Saturday, August 13, 2022

Contents of the California Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 3, Autumn 2022, edited by Bory Thach

Cover Art: Ambika Talwar, Gateway for Ascending Lilies
Acrylic on canvas. 24x24 inches. (c) May 1996.

 Editor’s Note

The task of selecting and arranging poems on different topics and in different styles can be difficult. However, it can also be rewarding.  Sometimes it is only after the work has been completed that we marvel at the wonderful end result. And in the process, no matter how chaotic or hopeless, we must continue and push on to the finish line. The editing process is like the subject of poems about resiliency, coping with loss and regret. It is all about the ability to find purpose even when it doesn’t feel like there is any, yet we refuse to quit on life. Christine Candland’s “Princess” illustrates this same perseve-rance: the mother holds down all the turmoil at home, with a baby and a toddler in tow, teaching “elementary, up before six: arithmetic, reading, story time” and reviewing lesson plans—all in a “satisfying day,” so her home is “content with vibration” as she counts her blessings.

In order to write poetry, it is essential for poets to read and find joy in that journey of discovery. Most importantly, poets have to nurture their artistic sensibility—much as gardeners have to tend to their plants so that the seeds sprout and bear fruit. Our everyday lives are filled with thoughts and feelings of love, peace, and happiness, sorrows and disappointments that are unpredictable from one moment to the next. 

As a veteran of the U.S. military, even after experiencing war and death, I know we cannot let the turmoil of negativity stop us from enjoying our lives to the fullest. There is more to life, even more beyond this world. All one has to do is to believe. At the end, everything balances itself out. In “A Chime Sitting on the Feeder,” Sharon Lopez Mooney notices that “there’s nothing to do today except enjoy” after watching songbirds and wrens dance without worry. Their collective jitteriness, irregular rhythms as they play “hide & seek” in her ficus tree, can only mean one thing—that we have no choice but to see beauty everywhere, especially when life reveals difficulties... not only when life is easy. May the light guide us on this road on which we’re all traveling.  Please enjoy the journey!

Bory Thach, Editor                

San Bernardino, California



California Quarterly, Vol 48, Number 3, Autumn 2022

Evanescence                 Greg Stidham           7

The Color Empty                     Bella Hanlon                    7

Princess                        Christine Candland              

Her Grace                   Gloria Keeley                  9

Southwest at Dusk                 Laura Johanna Braverman  10

Sun-dipped Skin                 Bella Hanlon          11

Bubble Gum                 Tara Cummins                  11

Candle Watcher                 Alessio Zanelli                  12

Bloodline                 Jane-Rebecca Cannarrella   13

In The Belly of a Canoe          Cindy Rinne          14

Tule Elk Preserve in March     Vivian Underhill                      15

Secrets of the Trackless Field      Laura Johanna Braverman   16

Oncoming Traffic                  Francesca Astiazaran           17                                           

Dirge for Solo Voice          Sharon Lopez Mooney           18

Hay Rolls                          Richard Dinges, Jr.   19

Late Night Visitor                  Greg Stidham                20

Life’s Menu                              Danny Barbare                   21

Lament on a Baked Fish         Mike Maggio                           22

Gratitude List #18                   Ace Bogges                        23

A Chime Sitting on the Feeder   Sharon Lopez Mooney      24

Rooftop Blues          Ann Olive          25

Wavespell                                Alessio Zanelli                         25

Waves of Blue                 Katia Aoun Hage           26

Long Play Record                 Dan Fitzgerald          27

Pink Moon, Red Light            Ann Olive          28

Night at the Beach House       Gloria Keeley                  29

Seven Ways of Looking at a Cardinal in Late March    Henry Stimpson   30

Star-crossed                          Wendy Blackwell          31

A Story of the Sea          Bhibu Padhi                    32

August Heat                  Richard Dinges, Jr.   33

Teetotaler                          Becky Nicole James   34

I Wonder What Heaven Looks Like For You  Angelica Medlin        35

Night Sky at Groveland           Michael McGuire                 36

Endless Spring                  Gary Metheny                   37

Manzanita                  Cindy Bousquet Harris          38

Tears of St. Lawrence          KL Straight                   39

Welcome                               Allison Collins           40

Isn’t She Lovely                  Francesca Astiazaran   42

Belonging to the Sky  Russell Rowland          43

Across a Lost Horizon             Jane Stuart                               44         

The Glistening Edge of What Remains     Ken Holland   45

Ara’s Silver                          Ambika Talwar           46

Secret Pain                          MariaJane Gitchell                   47

That’s, Interesting: Becoming A Castaway  David Bethel    48

In Loving Memory                 Wendy Blackwell          49

Roadside Roads Jeff Graham 50         

An Eagle at Starved Rock  Lucia Haase                   51

Idyll                           Jessie Lim                   52

Meeting Spot                Deborah P. Kolodji                 53

Seasons              Mary Elliott                54

Homeland Awaits           Conner Frederick          55

Butterflies in the Killing Fields    Sally Vogl                         56

The Calling           Ella Czajkowska           57         

Jar of Reasons              Cindy Bousquet Harris           58 

Cribbage for Two           Sally Vogl                   59

Afterlife                                    Bory Thach                             60

Cover Art: Ambika Talwar, Gateway for Ascending Lilies. Acrylic on canvas. 24x24 inches. (c) May 1996.

