Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

A New Year 2013

Just past the midnight hour -

New Year begins to flower
amidst high expectations,
cheers and celebrations!
We embrace the new with
resolve to keep promises
made, as days fade into
the patterns of our lives.

Dorothy Skiles, 12/28/12
7th Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga
(C) Copyright 2012 by Dorothy Skiles


Happy New Year 2013!
from Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga


Haiga "The Gift" (c) 2012 by Maja Trochimczyk, created for
a New Year Exhibition at the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles

Ever calling - Never heard

Ever seeking - Never seen


Detail from "The Gift" (c) 2012 by Maja Trochimczyk


New Year

A new palette, blue-white,
fresh brushes with no tint

That long season,
that whole year
blanketed itself
over the backs of colors.
Those were the yesterdays,

A child’s red dress
stitched by great-grandmother
shimmered on her skin
beside the greens of Maui’s sea
and lavender hills of sunset,
mixing up to something odd.

Tubes of paint lie fresh
not yet opened

You were dressed in black
smart and slim
every day of the year,
and now I wonder
what your face would say
if I would give you
a sun-yellow sweater
edged in gold.

The new season has begun,
bright, clear and golden.
These are the days to remember.

Burnt umber is a fine beginning.
Over that a springtime tree.

~ Marlene Hitt
(c) December 1999

Floating Holidays

The fourth Thursday in November
The last Monday in May
The twenty-fifth day of Kislev
The first Sunday
Following the first full moon
After the vernal equinox

The second new moon after the winter solstice
Unless there is an 11th or 12th intercalary month,
In which case it starts on the third new moon

I much more prefer the holidays that occur on a regular date
Especially those that fall on the 1st
Steadfast and constant, dependable
Something you can anticipate
Primo, numero uno
Back to basics, square one
A built in chance to see things through clear eyes
A time to hail new beginnings
Salute the dawn of self improvement
And pose exalted on a rock of resolutions

A time to reel in that fish and rid the monkeys from your back
To wage battle against your apprehensions
Subdue your inhibitions
And vanquish your constraints
To finally stop procrastinating once and for all
Or least start thinking about it.
A clean slate
A fresh start
Another chance to finally get it right

Joe DeCenzo


A vacant pause while the traffic of your life speeds by.
Funny, time is really meaningless
Until you appreciate how much of it you’ve used.
It’s a shock when you first realize
You have fewer days ahead than behind.
Time is tender, so tender that we should cradle each day in our arms
So we can breath its presence, ignore the clocks and accept the moments.
We should smell and touch and taste each minute
Then set it free to make room for the next.
Time is opportunity,
The chance to experience all that occurs in an instant
Or endure the eternal echoing regret;
The chance to extract the sweetest citrus
Or let the rind grow sour at hand’s neglect;
The chance to arrest the fleeting glance
Or let the heart lay fallow on a field of indecision.
Time is for doing.  And those who do nothing,
Always seem to be running out of time.

Joe DeCenzo





Happy Gnu Year 

By Mari Werner

The gnu is a large antelope that
inhabits the African plains
from Kenya to northern South Africa.
Gnus are grass eaters.
From the viewpoint of a blade of grass,
no gnus is good gnus.

However, gnus are very inventive.
They have developed a process
for making a special kind of paper,
which they call gnus paper.
They’ve also invented a particularly
effective broom. A gnu broom
sweeps clean.

Gnus have sophisticated social customs.
Some gnus prefer mornings
and some prefer evenings,
so they stay awake at different times
and watch over each other.
The evening gnus watch
the morning gnus and the morning gnus
watch the evening gnus.

Gnus have historically formed tribes,
the first of which was the Hoo Gnu.
Later came the Yew Gnu and the Aye Gnu,
which eventually merged to form the Wee Gnu.

Because of their many fine qualities,
gnus were recently honored by being
added to the Chinese zodiac.
The year 2013 was declared
the year of the Gnu.

May your gnu year be filled
with smiles and good gnus.


Poems (c) by the respective poets
Photos (c) 2011-2012, by Maja Trochimczyk

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Wishes 2012 and Elsa Frausto on January 27, 2013




Dorothy Skiles, Joe DeCenzo, Marlene Hitt, and Maja Trochimczyk



On January 27, 2012, at 4:30 p.m., at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, CA, (10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, CA 91042) Village Poets present the poetry of Elsa S. Frausto.

