Thursday, July 29, 2021

Village Poets Present "Blue and the Blues" Anthology and the California Quarterly 47:2, August 22, 2021

Village Poets are thrilled to present a wonderful anthology edited by Carole Boyce, Blue and the Blues on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 4:30 pm via Zoom. The reading will also present poems published in the California Quarterly 47:2, Summer 2021 edited by Maja Trochimczyk.  

Email or to receive the Zoom link to the reading. Two segments of open mic poetry available. Typically we hear two poems from each poet. 

Listen in to the Pisces Publishing anthology, Blue & The Blues on August 22 at 4:30.

You will experience BLUE in all its glory as poets explore the literal color blue, the emotion of feeling blue and the genre of blues music. Within each phase, each poet has a very different spin on the subject. This is a unique collection and after listening, you may have a new favorite color! 

Carole Boyce


"What a Concept! Blue would be more than pleased about this tribute to her essence. This unique anthology brings poets together to glorify the color blue, to write about the emotion of feeling blue and to pay tribute to the genre of blues music. Hues, moods and music; this collection is as varied as poetry can be with a broad spectrum of interpretations, both literal and figurative on each section. The book demonstrates the range and complexity of the creative mind.  The author of More Than A Color makes clear to the reader that the actual pigment is viewed as a safety net; a source of comfort and strength, available as needed. In Blue, she says “there’s a shade for every person” and lists some blue colors and emphasizes in the final lines: “I live blue. I speak blue. It’s a language you know. I love blue.”

From a review by  Adrianne Lawson-Pope  published in the Poetry Letter No. 1, 2021.

More Than A Color

Can you see it?

Do you feel it?

Can you hear its call?

Listen, open up, welcome it

Blue is present

And it presents itself to you; for you

To use as needed

Let it envelop you

Blue song to soothe you

Blue walls to surround and protect you

Blue blanket to warm you

Blue skies to cheer and comfort you

If you find yourself at the brink of collapse

Grab onto Blue

It will bolster you and sustain you

Because Blue is not just a color

It’s music, a mood, a heartbeat

It offers an atmosphere that allows you to choose

Whatever sustenance you need

Its many hues can handle any request

No need to leave the spectrum

Blue satisfies it all

(c) 2021 by Lynn Brown

California Quarterly, vol. 47, no. 2, Summer 2021
Cover art: Susan Dobay, "Butterfly"

More about this volume on

Maja Trochimczyk

Editor’s Note

Mother – the same word in many languages, the first syllable of a baby, the easiest to pronounce: matr. मातृ (Sanskrit),মা Mā (Bangla), मां maan (Hindi),  ਮਾਂ Māṁ (Punjabi), அம்மா Am'mā (Tamil), mater (Latin), mutter (German), màthair (Scottish), móðir (Icelandic), moeder (Dutch), madre (Italian, Spanish), motina (Lithuanian), mère (French), мајко (Serbian), майка (Bulgarian), mãe (Portuguese), แม่, mæ̀ (Thai), mẹ (Viet-namese). It is мама in Russian, mama in Polish, Romanian, Swahili, and umama in Zulu. Most of these languages are Indo-European, but even the Chinese are not free of the omnipresent “mm” in 母親 Mǔqīn, or 媽媽 Māmā. We have one translation from Chinese in this issue, by Yun Wang, and another one, from Italian, by our indefatigable Margaret Saine. People who speak multiple languages gain insights into multiple cultures and are really blessed. They are able to recognize the essential human unity in the delightful diversity of nations and cultures. 

While editing the CQ, I like finding shared themes among submissions that bind poems with a common thread. This time, I found mothers, daughters, the joy and loss of childhood, but also solitude, pain, resilience, the Earth, Gaia – our Mother, teeming with life… and the wings of a butterfly, that came out of a humble, hungry caterpillar crawling in the dirt. A lovely butterfly graces our cover in a joyous image by Hungarian-American painter Susan Dobay (b. 1937). Back in 1956, she escaped from Hungary after the Soviet crackdown on the nation longing for its freedom. As long as communist repressions, violence and wars continue, refugees will stream out of lands of totalitarian oppression, searching for countries of peace and freedom. Are any such countries left on this planet? Is there anywhere to escape to? Our escape, as poets, has always been internal: the world of poetry and imagination. The world created by our words, our visions that have become a shared reality in the California Quarterly 47, No. 2. Enjoy!

Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D.


