Poems will be added, at least one a day,
for the month of April. Please include a short bio.
For access to the 100 Thousand Poets for Change
website, visit 100tpc.org.
“It appears that transformation towards a more sustainable world is a major concern and could be a global guiding principle for 100 TPC events. Peace also seems to be a common cause. War is not sustainable. There is an increasing sense that we need to move forward and stop moving backward. But we are not trying not to be dogmatic. We hope that together we can develop our ideas of the “change/transformation” we are looking for as a global community, and that each local community group will decide their own specific area of focus for change for their particular event. All we ask is that local communities organize events about change within the guidelines of peace and sustainability.
“And that each local community group will decide their own specific area of focus for change for their particular event.
“All we ask is that local communities organize events about change in terms of peace and sustainability.”
The Last Days of Jan [Kerouac]
by Carl Macki
We wanted her to be like a figure in a painting by Botticelli [or a China doll ]
instead, we got Jackson Pollock [in all his glory].
A friend gave me her address before I landed in Hollywood
I looked for her apartment in Hollywood. rang the bell and as we talked spread my writings across her living room floor
The Dodgers won their game in Chavez Ravine that day
it was still sunny
when we went to a Moroccan restaurant on Sunset
overlooking the hotel where John Belushi died
It felt dizzy and not at all glamorous
[She was] like St. Lucy forced into prostitution
And I some unnamed Sicilian jackal
Peddling saline drachmas in a salt-encrusted temple
Of timeless interference
when she died, my vision was restored.
Geri Digiorno and 100 Thousand Poets for Change
By Petaluma Community Access
Published on Dec 26, 2012
Geri Digiorno welcomes guests into her house for 100 Thousand Poets for Change.
by Michael Rothenberg
Cowards in white sheets, the skinhead cops
and racists, the religious working men
and women who think a woman’s place is
in the kitchen and children are to be seen
and not heard, and believe people of color
are here in America as a privilege not a right,
who blame Obama for 9/11, but he wasn’t
even president then, the ones who say racism
didn’t exist in America until Obama,
the blowhards, The Trumpeters, the ones
who will murder to be in the driver’s seat
of a big white capitalist car, who will never
be in the driver’s seat, will always be
second-rate white people, in the rich
man’s eye, they might as well be black
for their marginalized existence in the grand
scheme of the upper class American
power elite, but still they buy into the lie,
with their heads up the ass of the real oppressors,
the powerful whites who will never share
a piece of the pie with their middle-class
and working class, poor white cousins, who
only see these ordinary folk, these regular
people as grist for the mill, unruly ignorants
who they can use to help them build their
oligarchic empires, the front line of their
marching band, The Trumpeters, blowing
the horn of oppression, blowing the horn
of the white man’s dream to rule the world,
the white man’s dream to carry guns
in the street, free to murder kids in Sandy Hook,
free to beat their wives, and practice rape
as a contact sport while they graduate
from Stanford University with a big white
degree, free to treat a woman as property,
like a piece of shit, these Trumpeters, they blow,
and blow hard, The Trumpeters, the 40 percent,
maybe 50 percent of America, who will sell
their souls for the promise of ever- elusive
power, the good old Christians who spit
in Christ’s face and rape him on the cross,
the ones that covet cruelty, The Trumpeters,
the patriotic Trumpeters, the ones who think
the USA is a page in an owner’s manual,
clear as day, that they can own democracy,
rig and twist justice and truth to their
self-interested lies and aspirations, that justice
can be bought and sold, as long as white
people rule the world, The Trumpeters,
the ones who think the USA is a big fucking
TV set, as they slurp down their supersized
cans of pharmaceutical sugar and poison,
The Trumpeters, who mimic some hallmark
illusion of The Great White American Way,
and lick the boots of a reality show star,
The Trumpeters, may they suffer the pain
they wish on the poor, the weak, the abandoned,
and rot in the hell of their own vanity,
greed, envy, pride, lust, and sloth and ten
more sins that are their legacy, the sins of
The Trumpeters! Oh, Trumpeters, come on,
blow, blow, blow, your trumpets, here
comes your monster daddy, he comes to give
you another script to read because you can’t
think for yourselves, and he will fuck you
in the ass, and he will never kiss you, never
ever be like you, or with you, he will only
bleed you, and bleed you, fodder for his wars,
fodder for his ecocidal factories, fodder
for his machineries of deception, yes, you
will be his robot army, because you are,
accept it, only Trumpeters, only soulless slaves,
at your very core, behind your brassiness
you are only a procession of cowards, and you
will follow and pronounce your yahoo
independence as you walk to your hate-filled
grave, you will follow the goosestep of the
high boot and genocide, get in line proud
Trumpeters, the future is yours, there’s a banquet
waiting for you beyond the gates of Valhalla,
come on, you are the lucky ones, the entitled ones,
not only the desired guest for the feast, you are
the feast itself, so bow down and open your collar,
your red-haired father is coming to devour you.
