Sunday, February 18, 2024

California Quarterly Vol. 50 No. 1, Spring 2024, Edited by Beverly M. Collins


California Quarterly, Volume 50, Number 1, Spring 2024

Edited by Beverly M. Collins. Cover Art "Blue Dragonfly and Pink Lily" by Beverly M. Collins


I Walked Down California

Paige Moreau


The Benefit of Doubt

Jan Mordenski


Siren Song

William Ray


The Closet Door Opens Itself

Ace Boggess



Linden Van Wert


Reborn at Glen Oaks Ranch

Dave Seter


Good People and the Old Blue...

Charlene Langfur



William Mainous II


Behind the House

Gloria Keeley


Spectacle (in Arabic)

Abd al-Karīm Ṭabbāl


Spectacle (translation)

Randy K. Schwartz, tr.


Love Affair

Louise Moises



Lance Nizami


I’m Dreaming Again

Anndrea Scroggins



Henry Stimpson



Rosemary Ybarra-Garcia


At the Art Laundrette

Paul Willis


Mars stones

Gregory Cecil


Love Note to Guardian Angel

Dave Seter


Call It Us

Cathy Porter


Falling Stars

D. L. Lang



Michael Potter


Picnicking with Dorothy…

Mary Ellen Talley


Lakes Basin—The Real Gold

Raphael Block



Claire Scott



Paul Willis


Spilling Seed

John Briscoe


Lost Love in Plaqueville

Marie Lecrivain


Walking Past Your House…

Cathy Porter



Greg Moglia



Lynne McNamara


Karma Dahlia

Jen  O’Neill Pickering



Sarah Baker


Night Is Different Now

Lois Marie Harrod


Dear Tree

Michael Meyerhofer


The Day I Was Born

Dominik Slusarczyk


They Always Come Back

Ace Boggess


new summer hours

Gregory Cecil


Some Stories

Claire Scott


Hit On at the Pool

John Grey


Prescribed Burn

Jason Harlow


surmises of yellow

Gregory Cecil



Doreen Beyer



Jeffrey Taylor


A Usual Day

Shamik Banerjee


She Knew

Claire Scott


Cradling the Grave

Lynda V. E. Crawford


Remembrance in Shades of…

Kathleen Gunton


A Foggy Sunday Morning

Joyce Greenberg Lott


To My Brother on His Birthday

Ellen June Wright


Under Water

Beverly M. Collins


Begin to Heal

Charles Harmon


Wind and Wonder

Shamik Banerjee


You Again

G.H. Mosson


After a Great Sorrow

Mara Fein


The Reunion

Laurie Hollman





Cover Art (Photo): Blue Dragonfly and Pink Lily, Captured on 7/8/2022. Canon Photograph by Beverly M. Collins,

 Contributors in Alphabetical Order                                               59

  CSPS Contest Opportunities                                                         59  

  CSPS Newsbriefs 2024, No. 1 by Maja Trochimczyk                  62      

  Publishing Opportunities with CSPS                                            65

  2022 CSPS Donors, Patrons, and Membership                            66

  CSPS Membership Form                                                              68       


Honeybee and Coneflower by Beverly M. Collins


It has been quite a journey to edit this issue, eye opening in more ways than I have room to list here. A big thanks to Maja Trochimczyk. 

None of us is ever done in our discovery of new things about ourselves and the corners within us that seek for our attention. Many of us stumble through our lives, being as misunderstood as the beautiful creature that graces the cover.

Let spring 2024 be a time to bloom a stronger awareness that our quiet relationship with ourselves is the true base from which all other relationships flower.

In these times, when many projections and news reports can induce a fight-or-flight response within us, I fully relate to the sentiments expressed in the poem “Heimweh” by Jeffrey Taylor.

He questions, “What’s the cost of living in a city I don’t like?”  Take in “Granddaughter”  by Doreen Beyer who views the child as “The little girl whose father’s eyes now settle behind her own.”

I must emphasize, each featured poet included here sparkles as they express the diamonds that are their individual voices. They share what they have lived through and observed; they express their deep, personal response to life.

I praise their bravery and send heart-felt good vibes to their artistic continuum. I hope they always value the light they shine with, and may the readers enjoy and devour their feast-of-words offered in this issue of the California Quarterly.

  Beverly M. Collins                                                   California Quarterly

Burbank, California                                                 Volume  50, Number 1


 Beverly M. Collins, author of the books, Quiet Observations and Mud in Magic. Her works appear in publications based in USA, England, Ireland, Australia, India, Berlin, Mauritius, Lebanon, and Canada.

A 2019 Winner Naji Naaman Literary Prize in Creativity (Lebanon), 3 times nominated for the Pushcart Prize, prize winner for the California State Poetry Society; 2nd placed; June 2021 Wilda Morris Poetry Challenge (Chicago) and performed duties as a guest editor of California Quarterly.

Her photography can be found on: The cover of Peeking Cat 40 (England), California Quarterly,  Fine Art America products, iStock/Getty Images, Shutterstock, Adobe stock and more.


Regal Butterfly by Beverly M. Collins


The California State Poetry Society was established in 1972, but its 50th anniversary is celebrated in 2024, since the 50th volume of the California Quarterly appears this year. So far, we have decided that the CSPS will not hold any in-person events; though a Zoom reading is being considered and anniversary publication plans are in progress.

In 2023, the California State Poetry Society held its Elections of Officers. All currently serving officers agreed to extend their terms and all were re-elected for two years, 2024-2025. Twenty-six ballots were received; one was blank, so 25 votes confirmed the CSPS Officers: Maja Trochimczyk (President), Richard Modiano (Vice President, Communications), Richard Deets (Vice President, Membership), John F. Harrell (Treasurer), and Ambika Talwar (Secretary).  Thank you for your confidence and trust! We will continue working to safeguard the excellent quality of our publications, promote poetry and art.

