Friday, December 9, 2022

Contents of California Quarterly Vol. 48 No. 4, Winter 2022, Edited by Deborah P Kolodji

California Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 4, Winter 2022
Guest Editor - Deborah P Kolodji. Cover art by Tiffany Shaw-Diaz,  
You Push and You Pull, watercolor on paper (2020).   


A Path I Can’t Refuse  — William Scott Galasso  7

Teton sunset  Cynthia Anderson    7

Fire Season — Milton Bates 8

Asleep on the Couch — Cary Bogart Ziter 9

Morning — Michaela Chairez 9

Dusk, Hudson Valley Palisades — Robert Dorsett 10

Arch   Paul Willis 10

Stargazer Lily — Sharon M. Williams 11

drops of morning dew     Nancy Marie Fernandez 11

Rain Slippers — Thomas Belton 12

Cassandra as Climate Scientist  — Jeannine Hall Gailey      13

[Sombra] — Carla Pravisani 14

[Shadow]  —  Margaret Saine, tr.  14

salt and pepper — Cynthia Anderson 14

The Fortuneteller’s Bad Day   George J. Searles 15

Void  — Michael Potter 15

Mockingbird — Jeffrey Kingman 16

Questions for a Lodgepole Pine     Paul Willis  17

An Evening Flock — Matthew J. Spireng 17

Blood Moon — Basil Rouskas 18

The Photo  — Margaret Brinton 19

New Moon’s Old Tale — Raphael Block 20

A Stranger —  Ruth Holzer 21

Sheltering on the Coast — Rosemary Ybarra 22

The Big Bang — Georgia San Li 23

A Fading Band — Claire Scott 24

Rain Regiment  Dr. Emory D. Jones 25

what’s left of the night…     Gregory Longenecker  25

Morning at Moore’s Lake, Again — Kimberly Nunes 26

Droplet — Michael Kleis 27

[Receta] — Carla Pravisani 28

[Prescription]  Margaret Saine, tr.  28

golden years — Lee Hudspeth 28

Reconciled — Cynthia Anderson              29

Morning — Nancy Marie Fernandez 29

Phoenix Hairpins —  Margaret Chula 30

Mona Lisa in Hell — Andrew Miller 31

passing time —  Gregory Longenecker 31

Goodnight —  Greg Bell                32

Orange County Roots — Sabrina Skye 34

Ode to an Old Nature Pilgrim — C.L. Hoang 35

October winds  — Gregory Longenecker 35

Spider — Carla Schwartz 36

When I begin — Patricia J. Machmiller 37

my mind emerging — Margaret Saine 37

She Learns to Become Fire  Jeannine Hall Gailey       38

oak leaves  William Scott Galasso 38

With Determination — A.J. Hoffman 15

Corsage, Eight Grade Dance, 1960 — Matthew J. Spireng 39

The Queen Mary — Deborah P Kolodji & Mariko Kitakubo 40

Waiting for the Light — Beverland, Terry, etc. 41

Cranberry Fields Forever — Jim Tilley 42

The Gargoyle, Time  S.T. Brant 43

You Are Eating Oatmeal  Betsy Martin 44

In the Snow — David Sapp 45

Karaoke — Jackie Chou & Genie Nakano 46

March  Henry Stimpson  47

Flies Circling Light Bulbs — Cary Bogart Ziter            48

Mothlight  Lynn Axelrod 49

The Last Small Town — Robert H. Guard  50

Jazz Hat  Bj Cotton-Jeffords 51

The House on Green Street — Michaela Chairez 52

2022 Annual Contest Winners  53

Dolores Street  Jeanne Wagner 56

After —  Susan Wolbarst  56

Ariadne Auf Naxos — Claire Scott 58

Cover art: Tiffany Shaw-Diaz, "You Push and You Pull" Watercolor on Paper, 2020


Guest editing California Quarterly has been an honor. As I read through submissions, I found myself entranced by many of the nature-infused images I discovered, reminding me of a quote by Mary Oliver from A Poetry Handbook: “I must make a complete poem—a river-swimming poem, a mountain-climbing poem.   Not my poem, if it’s well-done, but a deeply breathing, bounding, self-sufficient poem.”

There are many river-swimming, mountain-climbing, deeply breathing, bounding, self-sufficient poems in this issue, and I found myself walking by a lake and watching a cormorant, sunlight break through pine boughs, a moose on a hiking trail, seeing crocuses emerge from dirty snow, and floating in a cranberry bog.

Poems about aging, caretaking, and mortality also grabbed my editorial heartstrings as it is winter again, both in the seasonal sense with a poet’s wish to see egrets in the snow and with the thought of the approaching winter of our lives, as time becomes a gargoyle, we say goodnight to our mothers, are isolated in the last small town in Ohio, and ponder our own mortality.

  the cuff cold as I check

  morning blood pressure

                     potted amaryllis

It’s a short leap from nature poetry and natural science to science and I was entranced by images of the Big Bang and a climate scientist who wishes she were a mermaid or selkie, along with a fairy dust sprinkle of fantasy in a couple poems. 