Michael Rothenberg is the editor of BigBridge.org, co-founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, and co-founder of Poets In Need, a non-profit 501(c), assisting poets in crisis. His most recent book of poems is Drawing The Shade (Dos Madres Press, 2016). A bi-lingual edition of Indefinite Detention: A Dog Story and the poetic journals Tally Ho and the Cowboy Dream/The Real and False Journals: Book 5 will be published by Varasek Ediciones (Madrid, Spain, 2017). Wake Up and Dream will be published in 2017 by MadHat Press. He currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
100 Days Action presents a calendar of activist and poetic action as a counternarrative to Trump’s one hundred day plan.
The Chill of Grace
by Cathyrn Shea
Climb into the profound snow of high altitudes,
the synod of trees bent with the weight.
In guiltless knowledge of the wind, in the bitter
custody of winter, be there to listen.
Amid the stunted pines, the absence of bird song,
the attenuation of the light, your change takes place
among that radiance, may give you grace to forgive
how you raised your children.
Such a spent feast in the crystalline air
chiseled sharp that blinds you
where steam from your body struggles, escapes
above the deck of clouds. Your breath hangs
in wonder, ready to drop in an avalanche
unhinged from a cornice, thriving on moments of fury.
Sometimes we only want sun.
Then we want snow instead.
Wild like a sleeted noon,
a whiteout to erase the road.
First published in West Marin Review.
Cathryn Shea’s second chapbook, It’s Raining Lullabies, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in late 2017. Shea’s poetry has recently appeared in After the Pause, Permafrost, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox, and elsewhere, and has poems forthcoming in anthologies that include Luminous Echoes: A Poetry Anthology by Into The Void and “The New English Verse” by Cyberwit.net. In 2004, she received the Marjorie J. Wilson Award for Excellence in Poetry from MARGIE. Shea serves on the editorial staff of the Marin Poetry Center and has worked in technical publishing for many years. She lives in Fairfax, California. See cathrynshea.com and @cathy_shea on Twitter.
“When I wrote “The Chill of Grace,” I had been reminiscing about how I felt the first time I stepped off the ski tram at Grand Targhee on the back side of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. The tops of the pine trees were so windswept and encrusted with snow they looked like old men in white robes entering heaven. I had never seen such blue sky in contrast to blinding white snow. Below-zero air entered my lungs, and I wondered how I would make it down the slope. I had a job there after college and the seasons I spent at Grand Targhee were life-changing magic for me. I met my husband and we had two children together after moving back to a busier, urban life. The poem reflects fleeting awe, joy, and puzzles about choices and consequences out of our control. I also remembered the terror I experienced in a whiteout when a friend and I were caught on the road in a blizzard.”
Fix By Fix
by Daniel Michael McKenzie
Fix by Fix
by Jelaluddin Rumi
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.
When actions come from another section, the feeling
disappears. Don’t let
others lead you. They may be blind or, worse, vultures.
Reach for the rope
of God. And what is that? Putting aside self-will.
Because of willfulness
people sit in jail, the trapped bird’s wings are tied,
fish sizzle in the skillet.
The anger of police is willfulness. You’ve seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment. Now
see the invisible. If you could leave your selfishness, you
would see how you’ve
been torturing your soul. We are born and live inside black water in a well.
How could we know what an open field of sunlight is? Don’t
insist on going where
you think you want to go. Ask the way to the spring. Your
living pieces will form
a harmony. There is a moving palace that floats in the air
with balconies and clear
water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained
under a single tent.
Three by Dee Allen
Used to be 404 and 770.
Now, I’m 415 and 510.
Seven years spent
Taking in all this Area by the Bay gives me.
From my adopted home on the range.
“Consume all of it,
Grow strong and
Put in the work you’re meant to do”,
My heart whispers.