Elsa S. Frausto's work has appeared in many local and international publications, among them Porte des Poetes, Speechlessthemagazine, Poem of the Month in Poets at Work, Badlands and Poets on Site. She was the coordinator and host for Camelback Readings held at the Sunland-Tujunga Library. She has been a member of the Chuparosa Writers for many years and is Poetry Editor and Translator for the Spanish language literary magazine

Poetic matter is not expressed by means of words. It has neither form nor content for the simple reason that it lacks existence outside of the work.
                  ~   Osip Mandelshtam

Good writing is like speaking. A speaking that echoes against walls, then within them.
       Poetry- the word on the other side- behind the word- if words are three dimensional.
                     ~   Elsa S. Frausto


Body Double

Bedroom on the second floor.
House steady in the wind
like night with held breath.
Step outside, get a good view.
That's me inside looking out.
Me outside looking in.
The window blinds accordion the light.
Outside, the same wind plays patty-cake
with my hair. Inside, I laugh at the sight.

Elsa S. Frausto

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lois P. Jones at Bolton Hall on November 25, 2012

On Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, CA, (10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, CA 91042) Village Poets present the ellusive, inspiring and seductive poetry of Lois P. Jones.

Lois P. Jones is host of Southern California’s "Poets Café" (Pacifica Radio, KPFK 90.7 fm in Los Angeles), and co-produces Moonday West and Moonday East’s poetry readings in Pacific Palisades and La Cañada, Flintridge, California. She is the Poetry Editor of Kyoto Journal and the administrator of Penshells, an on-line poetry workshop forum.  She has published in American Poetry Journal, Qarrtsiluni, Sierra Nevada Review, Askew, Raven Chronicles and other journals in the U.S. and abroad and is a three-time Pushcart nominee.  

She considers herself a devoted but amateur photographer with photographs published in several literary journals.  Her poems have won honors under judges Kwame Dawes of Prairie Schooner, Fiona Sampson of Poetry London and others.  New Yorker staff writer, Dana Goodyear selected "Ouija" as Poem of the Year (2010) in the competition sponsored by Web Del Sol.  She is the winner of the 2012 Tiferet Poetry Prize and will be featured in The Tiferet Talk Interviews, which includes conversations with Robert Pinsky and Julia Cameron forthcoming winter 2012. 

We come to painting, to poetry, to the stage, hoping to revive the soul. And any artist whose work touches us earns our gratitude.  - Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World.



Listen!, the Rabbi says, God is One. Listen for what comes next.
When death arrives shema is a mezuzah on the threshold
of your lives, the soul's last words before leaving a body.
But I no longer hear the hawk’s cry above the fields
where you left us. I can no longer count all the bones
that have buried themselves in me. Only the rabbi's voice,
this stranger who entered the last ten minutes of a life
when the daughters and all their hours could not give the word
to let you go. A woman who spoke past tubes and sheets,

beyond a face swollen from the fall and the eyelids sealed
past opening. She told you what a good job you’d done,
forgave all the secrets--the locked drawers finally open —
their invisible contents drifting into the clinical air. Her words,
the blood moving through us as we held hands – the road
and the river as we felt you pass, not so heavy as a song,
not even snow on the bough melting. I listened, I watched
you were so silent mother, I could not hear you leave. 
Published in The Tiferet Journal and the anthology,
Meditation on Divine Names (Moonrise Press, 2012)


Who knows the birth of a firecracker?
          I hear they roasted bamboo to create a sound
loud enough to scare away ghosts.  The rods sizzled
          and blackened, then popped.  At the end
of the Song Dynasty the first manmade bursts -- gunpowder
          in a paper tube until they’d learned to string them

with hemp.  Now they could hear them all at once –
          the hundred-break crackers crackling in the night,
exciting a burn in the heart’s moist chamber. 
          I was too young for explosions.  For me,
there was only longing, a sparkler in the dark,
          a flare of fireflies built to last a moment.  My small arm

spinning a circle of light, a golden diadem I could wear
          like a fairy princess, never knowing dreams escape
as alchemy.  That time is not trapped beneath
          a crystal dome but a night of humid air, the black snake’s
smoke and hiss as it curls out of the tablet,
          flares into a pharaoh’s serpent as we watch charmed

in the alley.  My sister kneeling on cement, snapping the paper
          roll caps with a sharp rock as our noses stung with sulfur. 
We were rockets fired from a glass Coke bottle, the pyrotechnic
          possibility of flight.  A joy of a country being born
believing that beginnings are possible.   I thought  it was all

for me, born on a day when the night splinters,
            aflame in wonder, unconcerned with what occupies the dark. 

