Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Writers Uncensored: Gary Snyder: If Trees Could Talk







Gary Snyder taught at UC Davis for many years, which, uh, qualifies him as a Yolo County poet. Anyway, this is fascinating. --James

Sunday, October 7, 2018

2 poems by Katy Brown of Davis



The Silver Woman

Her voice, the tarnished pewter
of a fine clarinet
her eyes, the deep rust of age
and ware.

She looks through
a picket of winter-bleached
twigs, gathered from
a ghost forest.

She is wisdom, regarding us
beyond age and compassion.
Her hands cradle branches
as worn and smooth as hers.

—Katy Brown


Meadow Meeting

I’d meet you, poet
in any meadow you desire
where icy springs swell into
mirrors that reflect the fire
of mid-day sun.

I know how much you love
the clouds that roll and gather
overhead. How much you love
the dappled wood and all
quick creatures living there.

Love the tallest pine & cedar —
yet most of all, you love
the giant redwoods
gathered ‘round. In silent times
they call you
down shadowed paths where
sunlight seldom falls.
I’d go there, too, if you’d but ask.

—Katy Brown

---
Yolo County poets, send your poems in! Email: jamesleejobe@gmail.com
I prefer the poems to be in the text of the email, but Word and Google Docs is OK.
No PDF files.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Haiku by Beth Suter, of Davis



Meditation Haiku


we are not thoughts—

those flighty, raucous birds—

but sky flown through


--Beth Suter


(Previously published in Bear Creek Haiku.)

This is open to poetry from Yolo County poets.
Email work to: JamesLeeJobe@gmail.com
PLEASE, no PDF files.

Monday, October 1, 2018

A poem by Beth Suter of Davis



Mushroom Hunting


hungry for something
newly grown

we follow the scent
of oak tannin and cave

where just-thawed forest floor
hides meaty, butter bulbs

the same brown buff
as the sun-dappled loam

as if the leaves themselves
became morels

beneath the swell and bulge
of the hollows, they burrow up

into a cold, sheer light,
filling us with a wild infusion
the marrow of the woods

--Beth Suter

(Previously published in Snowy Egret.) Yolo County poets, send your poems to:
jamesleejobe@gmail.com No PDF files. Use Word, Google Docs, or put the poem right in the text of the email.
--James

Thursday, September 27, 2018

A poem by Charles Halsted, Davis CA

My Backyard Jungle


My backyard is a steaming jungle,
A jumble of many specied birds,
Some migratory, others settled,
squirrels darting to and fro.

I’ve placed seed feeders here and there.
Birds sail in, compete for food,
rinse off in the stone birdbath
that I keep filled from my garden hose.

My yard falls silent this afternoon
Birds in flight and squirrels all gone
A yellow streaked cat plods slowly through
My neighbor’s chainsaw suddenly growls.

---
Anyone who lives or works in Yolo County, CA is welcome to send in poems for posting. Any length, any subject. Please use email, jamesleejobe@gmail.com, and please place the poem in the text of the email, not as an attachment.
Thanks, 
James Lee Jobe

Monday, September 17, 2018

A poem by Charles Halsted of Davis.

Waking Rituals 



At first light, the cars below begin to move.  

I hear the distant moan of the early dawn freight;  

closer in, the gentle coos of the mourning dove. 



Still in cocoon, I roll towards

her sleep-shrouded nakedness,

spoon my bony angles around soft curves. 



I’m awake and alive, while with 

rhythmic rise and fall of her rib cage

she sleeps on warm and still. 



Birds start to call, some shrill, some peeps. 

Low washboard stutters of magpies 

announce the gathering light of the sun. 



Gray turns to gold across fields of wheat,

distant oaks from dark to brilliant greens. 

Sunlight bursts through close-in leaves.  



I splash cold water on my face, 

get the tea water up to a boil. 

Scalding heat, oxygen, tiny leaves 



burst magical aromas and tastes 

all the way from Ceylon to my brain.

My senses now at their height, 



I move into my day.



