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i’m not alone
on this bus
of sturdy seats, vacant smell, hollowed shell
which houses we few but significant passengers.

although i’m not the driver
i do have a window seat.

i peer out and drink in the joy
explosion of vitality, adventure and experience
just beyond the glass.

from inside this bus of busted hearts
we bump along together
sharing in this narrow cabin
so much heart, few words help pass the miles.

it’s different for each passenger
but for me, i can slip the window down
inhale fragrant laughter
resonate with sweet singing, not far away
tear up, at what i gaze but cannot touch
from here in this seat.

on this extended road trip
the driver does not talk
he makes his stops, but it’s clear they are not for me.
another one rushes off, joins the sunshine…

i look longingly from my seat
at the lucky ones who step off
i see them playing in the Life.
newcomers step on
with backpacks of cracked, lost dreams weighing on their backs
i have my own pack to weigh me down
my legs sticking, to this vinyl seat.

we are here
to sit on this bus, until our stop is called
in the heavy emptiness of our packs for…
i don’t know how long.

for those with a window seat
at least for those of us who can see at all,
we can view the other side,
in this capsule of suspended reality.

i wonder when it could ever be my turn
when the driver pulls over
cranks open the bus door
meets my eager eyes in his rear view mirror
and nods me permission

to run away from the clutch of this window seat
step off this bus
onto a destination, apparently my destination
a place where it’s been so long since i’ve visited
it feels like new.


oh goddess mother god

please don’t let there be spring

don’t make me wade through it

please skip me forward into a sunny summer day

bring me from my grey winter bed

this watery grave

where i am half frozen in grief

how could it get worse

isn’t it supposed to get better?

with time, with time they say

but with time i miss you more

your sunny face

to dry my rainy eyes

it just doesn’t stop

when will it stop

slow this storm oh goddess mother god

this winter is more than i can bear



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.


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

the moon is rising in the “V” of the tree
where i am open and raw at the heart

soft white orb glows
fills up the chest of my thunder struck tree
houses the soft child
nested in the trunk

pearl essence dots the cells
and tiny moons multiply

the umbilical girl is tucked inside hugging her heart

the white radiance warms and lights the darks spots
the hard holes that hold
the bark of the shelled-out tree is tough and strong
the trunk, it’s vibrant roots travel down, down
intuitively finds the mother womb, the source
she welcomes and obliges
we are her children, she is our mother
this is what is meant to be.

umbilical pumps the blood to the root
keeps us alive
and the moon light
softens the gaze
eases the blow of outer life
magnifies but heals
radiates truth, magnificence

soft child curls to red heart, her comforting gift
rests in the shade of morning glory
night bird flight.

then grey fear catches at the throat
swells and blocks the flow but dams are necessary on this river ride
to measure out the flow

we get stuck and ask why, why
cry out in pain, misery, ego-self, dwarfed into material being…

the moon sings out, drink, drink
drink my moon milk

i serve moon milk to grey ball, shadow and child
this all takes time which
holds us in question, makes us do our homework

all the shame in the world won’t set you free
but love surely will if you are patient

know the moon milk is mother’s milk, it nurtures

then the eddy breaks
and the cork bobs down the river

shaman sucks through a straw and calls the grey ball home, from where it came
all the grey ones inside disburse one by one

go home, past life, go home hard memory misinterpreted stuck in my body

spew musk perfume and tap my body

sing my throat for sacred preparation
like a marriage, my throat must get ready
i tone it clear, sing it through
tap my heart, remind myself

i am tree embodied by Mother, rooted in Grand Mother
blessed by Grand Father, Given Guardians
i am shine
i am child nestled, but more than that
i am tough like tree bark
i am exposed to the elements, mortal and fallible

yet i am true
i can know who i am
i can root, take my time
know myself and own it
like the eyes of a tree i see the moon rising
and it is me.

Art by Carmen Leon

Art by Carmen Leon

it was a time when her plants were drying up

when the walls of home were cracking

three kings

circled the sky

motioned a signal

three stars drew her from bedlam

stripped off orbiting planets no longer calling her sun

three kings made time stop as she drove toward that airport, fireflies in the sky

orion’s belt summed it up nicely and

sat like pieces of air suspended in zeroes

saying you don’t have to be here anymore

three lights squatting like extraterrestrial talismans

said you don’t have to do this anymore.

led that queen backwards

looped her forward

past the wailing walls of

what used to be home sweet home

jetted her forward, tropics calling

flying to the popoki black night

thrice times old ways gone

thrice times, a new horizon born.


