Monday, September 24, 2018

Gloriana Casey and Radomir Luza (October 28, 2018 at Bolton Hall) , Pam Shea's Report and Village Poets News

On October 28, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. Village Poets  will present Gloriana Casey and Radomir Luza as featured poets at the Village Poets Monthly Readings held on Sundays, at 4:30 p.m., at Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042. 

The readings include a featured poet (20 min. each for two poets) and two open mike segments. Refreshments are served and $3 donations collected for the cost of the venue, the second historical landmark in the City of Los Angeles, that celebrated its centennial in 2013.  The Museum is managed by the Little Landers Historical Society.


A small girl dreams of being——everything. Does she succeed?—Not quite ------- but if variety is the spice of life, it’s been a grand success. Ice skater with the once upon a time Ice Follies, artist, creating animal creatures from paint and rock, teacher; US office of Education grant for Creative Dramatics; arts reviewer for midwest tv and a copywriter  too---occasional actress and SAG/AFTRA member——and of course, a rhymer poet, dedicated to the proposition that more can be learned and retained through RHYME, than form note taking.  After all, before writing, there was rhyme, meter and song!  Writing  on  and on and even  sometimes still  tutoring, and having a wonderful time!

The Magic of MOM   

Oh, MOM, your name’s a palindrome;
it’s letters they form that.
It reads MOM going to the right.
From left? It reads MOM back!

Dependable that MOM word is,
in quality so true.
The YOU we always do count on,
Today, you get your due!

Three hundred sixty-five the days,
just one we celebrate.
We ought to celebrate you more;
perhaps a weekly fete?

A magic MOM in ambigram,
so please, do take a bow!
For even more——just flip that name,
and MOM turns into WOW!

originally appeared altadenablog 2012



The HE yells," Charge, but SHE yells,”save!”
Dilemma!  Oh so common!
A frugal SHE, yet spendthrift HE.
Finances had hit bottom!

They tried the ice cube frozen test,
where card must thaw to spend.
“Oh my, “ the weary wife did say,
“HIs patience has no end!”

Then next they tried to list all down,
Each purchase to the cent.
But found the pen and paper bills,
In costs , made not a  dent.

“Ah ha, “ HE said. “ I have a thought---
it does seem a bit wiggy.
Each time I charge---- the interest costs,
We’ll put in our bank, Piggy.”

With calculator in his hand,
charge card was wrapped in tape.
He had to figure interest first,
Soon patience met with fate.

“I’m spending that!” He winced in pain.
“This interest costs us dearly.”
SHE  saw his transformation there,
A man was saved, quite clearly.

So HE and SHE, they danced through life,
Both were a little giddy.
Their “interest,” game had saved their lives.
They owed it all to," Piggy!"


“Sonnet of the Scary—in 13 lines with a Quiz!”

Even now, this longest night of fear shrieks
a dandy wail of ghosts in kith and kin!
So gather the horrors——monstrous freaks
and all——in dead silence terror stalks in!
Usher in secrets of crumbling walls,
and shadows that cut like a pendulum blade!
Add oval portrait—where beauty she  falls,
muted all beauty in Death;s ghastly shade!
A burial casket———life within lurks!
A needful and ape-like clue will abide.
Castle door  padlocked——yet Death takes his perks;
that oblong box holds a secretive bride!
Ravens and Man—evermore————fright’s alive!

If you haven’t guessed who this poem is about, then spell it out.
Take the 1st letter of the first line,
Then the 2nd letter of the second line.
The 3rd letter of the third line, and continue on to line 13.


First appeared in the altadenablog in 2013


Radomir Vojtech Luza was born in Vienna, Austria in 1963 to renowned Czech parents.  The Tulane University and Jesuit High School Graduate (New Orleans) has been Poet Laureate of North Hollywood, CA for over six years.  The former President of the North Hollywood West Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles and 1997 Bucks County, PA auditor candidate is a Pushcart Prize Nominee, author of 30 books, a Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient and Writer's Digest and 2018 Highland Park Poetry Challenge Honorable Mention.  His poetry has been published in over 90 anthologies, literary journals, blogs, newspapers, magazines and other media.  The veteran stand-up comedian has featured his poetry over 100 times across the country.  Luza is also a SAG/AFTRA/AEA union actor, theatre and book critic and host/curator of over a dozen poetry readings throughout the country, including UNBUCKLED: No Ho POETRY at T.U. Studios in North Hollywood, CA with Mary Anneeta Mann.  He edits and publishes the literary magazine, VOICES IN THE LIBRARY.