--Charles Halsted



Send in your poems:

jamesleejobe@gmail.com


 -Yolo County residents, students, or workers only

 - Please, no attachments, put your in the text of your email.

 Thanks!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Rich Lineup for UC Davis Visiting Writers Series

Rich Lineup for UC Davis Visiting Writers Series



The 2018–19 Creative Writing Reading Series at UC Davis will bring acclaimed, long-established writers along with emerging writers starting in October. The series is organized by the Department of English creative writing program in the College of Letters and Science. All readings are at 7 p.m. in the Peter J. Shields Library and are free and open to the public.

Monday, Oct. 22 – Tom Pickard’s  writing has been praised by such wide-ranging voices as Allen Ginsberg and Paul McCartney. He is author of 16 poetry collections and five books of fiction, memoir and oral history His collection Fiends Fell was on the best poetry of 2017 lists from The Times Literary Supplement and The New York Times.

 Tuesday, Jan. 15 – Deb Olin Unferth is author of the short story collection Wait Till You See Me Dance, the novel Vacation, the graphic novel I, Parrot and the memoir, Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War. An associate professor at the University of Texas, she was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and has received four Pushcart Prizes. Unferth founded a creative writing program at a maximum security prison in Texas.

Thursday, Feb. 7 – Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man: Stories and his fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2018, Ploughshares, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train and American Short Fiction. He is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University.

Thursday, March 7 – Crystal Wilkinson’s debut novel, The Birds of Opulence, received the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Her other works include the short-story collections Blackberries, Blackberries and Water Street.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

from Claudette Cervinka of Davis.

“The Mist” 


by Welch poet Dafydd ap Gwilym, translated by Paul Merchant


Yesterday (Thursday, my drinking day)

was a red-letter mark in the calendar.

I recovered my faith in women. Worn

wafer-thin with love, I was invited

to a love-tryst in the green cathedral,

a meeting made at my girl’s choosing.



No man alive, under blaze of heaven,

knew of my pact with the shapely girl.

At sun’s rising that Thursday morning

I leapt from bed brim full of laughter

and set my course to the small cottage

where the slim one was expecting me.



But now like a thief on the empty moor

a mist came creeping, a black cortège,

a parchment scroll, rain’s manuscript,

clotted curds, a slippery hindrance, 

a tin colander starting to rust through, 

a fowling net on the swarthy soil.



A dark gate blocking a narrow path,

a winnowing sieve tossed up carelessly,

a monk’s grey cowl shading the land,

darkening ever vale and hollow,

a thorn fence bestriding the sky,

a purple bruise on the fogbound hill.



It was like wool, a thin veil of fleece

flimsy as smoke, a straw bonnet,

a hedge of rain barring my progress,

a coat of armor, a storm to soak me,

blinding my eyes so I was lost utterly,

a coarse cloak thrown over the country.



Then it was a castle right in my path, 

hall of the fairy king, wind’s territory,

a pair of fat cheeks chewing the earth,

torchbearers searching a pitchy sky

for its three pallid constellations,

a poet’s blindfold, a bard’s penalty.



A length of expensive cambric

thrown over the heavens a halter

of spidery gossamer, French fabric,

on the moorland, fairies’ realm,

a filmy breath of piebald smoke,

forest mist on a May morning.



Film on the eyes, a barking kennel,

ointment smeared on Hell’s witches,

sodden dew become oddly sinister,

a discarded suit of damp chain mail.

I’d sooner walk the pitch dark heath

than navigate this mist at noon.



At midnight stars light up the sky,

candles aflame in a dark chancel,

but this morning (bitter memory)

no moon, no stars, only a mist,

a prison door slammed behind me,

this mist, a misery past endurance.



Thus was my path curdled by clouds

leaving a stupefied stone-blind lover

stood stock-still, bereft of the sight



of Morfydd’s elegant arching brows.



----



Send in your poems:
jamesleejobe@gmail.com

-Yolo County residents, students, or workers only

- Please, no attachments, put your in the text of your email.

Thanks!

