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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!




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


This poem is by Aleia Ruth…it is a response poem to the aparagraha poem I last posted. Thank you, Aleia.

Shiva has razed that which was well-loved,
and shared freely in joy
Song and celebration left their mark on that land,
In the hearts of the smiling eyes tribe.

Even the destroyer has a heart,
the broken heart opens even more widely
To receive a celebration home brighter, even better – if you can imagine!
As your teared eyes clear,
your smoked heart breathes again, your empty, soft grip unfurls,
you’ll see the shadow of Brahma dance by, leaving golden footprints in your path, sister, brother…you’ve given bits of heaven, no lasting harm can come from that.

I will be hauling down to Pacific Grove to do a short reading on May 26. Since it’s my late brother Ricky’s birthday, I am compelled to read some poems inspired by him. Get ready for some dark shit, folks…sorry! But my, how I loved him and still do.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 26
6:30 p.m.
Juice & Java
599 Lighthouse Ave
Pacific Grove, CA 93950


Richard Dixon Killough 1950-1990



grandmother rain
you finally came
not your soft arms patting earth’s skin
but your persistent palm
running life through stone

oh, mother
your mixed time percussion taps open my roof
quells my pains
song of the season
you licked your lips and put down your fist
upon the dry cracked blue, after blue
and my heart greets you.

mother rain
flood your lifeblood
into pools where we view our reflections in your watery glass
drum me into hypnotic daydream
tap me STILL so i can listen to you
soak my desert sponge with your aqua spirit.

mother mayacamas*
your trickle will river, and stream to ocean
and on its way, bless waiting lives
quench the thirst
bring green back into our eyes
bring color back into our lives.

grandmother rain
after so many dry tears
we welcome you again

IntoDeep Robin Uton

IntoDeep by Robin Uton

*Mayacamas is an indigenous word (possibly Miwok) that means “water runs through it”



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


some recollections from my trip to Ireland last summer with the Happy Traveler

spinning through the island of Destiny
rainbow sheep block the road
renaissance ceilings are in full bloom

spiral staircases etched in stone
echo centuries of footsteps
sharpened by pointy turrets

fairy forts and fairy trees
remain in place like lost puzzle pieces
never to be recovered

we frolick Lissadell, a winter green
so far from a summer dream

prehistoric proof lies in the bogs
revealing hard histories and red hair burning spite

magic groves and stony castles in the mist tell
honeymoon legends and the mead they kissed

celtic crosses spring up from the landscape
as rain drops bless our faces

craggy bridges arc
near grand castle serene streams
and all around endless greens

the sun breaks in the cloudy rain
Irish pubs greet with Guinness pie and Irish whiskey
giving respite to weather splinter

thatched roof neighbor and a ruined abbey
follow Galway village and Cliffs of Moher
fish & chips as light as clouds and the taste of mollusk, cold and creamy

the faeries of innisfail
flag us down, hide in shadows
st. brigid presides
while st. patrick picks clovers

it’s the magic of this island
that calls trickery in a leprechaun voice
destiny for some
a journey for all
as we discover the stories
buried in the bogs


…plus a little music! Daniel and I have been invited to do a little poetic musical showcase at this event. We will be joined by Mr. Tom Poole on trumpet.

Tom Poole on Trumpet, Daniel Swetlik on Bass

Tom Poole on Trumpet, Daniel Swetlik on Bass

Come Celebrate Pacifica’s Birthday November 21, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Shelldance Orchid Gardens…FREE!

Orchids, violets and poetry will grace the stage for the 20th annual Pacifica Poetry and Music Festival at 2 p.m., Saturday, November 21, at the Shelldance Orchid Gardens in Pacifica.

“The beautiful orchid gardens overlooking the Pacific Ocean, are the stars of our show,” said Anna Boothe, Festival Director “and we will also have performances from our poets and musicians to help us celebrate.”

Ian Butler, fresh from being emcee at Fog Fest, will be our emcee and perform some of his new songs for us. We will also have music from the New Life Singers from the New Life Fellowship in Pacifica; poetry and music with Maurine Killough & Daniel Swetlik of San Mateo with world-class trumpet, Tom Poole, and poetry with Bill Mercer of San Francisco and Pacifica poets David Hirzel and Anna Boothe.

If You Go–The nursery is on the first road past the Police Station on Highway 1 North, marked by a sign that says, “Stop for Flowers.” Go up to the top of the hill (also an entrance to Sweeney Ridge), for parking and the nursery building. The program is free but we ask you to bring a light refreshment or beverage for our reception and book signing.  For more information, call (650) 557-9097.

ShellDancingw-DanThank you to Susan Munroe for the photos!




four fingers hiding, clinging stuck
peanut butter in your pocket

comfortable paste staid in their own quiet dark
stubborn fingers moaning, why must it be, why?

and what could pull you out of this butternut thicket
primordial ooze evolved to
trap your limp fist jammed in the jar

but the impulse to finger past the walls of manufactured candy cups, salted sugar imagination
covered and fooled into the sneaky center
of this candy bar life
encapsulated in a shell smoothed by words, ruling words
held tight by thoughts, entangled by the jingle in your head when half asleep.

take your hand from your pocket to tinker with the jewels, the soft songs and soaring dreams
past the squares, empty of the wonder of a fleeting moment
lighting on the tear drop of a mood, paintbrush of a tree
laughing daffodils and wild animal call…

take your hand from your pocket
show the world your treasure

the peanut butter is not your enemy, show it some sunlight
oil your skin with it, shine your bronze beauty with it and use what was hidden deep
where sunlight diamonds catch the glint of presence…

join your world
dance with your only World, this only One

eager elements wait to celebrate
what you held from view

that quality of aliveness unique to you
what you were afraid to draw out

the roots even gravity can’t hold down

that little thing inside of you that is so dazzling delight
the kernel of you, that’s been canned for so long, sealed tight


like peanut butter

in your pocket

Tree of Gold, courtesy of Ray Lobato

Tree of Gold, courtesy of Ray Lobato see more of Ray’s art at

youtube video from the October 10, 2015 Annual Beat Museum Poetry Festival. Thank you to Terry Adams and Fred Dodsworth for being such gracious hosts. And to the multi-talented poet extradordinaire Evan Karp of Quiet Lightening for working as videographer to capture us all.


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