To find out more about Luza as artist and critic go to

Six Million Feet High

Delta flight 403
London to Vienna

Row 13 seats A and B
Mother and me

Seat C
Austrian man
Telling mother that
Holocaust did not happen

“Es war nicht,” he says in German

Czech mother
War survivor

Stands up and blurts out
Her best German

“Es war und es war sehr schlecht”

The slaughter took place and
Was very bad, she says

Finally free
Without apathy
Mother sits down
In B

I stop shaking knee
Order hot tea



This summer, I had a couple of weeklong vacations that were recuperating, renewing, regenerating, and inspiring. In early July, I connected with poetry through nature and the camaraderie of new friends as a participant in the program Drawing Inspiration from the Parks, led by John and Ann Brantingham. This past year, John was named the first Poet Laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and this is the fifth year of the Parks program. John leads the writing workshops, while Ann directs the artists, although many of us delved into both means of artistic expression.

Writers and artists from all around the USA attend workshops, hone their skills, do homework (although I slacked a bit on this part), do volunteer work in both parks, and have an amazing time. We pitched our own tents in the volunteer campground, brought and prepared all our own food (stored in bear boxes, of course), saw lots of wildlife, watered tree seedlings in Kings Canyon National Park, pulled out invasive plants from a meadow in Sequoia National Park, and so much more. Information on the program can be found on the Facebook page (“Drawing Inspiration from the Parks”). I hope to do this again next summer, so please let me know if you are interested in participating. 


Come, my friends, and grow tall like the trees,
With hearts on fire for protecting our lands.
Capture bugs, breezes, and butterflies
In your souls as you scoop and caress soft sand.

Let the forest silkiness embrace your bodies
As flickering stars in dark skies light the way.
Nature can nourish, sustain, and uplift,
Leading on paths of peace to much brighter days.

—Pamela Shea

My second excursion was another camping trip, this time to beautiful Lake Tahoe. This was my second family-and-friends reunion camping trip, which was a time of celebrating our common pasts while making new memories. As a child, I vacationed with my family at Lake Tahoe, where I learned to love the serenity and beauty of Big Blue, also known as Lake of the Sky. This trip was a time of remembrance while also strengthening current relationships. I came home refreshed and ready to resume my life in beautiful Sunland-Tujunga. Both trips gave me confidence as an individual and as a poet, and many poems resulted from these amazing experiences.


beneath mauve mountains
clear blue lake waters flow
the color of my father’s eyes
and mine too
emotions rise from depths

a speed boat bounces
across the lake
I see Father driving
though he’s been gone many years
tears flow and comingle with the lake

sand soft beneath toes
trees wave in cool breezes
I remember early morning chill
when we would water-ski
father always woke early

traits inherited
blue eyes and early risings
I keep father alive
in sharing stores
cycles continue like seasons

—Pamela Shea


The reading by Margaret Saine and Eliecer Almaguer on September 22, 2018 was full of poetic and artistic delights.  Margaret translated Eliecer's Spanish poems into English and they read those together. Then she presented her work from the Gardens of the Earth book, so recently published by Moonrise Press that the author has not yet seen a copy.

In the Open Mike section, Kathabela Wilson presented her prize winning work, and Rick Wilson performed on a replica of a Native American flute. Fascinating!

Photo by Kathabela Wilson

Photo by Kathabela Wilson

Portraits of poets - Alice Pero, Maja Trochimczyk, Margaret Saine, Eliecer Almaguer.
by Kathabela Wilson.

Kathabela with her poetic notebook. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Village Poets Present Margaret Saine and Eliecer Almaguer on September 23, 2018

Margaret Saine with Bo Kyung, Kathabela and Rick Wilson, 2016.

On Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. the Village Poets Monthly Reading at Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042) will  present Margaret Saine with her new book Gardens of the Earth (Moonrise Press, 2018), and Eliecer Almaguer.  The reading will last for 40 min. and will include two open mike segments.

Refreshments are served and $3 donations collected for the cost of the venue, the second historical landmark in the City of Los Angeles, that celebrated its centennial in 2013. The Museum is managed by the Little Landers Historical Society, named after the "little land" that each settler received in the Tujunga and Sunland foothills when the area was settled.

