Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Round Robin - Summer Poetry with Village Poets, Sunday, June 27, 2021 at 4:30 pm

The Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga invite you to our Zoom Monthly Reading - "Round Robin in a Circle" format,  This event will take place on Zoom, this Sunday, June 27, 2021, at 4:30 p.m.  

Each poet will read one poem followed by the next poet and so on and so on.  There will be several rounds, so bring a number of poems to read.  Seasonal poems/Fourth of July poems/ humorous/serious - bring them all!  


Write or for the Zoom link.

Moody Day

outside this window i see blue skies,
mountains with sparkles rejoicing.
trees playing with sunlight on their leaves.
yet beneath my boots is mud.
i sink deep into it like a frog
unafraid of annihilation
i saw a manatee stranded,
struggling on the dry river.
i chose once to become one,
a round, docile, useless creature.
manatees just eat and sleep, yes?
with nothing to harm them. oh,
everything has something to fear.
after the earthquake the people cried out
but the daffodils stood tall and yellow
basked in sunshine
against the morning colored hills.
the cat jumped from the roof
right into my arms.

(c) Marlene Hitt

Need the Light

I thought I would like the deep, dark woods as I had loved
the darkness around my sunlit home, the cries of the night.
In these midnight hollows I stumble, tree to tree
find nothing of comfort no safety as tree bark scrapes
roots trip, the wind is no longer music played through needles.
I need light for I feel danger lurking, heavy to bear as I question
the not knowing of eyes staring as I pass by, nor the thoughts
born behind those quiet stares.
Yes, I need the Light for it is in the light that I see loveliness
hear the songs and the sweet whispering voices.
at dawn the crows fly across the sky dark winged
ready to clean the world, as sunlight cleans the deep dark woods.

(C) by Marlene Hitt

Two Times Around is a Mile and a Half

I see footprints in the mud
on the path around the park,
my footsteps from the
last time walking.
Today my feet disturb dust,
shatter sycamore,
crunch the squirrel's lunch,
make thunder under the ground.
I follow the hard brown toes
of the Gabrielinos, the star-foot trail
of blackbird, the thick-pad forefoot
of coyote. My child's child
walks barefoot in sand,
the seventh generation.
He looks up to empty sky where
there are no footprints
but the one.
How many times around
is the mile to he moon?

(c) Marlene Hitt

In Joy and Jacaranda

Tell me stories of your restful hibernation,
How you live through the vague and varied impressions
    Of winter’s monochrome.
Tell me how it feels to dream in lavish lilac periwinkle
To reimagine the bleached and bland conformities
    As you prepare the amethyst show.

What gives voice to inspiration?  
What puts craving in the veins?
Where’s the source of stimulation
When that first flower takes to stem?

Your trumpet blossoms serenade the skies;
A fanfare in tones of violet-blue 
Transforming Drab Avenue into Lavender Lane,
Painting fairytales against a hazy backdrop
That emit free passes to foreign lands.

But Oh, so brief this purple pageant
Before it turns to floral rain.
To blink would be to miss its brilliance
Losing the captivity of its color.
A reviving yet ephemeral moment 
Gazing at the lilac plume to watch it then become sky
When wilting blue trumpet petals form pools to bathe one’s feet in joy
Or a parade of pastel fireworks bursting beneath the tires of bicycles that ride past.

You dazzle then you disappear. You’re the color I consume.
The price of finding summer was the loss of passion’s bloom.

(c) 2021 by Joe DeCenzo 

The Song of the Summer

The house finches are back! The four little ones disappeared
on Friday. Their crowded nest under the porch roof
was full of wide-open yellow beaks crying out for breakfast.
Now, blades of grass are scattered on my front steps.
The nest is empty. They learned how to fly.

I was happy yet sad, a bittersweet moment.
My home was their home. Here they grew up undisturbed
in the safety behind switches for Christmas lights,
on top of a white wooden beam. Gone to their new adventures
like my children to Boston, Tucson, San Diego.

Look, my finches are back! They returned to the only
home they knew to practice flight from rooftop to rooftop,
porch to garage, to the end of the driveway, the Japanese pine
that all birds love to perch on, its branches stretching
like fingers to the sky – an open palm of a tree.

