DINE WITH LOCAL AUTHORS: “WORLD OF CHANGE.”
Poetry by David Beckman, Vilma Ginzberg, Katherine Hastings, Elizabeth Herron, Kirk Lumpkin, Juanita Martin, Jim Miller, Gwynn O'Gara, Mike Tuggle, Bill Vartnaw, and Gor Yaswen. Series Host: Jeane Slone. Guest MC: David Madgalene. Minimum $5 food purchase. Gaia’s Garden International Vegetarian Buffet, 1899 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. For reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org or 544-2491.
Join Sonoma County Poets plus Special Guests as they share their poetry and how they’re helping to make the world a better place!
David Beckman is honored to have a poem in the World of Change anthology. His chapbooks are Phantasia, from mg-version publishing, Le Reposoir, France, and Language Factory of the Mind, from Finishing Line Press. His work has appeared in a number of journals, some prominent, some not. He’s not sure which category has the best readers. He was nominated for the 2012 and 2013 Pushcart Poetry Prizes. They must take a long time to award winners--he’s still awaiting word.
When the moon is full, David also writes plays; when it¹s a waning
crescent, he considers a stab at prose fiction.
David graduated from Brown University and lives in Santa Rosa,
Last Colonialist in Paris
after Aime Cesaire, Redemption
Rain on rue de Rennes and his flame low;
life boxed up and shades drawn tight on
his catacomb of a room.
Buses tear air on boulevard Saint-Germaine
as loathe to arise his body feeds
a virus he can’t name. A membrane too far --
his white skin --flag of lost disposition
and his sweltering tongue empty
of speech mark him as man whose clock
has stopped. Mind a maslin of Dickens
and Delacroix while in his café a mix
of languages his ear rejects. He’s lashed
to his father’s convictions and his
father’s father’s, but knows only
a slight ache beneath is ribs.
- David Beckman
|Photo by CJ Rachel|
Katherine Hastings is the author of Nighthawks (Spuyten Duyvil NYC, 2014) and Cloud Fire (Spuyten Duyvil NYC, 2012) as well as several chapbooks. She edited What Redwoods Know — Poems from California State Parks as a fundraiser for the California State Parks Foundation when 70 of the parks were faced with permanent closure. Her poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies, as well as The Book of Forms —A Handbook of Poetics, Lewis Putnam Turco, ed. (University Press of New England, 2012). Sonoma County poet laureate for the years 2014 — 2016, Hastings hosts WordTemple on NPR affiliate KRCB FM and curates the WordTemple Poetry Series. Her poet laureate project will culminate in an anthology, Digging Our Poetic Roots — Poems from Sonoma County. For more information go to
Darkness at the door. Someone down.
A lament of casings rustles along the curb.
Break the bread, pass the policemen.
The moon stares with empty eyes.
The end is less than a hair.
Less than a feather floating up.
Just a sentence beneath an ad.
The bottom corner of the seventh page.
In blue waters, young men mirrored.
They have traveled the underground rivers
of blood blossoms everlasting, media sniff-
sniffing at the color line. Good short story,
the count. Enough to strike the fear in, enough to
nail the lie in. Just.
Genius does not grow in newspapers.
Little as we know, we know you
not at all, have forgotten conveniently the
connection of sacred roots entwined,
all of us in our cells composed
of universe, our atoms used, re-used
millions of times. In baffled oneness
ghosts drift quietly, gaze down through
the rattling of wind through bones,
the tender knitting of earth.
from Nighthawks by Katherine Hastings
Elizabeth Carothers Herron has worked as a canner on the nightshift in a pineapple processing plant, a department store sales clerk, a chaplain for the police force and professor at Sonoma State University. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Parabola, EarthLight, Canary, Reflections, West Marin Review, the Jung Journal of Culture & Psyche, Columbia Review and Orion. Reflections (Yale) will publish yet more poetry from Elizabeth later this year, and the Center for Humans & Nature is publishing an article by Elizabeth this month in “Questions for a Resilient Future.” She is a past winner of the San Francisco Small Press Traffic award for poetry and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her writing has been supported by grants from the Demian Foundation, the Foundation for Deep Ecology, and the National Endowment for the Arts grants to Artists In Community. Her text is part of sculptor, Bruce Johnson’s Poetry House <formandenergy.com> and accompanies his oak-tree sculptures in the Santa Rosa Junior College library. Elizabeth has just been selected as the Featured Poet for 2015 by Psychological Perspectives, a journal of art and consciousness from the LA Jung Institute. Elizabeth's work has often been centered on environmental themes, and she is pleased to have been a member of the initial board of the non-profit that founded Sonoma County's nationally recognized Climate Protection Campaign—leading California with a model for reducing greenhouse gasses.
