Chapter I: PEACE AND HOPE
“So shall we come to look at the world with new eyes.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
While yet the sky provides us air to breathe,
while yet we warm our lips on silky cups
of steaming tea or coffee, sipping cheer,
relaxed, grateful for our many teachers,
artistic friends of years, the sharing --
whatever our finances, our nation's aims,
the tricky ways of love and work and nature,
may we most remember and fully seize
our own amazing chance of this dear planet.
© Claire J. Baker
Judith Seidel, Rhythms 7, Acrylic on hot-pressed watercolor paper
WinnerNot to crush or even beat
Not to check, promote or mate
Simply make your best move
Possible. © Ed Coletti
FRIENDS WRITE MY POEMS911
Friends leave messages
I want to use
not fall into the the trap
for blind hands to sort/shuffle. Discard.
May I treat their words like silver
use often keep luster.
May we not lose courage or cower.
My love flew away this morning
later afternoon she reaches a city
its name the sound quail make.
Please, love fiercely.
© Kit Kennedy
AS TIME ENCIRCLES AND RECYCLES ITSELF
As time encircles and recycles itself,
mirror likenesses thicken and fog up.
If you have trouble finding yourself,
start looking elsewhere. The sky –
not only is it not the limit, it opens
and dares you to look up who you are.
Mountains and mountains and mountains
– they’re you. Great Lakes you take
to be out there someplace look like you,
splash and churn and shine like you.
The world beyond washed flesh is you.
Light dries your eyes; one blink can melt
illusion, dissolve the frame that says:
“I look at you and see no evidence of me.”
Al Young - © 2008 by Al Young
Once cracked open
these common rocks reveal
an amethystine monastery.
We read on stone pages
alphas & omegas new & old
geometrical odysseys, pure
lavender, a pavanne for phen-
omena, glow of ancient moons
heat of long ago suns
a history of waiting
for freedom from darkness
for birth into jewels.
© Claire J. Baker
Arthur Secunda, Christmas 1914, Monotype on paper with gold leaf
This Rock CB Follett
watercolor by Susan Black
ResurrectionBy the clearing,
by the water,
under the sun,
around the ochre weeds,
How I lived for my tiny world,
whirling out, becoming so large.
it moved so fast.
Joy was growing,
like when I kissed
your magical face
— like music heard
after it has been silent.
Gutter water with reflected fire,
its darkness is a lost street
in my memory.
Like Lazarus did,
with his death pillow imprints
still on the face, I blinked,
alive, alarmed, and lit by the sun,
standing on the street,
about to move.
Hope aligned its planets
past the fringes
of my eyelashes.
RANDOM THOUGHTS ARISE WHEN THE 4PM FOG ROLLS IN
Fog, a trickster tagger that obscures, covers a bridge
as deftly as mouth. Incubates silence.
If silence were primordial, as some hint,
what gestures would we use to enforce particulars
of space. For instance, teach a wildflower or condition a weed
stay contently on side of a fence where light Is not
advantageous or soil, parched and unresponsive.
Be aware, wind is listening, won’t allow the gypsy
to be bred out.
February 2nd's White Full Moon
The dawn drained tears into eyes:
But then the full moon.
The generosity of a friend.
The words of a living Rumi.
The humor of a local poet.
But this morn,
Knowing the days without,
The sadness seeps in.
Change breathes here again.
Accept the revolutions
From the underground Spring.
Even though numb,
Even though dazed, kiss
The comings and goings.
In the field of what is yet called sleep, silent hours sift tales
fleet dreams mix and scatter through slumber’s filtered realms.
In nighttime hours, boundaries measure what spins and reaches for
those magic stories in visions of hope drifting beneath rampaging stars; here
what reveals a kaleidoscopic ocean; here, the realm of hidden beasts chased beyond
a sea’s luminous display: something to embrace Picasso’s Night Fishing in Antibes.
In memory’s mirage; what softly emerges, as if born of practiced restraint;
what languishes in night’s dimmed edges, as spinning stars fade with
their sparkles surrendering to morning light.
Black-sky spirits blend into blue: fused moods and night clatter—
wind-chimes twist and train whistles hoot harsh warnings
crow-throats echo a harking new sun-cleaved spaces.
Bound by the clamor, an arm reaches out; in fumbled search, fingers
find the pad of paper; a pen scrawls what night-husked myths reveal.
On this notebook page, smeared scrawls: indecipherable runes set down:
letters drawling in illogical queues; hints of ideas: there is something
about art and music; Claire de Lune, Eroica; Georgia O’Keefe:
skulls, flowers; and then, Matthew Arnold: his Dover Beach.
Here, what marks the half-conscious mind—the visionary scene:
peasants weaving cloth beyond trellises and winter rain, something
remembering the grain in the field, the children playing in the yard
someone looking down at a broken nest.
Now, a sense of what a poem might become: the moment’s whisper;
a light touch yet to fill the brush with what would paint freedom’s reply.
© Vince Storti
I painted water
lilies in the midst of war—
lightness in darkness.
Lena Levin, Alameda: rain and sun, oil on canvas panel