Listen, my finches are back! They study their song
at six in the morning. It is simple, repetitive, one phrase
spiraling down through fluted eddies of pure music,
measuring the hours of summer. The song never changes,
I used to think it boring – just a step up from
the monotone chirping of sparrows, and yet –

My finches are back and are learning to sing.
Note by note, motif by motif, they try out brief snatches
of their Dad’s tune and fail, and fail, and fail again.
I did not know it was so hard. The three notes on the top
ti-ti-ti – these are easy – then, the babies stop, all confused.

“Let me show you, how it’s done!”  The patient parent sings
again and again. Young birds repeat the fluid patterns
in shy, quiet voices, growing louder, more confident, true –
until descending swirls tumble at top speed, like droplets
in a mountain stream, rushing on, sparkling in sunlight.

The finches are back.

(c) 2020 by Maja Trochimczyk
Published in anthology Zwierzenia zwierza, Wydawnictwo Bezkres, 2020, in Poland.
In English with Polish translations. 
Reprinted on Poetry Laurels blog:

Mason Bees

I share my roses with the mason bees –
Iceberg leaves they like the best, cutting
circles and ellipses from the edge, inwards.
Iceberg roses, not iceberg lettuce, mind you,
that’s far too crunchy to make soft beds, wrapping
bee babies in green, white or pink silkiness,
smooth and pliable like we ought to be, smiling
under the merciless gale of time, raging river
flowing backwards, always backwards.
I used to get angry looking at my mutilated
roses – white blossoms, a defense against evil
guarding my front door like bee soldiers in the hive
ready to sacrifice their lives – just one sting
and the miniature fuzzy warrior’s gone – having
lived just to protect and serve us, the worker bees,  
buzzing around our lives, cutting circles and
ellipses in white roses. Bees and humans, we are
all children of the Queen Bee, Gaia, our Mother.
We make honey of our kindness, virtues, character
wisdom, self-reliance. Attentive, focused on the next
perfect circle, semicircle or ellipsis – we breathe deeply,
delight in drinking nectar, carrying pollen of emotions,
sights, impressions – flying back home to make the sweetest
gold, translucent honey of our poems, of our dreams.

(c) 2021 by Maja Trochimczyk
Published in the California Quarterly vol. 47 no. 2, Summer 2021

Flying Kites... 

My kites respond faithfully to each tug of the string,
like pets on a leash. Sometimes, they wantonly resist
the pull, to crash-land on brush-covered hillside.

The strange, geometric delta champion, with black-and-white
checkers on its chest, rainbow wings and tail, flaps its fins
as a flying fish that floats higher and higher, into the azure.

The swirling circle, a tribute to the ingenuity of unknown
engineers, is an air turbine, turning so fast that it seems ready
to power a lightbulb or open a portal to another universe.

The green baby dragon with red wingtips and streamers
capriciously turns here and there. Unstable, garishly bright,
it falls suddenly onto a thicket of dry chaparral bushes.

The golden macaw, enormous and silent, is so different
from its loud, obnoxious cousins. My parrot blissfully swings
from left to right, in an ethereal waltz of gold and red ribbons.

The laughing dolphin soars straight up – I look up to follow
the pathway of this magnificent guardian of the world,
crossing the ocean of air, so alive in oxygen blue.

Flying kites is defying gravity. Flying kites is pure joy.
This is freedom itself, soaring towards the Sun,
circling around the Moon, tracing patterns among clouds.

My favorite is the simple diamond of colorful squares –
red, yellow, green, blue, violet – that shines in sunlight,
twirling on the end of its string, pointing the way home.

We used to make such diamonds of thin balsa wood
sticks and light parchment paper, our hands stained by glue.
The tail, a row of paper bowties tied to a string, undulated
above dark soil of potato fields, stretching to the horizon.

Flying kites is like love making to the air –
a dance of give and take – moving, shifting along
air currents that swirl above the hills at sunset.

Flying kites is an apology for years lost to not being
little children that skip along the path, straight to heaven.  
Flying kites is prayer, supplication, hymn of praise.

Flying kites is defying gravity. Flying kites is pure joy.
This is freedom itself, soaring towards the setting Sun,
circling around the Moon, tracing patterns among clouds.

