Sunday, March 29, 2020

CSPS President's Newsbriefs 46:1, Spring 2020



I am pleased to inform our members that CSPS received a $2,000 grant for poetry workshops and distribution of poetry volumes to youth at Phoenix House California, enrolled in substance abuse and mental health treatment. This grant is a part of a larger project, funded by the Dignity Health Foundation – Northridge Hospital, entitled “Close to Nature – A New Approach to Teen Behavioral Health.” CSPS is one of four small nonprofits collaborating with Phoenix House, along with the Theodore Payne Foundation for Native Plants, and the Saffyre Sanctuary. The main idea of the project is that engagement in healthy pursuits – like hiking, study of nature, equine therapy, creativity, and reading and writing poetry – is an antidote to addiction and a great resource for lasting recovery. We are looking forward to activities and reports by CSPS members Pamela Shea, Cile Borman, and Beverly M. Collins who will lead poetry workshops with the high-risk youth, once the current state of emergency is lifted and we are all healthy and happy as larks!


We are working very hard to ensure the future viability of our organization, seeking additional grant funding and inviting more poets to join the CSPS. We welcome all new and returning members! We have been very lucky in successfully adding Alice Pero to our Board of Directors, as Director at Large; she will assist us with her insights and experience. An author of two poetry volumes (Thawed Stars and Sunland Park Poems, the latter in a dialogue with Elsa S. Frausto) and hundreds of published poems, Ms. Pero is the founder and co-curator of the celebrated Los Angeles poetry series Moonday, a teacher of poetry in elementary and middle schools, and a talented flautist, leader of the Windsong classical music ensemble. Ms. Pero has recently been named the 10th Poet-Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga (2020-2022). As the 6th Poet Laureate, I’m so pleased to see the laurels being passed from our 9th, Pamela Shea, to Alice! The perfect 10! Congratulations!

The CQ Editors nominated the following poets for the annual Pushcart Prize 2019: Stephen Ajay, Susan Bernando, Holly Day, Alice Pero, Margaret Rooney, and Russell Salamon (posth.). Congratulations to all poets! Details, titles, and sample poems are on out blog, californiastatepoetrysociety.com.


Submissions to our Annual Poetry Contest 2020 are now being accepted, either via the website or by mail to the Annual Contest Chair, Joyce Snyder. The deadline is June 30, 2020 and we hope to receive many inspired submissions. The Judge is Kaecey McCormick. More information is posted on our blog,

The reader responses to the past two issues of the California Quarterly were enthusiastic and rewarding. My issue of the CQ 45:3 (Autumn 2019) included a tribute to former editor Russell Salamon, that elicited words of praise: “Maja Trochimczyk has set the season’s table with a bounty of diverse and inspired voices in this most recent issue of the venerable California Quarterly. So far, I’ve seen wonderful work by Georgia Jones-Davis and Susan Rogers, but much more to be appreciated. Lovers of Russell Salamon‘s work will find a tribute written by me along with a few surprises from Russell, the former editor of CQ and much missed poet.” (Lois P. Jones). “Celebrating dear Friend and lover of all of us poets, Russell Salamon... all his encouragement and vision..., his way of savoring wonder and cherishing the wonder of others… Russell always amazed me with the endlessness of his wonder and his confidence that poetically there was always more to be said. He always proceeded to say more, and exquisitely so. He participated in Poets on Site performances and books, with a vivid grace and confidence is our work. I was honored also to write with him responsively with delight.” (Kathabela Wilson). “Fabulous poems by Russell Salamon and one of my favourite journals! Love the cover! Congratulations to Lois and Russell and to all published in this issue!” (Linda Ibbotson).



