Friday, November 1, 2019

Cile Borman, Singer and Poet, with Andrew Kolo, Painter and Poet, on November 24, 2019

Pacific Coast Highway, oil painting by Andrew Kolo

The Village Poets's next reading will take place on Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. at Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042.  Village Poets  will present the wonderful Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Actress, and Community Activist, Cile Borman. She will share the afternoon with the featured artist - painter, poet and writer Andy Kolo (Andrzej Kolodziej), the founder of Polish Krak Poetry Group and of the Krak Art Group of California-based artists. The reading will include two open mike segments. Refreshments will be 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.


Music is the motivating force in Cile’s life.  She has traveled all throughout the USA cultivating her singing voice and perfecting her audience communication stills. Cile’ has appeared in Liberia West Africa, and throughout Germany.  She was the opening act in Japan for the Temptations and has always combined original material with popular favorites in her exciting show.  From Anchorage, Alaska to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from Seattle, Washington to Hollywood, California Cile’ has become a popular performer.  She got her start singing with the jazz orchestra at Roosevelt University in Chicago Illinois.  Her evolution from jazz to rhythm and blues has been influential in helping her to develop her own style that she has use to blend with her love of Caribbean music and culture.  Cile’ has included the playing of the steel drum into her presentation.  The steel drum was conceived, and developed, on the island of Trinidad.

Cile Borman has lived in Lake View Terrace, California, since 1982.  She and her husband writer and keyboard player Mike Borman, have received awards for their performances of their original musical projects for young people. In their songwriting collaborations, Cile writes the texts and Mike Borman writes the music. From being a lyricist it is a short way to become a poet-musician, in the ancient tradition of singers who sang texts that they wrote themselves. 

 During the late 1990's the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department created neighborhood arts councils all over the city.  Cile was very active in the creation of the Northeast San Fernando Valley Arts Council.  Nine panels 4ft. By 4ft.  panels, representing communities located in the Northeast Valley were researched, designed and painted by highschool students from the area and displayed through out the city culminating with the Los Angeles City celebration of the millennium in the year 2000.  Cile, recognizing the importance of these panels has made sure that these panels are stored in specially designed cases, in a safe environment, for future display. 

The Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department also awarded Cile a $3,000.00 grant in 2001 to present Her original musical "We Are The Future" at the Lake View Terrace Recreational Center.  Ms. Borman enlisted community members to donate time and funds for lighting, set decorations, and rehearsal space. She auditioned and rehearsed the talented young people from her community, whom she paid to do a successful one night performance.        

Cile Borman at Bolton Hall Museum

She has served and continues to serve on numerous community boards. She served as the Outreach Chairperson for the Foothill Trails District Neighborhood Council (FTDNC) and was one of the essential people who worked to get, FTDNC certified and through the process of having an elected board. Cile Borman serves as a member of the board of the Lake View Terrace Improvement Association (LVTIA).  She also has been a past president of LVTIA, and serves on the "LVT Friends Of The Library" committee. Cile was Vice President of the Small Wilderness Area Preservation (SWAP).  This is an environmental group united to help preserve open space for the public.  Cile is President of 4 July at Hansen Dam Committee.  She has been a dedicated volunteer contributing her time to this committee for almost a decade.  She feels this is and event that should always be a part of the Northeast San Fernando Valley's yearly calendar.  

Here are some of the other community groups and projects that she is presently involved with: The Friends of the Lake View Terrace Library, Lopez Canyon Advisory Committee, the Tujunga Watershed Council, the Day Of The Horse Celebration and Snow Day at Hansen Dam.  Cile also has been an offical a judge for the Pacoima Christmas Parade and has recently become a member of the Pacoima Chamber of Commerce.  

Her other project include: 
a) Funded by the Department Of Public Works, $10,000.00 Beautification Grant Program 2006 to transform the southwest corner of Foothill Blvd. and Osborne Street into a community beautification project entitled “Cultural Vista.” 
b) Helping to mentor high school girls as part of her involvement with Beta Pi Sigma Sorority Inc. Zeta Chapter.       

