san francisco peace and hope

Chapter 5: ETERNITY
"Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and sees the reflection of moon." Rumi


Elegy for a Friend

She kept house the way she moved,
quick thatching of pink, Rauli beech,
brisk with sticks of yellow Laurel, not poco,
not till she was ill the pace of stone,
she once mauled by Andean wolves
in her little house in Santiago
built over the Mapocho,
a Sabbath house of hinged bone,
every week the rabbi's hull
buoys them all against the chill.

Senorita! Rose, mauve, blue the tints
of wolves chasing Huemul, vicuna,
her storied murals in palest chalk,
but just as the blooms of Ulmo were
opening, snap! just like that, her life went
along the winds of the puna.
How encounter my own shock,
the white urns thick in nectar,
her absence in the making,
miel de Ulmo ever in her wake?

Zara Raab


Niya C. Sisk, Sleeping Child, Charcoal
and pastel



Sometimes it is best to be unmoved and moved.
I lie stationary and am moved by the patterns of yellow and night-accentuated
light across the ceiling of the shadow-room, by the candle which smells of moon-tangerine,
By the grooved fingertip-abyss, by the skittering buttling-mouse, by the evocation of
fields brought to me by the only sun-man.
The mouse helps me, running with purpose through the wall-holes that every house must have, its seed-heart beating; and if my flour-sack is left open, my bread left unwrapped, my fallen walnut left on the floor, then who shall say that it was not my fault?
If darkness makes the candle shine brighter, I say contrast. I say meld, and continue your
fine, brisk outlining.
So I lie still and am touched by the hands of the earth.

Abigail Schott-Rosenfield


(a Cinquain)

a lit candle.
A dove pin or necklace
holds whispered hopes so silently
they shout.

© Claire J. Baker



violin door creaks
dancers walk out single file
to the places they begin and wait
who could blame them if
they lean in
believe in
the arc
beauty creates
with bodies
the quartet
suddenly dancers
rain across the stage
coupling and uncoupling
as clouds and lovers
racing clouds to shelter among agitated trees
the audience and dancers know the story
this will not end well
but lovers always believe
and shake off the rain

Ken Saffran

Ode on a Fortune Cookie

Tearing off the plastic
wrapper- a cheap dress.

the beige exoskeleton.

Fingers plucking out the
piece of divinity-

only to find blank
paper looking back.

William Wright Harris


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.

Charon Speaks to Psyche

I lived along the edge of wet stairs,

watched stone lose out
to the incursion of lapping insistence,

a place where I gathered myself, a sensation

of cold and sometimes not so cold, even warm

as sun bullied its way through iron railings.
Which way? I heard myself ask,

no longer a barnacle stationed for eternity

at some breathing crack.
I grew up as the Gatekeeper,

the one who ferries shadows across the chasm,

back and forth I saw half people

dredge fear from a bucket of cold blood,
free-falling into an avalanche of some disaster,

waiting for a rescue party that never shows up

with help and a stretcher.
Never have I spoken until you entered my craft,

consumed by a hope that toys with us all

and makes fools famous.

Lenore Weiss


Kumiko Mayer. Departure, Photograph


For Katrina's Sun Dial

Time is too slow for those that wait, 
Too swift for those that fear, 
Too long for those that grieve, 
Too short for those who rejoice, 
But for those who love, time is Eternity.

Henry Van Dyke


Auspices of Departure José Luis Gutiérrez 


The Silence

The silence is a sound unto itself
before the bell rings
inside the cathedral tower,
crows caw and scatter from the square.

A flow of these precious senses,
the movement of silence into song.
Now a woman and her dog are seen
walking the perimeter of the lake.

Silence rules here
even as coots and mallards speak
across the surface of rippled water--
sunlight sparkles like a show of stars.

We will breathe in this silence,
paint this silence with a feathery grace,
trace this silence on a stone's face,
close our eyes and imagine where

we are, setting out in a small boat
drifting with silence, going toward
the middle of silence, while luminous
thoughts circle above with a hawk

and all the fish below follow their own
bubbling trails in the deep silence,
as if guidance is silent transcendence
into a great blue reflective eternity.