Readers also praised the whole issue: “Isn't it amazing how the poems in that issue seem to be united, like creatures who find themselves nurturing one another beneath the soil.” (Alice Pero). “I’m so proud to be included alongside the such skilled poets.” (Ed Rosenthal). “I’m thrilled to be a part of this issue of CQ!” (Georgia Jones-Davis). “As usual, it’s a beautiful journal: as a frequent contributor, I’m more and more proud to see my work in it along with that by excellent authors.” (Alessio Zanelli). “I've been wanting to tell you how lovely your issue turned out! Beautiful poems and flow! Selection… And every time I pick it up, I find another poem to enjoy. It's so very nicely put together.!” (Nancy Covers Dougherty) “Thank you for the autumn issue of CQ. I appreciate having my submission of “Greening” published in it. The writing in the journal is inspirational to me. I have renewed my membership in the CSPS, and I have ordered an additional copy of the issue. I appreciate the work you do for writing and writers.” (P.C. Moorehead). “Thank you so much for your committed contributions to our shared poetic passions.” (Linda Hendrickson-Baral). “I am pleased and honored to be part of your collection. Thank you very much for all your hard work.” (Susan Morrison). “Thank you for including my poem in this edition of CQ. It is an honor to be part of this publication.” (Mariano Zaro).


Pearl Karrer, the Editor of CQ 45:4, Winter 2019, shares some responses from readers: “The winter issue is full of wonderful poems, and I'm honored to have my work included. I’m sure that having my poems published in CQ helped me to finally have a collection of my poems publishes, a dream come true! (Johanna Ely).”The cover is a masterpiece!” (Maura Harvey). “I am so excited to be in CQ again...” (Allegra Silberstein). “Wonderful...Delighted to have 2 poems in the issue.” (James Deahl) “Lovely! Thank you for the book, and your beautiful cover! I am proud to be part of it.” (Martina Nicholson). “Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my work!” (Susan Bernardo). “The edition is so well done...You have selected so many wonderful deep and contemplative poems. I keep rereading the poems...” (Joyce Snyder).

Margaret Saine’s News: Longtime CQ contributor Pande Manojlov writes: “On February 13th, 2020, I received the most important poetry award of his country, the Republic of Macedonia: the ‘Aco Shopov Prize’. I am very happy!”  Congratulations, dear Pande! Kalyna Temertey, from Toronto and the Toscana, and Nizar Sartawi, from Amman, Jordan, visited the poetry festival in Kérala, Tamil Nadu. And what did they talk about? The CQ, of course! :-). Susan Gunter, who is fluent in Bulgarian, due to a lengthy stay in the country, is bringing Alexander Shurbanov’s poems to our attention in the current issue of the CQ 46:1. Dr. Shurbanov has translated his “Moment” into English himself.

Margaret Saine was invited to read her Spanish poems at several events of the “Semana de Cultura” in Holguín, Cuba, in January 2020. CQ poet Eliécer Almaguer was one of the organizers and I met lots of great poets and novelists, among them Elizabeth Soto, who are published in CQ 46:1. Let’s enjoy this issue and have fun writing & promoting poetry in 2020. 
                                                             
~ Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D.
   President, CSPS



Thursday, February 20, 2020

2020 Annual Poetry Contest - Submissions Due by 30 June 2020



CSPS ANNUAL POETRY CONTEST 

Submissions Accepted March 1st – June 30th, 2020 
$100, $50, $25 Cash Prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Places, 
Plus Publication in the California Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 4 (2020 Winter) 
Reading fees: Members, $3.00/poem; Non-members, $6.00/poem 

Winners will be announced in September 2020. Submissions are now welcome of original poems with 80-line (two-page) limit per poem.

Send a cover letter with all poet information and a list of the submitted poems, one copy of each poem with no poet identification, and a check for the reading fees to: 
CSPS Annual Contest Chair 
3371 Thomas Drive 
Palo Alto, California 94303 



CONTEST JUDGE: KAECEY MCCORMICK

 Kaecey McCormick is the 2020 Contest judge. She is an author, artist and educator who was named 2018-2020 Poet Laureate for the City of Cupertino. She holds degrees in Anthropology & Psychology from UCLA and the University of Maryland, and an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. Her poetic work has been featured in numerous journals & anthologies. Her recent chapbook, Pixelated Tears is currently available and her book The Creativity Blueprint is forthcoming in late 2020. 