As you settle down with your favorite beverage and start perusing through this issue, I hope you will enjoy reading the poems as much as I enjoyed selecting them.

                  Deborah P Kolodji                                                                  Temple City, California                                                                                           



Deborah P Kolodji is the California regional coordinator for the Haiku Society of America and moderator of the Southern California Haiku Study Group. The former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, Kolodji is also is a member of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, Haiku Canada, and the California State Poetry Society. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Haiku North America.

Author of four chapbooks of poetry, her first full-length book of haiku and senryu is Highway of Sleeping Towns, from Shabda Press, which won a Touchstone Distinguished Book Award from the Haiku Foundation.  Her e-chapbook of scifaiku, tug of a black hole, won 2nd place in the Elgin Awards by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, and is available as a free download (

Kolodji has published more than 1100 haiku in publications such as Frogpond, Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, Bottle Rockets, A Hundred Gourds, Acorn, Rattle, and Mayfly, as well as speculative poetry in Strange Horizons, Star*Line, Grievous Angel, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Tales of the Unanticipated, Tales of the Talisman, and Dreams and Nightmares. She has also published short stories in Thema and Tales of the Talisman and a short memoir in Chicken Soup for the Dieter’s Soul. Her work has been anthologized in such publications as The Rhysling Anthology, Red Moon Anthology, Dwarf Stars, Aftershocks: Poetry of Recovery, New Resonance 4, and The Nebula Awards Showcase: 2015.



Tiffany Shaw-Diaz is a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and two-time Dwarf Stars Award nominee who also works as a professional visual artist. She was shortlisted for The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Award for Individual Poem in 2020 and won in 2021. Her poetry has been featured in Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, Bones, NHK World Haiku Masters, The Mainichi, and more than 100 other publications. Her chapbooks include: says the rose (Yavanika Press 2019), filth (Proletaria 2020), and tyranny of the familiar (Yavanika Press 2020). Her poems have been translated into French, German, Italian, and Mandarin. To learn more, please visit her website:

California State Poetry Society

NEWSBRIEFS 2022, NO. 4,  WINTER 2022

 CPSP is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 ANNUAL POETRY CONTEST, adjudicated by Frank Iosue of Arizona. The three prize-winning poems and the judge’s comments are included in this issue of the CQ. There is no need to repeat the same information in the same journal, however, for the record, the winners' names should be posted here:

FIRST PRIZE:  Jeanne Wagner – “Dolores Street”

SECOND PRIZE: Susan Wolbarst – “After”

THIRD PRIZE: Claire Scott – “Ariadne Auf Naxos”


1. Claire Scott – “S&H Green Stamps”

2. Claire Scott – “Motel Rooms of Last Resort”

3. Claire Scott – “The Sea Squirt Loses its Mind”

4. Susan Wolbarst – “Where’s Ginny?”

5. Claire Scott – “In the Revised Version: A Different Mother”

6.  Sunny Yim Alperson – “Husband’s Urn”

JUDGE’S STATEMENT: “I am proud, honored and humbled to have been selected as the judge for the 2022 California State Poetry Society Annual Contest. The poems submitted reflected an amazing diversity of subjects and styles, and the caliber of the work submitted, overall, was outstanding. I congratulate all the Winners and Honorable Mentions, and thank and commend everyone who entered. I wish you all continuing success in your poetic endeavors.”  ~Frank losue, 2022 Annual Contest Judge

Mr. Iosue also commented about the winners: “The mark of a truly outstanding poem is its capacity to elicit sensations, emotions and intuitive associations that grow richer and more inexhaustible every time it is read. To my mind, these three winning poems all share that quality.” He was also quite surprised that he awarded the third prize and as many as four out of six honorary mentions to the same poet, Claire Scott.  The contest was judged anonymously and Mr. Iosue had no way of knowing that these poems were penned by one author; in fact, he selected them because they were so different from each other! On behalf of the CSPS, I’d like to express my gratitude for his insights, hard work and dedication. He reviewed over 120 poems, reading through anonymous submissions multiple times.