Always down for the Struggle
In defence of all life
Encompassing nature, all races, sexes,
species & certain classes,
Especially the Poor—–
[ For Lisa Gray-Garcia a.k.a. tiny. ]
The Supreme Being is
Most times He
Incomprehensible to mortals
Higher than us
Name plastered on roadside billboards
In the South & the Midwest[ Along with Jesus ]
Muse for church sermons & statesmen’s speeches
Backbone for governmental decisions & laws
Impetus for terrorist acts
Excuse for needless wars
Convenient disguise for personal
The Supreme Being is
All of these to all people.
It would be
A moral edge
Shadow of an old idea.
(W: Buy Nothing Day 2012)
To The Deniers
If there were no cattle trains in 1940s Europe
Loaded up with
Jewish multitudes, headed for imaginary
Death camps, queuing up for illusory
Final showers in mythical
Zyklon-B gas, mass commencements into make-believe
Fleshpiles, filling in the Nazis’
Open graves, constructs dug into the soft earth of
Someone’s twisted imagination,
If the victims’ photographs
Photoshop magic conjurations,
If a young girl’s
Diary entries, written whilst in hiding from stormtroopers,
Were forgeries by hand, pathological lies,
If the camp tattoos
On a survivor’s aging, withered arm
Were a lifelong
Mindtrick, possibly brought on by something else,
If the Holocaust never happened
Then you didn’t pick up this book
And you didn’t read this poem.
Video Excerpt from 100 TPC reading
“No Safe Spaces,” by Fred Dodsworth
Republished from 100 Days Action
Standing midst the flames
like wolves’ tongues
surrounded by shattered lives,
the sun sets in the East this time,
a dark orange pallor
casting its sickly shadow
over dreams once offered
it’s a republic, if you can keep it,
said an old white dead guy
while a child, incandescent like the stars,
burns through the night
her eyes the color of embers
an abyss beckoning to a future
too like the past,
another season turn, turn, turning,
Guernica, guerre, resistance …
art is an act of war.
You Must Apologize! Apologize!
…for the art you never birthed!
for the smiles you made instead,
there are no safe spaces
when the playwright writes
“whenever I hear the word culture,
I release the safety…”
It matters not which safety,
there is no safety in such a storm,
the sibilant hissing sounds Hanns’ made
are as silent or loud
as the starbursts of guns,
the blossom of bombs.
The bird, victim to its falconer
its talons torn out,
its powerful beak broken,
this beast knows no center,
only a night of broken glass beckons
such things as happen in the darkness
and still the child stands in the flames,
her burning eyes on you,
on what you knew,
what you know,
what you failed to do
in these times the whole world must be rude,
even to the best of men
artists, poets, musicians,
such soldiers in such a war,
seize up your arms
make no safe spaces for those
who would enchant or enchain us
stand with that child incandescent
like the stars
Make your art hard.
(*Hanns Johst, SS Officer & author of Schlageter beloved of Nazis and the GOP: “Whenever I hear the word ‘culture’ I release the safety of my pistol.”)
A version of this poem was published in Anti-Heroin Chic, an online magazine.
An ink-stained wretch, Fred Dodsworth spent most of the last 30 years in newsrooms picking fights.
The truth is a slippery bastard and he lost most of those fights. Now he writes poetry and fiction because there’s more truth to be found in fiction than in any news story ever printed.
SF Jail Haiku
by Fred Dodsworth
In this hard, locked box
I look for signs of new growth.