Angeles National Forest, December 2019



THANKS

by Kaecey McCormick

We sit on the cool rocks and watch the stars swing past the moon
kicking up the dirt, dropping pixelated tears as they go.

It’s seeing this with you against the silhouette of our grief:
the burned dreams, the small mounds of dirt under too-large stones,
our fingers reaching for each other’s in the dark.
Their laughter breaks through the glass of our memories,
turns our shroud to dust, tugs at our lips and pulls up the corners.
It dries our eyes with handkerchiefs sewn from patchwork dresses
dyed in kindergarten colors and the mood shifts, floats us toward the harvest moon – 

raises our eyes from the dead.

I’m watching you smile as you watch their joy and a quiet thrill grabs
my throat because I know what we have though not enough is enough.
And my fingers
as they stroke the soft flesh on the inside of your arm
whisper thanks.


Big Tujunga Wash, January 2020

ANNUAL CONTEST WINNERS AND JUDGES

2019    Lisa Rosenberg, Judge. 1st Prize to Robert Keeler for "Stone, She".

2018    MaryLee McNeal, Judge. 1st Prize to Peter Parker for "Moonlight".

2017    Kevin Hearle, Judge. 1st Prize to Claire Scott for "Before".

2016    Neshama Franklin, Judge. 1st Prize to Claire Scott for "To Her
            Psychiatrist."

Earlier Information back to 2012:

California mountain sunflowers

Nature Photos by Maja Trochimczyk from Big Tujunga Wash, Angeles National Forest.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

President's Newsbriefs 45:4, Winter 2019

The Newsbriefs No. 45:4 appeared in the California Quarterly vol. 45 No. 4, edited by Pearl Karrer and printed at the end of December 2019. Here is a reprint of this informational post for your convenience.

NEWSBRIEF 45:4 (WINTER 2019) 

Trochimczyk, State Senator Anthony Portantino and Suzanne Lummis

As President of California State Poetry Society, I was delighted to present the Honorary Membership in the Society to the extra-ordinary poet Suzanne Lummis. The presentation took place at Bolton Hall Museum on October 27, 2019. The Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga hosted  the event that included also a featured reading by Ms. Lummis, presentation of a Certificate of Appreciation by State Senator Anthony Portantino, an open mike reading by local poets, and a reception. Sen. Portantino is a poet and a great friend of poetry; he came in person to our event because he owes a huge debt to Ms. Lummis, who encouraged him to read his own poetry at public literary events. We are all so grateful to Suzanne for all she does for poetry and for her insights and talent!


Lummis’ poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, Antioch Review, Ploughshares, New Ohio Review, Plume, The American Journal of Poetry and The New Yorker. Her most recent collection, Open 24 Hours, won the Blue Poetry Prize (Lynx House Press, 2014). Previous full-length collections include In Danger (Round-house Press/Heyday Books) and Idiosyncrasies (Illuminati). Suzanne edited Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Poetry Series, Beyond Baroque Books), noted in The Los Angeles Times as one of The Ten Best Books of 2015. She also was principal editor of the anthology, Grand Passion: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond. 

  Ed Rosenthal, Suzanne Lummis and Trochimczyk with Rose and Peacock Bouquet, plus peacocks

 An influential teacher in Los Angeles, she leads private workshops and has taught for many years at UCLA. The director of The Los Angeles Poetry Festival, she has been associated with the following schools and poetic sensibilities: The Fresno School (students of Philip Levine); Stand-Up Poetry that aspires to combine the dynamism and bracing irreverence of performance poetry with the skill and attention to detail found in literary poetry (term by Charles Webb); The Poem Noir (named by Lummis herself), with dark themes, atmosphere, and voice of cool detachment that are inspired by the low budget black-and-white crime movies of the 40s and 50s; and, last but not least, Los Angeles Poetry.