Published in Arsenic Lobster – nominated for Best New Poets.

In Full Bloom
after Peter Shefler’s
“Chinese Magnolia Branch In Full Bloom”

You have made her mostly magnolia.
As if a tree could rise from nothing

but a glance.  That’s how it goes.
Like dipping hands into a cistern,

the cold clear night has left its awakening
afloat on the ridge, petals

opening to this one sweet thought. No,
not opening, slipping from her shoulder

like a pale chemise after a night of rain.
You have made her mostly magnolia,

pressed her as sleep into a thousand pages.
Thin as a map of untraveled happiness.

Time is a skyward thing, quiver
of an Empress-veil painted into stillness.

Butterflies ask no questions.  In their short lives
they have flown their destinies

It's how you made her:  the breath
and scent of things impossible to keep.

Published in Sierra Nevada Review

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stephen Linsteadt - Featured Poet on October 28!

After a wonderful and inspirational reading by the incomparable Sharmagne Leland St. John, the Village Poets have another poetic delight planned for October. Painter and poet Stephen Linsteadt and poet Maria Elena B Mahler have been scheduled to read their work and present a new book of poetry inspired by Stephen paintings on Sunday, October 28, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, California (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga).  Poets who have contributed to the Woman in Metaphor book of painting and poetry are encouraged to come and read their work from the book during the Open Mike segments of the afternoon.

We regret to inform you that due to our scheduling error Maria Elena B Mahler will not be able to appear at this reading, which was initially planned for October 21, 2012. Instead, she will be invited to return at a later date. On October 28, Maria Elena will be with us in spirit and will be represented by a couple of poems read by others.

Stephen Linsteadt is a painter, poet, and writer. He is the co-author of The Heart of Health; the Principles of Physical Health and Vitality. His latest book is titled Scalar Heart Connection. His poetry is published in Moments of the Soul (Spirit First), Solstice, Cradle Songs (Quill & Parchment Press), Saint Julian Press, Poets on Site, and others. His paintings have appeared in Reed Magazine, Badlands Literary Journal, and Birmingham Arts Journal and can be seen at His most recent project is an anthology of poetry based on his paintings, Woman in Metaphor.  A sample poem from the book is reprinted below.

Maria Elena B Mahler’s poetry has been published in English and Spanish in Badlands, Solstice, Quill & Parchment, Global Alchemy, Saint Julian Press and Poets on Site. She was a finalist for the 2011 San Francisco-based Primer Concurso de Poesía Latinoamericana en Español, and is published in the anthology by Colectivo Verso Activo. Recently, her work was also selected for the Spanish anthology Se Buscan Quijotes, published by El Centro de Estudios Poéticos in Madrid, Spain.

Maria Elena also co-authored the non-fiction book The Heart of Health (Truth Publishing Co.) and enjoys writing fiction. She was raised in the South of Chile. After graduating with a degree in Communications, she lived and worked in Mexico and Canada, and finally settled in the Sonoran Desert of Southern California in 2003.


Stephen Linsteadt

Saint-Rémy de Provence

A wale of rock jumps out of the land
and freezes above the earth;
the backdrop to “Starry Night”
painted close to where green bathed
the artist’s vision in a yellow
            tainted room.

The scent of Languedoc
still warm about your neck.
Thunder uncoils over the night.

Rain on my umbrella
drops of deep mystery. Madness in May
only warm iris blossoms understand.

Their light whispers
and won’t hold still.

You can’t complain that I’m singing
            this is an asylum.

And where are the human beings
who once lived in the olive groves?

We were compelled to keep our distance
            from the chapel.

Pigeons cooed then waited
for the echo to reverberate
off its stained glass walls.




Maria Elena B. Mahler



La Machi       

Nobody knows her name, only the color of her skin.

If I had a photograph of her face
it would be sepia cracked by the storms over Mapuche land.

