Monday, August 16, 2021

Village Poets Present "Blue and the Blues" Anthology and the California Quarterly 47:2, August 22, 2021

California State Poetry Society informs its members and poetry lovers about a reading organized jointly with the Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga. We are thrilled to present a wonderful anthology edited by Carole Boyce, Blue and the Blues on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 4:30 pm via Zoom. The reading will also present poems published in the California Quarterly 47:2, Summer 2021 edited by Maja Trochimczyk.  Email or to receive the Zoom link to the reading. Two segments of open mic poetry available. Typically we hear two poems from each poet. 

Listen in to the Pisces Publishing anthology, Blue & The Blues on August 22 at 4:30.

You will experience BLUE in all its glory as poets explore the literal color blue, the emotion of feeling blue and the genre of blues music. Within each phase, each poet has a very different spin on the subject. This is a unique collection and after listening, you may have a new favorite color! 

Carole Boyce


"What a Concept! Blue would be more than pleased about this tribute to her essence. This unique anthology brings poets together to glorify the color blue, to write about the emotion of feeling blue and to pay tribute to the genre of blues music. Hues, moods and music; this collection is as varied as poetry can be with a broad spectrum of interpretations, both literal and figurative on each section. The book demonstrates the range and complexity of the creative mind.  The author of More Than A Color makes clear to the reader that the actual pigment is viewed as a safety net; a source of comfort and strength, available as needed. In Blue, she says “there’s a shade for every person” and lists some blue colors and emphasizes in the final lines: “I live blue. I speak blue. It’s a language you know. I love blue.”

From a review by  Adrianne Lawson-Pope  published in the Poetry Letter No. 1, 2021.

More Than A Color

Can you see it?

Do you feel it?

Can you hear its call?

Listen, open up, welcome it

Blue is present

And it presents itself to you; for you

To use as needed

Let it envelop you

Blue song to soothe you

Blue walls to surround and protect you

Blue blanket to warm you

Blue skies to cheer and comfort you

If you find yourself at the brink of collapse

Grab onto Blue

It will bolster you and sustain you

Because Blue is not just a color

It’s music, a mood, a heartbeat

It offers an atmosphere that allows you to choose

Whatever sustenance you need

Its many hues can handle any request

No need to leave the spectrum

Blue satisfies it all

(c) 2021 by Lynn Brown

California Quarterly, vol. 47, no. 2, Summer 2021
Cover art: Susan Dobay, "Butterfly"

More about this volume on

Maja Trochimczyk

Editor’s Note

Mother – the same word in many languages, the first syllable of a baby, the easiest to pronounce: matr. मातृ (Sanskrit),মা Mā (Bangla), मां maan (Hindi),  ਮਾਂ Māṁ (Punjabi), அம்மா Am'mā (Tamil), mater (Latin), mutter (German), màthair (Scottish), móðir (Icelandic), moeder (Dutch), madre (Italian, Spanish), motina (Lithuanian), mère (French), мајко (Serbian), майка (Bulgarian), mãe (Portuguese), แม่, mæ̀ (Thai), mẹ (Viet-namese). It is мама in Russian, mama in Polish, Romanian, Swahili, and umama in Zulu. Most of these languages are Indo-European, but even the Chinese are not free of the omnipresent “mm” in 母親 Mǔqīn, or 媽媽 Māmā. We have one translation from Chinese in this issue, by Yun Wang, and another one, from Italian, by our indefatigable Margaret Saine. People who speak multiple languages gain insights into multiple cultures and are really blessed. They are able to recognize the essential human unity in the delightful diversity of nations and cultures. 

While editing the CQ, I like finding shared themes among submissions that bind poems with a common thread. This time, I found mothers, daughters, the joy and loss of childhood, but also solitude, pain, resilience, the Earth, Gaia – our Mother, teeming with life… and the wings of a butterfly, that came out of a humble, hungry caterpillar crawling in the dirt. A lovely butterfly graces our cover in a joyous image by Hungarian-American painter Susan Dobay (b. 1937). Back in 1956, she escaped from Hungary after the Soviet crackdown on the nation longing for its freedom. As long as communist repressions, violence and wars continue, refugees will stream out of lands of totalitarian oppression, searching for countries of peace and freedom. Are any such countries left on this planet? Is there anywhere to escape to? Our escape, as poets, has always been internal: the world of poetry and imagination. The world created by our words, our visions that have become a shared reality in the California Quarterly 47, No. 2. Enjoy!

Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D.


                                waves of the Pacific 
 jade, turquoise, aqua

sea foam                 in the air                
                sea foam             on my skin

I dance on the currents 
       floating with the relentless motion
          to the shore 
                          to the shore
                                             to the shore

sea foam            on my skin
           sea foam                     in the air

Aphrodite comes up from the ocean
               carried on a dazzling shell by dolphins  
                                                      the wisest of creatures

fizzy bubbles on my tongue – 
                        I swim in the champagne ocean

Salt of the Sol – sunshine of vitality
                                   I praise the elemental power of Water –                                                   
Air – Wind – Earth – Fire
                                     always Fire – ogień, Agni

eternal flames stir the waves 
          into dancing 
                    to the shore 
                             to the shore 

                                        on and on
                                 to the shore
                                                              to the shore
                                                                          to the shore

(c) 2020 by Maja Trochimczyk
Published in "Blue and the Blues" anthology edited by Carole Boyce


Mason Bees

 by Maja Trochimczyk

I share my roses with the mason bees –

Iceberg leaves they like the best, cutting

circles and ellipses from the edge, inwards.


Iceberg roses, not iceberg lettuce, mind you,

that’s far too crunchy to make soft beds, wrapping

bee babies in green, white or pink silkiness,


smooth and pliable like we ought to be, smiling

under the merciless gale of time, raging river

flowing backwards, always backwards.


I used to get angry looking at my mutilated

roses – white blossoms, a defense against evil

guarding my front door like bee soldiers in the hive


ready to sacrifice their lives – just one sting

and the miniature fuzzy warrior’s gone – having

lived just to protect and serve us, the worker bees,  


buzzing around our lives, cutting circles and

ellipses in white roses. Bees and humans, we are

all children of the Queen Bee, Gaia, our Mother.


We make honey of our kindness, virtues, character

wisdom, self-reliance. Attentive, focused on the next

perfect circle, semicircle or ellipsis – we breathe deeply,


delight in drinking nectar, carrying pollen of emotions,

sights, impressions – flying back home to make the sweetest

gold, translucent honey of our poems, of our dreams.

(c) 2021 by Maja Trochimczyk

Published in the California Quarterly vol. 47 no. 2, Summer 2021

Pacific Ocean and Iceberg Rose photos by Maja Trochimczyk 

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