In addition to the various certificates, congratulations were offered to Ms. Lummis by CSPS members who attended the ceremony: Kathabela Wilson, Pamela Shea, and Ed Rosenthal.

MEMBERS NEWS 

Trochimczyk, Lummis, Modiano at Beyond Baroque Gala

Congratulations to Richard Modiano, CSPS Vice President for Communications, for his Special Award from Beyond Baroque, for years of dedicated service as Executive Director of this amazing cultural institution. We are lucky to have Mr. Modiano join us at CSPS. During the 9th Annual Awards Dinner, held on November 10, 2019, awards were also presented to outstanding poets: Harryette Mullen, Diane Luby Lane, and Johanna Drucker.

While Havana prepared to celebrate the 500th anniversary of its founding, Maura Harvey made her third visit to the vibrant city. Once again, she spread the word about CSPS among poets and artists. Cuba supports the arts at a level unknown to us Americans. Poetry and literature in general, music, dance, and all visual arts are a part of daily life. Maura has been invited to participate in the International Poetry Festival of Havana.



Ed Rosenthal, whose “Coyote” appears in CQ 45:3, has published his memoirs inspired by his experience of being lost in the Mojave Desert and miraculously found after a 6-day ordeal. He previously published a book of poems based on this experience, The Desert Hat (Moonrise Press, 2013) named after the poet’s canvas hat on which he wrote farewell messages to his wife and daughter.

Photo by Maja Trochimczyk

In this winter of 2019, we are celebrating holidays and the start of the New Year. It is a new start for CSPS as well: the votes have been counted, and poets voted to approve the slate of Officers for the next two years: Maja Trochimczyk (President), Richard Modiano (VP, Communications), Richard Deets (VP, Membership), John F. Harrell (Treasurer), Margaret Saine (Secretary/Historian).

Photo by Margaret Saine


MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL FOR 2020

We remind all members about the payment of dues. Annual renewal of memberships in the CSPS takes place each year in December for the following year. Membership runs January 1st to December 31st. If you join mid-year and we have them, you will receive the prior issues of CQ for the year.

You may renew membership through the website (californiastatepoetrysociety.org) or by mail. If you have registered and signed in onto the website, you can see boxes at the right for paying for or renewing your membership. If you can't see any boxes, you are not signed in and may wish to pay by mail.

If you're paying by mail, click CSPS Membership Form to open a membership form in a new window and print it. Membership inquiries and payments by mail should be sent to: CSPS Treasurer, Dr. John Harrell, at 18732 Piper Place,Yorba Linda, CA 92886.


For 2020, they are still at the very low $35 per person for individual poets. You may pay the dues online, after registering on our website: californiastatepoetrysociety.org. Only after you register (lower right corner of the screen), will you be able to use the PayPal system to make your payment of dues. Please add $3-5 for PayPal fees, so your total will be $38 for  individual members located in the U.S. and the following totals:

Membership Categories: 
  • Domestic Individual $35 per year ($38 online)
  • Domestic Family $39 per year (four members max; $42 online) 
  • Domestic Institution/Library $39 per year (no contest entry rights) 
  • International Individual $51 per year (56 online)
  • International Family $55 per year (four members max, $60 online) 
  • International Institution/Library $55 per year (no contest entry rights) 
Be sure to submit the names of those included in a family membership so they have contest entry rights with the CSPS and the NFSPS. Library memberships receive the publications listed above, but carry no contest entry rights with them.

Please consider supporting our activities with donations. All Board Members and Editors of the California Quarterly work as volunteers and make personal contributions to support the CSPS.

