Happy New Year 2023! Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga are pleased to invite poets and friends of poetry to the first of this year's Monthly Reading held in-person, on Sunday, January 29, 2023 at 4:30 pm. at the Bolton Hall Museum, located at 10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, Los Angeles, CA 91042-2313. We will start the year on a high note, presenting two eminent poets, Sharmagne Leland St. John and William Scott Galasso.
According to Chinese zodiac, this will be the year of Water Rabbit, starting on January 22, 2023... Two segments of open mic will be available and refreshments will be served. Suggested donation $5 per person for the cost of refreshments and to donate to the Little Landers Society that manages the Bolton Hall Museum, a Los Angeles Historical Landmark built in 1913.
This will be the last Monthly Readings with featured poets selected by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, who has served as Artistic Director of Village Poets for 12 years, booking poets, creating blogs, posting notices on Facebook, and emailing poets. After she steps down, Alice Pero, current Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, will take over the role of making selections of poets for the VP Monthly Readings.
Bruna Vieira gathers flowers
by Sharmagne Leland-St. John
Bruna Vieira gathers flowers in her garden
she dreams of wildflowers but
chooses sunflowers instead
she's smart she knows they'll last the longest
she'll cut the stems tall, put sugar in the water
and hope they'll still be beautiful
when he comes to visit on Sunday
in her dreams she's dressed in hymns
not jeans and a blue and white striped pullover
she dances for the flowers and calls them Girasol
as they nod their sunshine heads
in the blue and white Meissen vase
where she has carefully arranged them
with their stems cut at an angle
she spins and her red hair is a furore of flames
leaping and licking the scented air behind her
she has adagio and lento
tattooed in curlicues on opposite ankles
to remind her of the tempo of the dance
and the rhythm of her life
in black ink a flutter of sparrows
dot her right wrist…
as she reaches out to caress the flowers
one of them flies away
William Scott Galasso is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Rough Cut: Thirty Years of Senryu (2019),Legacy: Thirty Years of Haiku, (2020) and Saffron Skies (2022), his latest published work. In addition, Scott’s co-edited two anthologies, Cascade Cuneiform (1995), with The Seattle Live Poets and Eclipse Moon, (2017), with Deborah P. Kolodji moderator of the SCHSG. He serves as an editor for the California Quarterly.
zen gardenevery snowflakefinds a stone
hunger moonbetween tank treadswinter wheat
let me bea hummingbirdbusy in your blossomlet me flutter you to sunburstand fine Spring rain
BirthMary was silent as she smiled.Shepherds murmured, watching him."What a fine, fine boy, a beautiful childJehovah-shammah, Adonai, Elohim!"How did they know, those quiet men?Who had told them the future of God?They knelt, they prayed, they whispered,"Oh when?"went on their way to plod and to plodto live out their lives so patientlywatching, listening, tending their sheepnot guessing a thing about thorns and a treewaiting, waiting, awake and asleep.It is later now, so many years.for us there are stories to make us crytwined up with miracles, joys and tearsof the poor little baby born only to dieand to live, who will lovingly take us along"Fear not!" We hear it again and againand with gratitude we sing loudly our songin the name of the Baby-Child.Amen and Amen.
(c) by Marlene Hitt
Duccio di Buoninsegna, Madonna with Angels and Saints
Fir Tree Fairy TaleA small dead tree alone one nightwas covered with tinsel and covered with light.That bundle of wood waited till mornThat poor dead tree was standing forlorn.It heard the midnight bells and thenit saw the starry skies as rose-huedfrosty winter dawnstroked sleepy little eyes.Then the spirit of happiness entered that placethe glow of joy was on each small face.Children danced and grandfathers smiledmothers and grandmas hugged each little child.The breath of joy burst through the treeas it came alive as was meant to beAwake, awake on Christmas morn,the time when fir tree hearts are born.
(c) by Marlene Hitt