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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




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

for ruth curtiss

elegant flight
you are beauty in the sky
the breeze of your wings
so gentle on my skin

graceful bird
with the next life to come
nested in your breast
your spirit is soft
and unhurried

let me feel the gentleness of your breeze
to lift the gravity of my heart
see the vista of your inner eye
to broaden my finite vision
and rest my grief

as you leave behind this mechanical world
let me feel the transcendence of your ascent
float my eyes to the sky
and watch your divine flight
so graceful
so right

blessing your journey
as i sit on this lonely shore
within you
unbearably without you
watching on

I’ve linked a song, Sometimes, by David Gresham, lyrics by Jessica Radcliffe that is very touching and i feel goes well with this poem: Sometimes

i observe two women at the table by the window

one like me and one like you

and i wish she were my mother

and that was me sitting across from you

i would watch and listen to you from across the table

like i see her do

watch you eat your soup

with crinkled lips

see your eyes make contact with me over your bifocals

your necklace dangling

i would take in the familiarity of your face, like mine

share a salad with you like two women would

passed would be the days when we would have been at odds

sharp words from opposite sides of the table

delivering judgment upon each other like passing stale bread across the dinner table

i watch your face look astray when you hear a word askew

marvel at your manners which once repelled me

and for the first time, not experience you as formidable but as someone who was once a vulnerable child

our conversation stops for a while as we sit together

mother and daughter, woman to woman

peers at the table of some restaurant on a Friday afternoon

the lines on your face and your delicate bones would reveal we are cultivating a new relationship, the beginning of you depending on me for a change, you leaning on me for advice

the woman in me resumes our conversation

and then i listen for some of me in you

my mother in me.

like these two women i hungrily spy upon

we would have certainly become friends by now.

"Love is Like" by Belinda Chlouber See more of Belinda's work at:

“Love is Like” by Belinda Chlouber
See more of Belinda’s work at:

Comfort women  (ianfu) were young women, even girls, often tricked or kidnapped by the Japanese military during WWII.  They were brought to what were called “comfort stations” and forced into prostitution to serve the soldiers. Most of these women came from Korea, China, Burma and other Japanese-occupied countries.

i am comfort to them

mad, frenzied soldiers

uniforms lined up out the door

and i will know them one by one

day and night

i break apart in myself until i cannot feel

the tortured hyena mouths tear at my chest

i cut myself into bits to blind myself from the horror

the shame

that this is a comfort to them

tricked away from my village

legs like sticks squatting in the dirt

playing pebble games with my brother

dirty knees and toothy grin so shy when they ask my name

so nice, they were so nice that day

until they brought me here

and ripped away the right to my own body

my fate

my sin for being a girl, a comfort to them

i shut my eye to the brutes, the hits and filthy hands

syringe of medicine for oozing infections

from the dirty doctor who i am forced to comfort too

there is no comfort to offer dead hearts enlisted in misery

and there is no tenderness for my own heart long ago flattened and left for dead

hibiscus flower cut

set on the hot sidewalk to shrivel in the scorching sun

burning, like my insides

so i will recess far inward to keep the truth from rising

endure this comfort station as a palace of hell

i shrivel like a pink blossom plucked from its vine

shrink to know that these blisters will brand my life forever

delicate petals, scarred and left to wither on the hot road

under a mean sun

that will never, ever set


This poem won 2nd place in the Great War to End All Wars contest and published in the commemorative edition of The Diploemat.

working girls by Sarah Curtiss - to see more of her art go to

working girls by Sarah Curtiss – to see more of her art go to

saturday’s child

your eyes closed before your birthday

the candles and songs are not around sweet cake

but calls up to heaven to reach your locked gaze

your birthday will come again on a tuesday

a mark on a calendar

hands grip around empty air without you here

a date floating in time forever changed

for never again

will there be a tuesday in january

Polly Kearney, 1964 to 2013 Rest in Peace, longtime sister

Polly Kearney, 1964 to 2013
Rest in Peace, longtime sister

like holding her cloth napkin
could make a difference
monet’s splash of color on this cotton square
bleeds memories into my heart…

the nasturtiums in her postage stamp garden
pot roast on sundays, looking up at her sheepishly
after dripping stains on her table cloth, again

like holding this piece of fabric,
held so many times at her table
could melt me away from here
bring me back

to the comfort of life when it was new
to the safety of a grandmother’s garden
playing scrabble with her on tuesdays
watching fog swim past her plate glass window

no mortgage or threat of foreclosure
no clients or projects aching their demands in my head
no marriage to reconcile or find
no health issues or the kinds of hurts that surely come with years

just free falling at that maiden age
drudgery hadn’t set in yet.

like holding this piece of her
could bring me back to her
make this tedium of bills and chores and worries melt away
make life a monet garden

like holding this napkin of feather-tipped colors
could bring me
back to life.

this poem won honorable mention for free-form poetry at the San Mateo County Fair, 2014.

Pollination, courtesy of William Solis

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Poetry Reading in Pacific Grove

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Performance for San Mateo County Supervisors

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