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.


cricket night

a shy night for quiet

a pause to abandon

this load

i’ve been trying to steer

this piano i’ve been trying to charge up hill

a rest from the skid-me-down, bang-me-up

a clear night to call plenty

with branches barely arcing

fully framing

the stars that glimpse me as i drop my protest

release my grip on a skewed reality

a night embracing

each new tap

each new vibration not dependent on the last

but a fresh new night to open me up

to weightless clouds

the trance of stars…

it’ll be a new day

after this last night

Art courtesy of Wendy Andrew,

Art courtesy of Wendy Andrew,

Come on out to the Beat Museum this weekend to be mesmerized and energized by a day of listening to transcendent poets read their dreams and plot stars…

Happening on Saturday and Sunday, October 10-11, 1 to 6 p.m. at the Beat Museum, North Beach, San Francisco.
I’ll be reading Saturday around 3:30 p.m.



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

i want it all in my own time

the coming of the tomatoes

the taste of the equinox

in my own time, when i am ready

not when the rest discovered it and left me the spoils

i want it like a ripe peach breaking from tree

apart from the orchard, in its own rhythm

apart from the echo of others

not entrained like a grafted hybrid

let me discover it

in my own time, my own fashion

trusting i will claim it when i recognize it

not when you say its here, but when I feel

the shadow speaking to me

in a language not heard, not written down

let it come to me when my own sunrise speaks morning

when my eyes behold sunset and my third eye bursts gold

let me wait until this spirit, this unique expression, is ready to bloom

and not

a moment before.

Photo copyright Rodger Helwig

Photo copyright Rodger Helwig

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.


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

Just thought I’d share the link for this video which will be nationally syndicated and probably end up on local-channel-3-in-the-morning TV. Lovingly hosted by the dear, Stephen Kopel.

The reading is ekphrastic poetry featuring the art of Sarah Curtiss, Ginger Slonaker and Flaming June by Frederic Leighton. Thank you to producers John Rhodes and Clara Hsu.


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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

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

Can you relate...

Bill's Blog

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.

Red Wolf Journal

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off the margins…into the wild terrain of women’s writing

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When it's time for a change!

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beautiful thinking

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Visual Poetry, Photography and Quotes


A magazine for those who love all things paranormal


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Kourtney Heintz's Journal

Believing In The Unbelievables: From Aspiring Writer to Published Author


the beauty of words and colors


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Education, Leadership, Life, and Transformation

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My books:

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stories reveal—and hide—our most essential truths


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** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Life as a Writer and Artist



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The Book People Chronicles: A Story Writing Contest

create dynamic stories; raise funds for valuable causes

Carmen the Chicken Killer by Sarah Curtiss

This is the story of my 2-month stay in Costa Rica a few years ago. It wasn’t my first trip. I had visited the year before with my partner, William Solis, who is from Costa Rica. But this particular year I wanted to learn Spanish. My initial plan was to take an immersion course in Mexico. However, William said that if I was going to immerse myself in a Spanish family it might as well be his. They don’t speak any English so I would be forced to speak Spanish and I could get to know them better. I told him that when I returned I would know more about him and his family than he did and so it has proven to be true. William joined me for the last 10 days. This is my journal plus emails I wrote to family and friends and a few comments from my current perspective…six years later. I drew a picture every day using pencil, pen, colored pencil, water colors, and acrylics. I wrote in my journal almost every day. I took photographs.

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