                                waves of the Pacific 
 jade, turquoise, aqua

sea foam                in the air                
                sea foam             on my skin

I dance on the currents 
       floating with the relentless motion
          to the shore 
                          to the shore
                                             to the shore

sea foam           on my skin
           sea foam                    in the air

Aphrodite comes up from the ocean
               carried on a dazzling shell by dolphins  
                                                      the wisest of creatures

fizzy bubbles on my tongue – 
                        I swim in the champagne ocean

Salt of the Sol – sunshine of vitality
                                   I praise the elemental power of Water –                                                   
Air – Wind – Earth – Fire
                                     always Fire – ogień, Agni

eternal flames stir the waves 
          into dancing 
                    to the shore 
                             to the shore 

                                        on and on
                                 to the shore
                                                              to the shore
                                                                          to the shore

(c) 2020 by Maja Trochimczyk
Published in "Blue and the Blues" anthology edited by Carole Boyce


Mason Bees

 by Maja Trochimczyk

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

Pacific Ocean and Iceberg Rose photos by Maja Trochimczyk 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

New Book by Elizabeth Yahn Williams, Dr. Edith Jonsson-Devillers, and California Quarterly 47:1 edited by Bory Thach on July 25, 2021, 4:30pm Zoom

Yucca Whipplei photo by Maja Trochimczyk. 
Video Recording of the Reading on YouTube:

For its July Monthly Reading on Zoom, the Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga present a new book by Elizabeth Yahn Williams, Flourishing - Florescence,  including her poetry published with French translations by Dr. Edith Jonsson-Devillers. The reading will also feature poetry from the California Quarterly 47 no. 1, Spring 2021, edited by Bory Thach and published by the California State Poetry Society.  

The Monthly Reading will take place on Zoom, on Sunday, July 25, 2021 at 4:30 pm. will forward you the invitation, when requested.

Elizabeth Yahn Williams flourishes as a poet-playwright, educator, speaker, and emcee. A native Ohioan, she has earned grants for studies in several states and foreign countries. Through a Ford Foundation grant at UCLA, she became a California Lifetime credentialed English educator and was named a “most distinguished honorary lifetime member” of the Phi Theta Kappa Chapter at MiraCosta Community College in San Diego for mentoring their honor students.  A graduate of Loyola Law School,  Elizabeth is recognized as a Marquis WHO’S WHO Lifetime Achiever in law and writing. She has enjoyed an imaginative life, from directing in her community’s theatres to teaching creative problem-solving and poetry at  libraries, colleges, and churches. Often performing with Bob Lundy, her Partner-in-Rhyme, she can be reached at and seen on their site:

Dr. Edith Jonsson-Devillers taught as a professor of French and Spanish at U.C. and other universities in the U.S. and Europe. She first came to this country on a Fulbright fellowship and eventually founded and ran her own language school and translation company. As a scholar in Comparative Literature, she wrote or translated and published many works in French, English, and Spanish. Her poetic translations include works by Mexico’s Octavio Paz and Guadeloupe’s French poet, St-John Perse, both Nobel prize winners. Her expansive interests have led her to translate Latin America’s Helena Araújo and Nela Rio, as well as works of Indian mystics.

Flourishing – Florescence by Elizabeth Yahn Williams with Art by Marion Wong and French Translation by Edith Jonsson-Devillers. Guidelights Productions, 2020. 130 pages. ISBN 978-0-9967170-4-5

About this book: "Poet and California State Poetry Society member Elizabeth Yahn Williams is premiering her new bilingual collection, written in English and French in collaboration with  her gifted translator Dr. Edith Jonsson-Devillers.  A display of the mastery of free verse and rhyme, Flourishing – Florescence includes evocative haiku and senryu, along with other poetic forms. Here, Elizabeth Yahn Williams investigates the many ways that life, enhanced by poetry, encourages each of us to FLOURISH. Whether, as a reader, you are looking for inspiration or for motivation, one or more of her offerings will speak to you in words both lyrical and stimulating. With vivid imagery Elizabeth creates poignant vignettes that will relate to your own life in unexpected ways. You will find humor in the rhymes of “Perusing the Parrot,” pathos in “Grand Piano,” and a mix of emotions from haiku that capture, with brevity, illusions of time and space. With haunting and vivid language, Williams  has a gift for choosing the right word for the right place."

(from a review by Kathy Lund Derengowski, published in CSPS Poetry Letter No. 2, 2021, reprinted on the CSPS blog.

Chagall, "Peace" - stained glass at the United Nations, 1964

 Marc Chagall: One Man Opera

Chagall recalls history in rainbow-filled hues.

Above lovers’ heads, angels fly with acclaim.

His art reveals levels of multiple views.

To Homeland Russia he repays his dues.

Its churches and temples he paints into fame.

Chagall recalls history in rainbow-filled hues.

His fables, myths, scriptures, and circus revues

show farmlands and towns from where he came.

His art reveals levels of multiple views.

