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a tribute to Kambiz Abbaszadeh

He always made a place at the bar

Dan I would show up

And with a flash of his warm smile

Kam always made a place for us

He would serve us a knock-out cocktail he dreamed up

And then, after attending to other patrons and washing a few glasses, he would fill us in on his family

In this way, he made us feel like family

Kam did that for people

For any of us

We sat in his presence

Whether it was on the bar stool

Or at the BBQ grill

Or at the family gatherings that were so precious to him

Wherever it was, we sat in the radiance of Kam’s playfulness, his spirit, his heart

Kambiz in the Kitchen

Kambiz enthralled with the cosmic

Kambiz with the shaker

Kambiz with magic massage fingers

The warm heart

The Love for the art of good food, good drink

The Art of Family

He gave us nothing short of love

He gave 100% to work, to his obligations but also to playfulness and to fun

Kam’s life was an adventure story from Tehran to the U.S.

From the Caspian sea to the ski slopes of Tahoe

He lived his dreams with all his heart

But as much as he loved adventure


 loved his family more

Nothing more cherished

His presence with his kids, with all his loved ones

was unmistakable

and even us. Just a couple of friends

he always gave us a seat at the bar, the table

But mostly

Kam gave us a place at His heart

That’s just who he was

how lucky we were to be in the orbit of his shine

The flash of his kind smile.

his steady gaze that held ours gave us a place

a special and coveted place

at his heart-filled table

He showed us nothing but Love

He gave us nothing but Love

You opened our hearts, Kambiz Abbaszadeh

You showed us how kindness worked

the importance of family

and how love prevails

Shine on, Loved One

Thank you for the seat at the table of your heart

We are better for your lion roar of laughter

Better for your imagination of the perfect cocktail

Better for knowing there is nothing better than Love

Better for the place we now hold for you

at a permanent seat in our hearts

Honored to be included in the current San Mateo County Poet Laureate’s project with my poem “12 Miles.” Thank you to Aileen Cassinetto, Poet Laureate. See link below to read various works, find poets by first name.

Click here to read San Mateo poets works!

For Jerry & Lorraine Olson on the closing of their beloved Mountain House Restaurant in Woodside—a landmark in our area

those wooden boards


soaked in the laughter

held the warm bellies and scraping chairs

creaked beneath the heels dancing

they hold a love story

a love story between a community and their retreat

between a man and a woman who loved it into being

the forest fairies circled

and the wood nymphs stomped

as patrons filed in

bright smile Lorraine greeting, buzzing, tending

if you were lucky, even Brett!

Jerry, gracious smiling eyes also greeting, also buzzing, and tending, tending

those boards took a lot of tending

the menus a lot of wild imagination: Venison, Elk, New Zealand Lamb

the wine list took your breath away and a great fraction of your worries with it!

the dream was fueled by a lot of heart as this landmark grew and fed, evolved and stayed

bringing a dream to this community, a home

a spirit in the woods

we carry this gift you gave us in our hearts

we carry it forward as we walk away with you, remembering

reminiscing, appreciating, relishing

the Good Times this place graced

a spirit in the woods will echo on

the boards, like our hearts, they remember

those epic times

the blazing fire

the warm drinks

the camaraderie

the love of this place

a spirit in the woods

the boards of this place are marked, like our hearts

and The Mountain House

we will, always, always remember.

gliding in this naked canoe

sinking me into the mists

no shores to steady me

just the ripples of lost meaning breaking the water before me.

whether this vessel is propelled toward muddy swamp

or pristine lakes of bliss i do not know,

the current has been directed

and the mists bog my mind

tease me into confusion

rock me between trepidation and bold embrace.

god save me from this slippery slope

how dare i tread on these waters?

but it is too late for that, this journey has begun

the current has been directed

and for all the fear, i can’t deny that love softens these waters

the surface so smooth and the body so warm

this boat glides easily into the depths of the unknown.

i can shiver or sing, no matter

the current has been directed.

perhaps these waters will lead me to trust the mysterious river of love

to call the sun to burn away the hazy fog

to see through the fear that i imagine in front of me

yes, i am traveling into the mists, it is no accident

this current has been directed

and i am the passenger

duly appointed to this voyage

this post by guest poet, Tim McKillop


The wind blows with out them these days.

