Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Thelma T.Reyna and Beverly M. Collins - Featured Poets on July 26, 2015

After the incredible success of the reading by Sharon Alexander on June 28 and preceding an equally successful (as we hope) reading by Westside Women Writers on August 23 at McGroarty Arts Center (with Lois P. Jones, Millicent Borges Accardi, Susan Rogers, and Kathi Stafford),  the Village Poets enjoyed the participation in the Fourth of July Parade in Sunland Tujunga (see the Picasa Web Album here).

L to R: Gianni, Maja Trochimczyk, Marlene Hitt, Dorothy Skiles, Elsa S. Frausto and Joe DeCenzo.

Inspired by these celebrations, the Village Poets are proud to present Thelma T. Reyna and Beverly Collins as our Featured Poets on Sunday, July 26, at 4:30 p.m.

In addition to the two features, the format of our readings includes two sections of Open Mike, refreshments in the middle, and a great companionship of creative minds in a wonderful environment of the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91041.

Thelma T. Reyna

Thelma T. Reyna is author of The Heavens Weep for Us and Other Stories (2009), winner of four national awards. Her two poetry chapbooks—Hearts in Common (2013) and Breath & Bone (2011)—were semi-finalists in a national poetry chapbook competition. Her most recent book is Rising, Falling, All of Us (2014), and she served as the editor of the 2015 Altadena Poetry Review. 

Her stories, poems, essays, articles, book reviews, and other nonfiction have appeared in journals, textbooks, anthologies, blogs, and regional media. She writes two blogs and has been a guest blogger on three others.

In April 2014, Reyna was named Poet Laureate of the Altadena (CA) Library District, a position she will hold for two years. She was also awarded a Most Inspirational Award for her accomplishments as an author and businesswoman by her State District Legislators in 2011. Reyna is an editor and writing consultant with her business, The Writing Pros (www.TheWritingPros.com) and holds a Ph.D. from UCLA.


by Thelma T. Reyna

How easy it is to forget
how old habits in the brain trick us,
trick us,
into thinking you’re at my door,
or here in the kitchen by my side, sipping
at the mug, sighing at the early hour,
calling my name, your
mouth at my ear.
How easy, how easy.
The brain wipes away years, tears,
contorts memory to slave shadows of
itself, clipping connections to calendars
and seasons, children growing into
future mists we veil over when
we’re tricked. I hear footsteps,
jingling keys, the gentle click
of a door unlocked, water lapping
at your washbowl, gentle, curling,
steaming stream gurgling, and
you humming as you shave your neck.
How easy it is
to hear these precious sounds again,
these tiny tunes of love, familiarity,
tricking death and me with
double shots of cruelty: warmth
swathing me at the reliving, the
unguarded glow from being tricked, then
stabs of recollection, of seeing you
lowered in the ground, mounds of
flowers sliding back into the dirt.  

Beverly M. Collins

Beverly M. Collins is fourth in a family of five daughters. Although born in Milford, Delaware, Bev is a Jersey-girl to the bone. She is also a graduate of Taylor Business Institute, a great admirer of Art who carries a deep appreciation and respect for other Artist.

As a singer, Collins is a former national finalist for Talent America. As a poet, she is one of three 2012 prize winners for the California State Poetry Society whose works appear in a growing number of publications. She is the author of Quiet Observations and of Mud in Magic (Moonrise Press, 2015).

At home with her younger family members, she is Auntie Bev. The one who loves to cook, laugh and watch movies, enjoys amusement parks and the peacefulness of a long walk. She loves the sound of great guitar solos and times spent in complete silence where thoughts reign ...


Beverly M. Collins' poetry is much like her: Courageous, wise and imaginative. It is a thunder clap in the middle of Manhattan, a bolt of lightning on a desert island off of Spain. But in the end, it is its power, rhythm and clarity that make it rise to the level of art. Miss it at your own risk.
~ Radomir Vojtech Luza
Poet Laureate of North Hollywood
Pushcart Prize Nominee

Beverly M. Collins writes poetry that is a celebration of woman. She takes everyday experiences however varied and transforms them into a serene acceptance which is emotionally extremely fulfilling. Beverly M. Collins' (her) poems are gems of rare understanding.
~ Mary A. Mann
Author, www.maryanneetamann.com

Beverly M. Collins’s Mud in Magic is her second poetry book, filled with wisdom of experience, wisdom that has grown from a life well lived. Beverly’s skillful and often aphoristic or narrative poems portray a scene or a character that we could encounter on our streets, in our cafes. In these poems, styled as messages and postcards from the Thought Bistro (Part I) and Elixir CafĂ© (Part III), there is light and love – the latter, in its many reincarnations, from the affectionate to wistful, to, again, humorous – is also the subject of the central part of the book, Tinder Flames. In vain you would search here for empty fireworks of verbal displays. The beauty and wonder of daily life fills the pages andwill delight the readers.
~ Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D.
President, Moonrise Press


It is to spend time on a funky junction,
overlook the “how” and become
“I don’t know.” It is to wear an early-bird
coat with full feathers when the entire
event is late. It is to find that one has tricked
the trickster, turned the tables on the
bait-and-switcher...and got a free ticket.

It is to take life too serious. Put the squeeze
on what is not right-for-you, feel it sting
the palm of your hand like a bumble bee
on the blind side of an apple...but win the bushel.

Mud in magic can be welcome, as “loud”
at the library, “quiet” at an amusement park,
fun as a root canal one day before the feast.
It can murk up the view of a clear day then dry
quickly. It is the oment a way with words does
not win one a way with other things wanted.

It is to select a fall-from-grace, show that taste
buds are dull or absent from the mouth altogether.
It is to be drunk on foolishness, shame one’s way
up the side of the nearest mountain, then watch
the seeds evolve into practical moves.

Proof in the face, some stumble and win the race
one  foot behind the other; however triumphant 
or tragic. The low-down on high-life appears
that dry desert has hidden moisture
and there are obvious bits of mud in magic.



  1. Very glad to hear about Beverly Collins' new book. She is an immensely talented poet, and I can't wait to read the book. Much continued success to her and to Maja's Moonrise Press!