More information:


Telephone poles marching,

Tumble weed rolling,
I miss your touch, so very much,
The radio keeps me company,
The songs wile the miles away,
I realize you never think of me anymore,
And it hurts, because i still think of you,
I pause at a crossroad to brush away a tear,
I wish you were near, sitting right here,
Sharing the landmarks that we use to share,
I remind myself again, that you no longer care,
Golden aspen beside a stream,
I pause to take in the view and to dream,
Ahead in the distance, the desert is aglow,
With the lights of the city, that we use to know,
I check in downtown,
 and walk the blazing streets where we use to go,
I miss you so,
From my window i view,
 a neon cowboy waving at me, he reminds me of you
I decide to take in a show, i’ll dine alone,
At a place where we use to go,
I still miss you so,
I watch the couples and at first i feel jelousy,
My eyes fill with tears, because now i see,
I needed this weekend to revisit the past,
So i dress for the road,
I change my purfume,
I’m on the move again, and not a moment to soon
Headed back to the city the future is clear,
The journey to the past, was bitter sweet,
A place where ghosts live and meet,
Love never dies, it only changes.

Photo by Maja Trochimczyk, Descanso Gardens


What is the blues

How do you feel it
When do you know when
You got the blues
Who is the blues man
How is he feelin
What makes him able
To sing the blues

There was buddy bolden

Out of the delta
And louie armstrong
Out of the waifs home
Bessie smith & big momma thornton
Singin their hearts out
While livin the blues

How do you feel it

Where do you find it
What is the blues
How do you know
How is it written
Where is the rhythm
What are the chords
To make it so

Displaced manhood

Corrupted womanhood
Too many children
Up to no good
Blood on the highway
Blood in the tall trees
People gone mad, crying the blues

The blues is a lifestyle

Painful and half wild
Stabbing your insides
Sucking your bones dry
The blues is a feelin
That keeps you reelin
Searchin for something
To ease the pain

I hear the outcry, the lyrics don’t lie

They make my blood run, hot & cold
I hear the wailing i know the torment
I feel the pain, down deep in my soul
…………..that is the blues

(c) Cile Borman

Portrait by Jeff Riedel


Andrew Kolo is a California artist, painter, poet and playwright born in Poland. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in ToruĊ„ with the title of Master of Arts in Painting and continued his studies in Paris and Los Angeles. He is the leader of the Krak Art Group that held many large exhibitions, for instance "Polish Identity" at the Bergamot Station in Santa Monica to celebrate Polish Regained Independence in 2018.

Artwork by Andy Kolo (Andrzej Kolodziej) at Krak Art Group Exhibition Polish Identity 
at the Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, November 2018. Photo by Maja Trochimczyk
Kolo's vocation is art, his passion is poetry. His poem: "America of an Immigrant" won the 1st prize in the national-wide poetry magazine competition: LUCIDITY Poetry Journal in Houston, Texas. Andrzej founded "Krak Poetry Group" in Los Angeles consisting of Polish-American poets and "9 ½ POETRY", a group that promoted the work of young American poets.  He is the author of a collection of poems and satirical arts POLKA DOT TUXEDO published by Xlibris. Based on his script, MY MARILYN was filmed. His play THE TRIAL OF DALI "was presented in Los Angeles, at Hollywood, at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June 2019, and in Sydney, Australia.

Links to videos with his paintings:

The next exhibition of Krak Art Group:
"Feeling It Together" at Vienna Woods, 351 La Brea Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
on Saturday, November 23, 2019, 6-9 PM Opening Reception
Artists: Joanna Fodczuk-Garcia, Andrew Kolo, Leonard Konopelski, 
Janusz Maszkiewicz, Tomasz Misztal, Kasia Czerpal-Weglinska, Witold Vito Wojcik

Southern Border by Andrew Kolo, oil painting


Eyes of Picasso
are bigger than yours.
More self-confident
Than ours.
He sees
More forms and colors 
Than you and I. 

Then he transfers
The objects through
A prism of Cubism.

Eyes of Picasso
Always wonder.
Directed toward
The canvas 
Are like eyes
Of an eagle.
Registering the smallest
Shades of color. 

Eyes of Picasso
Are like eyes
of a madman.
First they discover beauty
then they mercilessly
deform it, regardless
if it is a landscape,
still life,
or a lover.

California Passage - Oil Painting by Andrew Kolo

Garden of Eden

In the Garden of Eden brightly colored
flowers and bushes never cease blooming
and never knew winter.
The fig tree belongs to you - my dearest
and the olive one - to me.
Make yourself comfortable in their aromatic shade.

In the tangled branches snake is hissing softly.
Under an apple tree Adam and Eve, embracing.
I give you sons and daughters – she whispers
tucking him into an animal fur coat.
This delicious fruit called an apple
can only make you stronger - my beloved.

 the first snowflakes are beginning to fall
 upon the flowery Garden of Eden
 like the first sins.