Spring comes, even here
In this hard, hard box
—July 31, 2015
Poets For Change
by Anita Erola
100 thousand poets for change
100 tuhatta runoilijaa muutokseen
100 mil poetas por cambio
begin the change
be the change
ole se muutos
comenzar el cambio
ser el cambio
change will come with words
el cambio vendra con palabras
change your words
change the world
cambie el mundo
change will come
el cambio vendra
change will come
el cambio vendra
Changed Words Bring Change
by Anita Erola
It has been written
It has been read
It has been said
Change is going to come
We are here now
With our words for change
With our words of change
To the nature in us
Change your words
Change the world
Is in the words
What you say
Changes the world
Mother Teresa said
I will never attend an anti-war rally
When you have a pro-peace rally, invite me
Hear the power
In the words
Seize the power
Seize the power
Change the world
Be positive about change
Listen to what is said
Hear what is said
by Al Winans
I see you in my dreams
you are wearing a silk scarf
your smile hovers over me like
you are standing at a public square
The women are selling pottery
the men drinking wine
a cat crosses the road
purrs against your slender legs
you an early century Madonna
with no need for church or man
you sit cross-legged like Buddha
fill me with words that twist in my mind
like helicopter blades
your words soft as a feather pillow
blend with mine like buttered toast
explode like shrapnel inside my head
sweet fragrance of lilacs draws me in
sweet as a virgin’s innocence
I take refuge in a sea of stars
walk back into my mother’s womb
no longer stumbling like a blind man
in the dark
your limbs sing like crickets in the night
rub their hind legs in applause
Open Your Eyes
by Al Winans
You can’t escape it
Your remote control is wed to it
Local and cable channels feed it to you
Like meat thrown into a tiger’s cage
News of wars and pending wars
Reel you in like a doomed fish
You become part of it whether
You want to or not
You don’t have to be on the frontlines
To feel the wounds see the blood
Taste the carnage
Your parents and grandparents lived it
Willed it to you
The dog feels it every time
He wags his tail
The cat hides under the bed
But can’t escape it
Walt Whitman walked the battlefields
Bandaged the wounds of the fallen
William Carlos Williams saw it in
The faces of dying patients
They built a cemetery on the lawn
Of General Lee’s mansion
General Grant tried to drink
The pain away
The disease can’t be defeated
The Pope is powerless
The President embraces it
The First Lady dances with it
The vampire Congress feeds off it
It’s a cancer that eats away at you
Sucks you down like quicksand
Admirals and Generals run through
The fields harvesting the dead
Congress gangsters rattle their sabers
In the midnight oil of democracy
Ballistic missiles pointed at the stars
The firing squad put on alert
Petrified standing like mannequins
In a death field
The businessman’s money tree
Bends with the weight
A nation in slave chains
Disguised as freedom
Turn on the TV open your eyes
It’s all there to see
Biography (from Wikipedia)
A.D. Winans has had poetry, book reviews, and short stories published in over 2,000 magazines and anthologies. He has written 63 books of poetry, and two books of prose.
A song poem of his was performed at Alice Tully Hall, New York City. In 2006, he was awarded a PEN National Josephine Miles Award for excellence in literature. In 2009 PEN Oakland presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015 he was a recipient of a Kathy Acker Award in poetry and publishing.
His latest book, “San Francisco Poems” published by Little Red Tree Publishing, CT, includes an extended biography with many photographs, plus 99 poems, old and new.
In 2016 he appeared in a documentary movie on the life of poet Bob Kaufman. The movie was premiered in April 2016 at the San Francisco International Movie Festival.
Joey by Fred Dodsworth
Joey served three tours
killing Afghani and Iraqi patriots
who fought for their country,
for their beliefs.
Joey fought for us,
it was a job in a time of joblessness
he came back home confused and lonely
he kept remembering the war,
he could not forget,
in the company of children.
No one trusts a man
who prefers the company of a child
Joey went away a young man,
but he came back home a broken one.
No one trusts a man
who prefers the truth of children.
When a parent,
an angry adult,
asks a child
‘“What did he do to you?
Did he do something to you?”
the nightmares mix with the fantasies,
adult desires smear childish confusion.
When the police arrested him
and asked him if he did those things
to that child
this was just one more question
he didn’t know how to answer.
Joey served three tours
killing strangers in the Middle East
now he serves 15 to life behind walls,
in a locked cell.
We forget the wars,
but the wars never end
for the soldiers who can’t forget.
—July 14, 2015
Mule Shoe Salient
by Will Holst
“On May 8, Union Maj. Gens.Gouverneur K. Warren and John Sedgwick unsuccessfully attempted to dislodge the Confederates under Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson from Laurel Hill, a position that was blocking them from Spotsylvania Court House. On May 10, Grant ordered attacks across the Confederate line of earthworks, which by now extended over 4 miles (6.5 km), including a prominent salient known as the Mule Shoe. . . . Attacks by Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright on the western edge of the Mule Shoe, which became known as the “Bloody Angle”, involved almost 24 hours of desperate hand-to-hand fighting, some of the most intense of the Civil War.” –Wikipedia, “Battle of Spotsylvania Court House”
Yesterday morning at the Rose Garden
needed lips as blossoms like ears.
This morning their winter came,
pruned back at their wrists, hips and elbows.