Donor and Patron Categories 

  • Donor ~ Membership + $5, $10, $15, or $20 
  • Patron ~ Membership + $25, $50 or $75 
  • Silver Circle Patron ~ Membership + $100 
  • Gold Circle Patron ~ Membership + $200

Benefits of CSPS Membership as of 2019 
  • Quarterly receipt of the California Quarterly, which includes the quarterly Newsbriefs in the pages at the back of the issue. The CSPS Poetry Letter and the Strophes newsletter of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS), previously available in print format, now may be read online under the Newsbriefs tab on the californiastatepoetrysociety.org website, or on the national website, NFSPS.com, respectively.
  • Reduced reading fees for the CSPS monthly contests ($1.50 per poem vice $3.00 per poem - two poems minimum).
  •  Entry rights to all NFSPS national poetry contests.
  •  A link from the CSPS Links page to his or her personal website (if any) 


Grateful for 2019, we are looking forward to writing & promoting poetry in 2020.
Happy New Year!

~ Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D.
   President, CSPS 

Trochimczyk at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York, January 5, 2020

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Annual Contest Winner 2019 and Monthly Contest Winners, Aug, Sept, Oct 2019



California Coast by Maja Trochimczyk

THE 33RD ANNUAL POETRY CONTEST 
OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE POETRY SOCIETY

The winners and prize winning poems from the 33rd Annual Poetry Contest, selected by Lisa Rosenberg are published in the California Quarterly 45:4, edited by Pearl Karrer.


AWARDS
1st Place: “Stone, She” by R. J. Keeler, Vashon, WA
2nd Place: “Skull of Moon, Fist of Stars” by Claire Scott, Oakland, CA
3rd Place: “For the Young Man Unimpressed with the Sky” by Kathleen McClung, San Francisco, CA

Honorable Mentions
“A Lamp on the Polished Table” by Katharyn Howd Machan, Ithaca, NY
“Mighty Eucalypti” by Selma Calnan, Anaconda, MT
“Fire for Fire” by Ed McManis, Larkspur, CA
“Too Much of Nothing” by Neal Zirn, Denver, CO
“Inside the Chicken Shed” by David Anderson, Lincoln, CA


Image result for lisa rosenberg poet"

                              ABOUT THE CONTEST JUDGE, LISA ROSENBERG

Poet and recovering engineer Lisa Rosenberg served as this year’s judge. She holds degrees in physics and creative writing, and worked for many years in the space program. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, she served as the 2017-2018 Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, California. Her debut collection, A Different Physics, received the 2017 Red Mountain Poetry Prize. Lisa speaks, consults, and instructs, bringing polymathic tools to industry, research, and education. She was recently awarded a 2020 Djerassi Residency for Scientist and Artists. 

California Fields by Maja Trochimczyk


JUDGE’S COMMENTS  - BY LISA ROSENBERG

Judging is much like the process of writing: guided by our current understanding of the art, we encounter challenges to our habits and preferences. I am humbled by lessons revealed in this body of work: poems that carry wisdom, curiosity, courage, and inventiveness.

First Place: “Stone, She” Rhythmic, lyric, and intriguing, this brief poem builds a multi-faceted mood: reflective, declarative, and unresolved. A single word, the rhetorical “well” in line 3, provides a tonal anchor to keep what follows within the realm of the self-reflective and confessional. Spare stanzas move with agility through sensory images and existential suggestions, creating a diffuse portrait of the spoken-of and the speaker’s relationship to her. Concrete details hold their weight, so that the grammatical oddities add to our enjoyment and curiosity. Navigated with conviction in tone, and satisfying use of repeated structures.

Second Place: “Skull of Moon, Fist of Stars” This poem shows how the physical workings of poetry can sustain and deliver complex themes with immediacy. The poet uses sound patterns and figurative devices that engage us without pause: wordplay, “this was the known I knew”; repetition in phrasing, symbols, and structure; rhythmic power, “sun-baked snake”; measured assonance and alliteration; and unexpected (very wellplaced) metaphor. The way in which these are woven brings emotional urgency into the reader’s experience. The near-ultimate lines, which the title foreshadows, exemplify one of the metaphorical shifts. The speaker backs an “ancient Studebaker” down a driveway, straight into a description of self “wearing the shape of wind / the steady of stars.”

