Monday, March 29, 2021

Village Poets Present James Coats on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 4:30 pm via Zoom



Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga are pleased to present poet James Coats during its Monthly Poetry Reading on  Zoom (for a link please email Maja Trochimczykc, or Dorothy Skiles, The reading includes two segments of open mic for poets in attendance, and will be held on Sunday, April 18, 2021, at 4:30 pm to 6 pm.

Link to the Reading on YouTube:

About the Poet

James Coats is an author, poet and spoken word artist from Southern California. With a passion for all things creative he strives to capture authentic self-expression through his work. He believes that poetry has the ability to bring diverse groups together, offering a way to connect, through shared challenges, achievements and experiences. You can find him attending poetry readings throughout California and now on Zoom or sharing his work via his Instagram @MrLovingWords.

He completed his debut poetry book If I Had Lived in April 2018 and most recently completed his second poetry book All The Ways You Are Wonderful in February of 2020. Both books are available for purchase through Amazon. His current project, Midnight & Mad Dreams, aims to fight racism and oppression through poetry.


Distressed lines, I thought it was my fault

somehow I was born a cracked egg

a little broken from the beginning

& those fissures made earthquakes

of the structure I was hoping to create.

Me a disaster, as natural as volcanic eruptions

hidden in warning signs & caution tape 

holding me together, waiting to topple apart.

Trying to repair damage through aftershocks

knowing any day could be the big one.

I have to give myself a fighting chance

even as my world crumbles to rubble.

These reckless thoughts scatter pieces of me 

like Legos in a petulant toddler’s hands.

I’m still learning to be gentle with myself.

Never wanted to be anyone’s burden

but I realized survival takes a team

access to healthcare, therapy & treatments

a network of help & support opportunities 

loved one & people believing in me. 

Searching through the wreck, dust & debris

I inherited a rocky foundation but can renew

given proper tools to dig the golden out my tissue. 

Construct my mind to make gems of my messy 

I’m not alone, no matter how isolated I feel. 

It’s okay to take moments to heal fractures &

I’m still screaming to hold on, to life, to hope. 

Tragedy doesn’t have to be the end of my story

rather, a chapter, the monster I slay or mountain I climb

one step at a time, until I’m once again made whole. 

(c) 2020 by James Coats

ISBN 978-1979154284, paperback, 106 pages

In If I Had Lived James Coats unveils the revelation of his character's growth from puerile romantic to someone capable of mature love and deep connection. Highlighting the beautiful dance of romance with all the ups, downs, and sometimes ineptness involved. The poetry in this book explores the capacity to love and all that comes with an honest romantic journey as authentically an openly as possible. It speaks to the reader, transporting them to the time they may have thought, felt, and experienced similar emotions in their personal quest for love and the serendipity involved in finding it.

ISBN 979-8606053049, Paperback, 90 pages

All The Ways You Are Wonderful is about finding the strength to love ourselves, becoming aware of how much value we bring to others. James discusses some of the ways he's observed women enriching society daily, and highlights the love and appreciation he has for the gifts they bring into the world. Yet, he doesn’t shy away from the some times harsh reality that pressures and challenges can overwhelm anyone even the strongest among us, and that is why self-care and support is vital in overcoming the dark times.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Village Poets Present Terry Ehret, Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 4:30pm

Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga is pleased to present Terry Ehret  of Petaluma, Northern California, as our Featured Poet during the Poetry Reading held on Sunday, March 28, 2021, at 4:30pm on Zoom.  The Zoom links will be sent to our regular audience, and may be requested from or 

The reading on Zoom has been recorded and is now available on YouTube:

And the last poem, Flying Kites by Maja Trochimczyk, that did not make it due to tech issues:

TERRY EHRET is a poet and teacher, and one of the founders of the innovative Sixteen Rivers Press, a hands-on publishing collective run by and for San Francisco Bay Area Poets. She earned a BA from Stanford University and an MA from San Francisco State University. She has published four collections of poetry: Lost Body (1993), Translations from the Human Language (2001), Lucky Break (2008), and Night Sky Journey (2011). 