We are happy to announce CSPS nominations to the Pushcart Prize selected from among poems published in 2022 in four issues of the California Quarterly, Vol. 48: No. 1 (edited by Maja Trochimczyk), No. 2 (guest-edited by Margaret Saine), No. 3 (edited by Bory Thach) and No. 4 (guest-edited by Deborah P Kolodji). The nominated poems may be read on this blog:

1. From Vol. 48 No. 1. “Waterfall Symphony” by Dana Stamps II

2. From Vol. 48 No. 1.  “Light” by Frederick Livingston

3. From Vol. 48 No. 2. “The Land I Long For” by Michael Fraley

4. From Vol. 48 No. 3. “The Calling” by Ella Czajkowska

5. From Vol. 48 No. 3.  “Tule Elk Preserve in March” by Vivian Underhill

6. From Vol. 48. No. 4. “Morning at Moore's Lake, Again” by Kimberly Nunes

CSPS POETRY LETTERS continue to be published online, with PDF versions emailed to about 440 poets and poetry lovers; and the online posts divided into two, book reviews and poems. The Poetry Letter No. 3 presented two book reviews by Michael Escoubas, of In January, The Geese By B.J. Buckley, and Dearest Water by Nancy Takacs. William Scott Galasso reviewed Bright Skies by Maja Trochimczyk. The poetry section included work by featured poet Jeff Graham, a frequent CQ contributor, the author of the chapbook The Eye of Morning (Zeugma Impress) and one of 12 poets featured in Crystal Fire. Poems of Joy and Wisdom. As for the Monthly Contest Winners, selected by Alice Pero, in April,  the 1st Prize was awarded to “Awaken” by Debra Darby. in May (Personifications, Characters, Portraits) the 1st Prize went to Carol L. Hatfield  "Cloud on the Ground" and the 2nd Prize to Joan Gerstein "White on White."  In June (the Supernatural), the 1st Prize wineer was, "Buffaloes Escape" by Pamela Stone Singer.  The Poetry Letter No. 3 was illustrated with photographs of delightful and highly decorative fruit paintings on antique porcelain plates from Bavaria, a disappearing art in the era of sterile Swedish design and very appropriate for the time of harvest.

We are very grateful that our list of supporters and generous benefactors, that is members of Gold Circle, Silver Circle, Patrons and Donors (names listed in this CQ) has increased this year. The CSPS is deeply grateful for a generous anonymous gift of $2,500, sent with the following note: "This donation is made with special appreciation for the dedication of Maja Trochimczyk, the Board of Editors and guest editors who all work tirelessly to bring diverse poetry to the wider world. Happy Holidays and thank you!"


Terry Ehret reported about her book reading last summer after the Fall issue of the CQ was sent to the printer. Here’s her report: “On Wednesday, August 17, Heal the Bay Aquarium at the foot of the Santa Monica Pier hosted the Southern California book launch for Plagios/Plagiarisms, Volumes One and Two, by Mexican poet Ulalume González de León; and Beyond the Time of Words/Más allá del tiempo de las palabras, by Chilean poet Marjorie Agosín. Both books were published by Sixteen Rivers Press as part of their ongoing translations project. After a lively reception with refreshments in the courtyard, author Marjorie Agosin, along with translators Celeste Kostopulos-Cooperman, Terry Ehret, and Nancy Morales presented the poems to a standing room only crowd in the aquarium. The special guest was Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson, who opened the reading with her inspirational poems. This was a first for Heal the Bay, a nonoprofit environmental organization, which has hosted many events at their aquarium, but never a poetry reading. It's our hope that this is the first of many more!”

In the last couple of months Alice Pero, 10th Poet Laureate of Sunland/Tujunga,has had poems accepted in Vilas Avenue, Dodging the Rain, Southern Arizona Press, Wonders of Winter and the San Diego annual anthology. Five of her students' poems from Fair Oaks School in Altadena were published in Fly Like the Clouds of Time - 2022 California Poets in the Schools State Anthology, as well as one of her own. Alice was also proud to be one of the 12 poets published in the beautiful new anthology Crystal Fire. Poems of Joy and Wisdom (Moonrise Press, 2022).

The 12 poets in this volume included four members of the CSPS Board and 11 contributors the CQ. The volume contains 144 poems by 12 poets: Elżbieta Czajkowska, Joe DeCenzo, Mary Elliott, Jeff Graham, Marlene Hitt, Frederick Livingston, Alice Pero,  Allegra Silberstein, Jane Stuart, Ambika Talwar, Bory Thach, and Maja Trochimczyk. I edited this anthology of “positive poetry” and it is illustrated with 14 paintings by Ambika Talwar. Initial two readings were associated with Sky Garden, an exhibition presenting artwork by Ambika and my photographs. It was curated by gallery owner Hungarian American painter, Susan Dobay and held from 16 October to 20 November 2022 at the Scenic Drive Gallery in Monrovia.

We are grateful for the hard work of our Editors this year, including two guest editors, Margaret Saine for issue no. 2 and Deborah P Kolodji for issue no. 4. Deborah also selected cover art, a vibrant watercolor by Tiffany Shaw-Diaz called “You Push and You Pull” (2020).  You can see more art at Celebrating creativity with more creativity… not such a bad idea, after all. So let’s celebrate poetry selected for this issue by eminent haiku author and editor, Deborah P Kolodji by creating more poems!

 ~ Maja Trochimczyk, CSPS President 

You, by Tiffany Shaw-Diaz, watercolor on paper, 2022

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