.
View additional work at Magnolia Editions


Posted anonymously on a small square piece of paper put over a missing
persons flyer at Grand Central Station's Memorial Wall, 200l:

Every morning
I see you
I miss you.
We never met.



Middle of the Night

Full of love
sure in the darkness
surrounding her bed

all she needs to light her way
is an orange you left
on the kitchen table.

© Claire J. Baker
From author’s book on Trails of Naming, ©1999


children at peace

Frances Spencer, Children at Peace, photograph

My children worry that the world is an evil, dangerous place.
And this is true.

But what is also true, and what I have told them, is that 99% of all the
billions of people on this planet are good.

They have good hearts and good souls.
They are weeping for all those lost, their families, and for our country--in
France and England and Russia and Japan they are weeping.
They are wanting and needing to help in any way they can.
They are standing in long lines to give blood.
They are sending money to any organization helping the victims and their
They are praying with all their hearts. And standing with candles in silent

Yes, I want my children to be cautious, but I want them not to lose faith in
their fellow beings and to know that the world is also place of great

© Susan Wight., Berkeley, CA


Hope and Upon being asked: "Who influenced you”
Dan Brady


Winter Cord

He dreamt of flying, of infants tumbling
like towhees through the air––
and woke to see her feeding their child.

He rose, washed his hands, and went out,
scouting for a place of over-growth and setting
the sap-sticky saw-teeth to bite.

The air churned, dust scattered. From the shack,
she could just hear the crackling
and splitting of wood––a long day’s work,

a summer song for winter wood.

Zara Raab



Squeak Carnwath, Tomorrow, 2009, Acrylic print on paper textured with gesso and marble dust.
View additional work at Magnolia Editions


How I Would Talk About Myself

High on the monkey bars standing:
Look no hands. The moment of glory
Before the fall, before the broken wrist
Mother splinted with wood from
An orange crate.

Seeker of deep-hidden nests of bird
And snake. Seeker of wintergreen,
Of wild berries, tree frog
And salamander. Singer of
Off-key songs.

And how would I talk about tomorrow?
Mockingbird, vertigo, branch,
Pips, skins, trails of slime.
The underbelly,
Morning and night.

Susan Terris


Our cheeks & eyelashes wet
we climb on watery wings
beside windy falls.
Adventure lures us close to
fountaining light...
At falls' top we reach
alpine terrain, the stream
serene, hardly a ripple
before it plunges over
the edge, arcing rainbows
when sun angle is perfect --
like now.

© Claire J. Baker



Susan Black, Rising, watercolors with chalk pastel.


Lower Yates at Midnight

The night’s story in neon words drifting in the gutter
a breeze runs the water coloured lines
of blues and greens together.
The summer night,
the walk, the words,
the kiss of the circles, ripples,
the beautiful confusion...

Jim Andrews


Crystal Bacon Road Changed Ahead and Eva Wise fiber art


        we fretted over
nothing really important,
out on the porch a spider
had spun & suspended
a perfect web from railing
to roof. It holds dewdrops
at dawn, moonlight at night.

© Claire J. Baker


-- for Ann

something peaceful about leaving
pebbles on the beach
how else will the petition be written
waves scattering sand & all that’s in it
never growing disheartened, thank god

safely home washing greens
one endearment flows into another
candles are lit
the best we can offer
tiny & intimate

© Kit Kennedy


Maseta con Plantas

Jorges Spiropulo, Maseta con Plantas


She cuts into a plum
remembering fall colors
scrapes the pit
as if clearing debris
from a gravestone

She places
the pit on a separate plate
(for no particular reason)
then steps back
for conditions
to bring forth

© Kit Kennedy



We nudge open a squeaky door
A large glowing room
where we come
a million ways alive.

Our windows let in wind & sun
From an uncharted ocean.
We are visionaries
-----draped in songs
---------that need no words.

© Claire J. Baker


bruce barton

Bruce Barton, Untitled



I jump, collide with you and you
lean into me like a ski jumper
stomach to stomach, heart to heart
holding, slightly rocking side to side
like people in Chagall paintings
floating just off the ground
toes pointing in odd directions
we soar free of ties and ropes
lift through ourselves balloon light
a bottomless green-blackness tingles
in the upper air; the empty sky
flies into pieces, the present moment
ten thousand white crowned sparrows
trees collect wings, the gull beaks
of unopened magnolia strain upward
as if pulled by strings, leaves
become promises of us, together again
promises that send  us reeling apart
drunk, deaf, breathless
trembling as if we had just been fighting
we turn from each other
hold hands, take a step forward
and the world is made flat
once again.

Eileen Malone


Janell Moon



We pull off at a rest stop
in the San Joaquin Valley,
watch tumbleweed bounce along
like ragged basketballs -- cars few
on this less-traveled stretch.
We start the camper kettle,
eager for the whistle.
We sip coffee, chomp an apple --
cheddar cheese and crackers
manna of the gods.
Smoke beanstalks the horizon,
roadway specks glint
like crushed diamonds.
We watch cloud shadows glide
over foothills
like flocks of dark birds.
Sprawling among poppies
we inhale pure air and peace.
Sunset folds petals around us
like poppies closing for the night.
A star appears,
the road ours alone.
Song of the San Joaquin &
The Coolbrith Circle anthology,

© Claire J. Baker



…the ebb and flow
brings on 
the ups and downs
and will 
make the
night and day
that you
are searching
far and wide
to see
but now
and then
learn to accept
the ins and outs
and then 
give or take
a few years
your yin and yang
will be 
in perfect 
with the
earth and sky
now and 

Ivan Jenson


get back better on

Get Back Better On, Eleanor Leonne Bennett, 15, North West England, UK