Her eyes would be dark stones of lava and

her hair flowing rivers of molten core.

Above Alerce forest, pumas draw the circle.
In my dreams I have seen her chewing chamico.

Along Chilean valleys, water runs horizontal
spoiling the virginity of Andean snow, where la Machi
got sweaty under the Araucaria tree.

His mal de ojo broke her spell.

Their passion over the still wet moss was all they had
between them.

The impediment to their holy union wasn’t the raven in her hair
but the bonds of duty as la chamana:
           forbidden to leave the underworld.

Breaking the sacred law meant certain death
so she quietly gave up her fruit:
    first a boy
    then a girl — my grandmother.


Mariano Zaro

Portrait and Still Life with Art
I got married because I didn’t know how to say no.
                        I did not know I could say no, just like that.
                        You spend your life trying not to hurt people.
                        Maybe it was shame.

                        They say shame is premature exposure.

                        They say shame is the seed of all self-destruction.

                        We got married, it was the thing to do.
The next day
I knew I had made a mistake.
It was too late.

And when you talk to people about it—
well, I did not talk about it with many people,
just this old woman from the warehouse,
they tell you that is normal, that you feel strange
when you get married, in the beginning.

I wanted to talk to people about it
but everybody was too busy,
we were all busy trying to survive.

This happened when everything was there for me to have.

She stops talking, looks at the toast.

I don’t blame anybody.
Don’t blame myself.
Now I look back and it’s all there.
I don’t want to make it nice.
I don’t like sweet, I already have told you.
I know it’s all there. I can breathe.

She picks up tiny crumbs,
presses the tablecloth with the tip of her ring finger.
We leave the hotel.

I can hear the sound of her shoes—
the sound she liked so much
at seventeen.
I can hear the sound of her shoes on the floor.


Photos from the Reading:


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sharmagne Leland St. John - September 23, 2012 at Bolton Hall

We are thrilled to welcome the wonderful Native American poet Sharmagne Leland St.John as Featured Poet of the Village Poets Monthly Reading at Bolton Hall Museum on September 23, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.  The event also includes an open mike for poets and refreshments served courtesy of Marlene Hitt and Mari Werner. A hat will be passed to collect funding for the hall's renovations. The Bolton Hall is located on Commerce Avenue in Tujunga California  and it is hard to miss - the only building of river-stones among a sea of stucco. 
Sharmagne Leland-St. John, 5 time Pushcart Prize nominee, is a Native American poet, concert performer, lyricist, artist, and film maker. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the poetry e-zine Quill and Sharmagne spends time between her home in the Hollywood Hills, in California and her fly fishing lodge on the Stillaguamish River in the Pacific Northtwest.  She is the founder of fogdog poetry in Arlington, WA and tours the United States, Canada, and England, as a performance poet.
She is widely anthologised and her poetry and short stories appear as well in many  on-line literary journals.  She has published 4 books of poetry  Unsung Songs (2003),  Silver Tears and Time (2005), Contingencies (2008),  La Kalima (2010), and co-authored a book on film production design. Designing Movies: Portrait of a Hollywood Artist (Greenwood/Praeger 2006). Sharmagne is co-editor of Cradle Songs: An Anthology of Poems on Motherhood (2012).
El Norte.
A prayer upon her brown lips.
El Norte.
A dream growing like
plumeria blossoms from
empty chambers in
her heart.
In El Norte
she can make a decent wage.
Her children will not go to bed hungry.
She quits her job at the plantation,
kisses her children’s warm cheeks
as they sleep;
says goodbye to Columbia.
The Rio Grande behind her,
she now mops my neighbours’ floors,
scrubs their  toilets
for ten bucks an hour.
By the time she pays rent for her room,
buys bus tokens, and junk food
there is little left to send home.
Her children grow up without her.
Abuelita sends black and white photographs.
The little one is still frail and thin.
El Norte
The Land of Milk and Honey…
The Promised Land he believes in.
He’ll go on ahead,
send for his children one by one;
then his wife and the baby.
Under the sweltering
San Fernando Valley sun
he pushes the market basket
as he picks through
the neighbourhood trash;
for glass and aluminum
to recycle for pennies.
Surely his job teaching 
the village children their ABCs
was better than this.
In the marketplace in El Salvador
his wife almost forgets she is married.
The man with the gold tooth
smiles at her as he wraps the fish
in newspaper…
adding an extra piece now and then.
She misses her husband,
but has nothing to confess to the priest
as he leans in closer
to hear her sins.