Starlight, by Lisa Burns

Dorsetta Hale, Pacifica’s Poet Laureate has introduced poetry to City Transit!poetryshuttle

The Devil’s Slide Ride Shuttle will now feature poems by local poets. My poem, mendocino in an eggshell, debuted July 25th and will run for a month.

See full article here:


mendocino in an eggshell

the sky is a solid eggshell

no cracks
to permit sun rays to shine in
salt vapors christen my nose, drench my paper walls
dissolving the mood that was trailing me

mother sea baptizes the shore over and over
and over
until the shore also releases whatever it’s been holding onto
leaving a blank beach of sand
curving hellos beneath me

the stillness in the air stills my spirit
but then the chilly fog, vertigo cliffs and hatcheting waves
strike me so close i can embrace
the terror and loneliness
reflected in the raw, metallic water
and colorless sky

i am afraid but mesmerized
in love, yet i shrivel in the face
of this gigantic beauty and power
that pounds and cleanses

and forces me
out of the eggshell limits
of my own little world

i would sing you a song

the texture of aqua

the fierceness of barnacle

a song to hold you

hold you

sing with a mother’s voice, hair flowing

on those wrinkled nights

i would sing you a song to loose your frustration

to draw your hair from your face while you retch

you retch

the rusted anchor from your belly

drown out the volume of your despair


sing you a song to billow your imagination


a song to float you beyond your waterlogged oars of no way out

no out

the song would be a flood to swallow away

how your roots never really took

roots never took

how you never quite planted, what with the sandy bottom always moving

never planted

water down how you no longer care

about taking a bat to the tv

we no longer talk, never did

hiding your claws like relief inside your shell

while he is lost in his bottle out to sea

the message inside is faded but

this song would hold you like a Mother

like a Mother

it would rock you and strum your spine

with day glow fingers

dream you into being

to being

reattach your umbilical to the flow

a siren song to make you forget everything you are not

you are not

this song would be louder than everything else and all you could think about is this song

you would bleed this song

it would breathe you

and nothing would concern you

but your yearning

to get back

to this song.

mermaid by Katrina Sesum. See more of Katrina's work at:

Mermaid by Katrina Sesum. See more of Katrina’s work at:

Mermaid, by Katrina Sesum, was in part inspired by the song “Pandora’s Aquarium” by Tori Amos. Click here to listen.


it’s all soft and slow

and my boat is barely rocking in creamy waters

i am even, quiet

and the moon is half, exactly

half dark and half light

everything has stilled

and just like i wished

time has suspended

to let me float

Harbor at Night by Susan Grisell. See more of Susan's art at

Harbor at Night by Susan Grisell. See more of Susan’s art at

the cord is thinning
frayed and lost
that life line between you and me

where i once began in you and you in me, no ending
we finished each other’s dreams
no line between us
one body one mind
wrapped together in a single panoply against the hurt

the fabric that stretches against
the necessary division
now runs long

and lost itself to
dropped calls, tattered edges
leaky love

all the answers you gave
now question marks
unfinished, yearning

with vessels popped
bled out

the line
is stripped to strands now

billows about
losing the pieces that once made up the whole

our vine has raveled away
dissipated to the past
and i can hardly feel you

"Nobly" by Belinda Chlouber, is now showing at The Willard Arts Center in Idaho Falls, in her show "Words & Paint, A Collaboration with Family Writings." See more of her work at

“Nobly” by Belinda Chlouber, is now showing at The Willard Arts Center in Idaho Falls, in her show “Words & Paint, A Collaboration with Family Writings.” See more of her work at

Visualizing a journey back to the Great Mother Protector is a great stress reliever and soothes the inner child, even the adult! You can imagine it any want you want, here is just an idea.

my scared and tired

of jaws so tight

melt me into your waterbed bosom

hold me in your pulse

wrap me away from the outside

protect me, pull me from all of “that” out there

flood me away so i see from afar

my connection, my belonging

in the safety of your embrace,

curled like a child in your palm, detach from the false

allow myself so small and you so big

with you, i can look back and see

the illusion of it all, release what i thought was real

loose jaw, suckle within your aura

and in the den of your womb

i can take a breath

plug into the very Source, the truth of what we all are

and find refuge from the world

Goddess Art, Courtesy of Janice Rocke

Goddess Art, Courtesy of Janice Rocke

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Poetry Reading in Pacific Grove

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