Third Place: “For the Young Man Unimpressed with the Sky” The sharp contrast between the villanelle form, popular in the 19th century, and this modern-day setting heightens the contrast between teen and adult perceptions in the social exchange recounted. Philosophical musings and blasé observations weave through and past each other in an anecdotal mode, held together by the form (employed with slight variations). The strict requirements of the villanelle feel countered, even confronted, by the speaker’s diction. The form also supports casting the entire encounter within the brief, repeated time frame of a few moments.


Hermosa Beach by Maja Trochimczyk


THE 2019 ANNUAL CONTEST WINNING POEM

STONE, SHE

Crush, she— 
Crushed by blossoms;  
As many as, well,  
Since flowers appeared.

Fuse, she— 
Fused since time, 
Long past believing 
And given to me.

Grind, she— 
Ground like wheat,  
By glaciers, forests,  
As many as grain.

Press, she— 
Pressed by breezes,  
Soft, cold,  
As married as air. Stone, she.


                ~ R. J. Keeler 
                  Vashon, Washington

Star of Stones by Maja Trochimczyk

THE 2019 ANNUAL CONTEST - SECOND PRIZE WINNING POEM

SKULL OF MOON, FIST OF STARS

I knew if I stayed I would die 
you can’t live nourished on nothing 
my mother: made of malice + bitter marrow 
silent as a sun-baked snake 
one eye glistening 
my mother: manic + mercurial 
knife flailing 
scotch flowing
shredded wheat for supper 
my mother: a vulture winging + waiting 
to pick my bones clean 
this was the known I knew 
remnants + rinds 
of an almost life 
tethered to a mother who one day 
would care, if only I— 
if only—

I knew if I stayed I would die 
for years I chose death 
living at the end of a rope 
a boot heel on my face 
until I finally got it
             —my rope 
             —my boot 
& backed down the driveway 
in my ancient Studebaker 
wearing the shape of wind 
the steady of stars 
the solace of a crescent moon

            ~ Claire Scott 
              Oakland, California


Path of Light by Maja Trochimczyk


2019 ANNUAL POETRY CONTEST - THIRD PRIZE WINNER

FOR THE YOUNG MAN UNIMPRESSED WITH THE SKY

“It’s just the moon,” he shrugs, blasé, this teen. 
His mother, stirred, like me, does not agree. 
We strangers gaze, transfixed. The light turns green

as we step off the curb and walk between 
these yellow lines. Familiar mystery: 
it’s just the moon, of course, but full. We’ve seen

its sliver in the sky, known its routine 
each month—a moving toward immensity. 
We strangers gaze, in awe. The light turns green.

Sixth Avenue seems safe to cross—if screens 
are off in every car. No guarantee. 
It’s just the moon, just solstice. No machine

that waits for us to cross can ever mean 
what full moon in a winter sky does: constancy. 
We strangers gaze, grateful for light, for green,

for seasons, cycles, wheels that spin unseen 
far longer than our brief mortality. 
It’s just the moon. You’re right. You’re seventeen. 
We strangers praise it, though. The light turns green.

                   ~ Kathleen McClung 
                      San Francisco, California


Bronze and Azure by Maja Trochimczyk


MONTHLY POETRY CONTESTS

CSPS Vice President for Communications, Richard Modiano, selected the following poems as winning the Monthly Poetry Contests in August, September and October 2019. Congratulations to all the winners!