The readings adhere to a self-imposed PG-13 rating, without extreme depictions of sex or violence, and with an air of kindness and gentility,  so that poets use their words to bless this world that we all love.


Margaret Saine at Bolton Hall, 2016

Margaret Saine is a literature buff who was born in Germany and lives in Los Angeles. After a French Ph. D. from Yale, she taught Spanish and French at Californian universities. She writes poetry in five languages and also translates poets in those languages. Her books are “Bodyscapes,” “Words of Art,” and 5 haiku chapbooks. She has been writing haiku daily since October 2008. Her most recent poems in English are Lit Angels, published in 2016 by Moonrise Press and presented at Bolton Hall in the same year.

 Wind in the Pepper Tree    

The wind flows through the tree
brushing brashly all leaves aside
he makes them dance
pulls them this way and that
bends, pushes, rips, presses and pulls again

Green fingers circle in motion
gyrate whip flutter caress the air
flop gracefully down

Wind limbers the limbs of the tree
he tests her arboreal essence
assures her survival, her wholeness
her roundness in future cycles 
of growth, to hold her volatile crown 
like a cloud, to flex at all comings

Assuming her fixed and pliable 
place in the landscape

From the ms. “Gardens of the Earth”  published by Moonrise Press, Sunland-Tujunga, editor Maja Trochimcyk, 2018.

The All Poem

   New Year’s Eve 2016/17

all the lights
of the stars
of the sky
and of heaven
moments between
the all of me
and the all of you
the all of women and men
all our rides together—ha!
all of the trees
the loves if dreams
ours of whole cloth
all things considered
all stories told
all time and space
all sound
and all silence
stories we have 
inside us becoming

from the ms. “Breathing Underwater,” currently being translated into Spanish by Khedija Gadhoum.


       Só sei que tinha o poder duma criança
I only knew that I had the power of a child
                          Ruy Belo, Homem de Palavra[s]

The afternoon is silent
I barely feel a gentle breeze
the way this particular world is
thoughts float ahead
of the car 
to airport and plane

My feet stirring 
        in a desire to flee
to cope
           a tearing away
with one eye laughing
the other in tears

Letter to the 
duo and trifecta
from my 

And the trees above
rain confidence 
and courage 
they speak my language
they say to me
you will see
eye to eye
[as an eye chart is
to seeing]
you will find some
something to love again
something on the forest floor
for ever and evermore

And here I stand
to see you coming back
you are my windfall

from the ms. “A Book of Travel”

Photo by Margaret Saine

I have been writing at least one haiku a day since November 2008 and the count is at ca. 4500. I write them in five languages and sometimes combine them to cycles or stories.


curtains, a trumpet
theater decorations
we sit in the dark

characters do things
submerge us in their feelings
we’re bright with thinking

the woman, the man
the child, the watchman, the fool
our hearts aglimmer

we drown in their pain
and we rejoice, their success
changes us inside

changed ever after changed 
we return home until we
fall into the next 

plot, well, pit, surprise
calamity, to play with
and rise again changed


Eliécer Almaguer is a poet and author of fiction who was born in Holguín, Cuba and has been living in Santa Ana, California. For many years Almaguer worked to organize literary workshops for diverse public groups. He has published the books “Canción para despertar al forastero” [A Song to Waken the Stranger], “Si Dios voltease el rostro” [If God Turned His Head], “La flauta del solitario” [The Flute of the Lonely Man], and “Distorsiones del shamisen” [Distortions of the Shamisén]. He has received, among others, the national poetry prize Adelaida del Mármol, and the prize Puerta de Papel.

A sample of his poems translated by Margaret Saine:


Alguien dijo: existe un tejido central en tus versos, una idea obsesiva laborada febrilmente, con puntillismo, como esos artistas que hacen finas acupunturas en la piel del grabado. Me gustaría entender realmente cómo escribo. Cómo logro nombrar sin que me asfixien las palabras. Imagino que llegarán encapuchadas para sofocarme. Ella también quería oprimirse contra mí, como las envolturas donde los antiguos momificaban sus cadáveres. Estoy escribiendo un libro de poesía, quizás haga un silencio grande luego de su escritura, un silencio ancho y hermoso, en el cual no haya esta urgencia de renombrarlo todo. Deseo una soledad mía, no compartida ni con ella, que cuando suceda tenga el poder de anularme. Estoy escribiendo un libro extraño, no por original, todo lo rayaron en sus cavernas nuestros precursores. Lo auténtico es la entrega, que me desnudo siempre, que me desenvuelvo ante los ojos atónitos del auditorio.     