Always his brides are veiled in virtues

and, bearing Godivas, his burros are tame.

Chagall recalls history in rainbow-filled hues.

His acrobat-cocks wear little soft shoes

while tap dancing fiddlers invoke La Fontaine.

His art reveals levels of multiple views.

His works for great cities often début

in etchings, ceramics, and glass that is stained.

Chagall recalls history in rainbow-filled hues.

His art reveals levels of multiple views.

 Marc Chagall, l'opéra d'un seul homme 

Chagall rappelle une histoire aux couleurs d'arc-en-ciel.

Des anges volètent autour de la tête de ceux qui s'aiment.

Son art révèle les facettes d'un multiple regard.

Il rend un hommage légitime à sa Russie natale,

et rend célèbre ses églises et ses temples.

Chagall rappelle une histoire au couleurs d'arc-en-ciel.

Ses fables, ses mythes, ses sculptures, ses critiques de spectacles

représentent les terroirs et les villes natales.

Son art révèle les facettes d'un multiple regard.

Ses nouvelles mariées sont toujours voilées de vertus

et ses ânes porteurs de Godivas sont très doux.

Chagall rappelle une histoire au couleurs d'arc-en-ciel.

Ses coqs acrobatiques portent de petits chaussons

tandis que des violonistes faiseurs de claquettes invoquent La Fontaine.

Son art révèle les facettes d'un multiple regard.

Ses oeuvres pour grandes villes souvant débutent

par ses gravures, sa céramique, ses vitraux.

Chagall rappelle une histoire aux couleurs d'arc-en-ciel.

Son art révèle les facettes d'un multiple regard.

California Quarterly, Vol. 47, No. 1 (Spring 2021)
Cover Art: Harmony (ink and watercolor on paper, 11 by 15 inches) 
by Sylvia Van Nooten, Montrose, Colorado

Editor’s Note

Being a new member of CSPS I find that this is a learning experience for me. Maja Trochimczyk calls poetry a “cure for chaos” and I agree with her.  Many times we go through periods of difficulty and sadness, but it is important to remember that these dark times will eventually pass by like the seasons. With winter comes spring. The universe has a way of balancing itself out in the end. I, for one, have to remind myself constantly how lucky it is to be alive and every day is a new day to see the world differently. From the mundane to the extraordinary, each experience that we find ourselves learning whether it be through obstacles at work like in Richard Matta’s “Another Play Day” where he wishes that he could be a kid again, or the act of simply giving a little boy a bath before bed in “The Completeness” by Alice Pero, an insight into childhood innocence. The joy we find in our daily activities allows us to overcome grief with a brighter outlook when disaster strikes. It is a reminder to never give up hope no matter how difficult the loss. Therefore, nothing should be taken for granted not even our struggles. For the obstacles we defeat and the fears that die away become our strength, teaching us more about ourselves than any college or university.

After wildfires we can learn “To Plant A Tree” as a gift, to “put down roots” and “stand our ground” the way Miriam Aroner does because this is how the world grows anew. Mother Earth has a way of healing herself. Animals possess sacred knowledge in their simplicity, knowing what they know we too may survive the ravages of time. To live in the moment, that is true enlightenment through mindfulness. Claire Scott captures this in her poem “Cedar Waxwings” where hundreds of them are observed landing in the backyard. She describes watching the “show from the window, a kaleidoscope of colors, sound and motion.” Even after they have flown away, she continues to stare at the empty Privet tree in silent serenity. A journey of self-discovery, chaos and turmoil threaten us, but the wisdom of the ancients survive throughout the ages.  We live and learn from personal experiences.  What better way to discover one’s true self than to go through failure and heartbreak, reaching our breaking point and knowing that we can continue on further. I hope that you will also find these poems enjoyable and insightful to the soul.

Bory Thach
San Bernardino, California

Contents of the journal with the list of poets/poems is found on California State Poetry Society blog:

Bory Thach was born in a refugee camp located on the border between Thailand and Cambodia. His family immigrated to the United States when he was four years old. He served in the U.S. Army and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has an MFA from California State University San Bernardino. Fiction and creative nonfiction fall under the art of storytelling, while poetry for him is more of a study of language, an art form in itself. His work appeared or is forthcoming in: Pacific Review, Urban Ivy, Arteidolia, Sand Canyon Review and We Are Here: Village Poets Anthology. He recently completed a book of poetry dialogues with Cindy Rinne, Letters under Rock (2019) that has been presented as a quasi-theatrical performance in art galleries and museums in Southern California. He joined the Editorial Board in July 2020 and started his duties from volume 47 no. 1 of the California Quarterly.

Photos of Yucca Whipplei in Big Tujunga Wash (c) 2021 by Maja Trochimczyk