I stand here at the breastworks of Bloody Angle
at the Spotsylvania battlefield where teenage boys fought
for 26 hours in the mud and rain face to face murdering
until the gray sadist drew them back for another year of it,
boys who never got laid or bit into baked lobster.
Beaten to death, burned, shot, decomposed
reading their Bibles and writing home scared.
Liars get away with murder
or Real Estate swindles.
A country that got matters resolved.
Not a word. By silence.
My blood thickens.
From Lightfoot Harry Lee I hear ‘nigger’
burying the alive dead as Desert Storm,
Chancelorsville: the gray line from the forest,
flushing the bear, deer, every living wild animal
before their charge,
that Cherokee ground dog stick’n possum Rebel yell,
bayoneting boys putting on their underpants,
playing harmonicas, stirring breakfast coffee,
as Stonewall’s 87th Airborne swooped in,
singing ‘I’ll club your skull in, my brother’s, father’s,
women’s, to save ma’ rites.’ To Dixie.
We know what’s going on.
We all take a bullet,
ankle deep in battlefield fluid,
our own faces screaming as sound,
as starving residue,
our skulls racked up to laughter,
our limbs sawed off, our skins hotter
than crispy critters scared shitless.
We know, we know, billions murdered.
We know why. We do nothing.
We take images to remember,
not words, not names, human being words.
Find your back torn away butchered as turtle.
We wriggle together in terror so
that our speaking looks like the eye of the blade
that comes down to split into quarter pieces.
We are feed.
Will Holst was an educator in the Bay area public schools and lived in Berkeley, CA. He was a close friend of the poet, Eugene Ruggles.
The Fire This Time
by Fred Dodsworth
My family, my children by other mothers, my children
I cherish your bent being and your gender bent clothes
Your dirty faces, all your different colors
Skin and hair and fabrics and desires unexpected,
Gathered round the table, eating, drinking, laughing
telling tales of strange, often frightening adventures
And footprints on the ceiling.
It turned into a dance party, of course.
Of course someone would hold someone else
Upside down and leave footprints on the ceiling
Before you optimistically drove off
In your wild painted but broken down buses and trucks
Headed to Brooklyn or Cementland or Slab City
Wasn’t that an abandoned military base on the Mexican border?
Either way, too far from my comfort zone.
Who else would take over a national park for a party?
With hundreds of ravers from all over the world
Security provided by PTSD vets on meth,
“but they were cool,” you said.
For the party you made home-brewed soda pop
with hand drawn labels on scavenged bottles
Concocted in a solution of cold-press coffee
Guarana and Eleuthero and Maca,
And god knows what else you put in it.
Boiled up on the stove and bottled
Sold at that rave in the woods
Guaranteed to keep the dance going all night
Everyone needs a little something to keep on going,
The rangers might show up any moment
The party is always bound to get busted
Now is the perfect time for lasers
Light painting the forests and far skies
The heavy beat of electro-house,
Or is it trance, or something called deep dub
I don’t know because I’m old but
You boys and girls with your spirited re-names
Your connection to and denial of
All that’s crass and commercial
Ballet on bicycles or trimming in Mendocino
Dance dangling on skeins of silk
High over head without a net,
Without any safety precautions.
Defying the odds to snatch you, but
The odds were never in your favor
The odds are not in our favor either
What are the odds of a motorcycle’s handle bar
Penetrating a woman’s skull,
Somehow missing her helmet
The one you refuse to wear… it doesn’t seem to matter
She wore the helmet and was forever altered
You won’t wear a helmet and I’m forever altered.
What are the odds of a big D depression
Getting to be too much this time, some time
It’s impossible, it’s unreal,
It’s the guesswork of greater powers than mine.
Forget all that, let’s talk about the fire.
What are the chances of you leaving the party
Just before the fire starts.
No, not Ghost Ship,
Remember New Orleans?
Who can forget NOLA?
The fire where ten of your friends perished,
Free spirits afloat in the smoke and flames,
Just another warehouse maze like every other
What are the chances that you won’t get to the party
Until after the fire starts, with all your friends
Hugging, Dancing and then 36 or so disappear.
Forever kith-n-kin lost in clouds of fiery dense smoke
And now you’re railing, railing against the inevitable
The recognition that even if it’s not you who died
Some part of you dies each time, every time.
Pounding on the ground, pounding on the walls
“Don’t take this away, too,” you say
That place of peace and communion
The one we all yearn for
But somehow you keep on going
Creating such illegal sacred spaces
While we worry about the inevitable
You build a better, wholer world
While we worry about the future
A future no one is guaranteed.
