Tuesday, April 3, 2018

California Poetry in the California Quarterly 44/1 and Joys of Spring

Kathabela Wilson, Maja Trochimczyk, and Marlene Hitt with the California Quarterly 44/1, March 25, 2018

There is so much poetry going on, it is hard to keep track of things. I have been busy editing collections of poetry by others, with some poems of mine as well.

Photo by Maja Trochimczyk

This volume features almost 60 poets, including Village Poets Pam Shea and Marlene Hitt, and poets who featured at Bolton Hall Museum in the past: Kathabela Wilson, Susan Rogers, Margaret Saine, Deborah P. Kolodji and William Scott Galasso.  Copies of the CQ may be obtained by ordering online at CaliforniaStatePoetrySociety.org , or by mailing a request for a specific​ issue together with a check for $10.00 per copy. Do not forget to name the specific issue you are requesting (this one is 44/1) and submit your order to:  CSPS VP/Membership 2560 Calabria Ct, Dublin, CA 94568.

Every poet is invited to join the CSP Society, online or by mail. First fill out the form on the website, then print it and send with payments by mail to: 
CSPS Vice President - Membership, 
2560 Calabria Court, Dublin, California  94568

When editing this volume first I thought I should have a theme of spring, new life, renewal, then i realized that poets submitted mostly about the fall (what was currently written), so I had to revise my theme into the "cycle of life" - in its physical natural beauty and spiritual depth.  I'm thrilled to have encountered so many new wonderful poets, and to be able to publish the work of talented friends. I used some haiku, including two of mine, as comments on shorter poems, and wrote a new poem to close the issue. 

Here's the table of contents of the California Quarterly, Volume 44, Number 1
  • Fragments - Jerry Sexton, 7
  • The Night Sky - Thomas Mitchell, 8
  • October Yellow Jackets  - Mary Lou Wickham, 9
  • Yellow School Bus (Haiku) - William Scott Galasso, 9
  • Autumn Song - Thomas Mitchell, 10
  • Meditation - Pamela Shea, 10
  • Coming Home - Momoyo Capanna, 11
  • The Holy - Claire Millikin, 12
  • Pause at the Long Valley Caldera - Selma Calnan, 13
  • Autumn of My Life (Tanka) - Kath Abela Wilson, 13
  • Devore Fire - Dana Stamps, II, 14
  • Light Shimmers (Haiku)  - Maja Trochimczyk 14
  • Evacuation - Shirley Geok-lin Lim ,15
  • Unknown Happens  - David E. Howerton, 15
  • Waiting for Santa Claus - Shirley Geok-lin Lim, 16
  • Japanese Maple (Haiku) - Susan Rogers, 17
  • Parti juste comme ça - Michael D. Amitin, 18
  • Gone Like That - Lionel Roudet (Translation of Amitin's poem), 19
  • Elohim -  d.p. houston, 20
  • Waiting - Marlene Hitt, 20
  • National Botanical Gardens - Alun Rees, 21
  • Late October - Thomas Mitchell, 22
  • Signs of Winter (Tanka) - Kath Abela Wilson, 22
  • Good Evening - AE Hines, 23
  • Visión del Vals de La Nieve - Rodolfo Hasler, 24
  • First Snow - Kath Abela Wilson,  24
  • A Vision of the Snow Waltz - Margaret Saine (Translation of Hausler's poem) 25
  • Winter Triangle (Haiku) - Deborah P Kolodji,  25
  • Christmas Cards - Ken Autrey,  26
  • Quatre Saisons  - Jane Stuart, 27
  • In the Village of Trélex - Lois P. Jones. 28
  • Song of the Pear - Lia Brooks, 29
  • Water from Air - Jane North, 30
  • Only My (Haiku)  - Deborah P Kolodji, 30
  • Meeting Max on His Zero Birthday - Patricia Hukill,  31
  • Shining Shoes - Ken Autrey,  32
  • Wren Song (Haiku) - Deborah P Kolodji ,32
  • Twone - Alessio Zanelli,  33
  • Remembering When … New-  David E. Howerton , 33
  • The Wish of Hedera - Kath Abela Wilson,  34
  • Race to Spring - Alice Pero,  35
  • When That Radiance Breaks - Stephen Colley,  36
  • Lucid - d.p. houston,  37
  • Cerulean Blue -  AE Hines,  38
  • The Veil - Mimi Whittaker,  39
  • Cutouts - Ken Autrey,  40
  • Catching Wood -  John Schneider,  41
  • Playing with Shadows -  Margaret Saine,  42
  • Puny Human - Joshua Savage,  43
  • Response to Mother Earth -  Joshua Savage,  44
  • To Ear by Wing - Kath Abela Wilson,  45
  • Grass - Susan Rogers,  46
  • Off the Dock - John Schneider,  47
  • Can’t Sit Still (Haiku) - William Scott Galasso,  47
  • Waves Crashing -  David E. Howerton , 48
  • The Sea - Alessio Zanelli,  48
  • Sandpipers - Jean Esteve,  49
  • Salt Wind (Haiku) - Deborah P Kolodji,  49
  • Twin Jellyfish (Haiku) - Maja Trochimczyk,  49
  • Awakening - Marlene Hitt,  50
  • An Orchestra of Dreams - Jane Stuart,  50
  • Trampoline Cleaning - Pamela Shea,  51
  • Peaceful Journey - Marlene Hitt,  51
  • Where I Live - Dana Stamps, II,  52
  • Erin’s Song - Susan Rogers,  53
  • Visión de Orion -  Rodolfo Hasler, 54
  • Suza - Susan Rogers,   54
  • Vision of Orion - Margaret Saine (Tr.),  55
  • I Will Be Burned (Tanka) - William Scott Galasso,  55
  • To Come - Madeleine S. Butcher,  56
  • Creation - Jane Stuart, 56
  • Revel …  - Alice Pero, 57
  • White on Blue -  Stephen Colley, 58
  • Arbor Cosmica -  Maja Trochimczyk, 59
  • Cover Art: Yucca Abby Diamond