Monday, July 23, 2012

From Divine Names to Kolodji's Haiku - Summer at Bolton Hall

On July 22, 2012, at Bolton Hall Museum, the first reading from "Meditations on Divine Names" featured poets Joe DeCenzo, Marlene Hitt, Dorothy Skiles and Maja Trochimczyk, the anthology's editor.

The readers of poems also included Angela Lee and Mira Mataric. Poets presented their own work as well as selected poems by others: Czeslaw Milosz, Sharon Chmielarz,  Marian Kaplun Shapiro, John Z. Guzlowski, Rick Lupert, Susan Rogers, Leonard Kress, Odarka Polanskyj Sprocket, and Barry Spacks.

The hosts, Lloyd and Marlene Hitt, reminded the poetic guests that the Bolton Hall Museum is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and encouraged everyone to attend the festivities.

A photo album from this even is available on Picasa Web Album: Meditations at Bolton Hall.


Deborah P. Kolodji - Featured Poet on August 26, 2012!

The next Village Poets Reading at Bolton Hall Museum will take place on August 26, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.  The featured poet, Deborah P. Kolodji, is well known in the poetry community for her involvement in the haiku movement, not just because of her talent.

Deborah P Kolodji is the moderator of the Southern California Haiku Study Group, which meets each month at the Pacific Asia Museum on the 3rd Saturday of the month.   She is also a member of the Haiku Society of America, the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, the Haiku Poets of Northern California, and the Science Fiction Poetry Association.   She served as president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association for five years, ending in 2011. 

She has published over 800 poems in journals both on and off the web, including Modern Haiku, Frogpond, bottle rockets, Acorn, Simply Haiku, the Heron's Nest, Star*Line, Strange Horizons, Tales of the Unanticipated, the Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Goblin Fruit, poeticdiversity, and the Mainichi Daily News.  Her short stories have been published in THEMA, Tales of the Talisman, and Everyday Weirdness.  Her essays can be found in Frogpond, Haiku Canada Review, the Horror Writer's Association Newsletter, and Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul. 

Since the cover of "Meditations on Divine Names" is a closeup photo of a matilla poppy, a haiku about this flower was selected to represent Debbie's talent:

matilija poppies -
a skillet of fried eggs
on the campstove

For those interested, here's a link to Debbie's reading of three haiku at Catalina Library in Pasadena: Kolodji at Monday Evening Poetry.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Meditations on Divine Names - Group Reading, July 22

On July 22, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga will present the new anthology from the local Moonrise Press, "Meditations on Divine Names" edited by Maja Trochimczyk and available online:  The reading will feature selected poets who contributed to the volume and all Los Angeles participants are invited to attend and read their work.

Meditations on Divine Names is an anthology of contemporary poetry, featuring 138 poems by 63 poets associated with diverse spiritual traditions. Their poems represent: various branches of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Kabbalah, Wicca, Sukiyo Mahikari, and ancient Greek, Egyptian, Hawaiian, and Slavic religions. The book is divided into ten paired sections: Naming, Names, Earth, Water, Air, Fire, He, She, Being, and Loving.

The editor, Maja Trochimczyk is a poet, music historian, photographer and non-profit director. Born in Poland and educated in Poland and Canada, she published four books of music studies and three volumes of poetry. She describes herself as a Catholic mystic.

The poets belong to different religions or religious denominations. They see the manifestations of the divine in many aspects of life - personal prayer, religious ceremonies, singing of psalms, family relationships, nature, sun, sky, bread making, loving, and love making. They admire the colors of the sky and the liquid nourishment of water. The clarity of mountain air and the gentleness of human touch. From the four letters of YHWH to Lada or Pele, the anthology catalogs some unusual divine names. Poets reflect on the act of naming, the facts of knowing and unknowing of our God(s). They give testimony to their hopes and beliefs, and share what they find beautiful and inspirational, or, sometimes, disturbing. There is darkness around and death, but the poets look for ways to ascend above, to illumination.