Literary awards include the National Poetry Series, California Book Award, Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, nomination for the Northern California Book Reviewer’s Award, six Pushcart Prize nominations, and an NEA Translation Fellowship. From 2004-2006, she served as the poet laureate of Sonoma County where she lives and teaches, and in the summer, she leads travel programs for writers.

Mustard Bathing at Half Moon Bay

After “let there be new flowering,”by Lucille Clifton
a Golden Shovel

First blue in weeks and the flowering
mustard sings its sweet seduction in the fields
all along the ragged Pacific edge.  Grown men
have pulled onto the shoulder of the highway, needing the tender
touch of yellow. They walk in slow time,
arms outstretched, smiling as if our long war
were over. As if all sides had won.
Come, walk the deep paths to the sun. Be
ready. Something inside want to mend.

(c) Terry Ehret

Photos of Orange and Grapefruit Blossoms with Bees by Maja Trochimczyk

Monday, March 1, 2021

Village Poets Present "Today in the Forest" by Cindy Rinne and Toti O'Brien, Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 4:30pm on Zoom

 Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga and Moonrise Press are pleased to present a new poetry-and-art book by Cindy Rinne (poems) and Toti O'Brien (images) on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 4:30 pm via Zoom. To request a link email Maja Trochimczyk at or Dorothy Skiles at In addition to discussing her imagery and techniques, Toti will read some of her poems - since the book includes only poetry by Cindy Rinne. In addition two open mike sessions will be available, before and after the feature presentation.  

Video recording of the presentation

ISBN  978-1-945938-43-6 Color Paperback, 46 pages, $20

ISBN 978-1-945938-45-0 E-Book, PDF, Distribution, $10 

ISBN 978-1-945938-44-3  EBook, e-Pub, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc.  $10

Moonrise Press announces the publication of "Today in the Forest," a mysterious and inspired poetry and art book that will stir your imagination. This gem of a book has been created by Cindy Rinne, poet and fiber artist, and Toti O'Brien, artist, musician, and poet, with Cindy's poems and Toti's images in a delightful counterpoint of words and visions. 


"I was mesmerized reading Today in the Forest. O’Brien and Rinne have created a luminous, mythical world inhabited by a Moon Goddess, wolf-people, and various imaginative delights. It is a world destroyed or horribly threatened, yet I felt protection, care, and survival here. Today in the Forest is a poetic journey illuminated with hope and memory."

 ~ Stacy Russo, author of Love Activism and We Were Going to Change the World

"As if in the forest all the problems of our world are being solved under the bark of trees, in an unseen parallel world, a precise and healing mythology is acted out by half human half visionary figures. Here, illustrated with powerful hand by someone who has been there, and witnessed, Toti O'Brien as master-artist, embodies the magical words of storyteller Cindy Rinne whose characters, her intimates, have allowed her to share their secrets at work.

Cindy has recorded and given us a magic scroll. Toti has drawn and given us the map. "She sees the sand bottom and tries to hold the tree's shadow. A murmur gurgles as golden rocks beckon her to climb." ~ Cindy Rinne

We need to be here for hope." 

~ Kath Abela Wilson, leader of Poets on Site, author of  Figures of Humor and Strange Beauty (Glass Lyre Press, 2019)


Cindy Rinne creates fiber art and writes in San Bernardino, CA. Cindy is the author of several books: silence between drumbeats (Four Feathers Press), Letters Under Rock with Bory Thach, (Elyssar Press), and others. Her poetry appeared or is forthcoming: Anti-Heroin Chic, Verse-Virtual, LitGleam, and others, plus several anthologies.

 Toti O’Brien’s mixed media have been exhibited in group and solo shows, in Europe and the US, since 1995. She has illustrated several children books and two memoirs. Her artwork is on the cover of several books and it was most recently featured in pethricor, Two Hawks, Arkana and Argo. More about her work can be found at