John Rowe


Susan Black, Contemplation Before Diving In, watercolor



Night-hidden violence has ended.
With the advent of morning, silence
takes grief into its everlasting arms.
Small sounds,
innocent of lingering fear,
slowly emerge;
notes of fresh melody
lend their purest resonance
to the sacrament of the day.

Sheltering liquid bird call,
litany of leaves,
light, praising flower faces,
the offering bowl of the garden
lifts up the dark remnants of night
to the tenderness of air,
the mercy of the sky.

Sherri Rose-Walker


Look to the stars … my friends
As I take this dictation and you … you get to guess
When they begin to sway ... to "dance their circles in the night"
To take up what certainly looks like turning
We'll really understand what "rock and roll" means ... to be sure
You see, some long ages ago
Others knew the stars far better than we say we do
Knew they would, one day, seem, to take up a semblance of dance
For those ancients, knew the measure, the count
And the amount
In sum … they had remembered … had kept track … so they knew
For there was a longer ago time than even theirs
When first we were … just after words … and counting
When we looked to and considered the stars
As more than just sight
We saw them as points in our imagination
They became combinations and we named them … told their stories
So that, in time, they became guides …
Back then, even as now ... they remain … a clockwork … of sorts
A calculator, holders of fate
And for the rarest of minds … a schedule or … program
Their mystery is due to the length of their interlude or intermission
So we have, of course, long since forgotten what others knew so well
Oh, yes … just take a look at all those stars
Wonder … if and when you have the time …
Look at all those stars … as humans have for eons upon eons …
But do not wait for those very first strains
For the overture's onset, that first hint of the leitmotif
Presaging the long-awaited third movement …

Dan Brady


© 2010. Mark Bowers, Moonglow, Acrylic on canvas. The piece was created with paintbrushes chucked into a 2,000 RPM variable-speed drill.


The Jaguar Moon Has Risen

The ocean echo
Of the Azteca drum
Pulsates the
Concrete streets
Of the Mission District
In the intersection
Of 24th St. and Folsom,


The slender rain
Rhythmically falls
From the turquoise lakes
Of Tenochtitlán—

They are tears
Of Quetzalcoatl;

They are tears
Of La Malinche.

The jaguar moon
Has risen;

The reflection
Illuminates the
Bare feet of the
Serpent dancers:

Allowing them to soar;

They are eagles in the wind.

The ancient incense
Slowly burns
In the middle of
The circle of
The serpent dancers.

We inhale the ancient smoke;

Mountains quake
Inside our minds;

As we exhale
It ascends and
Pierces the flesh
Of the nostalgic clouds:

We are eagles in the wind.

In the intersection of
24th St. and Folsom,
The Azteca drum
Pulsates the
Concrete streets
Of the Mission District:

The barrio
Has risen;

The jaguar moon
Has risen.

Jose Hernandez

Misty Blue Moon

This is a painting
of the misty blue moon.
A ghost behind curtains
of vague night clouds.
Complete darkness surrounds
a solo lunar being.
She peeps out from her
mysterious veil
and blends
into the navy blue.
She is a camouflage
of something beautiful to come.

Dabetswe Natasha


We who are luminous,
are radiant,
are 90% light,
who know a fiery fusion that
makes stars, and suns,
whose flesh is compressed of
dancing atoms.
We chart an inner astronomy,
our nucleus, our energy,
without burning our eyes,
we see.
There is a crust of seasons that we wear.
Seeds sleep along the bones,
erupt, and bloom
in heats and darks responsive to our moon.
Flames loop and leap the arteries.
There is a crust of seasons in the womb.
Beyond our brightness,
our creation, cells
connect in constellations of our own.
We who are luminous.

© Mary Rudge

Elaine Drew, Emergent Spirit, Egg tempera on panel
"By knowing and accepting myself for who I am I emerge from darkness, clothed in an ancient and mysterious language."





































The universe ever expanding
knows no other base.
Thus, its elements co-exist
by reaching, creating space.

We humans on the brink
of this spiral galaxy
design our plans on paper
and in rich reality.

May spirit too reach far,
expand and thus keep pace
that a heavenly humanity
continue on with grace.

© Claire J. Baker

Candlelight memorial in Berkeley, California, 10/5/01