Somebody said: there exists a central fabric in your poetry, an obsessive idea feverishly elaborated, with pointillism, like those artists who do fine acupunctures on the skin of the engraving. I would really like to understand how I write. How I manage to name words, without them asphyxiating me. I imagine they might arrive hooded in order to suffocate me. She also wanted to weigh me down with herself, like the wraps with which the Ancients mummified their cadavers. I am writing a book of poetry, maybe I will create a big silence after having written it, a silence wide and beautiful, in which there would not be this urgency to rename everything. I want a solitude of my own, not shared with her at all, that when it happens it would have the power to annul me. I am writing a strange book, not because it is original, they have erased everything in their caves, our predecessors. The authentic thing is the engagement, I need to undress always, I need to put myself forth before the astonished eyes of the public.     

De poetas y de césares

La poesía no necesita beneficencias 
o caridad alguna 
al poeta lo que es del poeta
al César lo que del César sea.

Of Poets and Cesars      

Poetry does not need any beneficence 
or charity 
to the poet what is the poet’s
to Cesar what is Cesar’s.


He visto cómo algunas mujeres se registran y aspiran hasta que su propio olor las mortifica. Escribir es también buscar un aroma entre la obscenidad de aromas y retenerlo. 


I have noticed how some women check and breathe themselves until their own scent mortifies them. Writing is also searching for a scent among an obscenity of aromas, and retaining it.


The Art of Tanka reading presented by Kathabela Wilson and a team of tanka poet on August 26, 2018 was filled with talented artist and new information.  Painter Jennifer Benston discussed her art, portraying the notable oaks of California, with a large portrait of a 400 year old oak tree on the campus of the California Institute of Technology, that died not long after the tanka poet immortalized it in verse. 

CalTech oak by Jennifer Bentson

Jennifer Bentson with her artwork

Jennifer Bentson Presents her Oak-Themed Art, accompanied by Kathabela Wilson, with Briny James, Dr. Mira Mataric, Joyce Futa, Jackie Chou, Taura Scott, Dalton Perry, Charles Harmon, and Rick Wilson in the back.

Kathabela Wilson commented on Facebook: 

We had a "Tanka Sunday" in Tujunga! We read of Ribbons, Atlas Poetica and I sold some of my Owl Still Asking (Tanka for Troubled Times) as a donation to Village Poets and Bolton Hall. I gave short intros to each reader and commented in dialogue during the whole program. Then as the finale of the first half, I led a writing session with handout, an interesting page of unique instructions and examples. After our second half performance concluded, I gave newly created handouts for cherita writing to the audience as time was predictably short. The second half open readers continued with free verse. 

Pam Shea reads her poem.

Audience of Poets at Bolton Hall

Taura Scott and Dalton Perry read a tanka dialog.

Dr. Mira Mataric presents her tanka with Rick Wilson, flute.

Joyce Futa presents tanka prose with Rick Wilson, flute.

Charles Harmon with Rick Wilson.

Jackie Chou with Rick Wilson

Kathabela Wilson

Mari Werner in the Open Mike segment

Elsa Frausto in the Open Mike Segment.

Joe DeCenzo reads in the Open Mike Segment.

Group presentation of tanka at Bolton Hall Museum

Maja Trochimczyk with Kathabela Wilson

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Featured Poet Kathabela Wilson and Friends Present the Art of Tanka on August 26, 2018

Tanka Poets with Mariko Kitakubo at Kathabela and Rick Wilson's Poetry Salon.

On Sunday, August 26, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. the Village Poets Monthly Reading at Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042) will focus on the ancient Japanese art of Tanka. The featured poet and reading organizer, Kathabela Wilson, will bring a group of Tanka Poets to share their work, with the musical accompaniment of Rick Wilson. The reading will last for 40 min. and will include two open mike segments.

Refreshments are served and $3 donations collected for the cost of the venue, the second historical landmark in the City of Los Angeles, that celebrated its centennial in 2013. The Museum is managed by the Little Landers Historical Society, named after the "little land" that each settler received in the Tujunga and Sunland foothills when the area was settled. The readings adhere to a self-imposed PG-13 rating, without extreme depictions of sex or violence, and with an air of gentility,  so poets use their words to bless the world, rather than curse it.


