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