Oh my family, my children by other mothers, my children
You keep on going on,
Creating, Communing, Living
I cherish you. I love you.
All of you with your smoke smudged faces.
Please don’t leave me behind.
Take me with you when you go.
Feb 28, 2017
Untitled by Vincent Carrella
You are not going to rest on your laurels. You are not going to sit around and wait for something to happen. You are not going to procrastinate. You are not going to suffer. You’re not going to remain complacent. You are going to believe in yourself. You’re going to take risks. You’re going to dream and reach for your dreams. You will not allow fear to hold you back. You will embrace change. You will thrive. You will claim joy and happiness as your rights. You will work hard and be rewarded. You will not succumb to defeatist patterns of thought. You will love and accept yourself. You will pick yourself up if you fall. You will help other people. You will help yourself. You will be your own best friend but you will be helped by the friends that you have. You will be lucky. You will be given grace. You are not cursed, or broken or doomed. You will smile more often. You will laugh with greater frequency. You will take any setbacks in stride. You will trust in the universe. You will follow your heart. You will rely on the kindness of strangers. You will keep your light on and love the world like crazy and you will live each day as if it’s numbered because it is. You will treat yourself kindly. You won’t beat yourself up. You will learn new things all the time. You will stay humble but think mighty thoughts. You will cry when you feel like it and listen more closely. You’ll remember to be grateful for every thing that you have, and that it’s the little things that matter. You will treat each moment like a gift. You will always be gentle and always be forgiving and always be polite. You will be your own hero. You will be your own savior. But you will be patient and accepting and let the answers come in their own time. You will stay grounded in the present. You will let go of the past. You will be far less rigid about outcomes and the whys. You will breathe and breathe again. You will not fear death. You will acknowledge the power of your mind. You will talk less, think less and care less about the madness of the world. You will sit still. You will observe more. You will become like a very wise child. You will live well and be content because these are all choices and Heaven is is one of them and you were made in the exact image of God.
“Photo was taken at my favorite breakfast place, The Hummingbird, in Fairfax, CA.”
Vincent Louis Carrella – Writer/Author of Serpent Box, a novel | Photographer at The Light House: Photography by Vincent Louis Carrella
Mexico Poem by A.D. Winans
Alone in my hotel room
In Mexico, twenty-four hours before
My flight back to San Francisco
A hundred blank pages rattling around
Inside my head
I can turn each one into paper airplanes
Fly them to imaginary places
Or write poems on them in vivid old
Mexico song rhythms
If I could draw
I’d draw a rainbow picture
Of beautiful Indian women
With faces brown as the soil
Soon I’ll return to San Francisco
City of dreamer’s drunkards
And lonely lovers
I will turn the blank pages into poems
Fleshed from the poned of my memory bank
Baited with the history of old Mexico
Great Things About Getting Old
by John Tischer
You can’t remember if you have
…everyone expects you to hate everything.
…good excuse for
…people are more likely to help,
because they don’t want to see you
die in front of them.
…you don’t have to move much
to have a good time.
…you can look at women,
and they’re not offended.
…women look at you,
and you’re not aroused.
John Tischer was an actor, plumber, teacher, and now writer. He lives in Tepotzlan, Mexico. His blog “Eggtooth Breaks Open” is at https://johntischer.blogspot.com.
Witching by Geri diGiorno
tony and me are looking at property
up around nevada city
a nice half acre
with a mobile home on it
the realtor is holding a stick
moving it along the ground
both hands seeming to guide it
he’s looking for water
he stands in complete concentration
his face half-tense half-relaxed
he stops in an open field
full of wild flowers and weeds
there’s water here he says
six ten feet down
probably an underground stream
i never saw anything like this
the stick is moving vibrating
like its plugged into a socket
we’ve stepped over to another world
of belief or hope
our city-selves standing there in disbelief
like two strangers
wanting to look back to ancient times
to rely on instinct to believe
to listen to the earth
Poem For Monica
by John Tischer
They’re building a wall in my house
on top of an old wall because of leakage.
The whole family is here including five
year old Damien, who likes me. He has
a new puppy as big as my hand. I gave
both of them cold milk to drink.
This just happens when you’re alive,
all of it, so ordinary, so magic…we take
for granted the magnificent dream we
wake up into every day. Everything
that emanates from our hearts and minds
fills the universe like a perfume, “immense