                       ~ Andrew  Kolo

Andrew Kolo, with Maja Trochimczyk, and Leonard Konopelski 
at the opening of the exhibit by Antonina Konopelska, 2018, Vienna Woods Gallery.

California Quarterly 45:3 Autumn 2019 
Edited by Maja Trochimczyk

During the event, poems from the most recent issue of the California Quarterly 45:3 will be presented.
Contents, and a note about Russell Salamon by Lois P. Jones 

This issue of California Quarterly (published since 1972) contains a tribute to Russell Salamon by Lois. P. Jones and a selection of his unpublished poems. Russell was one of the editors of CQ, and died this year. His poem "Redwood Trees" was posthumously nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2019 by the volume's editor, Maja Trochimczyk

Established in 1971, The California State Poetry Society is the official state organization representing California to the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS). We were incorporated on August 14th, 1985 as a 501(c)(3) organization, so donations above the membership level are tax deductible. Donor and patron support ensure (1) the quality publications of the CSPS continue and (2) our mission to promote poetry and art in California and around the world continues to grow. Information regarding renewal and patron contributions is on the Membership page. The CSPS began publication of the California Quarterly in the fall of 1972.

Photos from Suzanne Lummis's 
Honorary CSPS Membership Presentation

Certificate Presented to Suzanne Lummis

Maja Trochimczyk, Senator Portantino, Suzanne Lummis

In addition to CSPS Honorary Membership certificate, Ms. Lummis received a Certifcate of Appreciation from Senator Anthony Portantino who read his own poem. He is a poet and a great friend of poetry; he came in person to our event because he owes a huge debt to Ms. Lummis, who encouraged him to read his own poetry at public literary events. We are all so grateful to Suzanne for all she does for poetry and for her insights and talent!     
Maja Trochimczyk, Senator Portantino, Suzanne Lummis

Suzanne Lummis

Village Poets with Ms. Lummis: Trochimczyk, Lummis, Skiles, Shea, DeCenzo, Hitt

Suzanne Lummis with her Peacock Feather Rose Bouquet, and Maja Trochimczyk

Suzanne Lummis with Maja Trochimczyk and Ed Rosenthal "Poet Broker" holding bronze peacocks
to accompany the peacock feathers in her red rose bouquet. 

Standing L to R: Marlene Hitt, Cile Borman, Joe DeCenzo, Ed Rosenthal, Peter Larsen, Gene Schutz, 
Dr. Mira Mataric, Dr. Rick Wilson, Kathabela Wilson, Taura Scott. Seated L to R: Maja Trochimczyk, 
Pamela Shea, Suzanne Lummis, and Dorothy Skiles

Suzanne Lummis, Photo by Joe DeCenzo

In addition to the  certificates from Sen. Portantino and Village Poets, congratulations were offered to Ms. Lummis by CSPS members who attended the ceremony: Kathabela Wilson, Pamela Shea, and Ed Rosenthal.

Taura Scott, Kathabela Wilson, Rick Wilson perform at the event, sponsored in part by the Moonrise Press.


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Suzanne Lummis Receives Honorary Membership in California State Poetry Society, October 27, 2019

Village Poets are proud to collaborate with the California State Poetry Society in presenting the Honorary Membership in CSPS to Ms. Suzanne Lummis, poet extraordinaire. Ms. Lummis will also give a reading of her work. The reading and celebration will take place on October 27, 2019 at 4:30 pm at Village Poets Monthly Reading at Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042). Maja Trochimczyk, CSPS Acting President, will make the presentation. After the featured reading, there will be some time for open mike readers and refreshments will be served.

Suzanne Lummis Portrait by Alexis Rhone-Fancher

Suzanne Lummis’ poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, Antioch Review, Ploughshares, New Ohio Review, Plume, The American Journal of Poetry and The New Yorker.  Her most recent collection, Open 24 Hours, won the Blue Poetry Prize and was published by Lynx House Press in 2014. Previous full-length collections include In Danger (Roundhouse Press/Heyday Books) and Idiosyncrasies (Illuminati).  Suzanne edited Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Poetry Series/Beyond Baroque Books), noted in The Los Angeles Times as one of The Ten Best Books of 2015.

She is the recipient of Beyond Baroque’s fifth George Drury Smith Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Award. An influential teacher in Los Angeles, she leads private workshops and has taught for many years through the UCLA Extension Writers’ program where she evolved courses in poetic craft, the persona poem, and the poem noir (“Poetry Goes to the Movies”).  She is 2018/19 COLA fellow, an award from the Cultural Affairs Department to outstanding mid-career artists and poets. It comes with an endowment to create a new body of work.

