In the Willow Rock Writers newsletter for April 2011, I invited folks to send in their poetry in celebration of National Poetry Month. We received some lovely poems, reprinted below. Thank you to everyone who contributed!
This Is My Beloved
By Mary Rose Betten
I divine words
that car radio
Answer loves command
Sticky note it
Don’t be a
Set it free
where none dare
comes to rest
the steering wheel
My Santa Barbara
By Bud Stuart
My Santa Barbara is a Dream.
For all these years that’s what it’s been.
From a splendid Biltmore Sunday brunch,
When long ago we stopped for lunch,
To this year now, it all still clicks,
We still enjoy a magic mix.
Our setting sun will light the sea,
As well as mountains majesty.
With such beauty all around,
So many fun “to do’s” abound.
Perhaps to the Polo Fields you’d go,
With horses flying, to and fro.
A Sunday with such fun and food,
Creates a Santa Barbara mood.
You’d rather see a play you say?
The historic Lobero’s not far away.
Or if you prefer a smaller stage,
The Center or Ensemble are all the rage.
We even have a Santa Barbara Symphony,
World class music you’ll soon agree.
Our SB Ballet trips the light fantastic,
Some are modern, others classic.
Plus you won’t even need your car,
For nothing’s really very far.
It’s a city that’s built for walking,
With endless great restaurants for talking.
Whether you desire rice and beans,
Or this planet’s very top cuisines,
Santa Barbara’s always standing tall,
For, you see, we have them all.!
Then for your mental satisfaction,
You will find a lot of action.
Museums like the Karpeles
Bring living history to us.
Our Santa Barbara Museum of Art,
Each and every year it does it’s part.
While high upon the hill we see
A Museum of Natural History.
Activities too many to mention
Constantly call for our attention.
An evening sail on the Double Dolphin.
Or at the Muni a fun filled day of golfin’.
We even have our own Show Grounds,
Where endless fun events abound.
For a town that does not have great size,
Our Santa Barbara always takes First Prize.
For beauty or activity,
There is no better place to be.
So thank you Fate for what we’ve gained.
Perhaps these lines have now explained.
What Santa Barbara means you see,
Is Paradise on Earth for me.
By Evelyn Burroughs
bold crow bold crow
stands in my intersection
daring not to
right of way,
not inclined to
fly off, as others
of his ilk do
when people approach
bold crow, bold crow
dismisses my bullying
him out of my way
to stand in a puddle
instead, drinks boldly
of run-off sprinkler
water from lawns nearby
as if he owns
or at least this
pool over which
he hovers, then casts
a beak-eye disdain
at my car for
webbed ripples of a
crow-puddle just right
this day-- as if
to reprimand me with
“Did you really have to do that?”
bold crow - bold crow
stands, drinks, glares
after my clearing
his intersection so --
that he might resume
being beyond bold
At the Table
By Evelyn Burroughs
At his cluttered table
only a left over
Christmas center piece plant and me
show signs of life.
Plant and human
come to rest like thane companions surviving a torturous trek.
A flattening out before the step to decision.
Where to from here?
From the plane of third options and kinsmen,
MacBeth’s quandary resonates:
Steeped in thus far, going back is a greater leaping o’er
Than standing still.
Weighing in at the table:
Plant reminds woman how it arrived
at the table weeks ago—
when its leaves were greener, soil moister, stems taller, and
hopes higher for both of them
to have found a haven.
His table now holds them hostage
in this landscape where
plant and woman breathe in futility. Woman
remembers the last plant brought into his house
to the table --left alone in an unnurturing space dark ,
its life sacrificed for the scraps of
attention she might garner from his sparse light and tepid touch.
In this nothing hour at the table
plant and woman in coiled clutch feel
their presence shrinking
unable to rise above the dense undergrowth of
Sweet Thing* Laments
By Evelyn Burroughs
A slow night
Cars cruisin’ by but not stoppin’
Usually hungry Johns, Eds, Willys--
Even a Doris (I seen it all)
Peering out from tinted windows
rolled halfway up or down
Nobody’s appetite need feeding
Just as well
I aint feeling it tonight.
My baby Sarah still sick with the flu
-- the doctor say
She can’t keep nothin’ down, hot with fever all over
Bobbie D won’t let me take off to stay with her
She cry when I leave the flat.
I ask him What can one evenin’ matter?
His stable’s deep – ‘leven walkers in the Ville alone
He say Your time my time
you off your back put me on my heels
So I stroll this Euclid Blvd,
peering back into tinted windows
Bmers, Caddies & Chevy pickups
hoping to spot a daddy who see a
sick little girl he need to watch over
before the darkness swallow her up.
*Sweet Thing is one of the women, a prostitute, described in Nina Simone’s “Four Women”
Conversation with a 2-year-old
By Cindy Bousquet Harris
Do you want cereal?
No, I want cereal.
Let's change "diapey" first.
(Wail of dismay.)
I don't want to change diapey.
Because I don't want to change diapey.
I think we've got some circular reasoning
going on here.
(More wailing, kicking, and squirming
as I attempt to situate her
on the changing pad.)
You need to help Mommy.
(More kicking and squirming.)
Do you want a time-out?
DO you want a time-out?