August:

1st place: "Picturesque Moment" Jane Stuart, Greenup KY

2nd place: "After the Storm" Mary Jo West, San Clements CA

3rd place: Two-Year-Old-Bronco Von S. Bourland,  Happy TX

September:

1st place: "Victory Dance 1945" Nick Sweet, Shepard TX

2nd place: "Perseverance" Mary Jo West, San Clemente CA

3rd place: "Alifair" Jerry Douglas Smith,San Luis Obispo CA

October:

1st place: "War Memorial" Von S. Burland.Happy TX

2nd place: "Calm after the Storms" Von S. Bourland, Happy TX

3rd place: "The Poet Elopes With the Philosopher's Daughter Louis Aboulafia, Stockston CA

The First Prize Winning Poems receive a small cash prize and the poem is posted on this blog, as well as announced on our website.

Not so Liquid, Not so Amber by Maja Trochimczyk


AUGUST THEME: Humor, Satire, Joy of Life
AUGUST WINNER: JANE STUART

Picturesque Moment

Golden    fireflies
blinking    lanters
full of starlight

Misty shadows
moonlit rivers a 
flying owl
and mountains rising in
a turning globe

Starry silence
then the moon 
drops lower

Gold and Blue by Maja Trochimczyk


SEPTEMBER THEME: OPEN
SEPTEMBER WINNER: NICK SWEET

Victory Dance, 1945

On that night in San Diego
When he danced with Betty Grable 
And with all his G. I. buddies
Was invited to her table

At first his foxtrot faltered 
On legs a bit unstable
By chorus he regained it 
They floated smooth and able

He danced as if before the war 
Before the occupation
Before the barefoot orphans  
Waded through the devastation

Before he followed orders 
That nullified sensation
And left him drained and broken 
No glimpse of restoration

While holding Betty closely  
He whispered, so he claims, 
"You just have to call me if  
You split with Harry James,"

He never really said it 
Wasn ' t glib with dames 
But this amended memory 
Helped erase the flames

Of many burning villages 
Ragged refugees
Vacant stares of conquered men 
Sobbing mothers' pleas

But he knew while guiding Betty  
With elegance and ease
Some distant day he'd care again 
His haunted heart appeased




Garden Sunset by Maja Trochimczyk

OCTOBER THEME: War & Peace, Activism & Politics
OCTOBER WINNER:  VON S. BOURLAND

  War Memorial

Traffic whizzed by as we strolled around
the War Memorial outside the Visitor's Center 
in Trinidad, Colorado.

WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War 
and more recent conflicts: Iraq and Afghanistan 
marble structures thrusting upward
paying homage to scripted names.

As I stood in front of the Vietnam monolith 
a chill embraced me at the sight:
a miniature version of The Wall - USA featuring a father 
holding his daughter - pointing to names on the list.

In awe of the miniaturization depicting so many men 
and women fallen on the battlefields
the skill of the artist remained dominant.

Later, I thought of those tiny scrolled names 
and how minimal our tribute must have appeared 
as the survivors returned home - how blame seemed placed 
on those who fulfilled what they saw as duty.

Shame overwhelmed beauty.



Ginkgo and Sycamore by Maja Trochimczyk


ABOUT RICHARD MODIANO

VICE PRESIDENT - COMMUNICATIONS - RICHARD MODIANO


Elected Executive Director of Beyond Baroque in 2010, Modiano is a writer, curator, and editor. In 2007 he produced Beyond Baroque’s “On the Road” 50th Anniversary Production and in 2009 he produced the marathon reading and panel discussion of “William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch at 50.” He was on Board of Directors for Valley Contemporary Poets from 1997-2005 and served as Board President in 2004-2005. His poems have been published in Blue Satellite, Big Scream, Maintenant, Mas Tequila Review, Malpais Review, the Los Angeles Cultural Weekly, and he is a contributor to The Bukowski Anthology. Modiano has been elected unanimously by e-mail vote  in May 2019 and we are very pleased to gain his expertise and experience to help CSPS spread its wings. He will also serve as the Chair of Monthly Poetry Contests. He is Director Emeritus of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, CA.