I used to think we would always ride on the wind,

all of us, wings out, eyes forward,

a squadron of feathers tip to tip

doing roller coaster rides over

our favorite mountains, the ones with all of the oaks

and pines and the grape vines

lined up into runways

of green pastels and orange poppies.

do you remember those peaks

white frosted and cool where

we would ride the highest branch tips

back and forth on the highest trees

singing all together as one

while the wind painted and fused us

into a sky of exaltation and being,

and all of it was ours.

funny, I’m smiling now

thinking about the look,

you know, the recognition one

a nod, a slight tip of the head up

from one of us to the other to the other

until we all knew right then

that this was good really good

and we would swing up into the air

and play and dive and loop the loop

and barrel roll and laugh and laugh

and laugh or was it singing

i can’t remember exactly

but it was fun.


is everyone still here? i’m not sure.

i don’t think they are.

there once seemed to be so many of us

hanging right up here

at the very edge of the world  

turning all of our favorite pines and aspens into

big loud debates of being

and chasing everything

everything else away.

oh how we loved the air

its coming and going seen and unseen

on warm days and cold

i wonder

are we breathing in

everything we are

and expelling all we’ve been

or trading places with ourselves

into some kind of cold vapor of invisibility

i don’t know

i think.

do you see?

i’m flying pretty high now.

I can feel everyone right there with me

the edges of our wings massaging the sky

and dipping down into the deep valleys

and riding the face of the mountains

right up to their very peaks

where you can see so much. everything is here.  

watch closely I may just disappear

i don’t know

i think.

                                   – tim

reposting this poem which got 1st place at the 2021 San Mateo County Fair

in the dream i am picking meat off a human skeleton
it is miniature, but still anatomically correct

i am consuming the last morsels off the bones, picking it clean
and i marvel at the structure, the bony foundation that held this life for all the years–
living and breathing, it was perfectly designed to hold so many things
the skeleton of what held us

and at the same time, i’m calling his number
one digit different from my cell number, that’s how we were linked

it’s been so long since i dialed those numbers
the ones i relied on countless daily
they always got me through
but now, i try his old number and then,
another man’s voice is at the end of those sacred numbers
and i’m not surprised, was just testing

it is a confirmation of the crossing to some kind of foreign frontier
and i find myself here in a new world
with a phone number that no longer connects me
our worldly code dissolving into infinity

i’m picking what little is left off the bones
of our past
it is getting thinner every day.

for my duchess on the wedding day of her son (I wrote this a few years ago and just realized I never published it!)

hold tight
you’re still the girl
who was
before your life as mom

caress her face
she’s the grace
who picked her music bright
call of the wild
took on a life

your blue eyes
put some stars aside
baby in your nest
rocked through little one’s tides
ocean cool to fireside

hold her hand today
my sister’s hand
as i watch her
let loose her fingers
embrace this bold day

big wings, he spreads them
we gaze his dactyl flight
sky to call
him from your palm
brings your hand to future light

hold to your breast
endless mother gold
son of your heart
your wings will always enfold
cherishing the nest of family three
forever relishing
the Mother you will always be

Sharon Lea interviews me on her podcast show, produced by Dan Powers:


who we hold in our hands
we enjoy
we feast together
we misunderstand
tussle with

you who were in the heart of my palm
i held
attended to
and tangled

you melted into my dream and colored my days
so vivid
so outrageous
so hard and so real
your light i still hold in the eyes of my heart

the deepest place to feel you only lost from my physical sense
but forever precious
in this awakened dream of striking life

your light and the light of our beloveds
is held in the eyes of the heart
the deepest place to see from

our beloveds only lost
from material touch
but forever precious
in this fitful dream of sharp reality

marking forever
the fortunes in our hands

happy april 1. holding this april fools day as sacred
as i have done since 23 years ago when daniel and i were married on this day.

our love was tall and skinny
graceful but dynamic like aspen quaking

we could never hold the sound echoing from the friction of our leaves

bright hot fall colors
so loud against the blue sky

and i don’t dare question it now

i have to let that echo ripple off
let drop the dried leaf
into the world of the past

stand tall, shivering in my awakening

this is a tree that is not coming back

roots so deep and for so long that i thought they would hold us forever

but you were felled and all that was us fell too
crashed like an earthquake
thundered in a new terrible reality

graceful white tree
no longer tall against the sky
leaves me lost in a cleared forest

lost love crushed under the weight of cut branches
scattered leaves

it’s a terrible thing when grace is felled

but a beautiful thing to let go, when it’s time
and let it lie in peace
its quaking stilled

leaving only the echo of love
in the composting roots

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