Tree to tree the birds fly to perch and sing
amid the sway and swing of spring’s busy wind,
while wars go on, while the sea rises and the ice melts.
In the midst of life narrowing to the onyx box,
the house of Anubis side by side with the house of music,
sun blesses the breakfast table.
All is perishing, and yet they sing, they sing.
-Elizabeth Carothers Herron
Kirk Lumpkin is a poet, performer, lyricist, environmentalist, cultural worker, and event organizer. He is the author of two books of poetry, In Deep and Co-Hearing. He has released two poetry/music CDs, The Word-Music Continuum and Sound Poems.
He’s done featured performances of his poetry all around the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California, in Los Angeles, New York City, Colorado; Toronto, Canada and readings in England (under the auspices of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament). He has been featured on KPFA radio’s Cover to Cover – Open Book. He is on the Board of PEN Oakland. He hosted the Café International Series in San Francisco when it was voted “Best Spoken Word Open Mic” by Bay Guardian readers and has been a pirate radio DJ.
for more info: www.KirkLumpkin.com
The Real Poetry
By Kirk Lumpkin
or any other
Is at best
to the real
which cannot be held
within a structure
The real poetry
feeds the heart,
sings in the mind,
and like the energy
like the Tao
is simultaneously alive
in all things,
But is most
and in the way
with the universe.
And the deepest art
that we can practice:
learning how to be
Juanita J. Martin, Fairfield’s first poet laureate, (2010-2012), is an award-winning poet freelance writer, and performance artist. Her poetry book, The Lighthouse Beckons, was accepted into several branches of the Solano County Library. Her poem ‘Emancipate Me’, was accepted in Benicia Historical Museum’s exhibit, Freedom is a Hard Bought Thing, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. She’s published in numerous journals such as Blue Collar Review, SoMa Literary Review, Rattlesnake Review, and Bay Area Poets Review. She’s a member of Ina Coolbrith Circle, Redwood Writers, Marin Poetry Center, and Benicia First Tuesday Poets. She has been a featured reader at Healdsburg Literary Guild, Petaluma Poetry Walk, and Berkeley Poetry Festival. www.jmartinpoetwriter.com
James Miller is a 4th generation Los Angeles native having been born there in 1935, and grew up during possibly one of the most dramatic periods of American history. Despite a painful and dysfunctional childhood, he has always held education and learning highly, having attended Universities of Michigan, California, Berkeley, and Matt Fox’s Creation Spirituality. The later, earning a masters which opened the door more widely to creative endeavors.
He has lived in Sonoma County for 52 years after moving from Berkeley in 1963 and after travelling around trhe world in lieu of a Ph.D. degree combining architecture and philosophy, the combination of which was unheard in the 1950s. Traveling became the true teacher. While the train he was on came into Sendai, Japan, his mountain became clear from its plane and later he returned home to find land in the country where he could pursue his artistic interests. Today, after many years of living off the land sees his son, Justin, caring for 62 acres of premium wine grapes and his wife, Karin running a small winery that was converted from an old horse barn. And there is occasional help from two lovely grandchildren. He has been blessed with a rich and full life, perhaps because he learned early to compost his gardens, both from which he would come to harvest the outer to stock the kitchen and the inner to nourish his soul in deep healing.
The Address of Change
by Jim Miller
The address of change
Is a long and lengthy one
Beginning in our hearts
Awaking to the compassion
Calling us to fully see
That which reveals itself
Only with patience and care
Does one arrive at a bottom
That is dark, very dark
It’s only there
Does the light reveal it self
That wants to dance with us
In spirals of love
Ever reaching into the cosmos.
Turn Off One's Inner Tears
by Jim Miller
TURN ONE’S INNER TEARS
INTO SWEET WINE
THE SOUL CAN DRINK
AND THEN WATER THE GARDEN
WE’LL GO PLAY IN.
|Photo by Rob Catterton|
Gwynn O’Gara served as the Sonoma County Poet Laureate 2010-2012. Her poems have appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Calyx, The Evansville Review, and the Beatitude Silver and Golden Anniversary Anthologies. Her books include Snake Woman Poems and the chapbooks Fixer-Upper and Winter at Green Haven. She has taught with California Poets in the Schools for over twenty years, and recites poetry of the ecstatic tradition with the troupe Rumi’s Caravan.
by Gwynn O'Gara
Late afternoon the dog comes to my study
and rubs her softness against me.