Monthly Contest Winners of 2023. Alice Pero, the CSPS Monthly Contest Judge, selected the following poems from submissions received each month. The first prize is a minimum of  $10; all prize-winning poems will be published in the CSPS Poetry Letter No. 1 of 2024, in PDF format emailed and posted on our website, and copied on our blog. Congratulations to all the winners!

January (Nature, Landscapes):

   1st Prize: Gurupreet K. Khalsa  “Slip Your Mind Into the Water”

   2nd Prize: Joe Savishinsky  “Orchard in Autumn”

   3rd Prize: Colorado Smith, “Spirit-Bears of British Columbia”

February (Love): No award.

March (Open, Free Subject):

   1st Prize: r g cantalupo, “The Art of Poetry”

   2nd Prize: Ed McManis, “Thirtieth Anniversary”

April (Dreams, Mythology, Other Universes):

   1st Prize:  Lucia Kiersch Haase  “I Have Dreams”

   2nd Prize: Gurupreet K. Khalsa  “Provisional Identity”

May (Personification, Characters, Portraits):

   1st Prize: Allison Burris, “Two Good Witches”

June (The Supernatural):

   1st Prize: Gail White, “The Ghost in the Restaurant”

July  (Childhood, Memoirs):

   1st Prize: Jane Stuart, “When Memories Fade”

August (Places, Poems of Location):

   1st Prize: Jiang Pu, “Hakone Garden”

   2nd Prize: Michael Shoemaker, “Stargazing at Capitol Reef”

September (Colors, Music, Dance):

   1st Prize: Joan Gerstein, “Grayscale of Truth”

   2nd Prize: Stewart Breier, “Hellstorm, Stars & Angels”

   3rd Prize: Kevin Madrigal Galindo, “the rhythm of the wind”

October (Humor, Satire): No award.

November (Family, Friendships, Relationships):

   1st Prize: Mia Kernaghan, “A Strange Chance”

   2nd Prize: Jeff Graham, “Though”

   3rd Prize: Carla Schick, “Today I Could Be Something I’ve Never Been”

December (Back Down to Earth – Time, Seasons):

   1st Prize: Thomas Feeny, “Fall Afternoon”

   2nd Prize: Jane Stuart, “December Melody”

 At its October 2023 meeting, the CSPS Board of Directors voted to increase the CSPS Membership Dues for 2024: Individual Membership (Domestic) from $40 to $45 and Individual Membership (International) from $60 to $65. At the same time, the institutional dues remained unchanged

The fourth issue of 2023 Poetry Letter was a farewell to three former Editors of the California Quarterly: Life Member, Margaret Saine, as well as Terry Ehret and Maura Harvey; the latter two continue to assist us on the CSPS Board. Since Maura is also a painter and Margaret a photographer, some of their artwork serves as illustrations. The issue also presented one of the Honorary Mentions from the 2023 Annual Contest by Gurupreet Khalsa, too lengthy for our journal. To round-up the poetry selections, I added an ekphrastic poem by Michael Escoubas and three poems by Hedy Habra. The Poetry Letter No. 4 of 2023 featured also three book reviews: two by Michael Escoubas—of No Matter How It Ends by E.J. Rode, and Genica by Neth Hass—and the third one by Joan Leotta, of a new book by Hedy Habra, Or Did You Ever See the Other Side? 

Frank Iosue, an Arizona poet who served as Annual Contest Judge in 2022, occasionally sends us links to his poetry videos and other audiovisual material. He wrote: “January 12, 2024 marks the 25th anniversary of the passing of my beloved wife, Mary Susan....To honor the occasion, I have uploaded a new video to my You Tube Channel, ImUpToMystic, featuring my reading of a short poem that I wrote in her memory, ‘A Note About Reuniting With You In An Afterlife,’ accompanied by music and images.”

Iosue shared with CSPS a website by his friend and classmate at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, “poet, novelist and retired teacher, Will Schmitz” who created the Will’s Cards website that showcases many samples of his Poetry Postcards with imaginative self-made collages and short poems:   

I edited the California Quarterly Vol. 49, No. 4 (Winter 2023) with a painting by Marsden Hartley on the cover, and the issue was well liked by poets: “This is a beautiful issue.  Thank you very much for including my work.”—Bren Ohta, PhD. “Wow, I read these poems again and felt so small and insignificant, these words and these poets convey something I’m not sure I understand, and maybe never will, the power of poetry is something beyond who we are and who we yearn to be. Thanks again for all of your efforts on behalf of the California State Poetry Society and thanks for including me as part of your team”—Mark Hammerschick. “I’m very fond of the cover. I saw my first Marsden Hartley as a youngster at a reprise of the 1913 Armory Show in my hometown of Amherst, MA.  His work and some others surprised me that they hadn’t been more appreciated in the intervening years.”—Linden Van Wert.

CSPS Member News. Georgia San Li’s poetry chapbook Wandering explores émigré life through the prisms of myth, ambition, alienation, abandonment, and love.  Advance sales are available now at Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the 2023 Oxford Poetry prize and appears or is forthcoming in The Glacier, LIT Magazine, SWWIM, Willow Springs, CQ, and The Missouri Review.

Registration for the 2024 NFSPS BlackBerry Peach National Poetry Slam will close when NFSP reaches 44 entries or April 12th, 2024, whichever comes first. An adult registration entitles state poetry societies to send at least one youth poet (age 13 to under 21 by June 7th) to Youth National Poetry Slam. CSPS Board decided not to send any representatives, as our interest is in written not spoken word. Happy writing!

 ~ Maja Trochimczyk, CSPS President

Restless Blue Dragonfly by Beverly M. Collins


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