The following poets are represented: MJ Adams, Nicholas Alexander, Catherine Auman, Jon B., Marcielle Brandler, Sharon Chmielarz, Joe Decenzo, Carol Dorf, Kate Hallett Dayton, Carl Estrin, Amy Falvey, Elsa S. Frausto, Bill Gillard, Michael Graber, John Guzlowski, Peter J. Harris, Carl Hitchens, Marlene Hitt, G. Bennett Humphrey, Oriana Ivy, Mitch James, Roy Jacobstein, Lois P. Jones, James Levin, Terranda King, Alexis Krasilovsky, Leonard Kress, Sharmagne Leland-St. John, Rick Lupert, Radomir Voytech Luza, Czeslaw Milosz, Rajiv Mohabir, Geoshino Ollscia, Shirley Dunn Perry, Nils Peterson, Lenora Popa, Kate Robinson, Susan Rogers, Mary Kay Rummel, Nicholas Samaras, Peter Shefler, Marian Kaplun Shapiro, Dorothy Skiles, Lee M. Sloca, J.D. Smith, Barry Spacks, Odarka Polanskyj Stockert, Charles A. Swanson, Taoli-Ambika Talwar, Judith Terzi, Maja Trochimczyk, Ann Tweedy, Davi Walders, Martin Willitts Jr., and Kathabela Wilson

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July with Poet Laureate Dorothy Skiles

Three Poets Laureate rode in one car, a brown convertible decorated with flowers, flags, and sage-colored ribbons, to match the Poet Laureate sign and the posters with the name of our newest Poet Laureate No. 7, Dorothy Skiles.  Dressed patriotically from navy pants, to red shirt and white hat, with a shining sash and a red umbrella decorated with whimsical maxims, Dorothy sat on the back of the convertible, waved and occasionally recited her poem "Congratulations" written especially for this occasion.

The 4th Poet Laureate Joe DeCenzo drove in a top hat, evening coat, and blue jeans; the 6th Poet Laureate, Maja Trochimczyk, covered in stars, waved and called out with good wishes.  A teen helper, Ann, walked along and gave away postcards with Dorothy's inspiring poem.  The Poetry Mobile followed the Little Landers Historical Society, and other notables, in a very large parade. This year, it included, in addition to vintage cars, dirt bike riders, horse riders in a variety of outfits, the Oldest Rock of Sunland Tujunga, and more.

There were jazz bands and rock groups, Christian musicians and local notables - the chair of the Sunland-Tujunga Chamber of Commerce, the Honorary Mayor of Sunland Tujunga, The two Grand Marshalls of the Parade, including Lloyd Hitt (with Marlene Hitt), dressed in Bolton Hall's Black and White outfits with colorful sashes.  Dorothy read her poem that was distributed on colorful postcards.


The Fourth of July's
Night skies are alight with stars
In celebration

Of our nation's birth!
Red, white, blues of many hues
Dance before our eyes.

Children frolic about,
Lovers snuggle on the lawn
All want to stay 'till dawn!

(c) 2012 by Dorothy Skiles

Our two feuding politicians were there as well, Los Angeles Councilman Richard Alarcon and his challenger in the election to the seat on the California Assembly, Raul Boccanegra. They will face off again in the next round. Let the best man win!!!

Patriotic music blared from loudspeakers, children sprayed each other with water, the fire trucks continued creating summer showers for those who wanted to brave the curtains of water. The dirt bikers and the unicycle rider showed their tricks, the marching band from Verdugo Hills High School marched, the cheerleaders and the color guard delighted the crowds with their routines. I'm sure there were more participants, but I could not see them all. 

We met up with the donkey, named Maggie, at the end. Luckily, she did not provide our music - we were playing American golden oldies - Sinatra and Cole Porter, with Ella Fitzgerald and more... Everything was all right, as it should be, at the Sunland-Tujunga Fourth of July 2012 Parade!!!!

See more pictures from the parade: Maja Trochimczyk's Fourth of July 2012 Album.

Photo Captions: 1) Joe DeCenzo, Dorothy Skiles and Maja Trochimczyk; 2) The Poets' Mobile in the Parade; 3) Dorothy Skiles; 4) Joe DeCenzo, Dorothy Skiles, Maja Trochimczyk and Raul Boccanegra; 5) Maja Trochimczyk, Councilmember Richard Alarcon with his daughter, and Dorothy Skiles; 6) Maja Trochimczyk with a Donkey named Maggie.