Now, say her eyes.
Even the patient know urgency,
the dreamy wake to appetite.
Among the trees she greets old friends,
exults in the warmth of a new hand.
At home I fill her bowl.
So the heart finds where we hide
among strangers or preoccupations
and tells us it is time.
Feed what is hungry.
Air what is stale.
Pick up pen or phone
and pronounce the words
practiced so long in silence.
Or lie down in the sun with the grass.
Neither bless nor curse,
Mike Tuggle has lived in Cazadero in western Sonoma County since 1981. He was the recipient of a Sonoma Community Foundation Award in poetry, a Dickens Award in fiction, and the Oberon Poetry Prize. He is the author of Cazadero Poems, a chapbook with the poet Susan Kennedy, and two full-length collections, Absolute Elsewhere and The Singing Itself. He was the poet laureate of Sonoma County for 2008–2009.
by Mike Tuggle
(from "World of Change")
It’s six p.m., time for the news
but do I dare to listen,
knowing it will take my mind away
from all the important things
like my immediate condition
in this cabin in the woods
on a cold evening with maybe snow
tonight, like firewood, like the poets
I’ve been reading and their ways
of stopping time. Like love…
So, don’t listen to the news
I tell myself. Well sure, I’ve tried
that it only makes it worse,
having to imagine the murderous twists
and drifts of the wars, the genocides,
riots and rebellions, the sounds
of the people being raped
by their government, the sighs
of the dying of kinds…
Oh gods, deliver us
from my worst imaginings!
Sonoma County Poet Laureate Emeritus, Bill Vartnaw (2012-13) was born and raised in Petaluma & is publisher of Taurean Horn Press, an independent poetry press, which is celebrating its 40th year. He is the author of two books of poetry & 4 chapbooks.
Poem Beginning with Lines by Carol Tarlen as its Spine
by Bill Vartnaw
And as sun obviously rose within
I lived a dozen lifetimes,
walked into the woods, lost except for
the trails we came to trust
streets lined by commerce for hundreds of years
at the corner of Tech Court & Dark Ages Boulevard
10 conquerors claimed a vacancy for investors
in a matter of minutes, drones cleared
the sidewalks of inhabitants & aliens alike
morning news reported "a stock market rise"
praised corporate lies,
the wordplay of ads & how armies triumphantly circled
sun* felt further & further away outside
* from Tarlen, "Today," Every Day is An Act of Resistance
Gor/Gordon Yaswen is a self-taught writer, poet, and artist with work published in periodicals and anthologies, and self-published in CD, note-cards, 16 books and 26 chapbooks. He has taught writing techniques since 1983, hosts the Word-Art On–Air-Open-Mike program each 1st Sun. @WWW.KOWS.FM, and claims to create as a form of human hygiene. Catalog & offerings available at: 740 First St., Sebastopol, CA 95472 or YASWEN at SONIC.NET, where reader feedback is also welcomed.
Jeane Slone is the past Vice President and present board member of the California Redwood Writer’s Club, a member of the Healdsburg Literary Guild, Military Writer’s Society of America, and the Pacific Coast Air Museum. She is a tutor for the Library Literacy Program. Jeane is the MC for the monthly event, “Dine With Local Authors.” Jeane Slone has published the historical fictions, She Flew Bombers, winner of the national 2012 Indie Book Award and She Built Ships During WW II (presently being made into an English for Second Language learners work book) and She Was an American Spy During WW II. Her books are sold in museums all over the United States. She is currently producing audio books of her historical novels.
She Was An American Spy During WW II by Jeane Slone
Jeane Slone is the MC for monthly event: Dine With Local Authors, the second Monday night at Gaia’s Garden, 1899 Mendocino Ave. Santa Rosa.
Jeane writes, “When I began my research on my third historical fiction, the first piece of information I wanted to know was, how did a woman find out how to become a spy during the forties? Here is the answer":
My eyes wandered over the want ads as I sipped hot coffee. Most of the jobs were to join a branch of the service or work in factory war production.
Then a wonderful opportunity popped out at me:
Wanted: Secretary able to type 65 WPM
Fluency in European Languages a must
The pay seemed high for a secretarial position. The typing was not what excited me, though I was certain I was qualified for the job. The fluency in a European Language, now that’s what whetted my appetite.
Here was my chance to serve my country and end this boredom of waiting for my husband to come home from the army.
A smallish man stormed out of the back office. His beady eyes looked me over with suspicion.
“Follow me,” he announced.