It is like swimming in the air, below a violet butterfly
with outstretched wings, ascending into the purity of distance,
along the pillar of light that connects the Earth and the Sky.

(c) 2021 Maja Trochimczyk
Reprinted from Poetry Laurels blog

Lake Tahoe Trip - For Father

Beneath mauve mountains

Clear blue lake waters flow

The color of my father’s eyes

And mine too

Emotions rise from depths

Rippling, spilling down cheeks


Early morning risings

To water-ski on azure

Or transverse across snow

I share memories with my son

Whose eyes are blue too

Cycles swirl like seasons

By Pamela Shea

published in Spectrum Special Edition, Poems for Fathers


Never-Ending Childhood 

Sun shines on ocean

Grandson sees pirate ships floating

Far off in the distance

Glimmering in light

Off Carpinteria coast

I won’t spoil the magic

And tell him they are oil platforms


We play Neverland

In the sand with driftwood swords

He Peter, his sister Wendy

And I old Granny Nana


We keep Captain Hook away

On warm, sun-kissed summer days

On the sand stands a teepee

Made of burned logs from last year’s fires

A perfect palace

For Tigerlily and friends

And all other lost children

Plus those who never grow up

By Pamela Shea


The seagulls and sandpipers

Play cat and mouse with the waves

Heron comes careening in

For morning delicacies

Harbor seals lounge and relax

As waves sing their lullaby

Soft waves, gently churn my heart

And cleanse my soul of strife

Primordial soup stirs, sustains, 

and nourishes creation

By Pamela Shea

Mission Bay Mer People 

Grandmerchildren swim

Cavorting in gentle waves

Squeals of joy echo

Across soft sand to my ears

Grandmere sprouts fins to join them

by Pamela Shea

Let Summer Begin!

Open your windows 
to morning’s light! 
while wrens’ flutter 
under eaves, 
and through
white birch trees.

Picnics at the lake,
fishing by the river,
a stroll along
the beach,
pack a lunch
and let’s go!

Supper outside
chicken, burgers,
salad, beans
passion fruits
water, wine 
and beer.

Shout out a cheer
for summer’s here!

Dorothy Skiles


Sunland’s sizzling 
sidewalks, I wish
I could stroll along
Santa Monica’s
boardwalk and
take a ride on 
the merry-go-round.
Ice cream cones
are never alone
in summer’s heat - 
take your pick, vanilla,
chocolate, strawberry!
For ice cream cones 
are never neat, but 
always cool, always a treat! 

Dorothy Skiles

Black and Gray                                                                                   

I lose myself in the crowd 
by the merry-go-round 
atop Santa Monica Pier. 
My long chestnut hair
whips in the wind while
the carrousel spins
around and around - 
Next stop I hop on, riding 
away, on a graceful horse 
of black and gray 
just for today,  
just for today!

Dorothy Skiles


The day sweats
Cicadas wrinkle the air
with vibrations
Trees lie drunk
in pond's rippling surface
Young birches lean toward each other
whispering like thin women gossiping
Over water lilies a white moth flies
pushed in abstract patterns
by some erratic hidden hand
Pond turns to green glass
Only a few birds are left singing
while we curl up hot and dripping
salty in late summer sun

by Alice Pero
published in The Alembic and Thawed Stars


contain the sounds of summer
doors creaking
carrying on tiny battles outside
miniscule batting of wings
over the pond

blur us with color
and sweetness 
dripping over stone walls
a container of honey
bees’ invisible work
humming through screens

bring us back to ourselves
as are we
taking in 
every cricket
every frog

By Alice Pero
published in Atlantic Review


Have you weighed the yellow of that bold-faced sunflower?
Taken the measure of white as daisy opened to your touch?
This is morning: serious business
Sun is not yawning; night's pleasures are done
Take out your yardstick now, your ledger
Geranium's red must be counted
Lobelia's blue cannot exceed regulation
Pansy's multi-colored madness should be neatened up
These colors must not leak or stain
Our minds are clear, our mission pure
Lest we run amuck
begin to barter with poems, trade pigs for pearls,
cell phones for peacocks, laptops for dahlias,
Lest we wander off course, stray from the plan
Let flowers rule us 

By Alice Pero
published in North Dakota Quarterly