Selected Poems 2021, Topanga, California Part 1, April 2

The Canyon ChronicleBy The Canyon Chronicle      April 2, 2021

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Selected Poems 2021, Topanga, California Part 1, April 2
Sponsored by an Act of Love You could say National Poetry Month is just an excuse to___fill in the blank___and you’d be right. Officially, it is a celebration of poetry which takes place each April, was introduced in 1996, and is organized by the Academy of American Poets ( as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. Unofficially, The Canyon Chronicle is dedicating space in its April issues, three of them, to the works of local poets who answered a simple call to submit a poem as if it were their season to appear, randomly invited, not curated, people we know and don’t know, side-by-side manifesting life through a poet’s eye. In Memoriam Of poet Ellen Reich, Ann Buxie, wrote of her colleague and friend, “Ellen Reich was, and still is since her passing, a seminal presence in our community of writers and poets. At her death she was serving as the poet laureate of Malibu. When I am low, I hear Her breath encouraging me to write on.” Inn of the Seventh Ray Something has lain there for days before being found —Harry Humes The rain, that hasn’t come for years, still holds out. Tonight’s sky goes from watery blue to cloudless black pearl. We dine under the sycamore. The stream bed, where mule deer once drank, is filled with dry leaves. A deer-eared coyote lurks on the hill. His acorn eyes watch us eat. A shrunken man with a manzanita branch stumbles around a rock, rattling the dead brush under rag-wrapped feet. He holds his bottle like a trout he might have caught in wetter years. The sycamore mottles his face as he watches us eat. He may not hear the sound of the kill and a flurry of bats, disturbed from cracks behind loose bark, finding new places to hang, or see the coyote’s shadow across his plaid shirt. Deep into the landscape he disappears, for a whispering kind of sleep, perhaps lying between exposed roots of another sycamore as though those roots were his mother’s arms. —EllenReich
Paperscape flowers by Valerie Walsh
Open Invitation
Would you please explain to me this preference for gravity
This lingering upon the shore, legs plastered to the sand

When weightlessness awaits at hand, bright buoyancy
Abounds for free — leave lead behind, enter the sea

Discover, know yourself to be mere tiny mote, bit of
Delight, held, embraced by liquid light — released

To play, awash in glee, loosened from sobriety
Floating, hyaline, vasty

—By Jo Podvin

I might not be all
I was, but I’m becoming
what I’ve never been.
—Ann Buxie

Hundreds of yellow balloons coat the kitchen floor.
Sunshine on the ground, filled by my breath.
The landlord said, “Pop them.”
With a kitchen knife, I stabbed,
as tears rolled down my swollen cheeks.

When Mother Nature blew Earth into a circle,
I wonder if she knew it too would rupture.
—Miranda Bell Anapol
Paperscape flowers by Valerie Walsh
Heights That Feathers Fall From
Rumpled as a cloud my Valentine stirs
Fingertips brush our lips, each kiss
Insisting time does not exist.
All along her awakening my tongue
defines its feline stretch
where she guides my arrow
to the spring of every human cry
and falls full spent within its dream
to fly before and after lovers die.

—Philip Daughtry

Apples ll
I have been taught by apples
we talked together on a red day
when the sun made us both shine

They spoke of Dylan Thomas
and of vows never to go gentle
into the night

Never surrender to teeth or forced entry
without a fight
without spitting into perpetrator eyes

I have been taught by apples
to polish my act
to face the world with color and rounded edges

To not show bruises when hurt
until I am alone
and can cry in peace

—Dorothy Randall Gray
Paperscape flowers by Valerie Walsh
Awake at 2:36 am
The house cracks,
shifts its stance against
wind’s slow groan

Crazy, when I can’t sleep
and I’ve read the pile of books
stacked beside my bed,
some actually on my bed -
a boat of books I’m laying in -
a cradle,
companions, as I face the dark
and the dark fact of ignorance
and the dark fact that there are
no gods to save us

only poets, holding lanterns.

—Peg Quinn

Little Buddha
My five-year-old granddaughter tells me
“Nana every day I’m doing something.
Every day you’re doing something.
We’re not doing the same thing but
but we’re both doing.”

—Jean Colonomos
Paperscape flowers by Valerie Walsh
Crane Flies
After Spring rains, crane flies
come into the back porch
and bob against the netting.

Sinister-seeming as wasps,
harmless as superstitions,
they float into the cobwebs.

Corners are bad for them.
Any convergence of relatives
and they end up dying
all over the house.

We pick them up
by their wings—their legs come off
too easily.

You can know nothing of a crane fly
once it flattens on the sill—a dusty
propeller, a few scattered wires—

but to find one
cupped with dew on the mallow leaf,
elegant as a long-boned hand,
the amber of its thin wing catching fire,

you might arc yourself above it
and wait for it to warm,

you might hope for a breath
to take it lightly up.

—Enid Osborn

Risky Beauty
They cut down the Bougainvillea today,
the braggadocious bush that filled my window
with pinkish light so warm and delicate, that
to settle into the fortunate chair positioned
in its bandwidth was to bathe in life itself.

They said it was too close to the house, what,
with wildfires raging, and Santa Ana winds,
this beauty was too risky, too near,
like the cliff-edges in the Grand Canyon
that tease you to come closer and behold
a wonder of the world, and protective parents
call their children to retreat from;

we dare not let ourselves fall
into such beauty, lest we spend
less time playing with plastic things,
and making war, and whatever else
compels us to keep our distance.

—Robert Woodcock
The Canyon Chronicle
      April 2, 2021

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