Without any greeting, he began the first round of questions while puffing on a cigarette. He tapped the ashes into an overflowing metal tray, sometimes missing it altogether.
“So, Mrs. Dwyer, what languages do you speak?” His finger remained on my name on the application as if he might forget it.
“I can speak French fluently and took a year of Italian in school.”
“What school did you go to?”
“It’s on my application, the Sorbonne University in Paris.” I pulled at the hem of my skirt.
My eyes widened.
“What is the longest job you’ve held?”
“I worked for two years in a factory as a secretary.” My hands squeezed tight, knuckles bulging. While firing a barrage of questions at me, the interviewer watched every move of my lips, eyes, and hands. Never once did he ask about my duties at the factory.
After the rapid deluge of questions, it made me wonder why he didn’t read my application—all the answers were right there. This was a secretarial job, wasn’t it? I glanced over at a crooked war poster on the dingy wall that read:
Know Yourself...Know Your Weapon...Know Your Enemy.
Quite suddenly the interviewer spoke in French. “How is the weather in Rochester? Tell me about it.”
“Pas mal, at least it didn’t snow on Easter this year,” I answered as flawlessly as possible in a clipped pace, hoping it would hide any possible errors.
“Do you have a diary or have you ever written in one?”
“Non,” I answered, becoming agitated, wondering if he was testing my French or being nosy.
“Have you ever had a physical education class?” He switched back to English.
“Oui, tennis,” I sighed, hoping I was using the right language this time.
“Can you cope with unusual situations?” he probed, lighting a new cigarette with the old one.
I thought, You mean like this one? But still wanting a job, I answered, “I think so,” in French.
“Have you ever been overweight?” He glanced at my breasts.
Now he was getting too personal. “Mr., uh...” I never was told his name. “...what do these questions have to do with typing?” I glanced over at the war poster again and asked, “Is this a war job?”
He ignored me and asked, “What makes you think you are sophisticated enough to cope with unusual situations?” The officer held his pen above the paper, waiting to write my answer down.
“Mr., uh...I don’t know your proper name. What unusual situations would a secretary have to encounter here?”
“Mrs. Dwyer, I will ask all the questions, and I need your answers. If you are accepted for the position, then you will be briefed about your training. You may call me Bill Two. We go by first names here. Please answer the previous question.” His pen pointed with impatience at me.
“Well, you can see by my application that I am more than qualified to be an efficient secretary, and my typing scores exceed the average.” I pushed my chest out with confidence.
The officer scribbled on the papers. “Would you be interested in going to France to work undercover for the British government?”
“Oh! Now I get it. By undercover you mean spy, don’t you?”
“Kathleen.” He glanced down at my papers. “I am conducting this interview and I will not be answering any of your questions.”
With caution I answered, “Maybe.”
The officer continued to probe, and his interrogation became peculiar. “How do you feel about the war?” Bill Two stared, his eyes piercing into mine.
“I’m a patriotic woman. My father was in the Army, and my husband and brother are presently serving our country. I’d do anything to help defeat the Nazis.”
“Would you be willing to jump out of a plane behind enemy lines if you knew in advance that, if caught, you’d be tortured to death?”
“Uhhhhh,” involuntarily came out of my mouth. I swallowed hard. “I have flown in an airplane once, and did enjoy it, but jumping out of a plane is an entirely different matter. It’s something I can’t even imagine. I do support our country, like I said, and I believe with a strong conviction that all Allied nations should work together to win this dreadful war.” I fiddled with the buttons on my blouse, then stared straight into his beady eyes.
He got up, his back to me, and went through his filing cabinet. After waiting a few minutes, he swung around to face me. “Mrs. Dwyer, my secretary is waiting for you.”
“All right, Mrs. Dwyer, you will be notified by mail in a few weeks if you pass the tests and the security check.” The secretary stapled all the pages together.
At that point I lost my composure. “What? A security check for a shipping company secretary?”
She looked down at the papers and drummed her fingers. “If you pass the investigation check on all your relatives and acquaintances, we will call you in for a second interview.”
“Investigation?” I pressed.
“Look, Miss, if you want the job this is the way it is,” she whispered, looking toward her boss’s door.
I sat there with my mouth open for a moment, then got up to leave.
The secretary went back to her papers, looked up, and surprised me by saying, “Thank you for coming in.”
I left the mysterious office and mumbled, “Goodbye.”
Our heroine passed the interview and went to basic training spy school at Camp X in Ontario Canada. And this was truly the name of a real spy school in 1942.
This historical fiction is available on my web site: www.jeaneslone.com or any of the local shops where local authors books are sold.