i plunged into the shallow end

ran along until it got deeper

and the current began to pull me along

i looked upon the shore

and saw you there…

i called you in

but you were of the land and you ran alongside

spotting me from above

the water sailed me along

i went deeper down

again i called you in

from the shore getting steeper, the precipice much higher now

but you assured me you could see clearly from your landing

and you blessed me on my way

as i continued down.

and i allowed the space of you upon that shore

the distance between us

you on your way, your feet on the ground, your love of mother earth

and me in the water, flowing, deeper down

but then you surprised me

you sprinted

much farther ahead

and in you dove, so far ahead of me

beyond all human sight…

and now it will take a lifetime

for me

to catch up to you.

Photo by Sandy Page Taylor

 

 

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she said brown

and strongly masculine

all encompassing nature

that was you

where you inhabit horizons skimming the edges beyond where i can see

in the blindness of grief i can only trust you are there
and here at the same time

i braille this fine line of believing yet not knowing

i falter, fall on the trail, shun the sage

the tears slide me down, stop me until i regain my vision to stay even with your eternal heart

where i can see the sage again

remember you strong

feel your sage eyes of love that show me how to see beyond the seen

and today i walk among the brown dirt, aspen, rock and sage and i see

yes, you are here

in this green, this love, this nature

for me, you always will be.

Photo by Sandy Page Taylor

I am honored to share that one of my poems was selected to be performed at the Dancing Poetry Festival. Information and poem below. Thanks for following me!

Dancing Poetry Festival
Legion of Honor SF
September 15th Noon to 4 pm
Tickets $15

I’ll be reading with many other outstanding poets whose poems will be expressed through dance. I will read Matryoshka Dream, re-published below:

matryoshka dream

like butterfly wings that gently gather

then flutter to dust off the tenacious detail and pricks of the day

i fold into myself

then curl me inside the wings of the mother to release

to the dream of assurance, compassion, and peace

i am held in this refuge by mother

when next i see the arms of the one who birthed her

circle and embrace my holder, my mother

then the one who comes even before her swaddles us both

followed by cradler nested in the grand mother before

and she who is held

inside the arms of Mother Heartbeat holds her daughters against her great body

we are embraced, we all

seraph embraces angel tied to butterfly, wound to womb

then Grandmother Wisdom emerges to enclose we all

in protection, understanding and infinite love

mother womb inside mother womb

all down the lineage we are held, one another inside ourselves

and she, Great Grandmother Sky

is held in the heart of our Great Cosmic Mother

and within all these mothers’ arms i am attached

we are invisibly connected

in indivisible

sacred embrace

leaving me to float in Mother Moon’s halo

of grand sleeping dreams

forget

forget the tall man with the hat

who comforted you

the one who walked you

bay trail, car rides, fish market every day

snuggled your black pelt against his frame.

when he called

you always came.

forget

his scent, his deep voice

and tender kiss, my little girl

forget, so the sting of his non-return is lost in your dreams

i am here now

to take over

step into his gigantic man shoes

walk you on familiar trails

see the world through his eyes

where he left us, not here but not forgotten

all the love he poured into you

i can reach out and touch

caress your coat, ease my own pain of the loss

and help you forget

the tall man with the hat who loved you.

Daniel Swetlik
1952-2018

Help us celebrate National Poetry Month!

I am honored to be invited to read with two very respected and talented poets: John Rowe, President of the Bay Area Poets Coalition and poet Jan Dederick on Wednesday, April 4th in Alameda.

Daniel and I will present a few musical poetry pieces and songs written from poetry. Please come out, we’d be so delighted to see you!

April 4, 2018
7 to 9 p.m.
Frank Bettes Center for the Arts
1601 Paru Street

Alameda, CA 94501

Open mic will follow from 8 to 9 p.m. so bring whatever you want to read!

https://www.facebook.com/events/192536658013420/

I am delighted and honored to be invited to read for National Poetry Month by the Alameda Island Poets!

Please join us:

April 4, 2018
7 to 9 p.m.
Frank Bettes Center for the Arts
1601 Paru Street
Alameda, CA 94501

Dan will join me by playing bass to some of the poetry and we will also perform some of the songs he wrote music to from my poetry. I will co-feature with one or more poets to be announced.

Open mic will follow from 8 to 9 p.m. so bring whatever you want to read!

https://www.facebook.com/events/192536658013420/

 

for Anthony & Serena on their wedding day January 27, 2018

through the window, the moon shines blue
on her soft hair

fleur de lis tassie
laces his wrist
a charm bracelet of wallabies and lilies
tasmanian angel fastens his dream, locks his heart.

as sunrise entrances twilight into sparkle morning
her aura catches the edges of tassles dangling in paned glass sunlight

the love charm has got her
its rays beam of wallabies and lilies

reflects in the window
shines in her eyes

her creole kangaroo
he has this lyrical kick
sings straight into her heart
of arenas circled by talisman tails, practiced and loved

a charm locket of wallabies and lilies

alligator green, ferociously faithful

dressage and cajun ballet all tangled together
through the window of musical notes:
the charmed song of wallabies and lilies sing your love

the tranquil and the strong

the flower and the song

photo by Susan Munroe

 

a re-post of this birthday poem to Robert Cassidy since TODAY is his Birthday!

smiling eyes man

dancing with Divine

you nourish thirsty vines.

exuberant flash

koko pele heart

the color of your smile

spreads joy on the quilt of life.

smiling eyes man, son of Divine

you embolden our connection

sew radiant stars on torn patches

hang dreams on empty branches.

koko pele heart, singing your soul

you help us all

to shine a little more.

for Robert Cassidy, Happy Birthday, brother!

Robert Cassidy on guitar

Robert Cassidy on guitar

seasonings

spice that transforms the darkest night
is served at this ancient Table
as we follow some version of this long-held tradition

spiraling frenetic workloads to the side
resisting the gravity of the advertising blizzard
or not

but most of us trying, trying to collect ourselves into our clans
to share the
Good food
Good drink
Good company

reminding each other: you are important
you are important to me. i feel important to you.
We are important to Everything.

the Spice that lights our solstice
and brings us through this winter season
is the hopeful discovery
of our connections to each other

th

Reprinting this poem which just won first place in the California Writers Club Fault Zone Anthology 2017.

her teeth were cracked like peanut brittle
an ocean of stories
rushing from her mouth
tales about the happy days
like today

in her disarmed squalor
she announced happiness
wide mouth smile
revealing gums studded
with all the colors of creek pebbles

a grin beaming
at the synchronicity of the sunshine
coinciding with her outdoor livelihood
the chance of her check
arriving in time
for a hot dinner

i can’t complain
she said leaning on her good leg
i’ve got my city
and this old dog

i’ve always been lucky
she said

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Poetry Reading in Pacific Grove

Ode to Maestro Klein, Peninsula Symphony Orchestra

Performance for San Mateo County Supervisors

Poetry Reading by Maurine

Past Posts

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I love a statement I found attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi: “I wish to be known all over Europe for my humility.” Throughout my time as a writer and musician, I’ve tried to harbor a similar inclination, a sort of quiet pride in what I’ve done, but I am also well aware that, as far back as 1959, author Norman Mailer espoused, when it came to calling attention to one’s own work, what is a more efficacious attitude. He published Advertisements for Myself—and set the tone for a future we are all a part of now. So here’s Bill’s Blog.

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