Lummis is the director of The Los Angeles Poetry Festival, which she founded with poet Sherman Pearl, and through which she produced nine citywide multi-literary events between 1989 and 2011. In the 70s, during CSU Fresno’s now legendary era, Suzanne studied with Philip Levine, Peter Everwine and Charles Hanzlicek, and received an MA in English with a Creative Writing focus.

Suzanne Lummis has at various times, on different occasions, been associated with the following schools and poetic sensibilities:

THE FRESNO SCHOOL.  This is the designation for those graduates of a golden era, late 60s and 70s, at CSU Fresno, which gave rise to several of the nation’s most distinctive poets, all of whom studied with Philip Levine. The “Fresno” poets are often characterized by a direct personal voice, a language both lyrical and colloquial, and an image-based fidelity to the tangible world, whether rural or urban. Lummis received her M.A. in English with Creative Writing focus in 1978, before CSU Fresno established its MFA program. She is included in the definitive anthology edited by Christopher Buckley, Jackson Wheeler and David Oliviera, How Much Earth: The Fresno Poets.

STAND-UP POETRY. It aspires to combine the dynamism and bracing irreverence of performance poetry with the skill and attention to detail found in literary poetry. Charles Webb coined the term in the 80s then he and Lummis worked together refining the definition and assembling poems for the initial small press anthology that introduced this sensibility, which they associated with a group of Los Angeles poets. Lummis is cited as a seminal avatar of the style in the one-thousand word entry on Stand-Up Poetry in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry, and in the March/April 2004 Poets & Writers Magazine article on the subject.

THE POEM NOIR. Lummis’ essay in New Mexico’s Malpais Review, “The Poem Noir — Too Dark to Be Depressed” — describes the defining characteristics of this poetry, whose dark themes, atmosphere, and voice of cool detachment are inspired by the low budget black-and-white crime movies of the 40s and 50s. For the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program she teaches a course she designed, “Poetry Goes to the Movies: The Poem Noir”. She has been an advisor for Philadelphia’s NoirCon. In the fall of 2011, she instigated and produced, through her organization The Los Angeles Poetry Festival, and with valuable support from Beyond Baroque, a citywide, 25-event series, “Night and the City: L.A. Noir in Poetry, Fiction and Film” Her poems are included in the Knopf “Everyman’s Pocket Poets” anthology, Killer Verse: Poems of Murder and Mayhem, edited by Kurt Brown, and in other anthologies of detective fiction and poems noir.

LOS ANGELES POETRY.  Discussions of her poetry and influence on the Los Angeles literary world appear in Bill Mohr’s meticulous history, Holdouts, in the book-length exploration by Lawrence Goldstein—longtime editor of The Michigan Quarterly Review—Poetry Los Angeles: Reading the Essential Poems of the City, and in Jack Foley’s Visions and Affiliations, A California Literary Timeline: Poets and Poetry 1940-2005. She was principal editor of the anthology, Grand Passion: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, which The Los Angeles  Times named one of The 100 Best Books of the Year in 1997. In 2015, She is co-editor of The Pacific Coast Poetry Series/Beyond Baroque Books, and the anthology she edited, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2015 by the Los Angeles Times.

Open 24 Hours has the intensity and edgy threat found in the best traditions of L.A. Noir. But Suzanne Lummis also has the gifts of a comedic writer: a finely-honed ear for the way people talk, an eye for the often quirky but right-on image, and that balancing act of timing that belongs to the dramatic performer.  Moreover, she’s dead-pan funny…As in all serious comedy, however, the undercurrents of her book have an unsentimental sadness and tht close-to-the-bottom wreckage a city like L.a. seems to draw.”
– Peter Everwine

“Suzanne Lummis’ Open 24 Hours is a glittering, mordant, ravishingly clever book. It bristles with energy and biting wit and is as much about the life of writing as it is about the shifting lives of those who live just on the edge in L.A.”
– Lynn Emanuel

Village Poets with Melissa Studdard, featured poet and Suzanne Lummis
L to R: seated: Alice Pero, Cindy Rinne, Melissa Studdard, Kathabela and Rick Wilson, Taura Scott.
L to R standing. Maja Trochimczyk, Elena Secota, Hilda Weiss, Armineh, Joe DeCenzo, 
Lois P. Jones, Susan Rogers, Elaine Lipkin, Mary Fitzpatrick, Elsa Frausto, Pamela Shea. June 23, 2019.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Poets Judith Terzi and Linda Dove at Bolton Hall on September 22, 2019

