Sunday, September 24, 2023

Village Poets Welcomes Ambika Talwar and Susan Suntree on October 22 at 4:30 pm



Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga is pleased to invite poets and friends of poetry to our monthly reading held in person,on Sunday, Oct 22 at 4:30pm. at Bolton Hall Museum, located at 10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, Los Angeles, CA 91042-2313. In October our features will be Ambika Talwar and Susan Suntree.

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.

Ambika Talwar, professor emeritus, is an India-born author, wellness consultant, artist, & educator here to realize her sacred destiny. Her mystical and ecstatic poetry are a call to action, a “bridge to other worlds.” Of note is a recent anthology Crystal Fire (2022), which includes her poems and paintings. Ambika's poems appear in The Force is With You – a collection honoring the Indian defense forces (her poem honors her father and his batch mates) (2022): Ruddy Ravens Cheshire Cat & Rusty Rats; Beyond Words; and Breathe Poetry (2021): Roseate Sonnet (2020); Grateful Conversations (2018). Twice Pushcart nominee, she earned Commendable Mention in The Great India Poetry Contest (2018).Ambika shares the Poiesis Award for Excellence in Literature (2021-22) for a short story and received the Nissim International Poetry Prize. She has authored 4 Stars & 25 Roses (poems for her father) and is published in Glo-Mag; Timeless Inspirations; Breathe Poetry; Paws, Collateral Damage; Kyoto Journal; InkwaterInk-v3; Chopin with Cherries; Meditations On Divine Names; VIA-Vision in Action; in Poets on Site collections; St. Julian Press; Tower Journal; Enchanting Verses; Quill & Parchment; California Quarterly; Life & Legends, and others. Ambika published My Greece: Mirrors & Metamorphoses – a poetic-spiritual travelogue that questions our collective human purpose. She asserts it is time for creatives to offer new narratives. She made a short film titled Androgyne in 2000 earning the Best Original Story Award in Belgium.

 Ambika practices Intuition-Energetics™, a powerful fusion of modalities for speedy recovery from stresses and ailments. “Both poetry and holistic practices work beautifully together – language is intricately coded in us.” Ambika makes her home in Los Angeles and in New Delhi, India.  


 Three Poems from Ambika:

From the Shadows

From the shadows,

comes the drama of a red birth

quiet softened with flutes

of time mending the new world

before it is born.

From the shadows,

we are reminded of old tales

woven in our fabric tattered

like forgotten truths – awaiting

glory of our arrival.

From the shadows,

we know we will return some day

blessed with soundless music of

wisdom – waiting laughing  

our bones restructuring…

From the shadows,

before the delivery of 1,000 names

reminding us of that

which we were born for: to sing

the world into beatitude—

sweet courage equals love

hues of peacock blue 

wings over sky when trees turn green

rivers dance to earth, food is a-plenty:

life shines with generosity…

From the shadows

emerges drama of a new birth…

Though wisdom’s robes be tattered

and babies wail wondering, we unfold

new architectures that grace spirit!

Drums of heart beat fluted with

cosmic tones…Wise Ones

in our midst emerging from shadows…!

Why are we still in search?

 Published in The Shadows

Devotion – The Fruit of All Wisdoms

Oh tender fruit, not one but many
on a loom – petalled, infinite, fractal

as Devi made it.

She’s seated in center, infinitely
disappearing – She!

Handpick for her delight watermelon
guava, radish of a singular night
of a ponderous, full, golden moon sailing
with love’s red, lush, wisdom
for creation She is –

Tenderly carve fruits spherical as cosmos
for Her dance never ends – Om sukhi magic
everything comes to a point. Om shanti.

Taste this blessing if you can without juice
running over – or let melon water fill
a river thirsty for Her favors.

Tender fruit of an earthly loom –

Devotion is all She cares for. Are you ready?

Do you want to take her place 

en pointe centerless as eternity?
Know Her knife is sharpest when you

love. Om shanti! Om Peace!

The Birthing of Seed

Mother awakening in our awareness

is birthing of seed

from all time into no time –

a birthing what was ever-present

holy, profane, transcendent.

Rooted we are – yet rootless we wander.

If dust cracked under our feet,

would it feel the same as
digging a cave
a little above seed-rich soil?

Tender, fierce dance sweetens the air around

desperate passages wary, wanting, winsome.

See everything in an instant.
Oh dear heart.

An inner smile is way of Cosmic Love.

Our clarifying perception and Time's boundless
sagas reveal laws of wholeness.

Do we remember?


Susan Suntree is an award-winning poet, performer, essayist, and activist whose recent books of poetry included Dear Traveler and the updated paperback and audiobook releases of her non-fiction epic poem Sacred Sites: The Secret History of Southern California, written over three decades under the guidance of indigenous Southern California Culture Bearers. This book won the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Award for Nonfiction, the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Narrative Poetry, a Mellon Foundation Elemental Arts Award; the audiobook was a finalist for a Society of Voice Arts and Sciences prize. Other books include Eye of the Womb, also published in Madrid as a bilingual edition, El Ojo de la Matriz; Tulips, a bilingual chapbook of translations of Spanish poet Ana Rossetti; Rita Moreno, biography; Wisdom of the East; Stories of Compassion, Inspiration and Love for which the Dalai Lama wrote the foreword. Site-specific performances include the quartet, Seed to Snow: Plays for the Seasons; works exploring Los Angeles include Origins of Praise, commissioned by the Manhattan Theatre Club;  Skins performed in the store windows of Playmates of Hollywood, Talking to the Sun for the Fringe Festival, and the eco-political street theater works Wetlands Land, Saving Private Pickle Plant, and Earth Water Air Los Angeles, a four day Giant Puppet trek following the path of the LA River to the Ballona Wetlands. Her work-in-progress, The Undertakers, confronts the war roots of the climate crises. She often accompanies her readings with the dulcimer and harmonica.

Three Poems from Susan Suntree:


Beside old stagecoach ruts

oak cracks pink sandstone

the trunk grows

                        straight up from the seed

                        roots drawn down

tracking fractures

in hardened sea dunes

to water

            an oak bonsaied by

                        natural limits rewarding

                                    vigor and good luck.


Traveler: Will you demand

                                         to know the heart

                             of this rock-captured tree

make it your preacher

                 force a parable

                              from its stone splitting root?


Fighters from the northern bases

            drive through flimsy clouds

                                                laying tracks

                                    exhausted fumes

                        rolling roars blown behind

            engines combusting forests

 long dead and decayed.


What you breathe is the tree's breath

What the tree breathes is your breath

Breath of a fevered civilization.


The boundary of hell

            is the shape of your skull.


 Published in Dear Traveler (Finishing Line Press)

Wealth in a Gilded Age

What is wealth in a gilded age?

                        Stockpiled Italian furnishings?

                        Houses larger than hospitals?

                        Owning more than everything?

 Has it always been the course of blood

                                                to heat a power suit?

To drip down the channel of a red tie

                                                from chin to glans?

To amplify fat luxury lips to a wet red slash

            above a tightened neck?

 If sparks from the stars grinding by overhead

                                                            have nothing to do with it

                        what are these sparkling treasures

                                    boxed in black velvet

                                                secured by military dragons

                                                            flashing the mirrors of fear?

Wherever light might escape

                         the power grid keeps the doors sealed.         

 Wealth in gilded age hides itself with itself.

Only dust can put a finger on it.

From work-in-progress: The Undertakers



 Village Poets Readings will resume in January 2024