Kathabela Wilson created and directs Poets on Site, Tanka Poets on Site, and Caltech Red Door Poets. She holds salons and weekly tanka meetings with her husband Rick Wilson at their home, hosts tanka performance festivals in and around Pasadena, California, and welcomes visiting poets. Kathabela performs with Rick’s accompaniment on flutes of the world in museums, galleries, libraries, and the local Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden. She has created more than thirty programs and themed anthologies containing international poets’ work. She leads the online Facebook group Tanka Poets on Site, for several years giving daily prompts for tanka writing exercises. Tanka Poets on Site was presented on the Queen Mary at the Tanka Society of America’s Tanka Sunday in 2013.

She currently writes “Mapping the Artist,” a weekly interview series with poets and artists, and hosts a weekly “Poetry Corner” for, where she presents many tanka poets. Kathabela (her pen name is Kath Abela Wilson) uses her patient, beautiful 94-year-old mother’s Maltese maiden name (Abela) as a centerpiece and inspiration. Kathabela and Rick travel the world together to math conferences (the summer of 2014 marked their fifth trip to China and Japan). She loves her work as TSA secretary, especially because it gives her close personal contact and friendship with members, and inspiration to collaborate with them and read their work even more closely.

clear summer evening
getting ready for
the great ball
Mt. Fuji
puts on her red dress

        Ekphrastia Gone Wild, 2013

inside my shadow
I feel the pull downward
lie down with long stems
of lilies naked to the pink
my legs are green

        Ribbons, Fall 2013

like a painting
a blue heron . . .
my heart lifts
like a brush
full of sky

        Atlas Poetica #20, 2015

Handmade Dish sent by tanka poet
David John Terelinck in Australia  for tanka mertings in California 

Kath Abela Wilson Tanka

your handmade dish
rolled and folded heart-shaped
holds cashews
the chili-lime of love
we lick our fingertips

Kathabela and Rick Wilson perform at the Bolton Hall Museum, July 22, Photo by Emil Schultz.


Tanka Poets will be joined by Jennifer Bentson  (
artist of the California Oaks. She will bring a few paintings on easels, and she will speak a few minutes on her experience with tanka poets and the oaks. 

The tanka poets will read some tanka from the  poets' tour of the Caltech campus tour with special focus the 400 year old oak that was lost a couple of years ago. Some poets and artists who are hoping to participate are Taura Scott, dalton perry, Charles Harmon, Mira Mataric, Jackie Chou, Joyce Futa, Briony James, Sonny Premo (artist), Jennifer Bentson (artist),  Deborah P. Kolodji, and Kath Abela Wilson. Poets performing  are all active members of Tanka Society of America.  All readings will have flute accompaniment by Rick.Wilson.

The poets will also give examples of tanka prose, tanka sequences, collaborative sequences kyoka and even cherita a relative of tanka --all by different poets as well as thoughts by the poets on why they write the form, its openness and variety. Poets will read from tanka journals especially to show a range of publication possibilities.


The reading on July 22, 2018 that featured Dr. Mira Mataric and Charles Harmon was a great success. The featured poets were pleased with the event, and Dr. Mataric commented: "We have been enjoying you and your events for many years and always come gladly with high expectations. This particular event was one of even more outstanding, successful performances and overall warm, friendly atmosphere. We came home happier and more elated. I want you to know how much we love and respect your efforts and friendship through the years. Thank you."

In response to Dr. Mataric's email, from her and her husband Gene, Dorothy Skiles stated: 

"Dear Mira,  It was a very enjoyable evening!  Thank you for your observations, kind words, and loyal support!  We so enjoyed having Charles and you co-feature!  Your animated delivery, both heartfelt and humorous poems were well received and very entertaining!  We strive to make it a welcoming place where new and seasoned poets can gather to perform their work in front of an engaged and appreciative audience.  We are so fortunate to have the support of the foothill community and beyond who attend our events and the Little Landers Society in providing the needed space.  Lastly, it’s the continuous support of poets like you who come to our events that and give their gift of poetry and community that keeps the doors open!"
Here are some photos taken by Emil "Gene" Schultz. Thanks to poets and photographer!