Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Village Poets Welcomes Beverly M. Collins & A. Jay Adler on Sunday, August 27, 4:30 pm at Bolton Hall Museum 

Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga is pleased to invite poets and friends of poetry to our monthly reading held in person, on Sunday,  August 27 at 4:30pm. at  Bolton Hall Museum, located at 10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, Los Angeles, CA 91042-2313. In August our features will be Beverly M. Collins & A. Jay Adler.

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.

Beverly M. Collins is one of 3 Winners in the Wilda Morris June 2021 Poetry Challenge (Chicago), a 2019 Naji Naaman Literary Prize in Creativity (Lebanon). Collins is also a prize winner for the California State Poetry Society, twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and short listed for the Pangolin Review Poetry Prize (Mauritius). Her photography can be found on the cover of Peeking Cat 40 (UK), displayed online by The Academy of the Heart and Mind, printed on Fine Art America products, iStock/Getty Images, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Spectrum, and others.  Website: https://beverlym-collins.pixels.com   www.facebook.com/beverlymcollinsnow Instagram@beverlymcollinsartist


Three Poems by Beverly M. Collins


Clouds move brisk on their way to

a gathering. All precipitation-on-deck!

There will be rain storms to tend to

and strikes of lightening will be needed.

While I relaxed on the grass with my friends,

I watched intently as a cloud with the

appearance of an elephant-with-a-

giraffe’s-neck, spun its way into their meeting.

Do clouds look down and wonder what we

really are or can they see through our disguises?

Do our biggest dreams hover in plain view?

Can clouds detect that a waitress running down the

sidewalk, is really a dancer?

When they retire into a drought periodically, is it

to remind us of the water that we’ve wasted?

Do they smile at our rain dance and forgive?

When I am flying in a plane, I am in awe to be on

their level without the slightest thought of ever

being their equal.


published by the Trouvaille Review

Current Affair

Water’s eyes can change from blue to black.

It can stare directly into the sun until the

sun fades from its gaze like a challenger

that retreat.

Waters long tongue can lick the back walls of                                                   

under ocean caves like an ant-eater on a quest

to plunder. Yet, pull away with its hunger intact.

Remember, ponds can settle to complete stillness,

like a mirror for the heavens to dress itself to,

and fane obedience…until touched.

Which way is up? Just ask water!

If angered by heat, water can “ghost” landscapes,

swirl within a circle of clouds then dive earthbound

And join a new river whenever it pleases.

Where would we be without water?

Probably on Mars. Camped like nomads in worship

Of water crystals near some upper region with spoons,

dippers and all of our thimbles-of-hope.


first published by The Writers and Readers’ Magazine, England


Those Delaware Times

Street lights and telephone poles

lined our journey down the New

Jersey Turnpike. A 3-hour ride that

felt like an anticipation-eternity to 10-

year-old me. In the back seat with me, were

my sisters and a cooler full of cold drinks.

On our way from Central New Jersey

to cousins, summer fun, night air speckled

with lighting buds, the salt scented breezes,

and the ground sandy under our feet.

We rode the highway with the car windows open.

Wind blasted my face. At times, it was hard

to breathe. I closed my eyes and listened

to the music on the radio while a happy

feeling of “I-can-hardly-wait-to-get-there”

filled my stomach.


published by Wilda Morris Poetry Challenge


A. Jay Adler is professor emeritus of English and former department chair at Los Angeles Southwest College. He has also taught at Fordham University, Queens College-CUNY, and California State University-Dominguez Hills, among other colleges and universities. He earned his M.A. and M. Phil. degrees in English Literature from Columbia University, where he was nominated in 1989 for a Junior Fellowship in the Harvard Society of Fellows. Adler writes and publishes in every genre including poetry, fiction, screenwriting, drama, memoir, nonfiction, and literary, film, and cultural criticism. His screenplays have won awards from the Maui Writers Conference, the Best of the West Screenwriting Competition, and the Los Angeles Scriptwriters Network. His writing on Native America has been variously published and anthologized by Greenhaven Press. He was also a featured writer in Alternating Current Press’s 2015 premier issue of Footnote, a Literary Journal of History. Adler’s most recent publications are the essay “Hemingway in the Twenty-First Century,” in the fall 2022 issue of The Hong Kong Review, and the poem “The Hard-skinned Fruit,” in this year’s spring California Quarterly. Awarded a 2002 residency grant in poetry from the Vermont Studio Center, Adler’s first collection of poetry, Waiting for Word, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2021. He publishes weekly personal essays on culture at his Substack, Homo Vitruvius, and he is currently at work on The Dream of Don Juan de Cartagena, a novel of the Magellan expedition’s circumnavigation of the earth.


Three Poems by A. Jay Adler



To swerve is to miss

To miss to long for:

A receding highway light

In the middle of the country

Through the center of the night.


How distance beckons and turns away.


This starry billboard rises

Along the road, through every county

It chances one may go.


To miss is to fail

To reach or contact. The tire

Misses the road. In the general vagueness


In the general night, the rest stops

Blink and sigh over cup and saucer

Above the glum Formica –

The accidental faces.


The windows mirror the way.

 A stretch of darkness, like longing’s light

How far I must have traveled

When you rise up quickly, surely

It’s always the center of the road

And I swerve and miss you, miss you.


Originally published in Pebble Lake Review


Lives of the Poet 

 I see them all

 succumb to the electric choke of the coffee drip

the dogs at my feet moan for the bone

this tenor’s lyric flight

lands on the baseboard dust

a wash of light in the afternoon’s

hushed diminuendo

at the sink before me

and I, in the end-day yard through the window

journey back across this bounded place

to my only fleeting self.


Originally published in Adagio Verse Quarterly


A Lexicology of the Middle Year

Tracing the form of the last thing she says to me

how the lips round like ohs

sound bounds from bottom to top –

cavernous cry of the bone –

digging etymology

out of anger, the origin of the flip

concluding word, the yet unspoken

plea for kindness

seeking in my vocabulary

some cognate for this long transmission

of intimacy, still I think:

I have no ear for the young words

all buff and shiny, and not a thing to say at the bar.

Let me hear them spoken around the block

a time or two, their vowels longing for consonance

what gives them meaning – prefix of desire

suffix of regret – inflected now only by time

the history of their enunciation deeper

than any beginning I can know.


Originally published in West Magazine



September 24:  Marlene Hitt & RG Cantalupo

October 22: Ambika Talwar & Susan Suntree