Village Poets have the pleasure to invite poets and poetry lovers to attend the next Village Poets Monthly Reading at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga CA, on Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon. Our featured poets will be Judith Terzi and Linda Dove (bios below). We will also have two segments of Open Mike and serve refreshments during the break. The Bolton Hall Museum is made available to Village Poets by the Little Landers Historical Society and we pass George Harris's hat to collect suggested donations of $3 per person to donate back to LLHS for the Bolton Hall use.


Judith Terzi is the author of Museum of Rearranged Objects (Kelsay Books, 2018) as well as of five chapbooks including If You Spot Your Brother Floating By, Casbah (Kattywompus), and Ghazal for a Chambermaid (Finishing Line). Her poetry appears in a wide array of literary journals and anthologies and has been nominated for Best of the Net and Web. "Ode to Malala Yousafzai" was read on Radio 3 of the BBC and included in a study guide for the artist-in-residence program for State Theater New Jersey. She holds an M.A. in French Literature and taught high school French at Polytechnic School in Pasadena for many years, as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria. Visit her website @

Ode to Malala Yousafzai

She is a pool of gleam.
She is a seed, the rain.
She is a prairie of idea,
the harvest of motion.
She is rosewater
in a sandstone bowl.
She is the refugee, the tarp
of tent, the flame of fugue.
She is the arms of mothers,
a ribbon in a porcelain moon.
She is a lioness and loneliness,
the newborn swathed in pink.
She is earth yellow,
jade, aquamarine.
She is a threshold,
an arch, a minaret.
She is every headscarf––
magenta, amethyst, celeste.
She is our hands, our pen.
She is majestic, magnifique.
She is a luminous lagoon.
She is the sea––il mare,
la mer, el mar.


Linda Dove holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature and teaches college writing. She is also an award-winning poet of four books: In Defense of Objects (Bear Star Press, 2009), O Dear Deer, (Squall Publishing, 2011), This Too (Tebot Bach, 2017), and Fearn (Cooper Dillon Books, 2019), as well as the scholarly collection of essays, Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain (Syracuse, 2000). Poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America, Best of the Net, and Best Microfiction. In addition to her human family, she lives with two ancient Jack Russell terriers and a few backyard chickens in the foothills east of Los Angeles, where she serves as the faculty editor of MORIA Literary Magazine, coordinates The First Press Reading Series, and is director of The Page and Stage Conference for Los Angeles Publishers at Woodbury University. 

Fear Is the Key to Every Map, Every Eye           

It always starts with fear. Isn’t that what is
at the bottom of every well, which is a story

told with water but is really about the rope-
puller or the face in the skim of the bucket.

The body always begins with a short object.
A gun or a bird. Perhaps an idea. It

is always changing its shape, covering
for spilled sins like a Persian carpet

with a thick pile of pink and blue fur. It
substitutes one thing for another, one fear

for a coin, one fear for a fern, one for an
unburned house. You can’t see the eye

of the polar bear from where you’re standing
because it looks like a stone in the snow. It

is safer to look at fear in a box, to pull fox-
gloves over your hands like suits of petals.

(published in Fearn, Cooper Dillon Books, 2019)


Photo by Joe DeCenzo

Photo by Joe DeCenzo

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Yun Wang and Alice Pero Present Chinese Poetry on August 25, 2019

The next Monthly Reading by Village Poets will present a treat of ancient Chinese poetry and flute music. The Village Poets Monthly Readings are held on Sundays, at 4:30 p.m., at Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042. The readings 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.

Yun Wang’s stunning collection of translations of the 1,000 year old “tune poems” of Su Dong-Po inspired Alice Pero to compose some tunes that would complement them. As the original tunes have been lost, it was a matter of conceiving of what these songs would sound like. In this reading Alice will alternately play the flute in between Yun’s Chinese and English recitation of the poems.In addition Yun and Alice will read some of their own poems.