Monday, September 10, 2018

A poem by Barbara West of Davis



Sleeping at Hibbert’s

When insomnia gets tiresome
I pack up my cat,
alarm clock and comforter
and go down to Hibbert’s Hardware.

The sliding glass door in back
isn’t locked because no one
wants these odd plumbing parts
in the middle of the night

and once you get in
behind the counter
there’s a futon back there.

Nothing soothes like the presence
of tools, paint and twine

where sleep comes as easy
as the help freely given
in the day
from both sides of that counter.

-- Barbara West

Please send in your poems, too. The only requirement is that you live or work in Yolo County, as this blog is for local poets to display their work.

Put your poems (or poetry event info) into the text of your email, no attachments, please. Email: jamesleejobe@gmail.com

Thanks,
James Lee Jobe

A poem from Charles Halsted in Davis



Twelve-Step Dante

Two thirds through my life’s journey,
I found myself lost in a dark tangled wood.
The way to the light was obscure to me.

As if in a dream, I wandered about,
my demons confusion and fear.
My mind was in turmoil, clouded with doubt.

One by one, three fearsome beasts appeared:
a leopard of sloth, greed, and desire,
a lion of pride, my frightful barrier

against all who’d support me through the mire,
a wolf raging at fate with darkness all around.
Anxiety grew. I could not aspire

to comfort, when a voice within me spoke without sound:
“If I will accept what cannot be revised,
each day will have meaning, spirit my ground.”

Within me dwells my spirit of life,
my constant guide to all that’s kind.
Aware of life’s mystery, beauty, and gifts,

I can receive when I open my mind
to everyday miracles that transform the night.
If I seek and listen, soon I will find

a life free from fear, with faith and insight,
acceptance, the serenity of knowing

this season of darkness will soon become light.

-- Charles Halsted

Please send in your poems, too. The only requirement is that you live or work in Yolo County, as this blog is for local poets to display their work.

Put your poems (or poetry event info) into the text of your email, no attachments, please. Email: jamesleejobe@gmail.com

Thanks,
James Lee Jobe

Saturday, September 8, 2018

3 poems by Carlena Wike of Woodland

Heart to Heart         

Once, when they spoke,
they soaked each other up
polished prose with something claret
and ever so slowly undressed their intentions.

Soon, eyes replaced lips
turning words into mere punctuation
as their bodies grew more articulate
stripping language down to flesh in moonlight.

Now, in an empty nest
they share, almost by gesture,
a deep affection, slip silently
into the warmth of familiar bedclothes.

Basking in the comfort
of each other’s breathing,
the still steady murmur of old hearts
they sigh; arrange tired bodies; ride the night.

Carlena Wike



Hardpack    
        
Gleaned from fields gone fallow
still redolent of ripened crops
tilled under when summer faded
and fall drifted into a dry winter
my words lie like unsown seed
on the shelf of my experience.

Spring was subtle this year
tiptoed in as though uninvited.
We mourned the dearth of wet weather,
watched lake beds lay themselves bare,
rivers abandon salmon, farmers cast lots,
and politicians play dice with our future.

Nothing left to cultivate but hope.

Carlena Wike




Doubt

Last night was full of omens.
A sinister moon cast runes –
lent life to shades stalking my room
tolling time.

Like a good mother, sun dispelled demons
offered there, there, a welcome reassurance
(though I noted she did not shine her light
under the bed).

Carlena Wike


Carlena was recently a featured poet at The Other Voice poetry series in Davis, which is always on the third Friday of the month at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, in the library, at 7:30 pm. There is also an open.

Thanks to the UU Church for sponsoring this series for over twenty years, and thanks to Carlena Wike for sending in her fine poems.

Please send in yours, too. The only requirement is that you live or work in Yolo County, as this for local poets to display their work.

Put your poems (or poetry event info) into the text of your email, no attachments, please: jamesleejobe@gmail.com


Thanks,
James Lee Jobe



Writers Uncensored: Gary Snyder: If Trees Could Talk

Gary Snyder taught at UC Davis for many years, which, uh, qualifies him as a Yolo County poet. Anyway, this is fascinating. --James