Contributors in Alphabetical Order                      61

CSPS Contest Opportunities                                62

CSPS Newsbriefs 2022, No. 2 (Maja Trochimczyk) 63

Publishing Opportunities with CSPS                 65

2022 CSPS Donors, Patrons, and Membership         67

CSPS Membership Form                                 68



Congratulations to Paul Ford, elected to serve as the 35th President of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies during the NFSPS Annual Convention held in June 2022 in Ohio. Mr. Ford had previously served as the Editor of Strophes, the NFSPS newsletter, now posted online on the Federation’s website,  He wrote the following about the plans of the NFSPS Board: “We will work together to keep our societies vibrant and meet the critical challenges of today (e.g., our societies' aging demographics). […] I also want to improve the benefits of membership our societies deliver to members, such as hosting poetry readings and open mics, making major poetry events accessible via video conferencing technologies such as Zoom and partnering with other arts groups engaged in hosting public events/programs.” 

The NFSPS Annual Convention, hosted by the Ohio Poetry Association and entitled Renewal Through Poetry, was a good example for Mr. Ford, with its hybrid model of live, in-person lectures and Zoom participation, and a total attendee count of over 130. That’s impressive! Also, of 33 member states of NFSPS, 23 states were represented at the convention among the lecturers or attendees. Poets enjoyed a variety of lectures and readings either in-person or virtually. 

Another type of poetry events that Mr. Ford favors as a solution to the poets’ aging demographics and a potential magnet for younger poets, supposedly preferring performance poetry, is the poetry slam. On October 20-23, 2022, in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, the Blackberry Peach National Slam Poetry Competition will be held. Organized jointly by the NSPS and the Florida State Poets Association, this first annual championship slam poetry competition will feature 48 spoken word poets competing for prizes. 

As mentioned earlier, members of the California State Poetry Society are primarily interested in publishing and contests conducted on paper.  The California Quarterly, our flagship publication, was edited by Margaret Saine as Guest Editor in the Summer 2022 and will again see a Guest Editor, Deborah P Kolodji in the Winter 2022 issue (vol. 48, no. 4).  Ms. Kolodji, in the opinion of a member of the Editorial Board that approved this choice, is “a fine writer and very experienced as an editor/moderator." Another Editor commented: “I remember her work, and yes, I think she is capable and talented. I'm glad she is able to be a guest editor. Good choice!” 

We are looking forward to the CQ for Winter 2022, while enjoying the current issue, edited by Bory Thach. This is the second issue that he has worked on, and again he brings to the readers a diverse array of poetic inspirations, topics, and forms. The issue includes poets published in the CQ before, like Cindy Rinne or Ambika Talwar. It also features first-timers, like Ella Czajkowska, a young, bi-lingual Polish American poet from Beverly Hills.  Congratulations to all poets selected by Bory and to the Editor for crafting such a fine issue. The cover was selected from among several paintings by Ambika Talwar. Entitled Gateway for Ascending Lilies and painted in 1996 (the year I arrived in California from Canada) this sublime image perfectly captures the fleeting beauty and lasting impact of poetry.
Member News: Terry Ehret’s book tour is in progress, presenting Plagios/ Plagiarisms, Volume Two, by Mexican poet Ulalume González de León. This collection was co-translated with Nancy J. Morales and John Johnson. It was issued by the Sixteen Rivers Press with an introduction by Mary Crow. My newest collection of poems and photos, dedicated to my children and “grandchildren, when they grow up,” includes 85 poems and over 160 photos of landscapes, flowers, trees, etc. Entitled Bright Skies, the volume features “positive poetry” written in and about my garden and its visitors. It is partly inspired by the “positive psychology” movement, with a focus on what’s beautiful, good, and true – to paraphrase the ancient adage of Plato. 

Alas, it is much easier to write about what’s not beautiful and not good. We can do better than that, I think, so I wish you all a beautiful and fruitful autumn, full of poetic inspirations, charms, and delights.

 Maja Trochimczyk 
CSPS President

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