Yun Wang is the author of two poetry books ("The Book of Totality", Salmon Poetry Press, 2015; and "The Book of Jade", Winner of the 15th Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, Story Line Press, 2002), two poetry chapbooks ("Horse by the Mountain Stream", Word Palace Press, 2016; "The Carp", Bull Thistle Press, 1994), and a book of poetry translations ("Dreaming of Fallen Blossoms: Tune Poems of Su Dong-Po", White Pine Press, 2019). Wang’s poems have been published in numerous literary journals, including The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Cimarron Review, Salamander Magazine, Green Mountains Review, and International Quarterly. Her translations of classical Chinese poetry have been published in The Kenyon Review Online, Salamander Magazine, Poetry Canada Review, Willow Springs, Kyoto Journal, Connotation Press, and elsewhere. Wang was born in China, and came to the U.S. for graduate school in 1985. She is an astrophysicist at California Institute of Technology.


Thunder of applause
followed by rain on the desert.
A single yellow flower
opens from a cactus palm.

A child sleeps.
Oars navigate an opal sea.

The Sun will die in five billion years.
Ten million spaceships will depart
from its white dwarf corpse.

A kiss sparks
beneath a canopy of cherry blossoms.
Electricity of one thousand faces
carved in breathing stone
rushes from Notre Dame.

Protons will decay.
The Universe will dissipate
back into a sea
of space-time foam.

Child, you are the guide
in my journey. I climb on
the boat of your laughter.

         --- by Yun Wang, from The Book of Totality (Salmon Poetry Press, 2015)


To the Tune of “Butterfly and Flowers”


Blossoms fade in withered red and apricots are tiny
Swallows appear in the sky
Green water swirls around houses
Willow catkins peel off branches in the wind
Where at the sky’s edge does fragrant grass not thrive

Behind the wall is a swing beyond the wall is a trail
Beyond the wall a traveler passes
Behind the wall a girl laughs
The laughter wanes and the sound dies away
The heart is undone by the heartless

              --- by Su Dong-Po (1036-1101 A.D.), translated by Yun Wang,
           from Dreaming of Fallen Blossoms: Tune Poems of Su Dong-Po (White Pine Press, 2019):


Alice Pero’s poetry has been published in many magazines including Nimrod, National Poetry Review, River Oak Review, Poet Lore, The Alembic, North Dakota Quarterly, The Distillery, Fox Cry Review, The Griffin, and G.W. Review, and anthologies “Coiled Serpent,” “Wide Awake,” “Altadena Poetry Review,” and others. Her book of poetry, “Thawed Stars”, was praised by Kenneth Koch as having “clarity and surprises.”  Pero is a teacher of poetry to young children in public and private schools since 1991.  She is also the founder of Moonday, a reading series which has been on-going in the Los Angeles area since 2002.  Ms. Pero has created dialogue poems with over 20 poets. Pero is an accomplished flutist who has created the performing group, Windsong Players Chamber Ensemble.
 Alice Pero’s poems are deliciously open, brimming with leaps, twists and surprises, often joyful and fizzy as a fireworks display.   
          ~Lyn Lifshin
 The romance of discovery, the radiant brilliance, the surprise and laughter are all here in Alice Pero's deeply intelligent insights into the edge of things.
          ~The Book Reader, America’s Most Independent Review of Books
The poems are highly expressive, romantic, passionate, lively, concerned, and readable. They go around corners of thought with surprises waiting on the other side
         ~Ursula Gibson, Poetic Voices
 Pero is a shining star on the poetry horizon. breathtaking poetry
        ~Ralph Hasselman Jr, Lucid Moon


I will trade a memory of oatmeal
(the one with the really sweet milk)
for a taste of potato chips, very crisp

The coffee on the airplane that
made me high I will give
for the belly laugh when George on Seinfeld
rescued the golf ball from the whale

But if you didn’t save that one
I’ll trade an old Ernie Kovacs Show
for a glimpse of the Degas dancer girl at the Met

I will exchange the feel of satin
on my first prom dress (bright blue)
for six orange peels dried in the
softest sun of summer

Will you take the smell of asphalt in
spring, steaming after rain
for six ripe plums waiting in
the basket on the porch?

I can give you the grandchild’s shy smile
when I gave her a ballerina doll
but you must give me the sound of
oranges falling off the tree
with the slightest bit of wind added

There is a sprig of bougainvillea, very red
that jumps off the wall,
What will you give me for it?

(c) by Alice Pero


I lean over on you
and the wind shudders
Trees stand at attention
Branches, startled awake
sway, dropping apples like
small bombs
the children rake away and eat
delicious fruit
They wonder at the fertility
of trees.

(c) by Alice Pero, from “Thawed Stars”

Rose and landscape photos by Maja Trochimczyk