Photo of maples in Warsaw by Maja Trochimczyk


                      ~ for my children

No fear, no hate, not even a mild dislike*—
we leave our heavy burdens, shards of memories
broken, all too broken, at the bottom of crystal stairs
beneath clouds of white camellias, petals swirling
through air like the snow of forgetfulness

Perfect symmetry of blossoms
points the way — up, up, always up
rainbow crystal stairs, revealed
one by one as we ascend — inwards,
outwards — dancing spirals of our DNA

We get to know this place — these depths,
these heights — for once, for all lifetimes

With each step, pure notes resonate
and expand into clear, spacious chords —
the music of the spheres rings out, wave by wave
expanding from our open hearts

Each chord — harmonious, different —
each melody in this vast symphony
sweetly twines around another, and another
until all are One Song, One Wisdom —
of stem and flower, of leaf and root
in this Cosmic Tree of humanity

Arbor Cosmica —

We have been here
all along without knowing

(c) 2018 by Maja Trochimczyk

Photo of a maple in Warsaw by Maja Trochimczyk

There is a correction to be made, though. The famous word "It" - made infamous by Monthy Python, actually - went missing from the penultimate line of the poem by Alun Rees, sent in from Wales. "It" was not found before the journal went to print, so here is his whole poem, with the missing word inserted in the line that "it" so recklessly abandoned. Apologies to the poet! 


Chained are these captives on display:
eagle, buzzard, goshawk, kestrel, kite
in a garden setting excellent with plants.
Plants stay in place, but raptors call for shackles
to deny them flight.

They learn to fly to order, just as Spartacus played
the Roman game, in which he had to fight
his comrade gladiators to please the mob.
He waited, then fought a bloody war with his captors
and he did right.

Look these birds in the eye. You will see
half-hidden flames of a fierce internal light.
They do their tricks but you’ll never make them like it.
Even unto death they’re unconquerable killers —
despite chain-blight.

They’ve known a freedom we can’t understand.
They hunt and kill out of hunger, not of spite.
That’s a way of life we’ve long forgotten, and now
confronted with freedom we chain it and go meekly
into no good night.

Alun Rees
Cardiff, Wales

Photos of autumn in Warsaw by Maja Trochimczyk

Photo by Arturas Morozovas

But this is spring, not autumn, oranges are ripe and blossom at the same time... And Easter just passed.. . I had the pleasure of talking about my immigrant experience, my family war-time traumas, and life in general to two journalists from Europe: Polish-Lithuanian journalist Witold Janczys wrote a story based on my interview for a Lithuanian publication, and Polish music journalist and broadcaster Ewa Szczecinska from the Polish Radio recorded an interview to be broadcast in installments - the series has just began - in Polish  Here are the links, and a photo from the Lithuanian publication - translated from Polish into Russian!

Let me, then, end this post with another image, also in the golden hues by Susan Dobay, with oceans and oceans and oceans of blessings... 

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