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Letter Box On Line (LBOL) Files #35

  • Section A: July 15, 2012
  • Section B: August 15, 2012
  • Section C: September 15, 2012
  • Section D: October 12, 2012
  • Section E: November 15, 2012
  • Section F: .................................................................. December 15, 2012

    Del Rey Oaks, CA

    I have been working on this small sculpture and the process turned into a poem of sorts.
    The subject is Jeanne Fosnat my current drawing teacher.

    [visual poem]

    Stephen Brown

    Carmel Valley, CA


      Everyone knows those
      women poets are loonies—
      lunar loonies,
      moon-crazed females
      sketching their insanity
      on the rhythm of line and stanza,

      pinning down the losses
      of their lives with words,
      like sticking butterflies
      to poster board,
      giving each small death
      its name.

      There's trust tacked
      next to innocence,
      a litany of virtues stifled,
      their wild colors fading
      under the dust
      of indifference.

      Everyone knows
      women poets are daft,
      speak of cookbooks
      and folding laundry
      as if to claim an empire
      in ordinary things,
      placing the trivia of their fives
      in the sudden
      perspective of grace.

    Laura Bayless

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    Section E: .................................................................. November 15, 2012

    Del Rey Oaks, CA

    This poem is dedicated to Joan Marsh the wife and widow of the Poet Don Marsh—November 2001. His end was one where he lingered for just a moment before he moved on. That is always difficult for those who are close.


      I should have known
      the moment that I saw you
      running into the village,
      with no apparent purpose
      looking for the answer,
      searching the eyes,
      reading the souls
      for the reason
      to and unanswered question.

      You knew the book
      that you had read
      for thirty years
      was coming to an end.

      You saw the words were leading
      to the ultimate conclusion.

      I should have known
      the moment I saw you.

    Stephen Brown

    San Jose, CA


      She turns and turns and turns
      on the lift of a tight thermal
      shadowed from above
      by a juvenile Red Tail
      tracking nervously her every turn
      talons extended stiffly
      eager to grab on to her
      for the plunge of his life.

      She can hear the wild flapping
      of his wings His closing in she can feel
      his imminent stall on her back
      she barely dips 3 feathers of her red tail
      swoops out of the tight thermal
      accelerating with wings slightly tugged in
      out of sight in a blink of an eye
      He— hanging high in blue space.

    Franz Spickhoff

    Monterey, CA


      There's a song within that's waiting to be found,
      In the air I breathe a longing and a sound.
      There's a love that brings new happiness each day
      He is here when he is near or far away.

      And I'm blessed to be his partner, his best friend
      For I know that he'll be with me to the end.
      Oh, my dear, here is a song with my love true.
      It's my heart's constant love song ever new.

    Shirley Tofte

    Monterey, CA



      I see Sunflowers as my 'Totem Plant' and teacher.
      They greet the Sun each day in all their glory
      and are open to whatever comes their way,
      They stand tall, yet never fight the wind from whichever way it blows.
      Confident and trusting in who they are,
      They maintain their center while freely giving what they have to offer.

    Patrick Maiorana

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    Section D: .................................................................. October 12, 2012

    Del Rey Oaks, CA

      Close to the smell of the rose!



      it has been too long
      since I ran in a park
      bounced on the grass
      my legs burning
      with the joy of running
      tow headed
      my ears
      sticking out
      so I could fly
      like Dumbo
      above it all
      loop da loop
      in the sky
      above the rainbow

    Stephen Brown

    San Jose, CA


      You hardly notice your shadow
      as you step into the sun at noon
      a beastly, beastly heat takes your breath
      has bleached the rye grass into a pale blonde
      a hot breath whips the tips of the rye
      into a white froth.

      Black tar has turned soft
      the road's top buckles and cracks
      as the poplar's roots tunnel in warm darkness
      green branches push through the cracks
      into brilliant sunlight
      a small oasis in a hot desert.

    Franz Spickhoff

    Carmel Valley, CA


      Below a narrow path that follows
      the fierce edge of a coastal cliff
      relentless breakers rupture
      against chiseled stone thresholds.

      Dark arrows of pelicans shred
      the late afternoon sky into blue tatters.
      A brutal headwind sweeps across
      the summer-parched meadow beyond the bluff.

      Facing the storm-eroded precipice
      I turn toward each strong gust,
      remain moored in the cold blasts,
      determined to prove my resilience.

    Laura Bayless

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    Section C: .................................................................. September 15, 2012

    Del Rey Oaks, CA


      Motion down the stones
            that move
                  from this place
      roll, fracture
      roll to sand grind yourself unto the sea
            to become
      and grow compressed into
      a stone
      fractured rent and split into the sky
            to become a stone
            to become a stone
                  and begin
      motion down the stones


      the moors did not leave Iberia
      retreating into the mountain side
      to join the gypsies
      taking up the guitar
      to sing as the muezzin
      toward that center
      of life
      sound and dance
      into the night
      hallowed to dance
      ancient rhythms
      of day and night
      of light and dark
      of passion
      and hate
      who are these messengers all
      that bring to life
      more than we can see
      by using our eyes
      and ears
      and heart
      dancing gypsies in the night

    Stephen Brown

    Piedmont, CA


      As dawn rises, the glow through the window turns
            From gray to silver then sage.
      My thoughts try to lift with the sun.
      Pictures from across the room, remind me of places we've traveled—
            Sailing off Maui, camping beside Lake Lucerne,
            Climbing to the top of Mont Saint Michel.

      An aquamarine glow from the skylight surrounds me as I dress for the day.
      I step outside and down the stairs for the paper as sunrays hit the lawns.
            They turn from forest to emerald, reminding me that life still has much to offer.

      My cell phone buzzes; a friend wants to lunch later;
            My mood lightens from deep jade to bright lime.

      As the sun rises, my thoughts buoy with the day.

      At midmorning my walk fills me with golden musings and saffron memories—
            Biking under the pines in Yosemite, roasting marshmallows over a fire.

      Showering, my mind opens through a mustard haze into a lemony crystal, and
            I think of the friends who connect for a movie, a shopping spree, or a chat.

      At lunch, talking over salads filled with peaches and mangos,
            My thoughts brighten to a tangerine orange.
            I smile and even laugh and feel the coral shadows surround and warm me.

      The rosiest part of the day comes in the afternoon—
            I've been reminded that the crimson warmth of old friendships and
            The fuchsia blush of new are so much more than some folks enjoy
                  —I mellow.

      On that warm summer eve I sit on the deck and watch the sky
      Turn first magenta, then plum, then violet.
            Glowing memories wash over me:
                  Cheering as the coach sends his son from third to home,
                  A steal so rare to accomplish.
                  Smiling as the coach instructs his son to "pop" the clutch,
                  And send the MG racing

      Artuna Avenue turns azure as evening wans.

      I sigh as I stare at the shadows turning from cornflower to slate across in the park.
      Leaning my head back, I stare at the indigo sky and feel lucky for the family
      That shared this house, this dream, this life with me.

    Pam Quesnoy

    Carmel Valley, CA

      (A member of a group of early 19th century English workmen engaged
      in attempting to prevent the use of labor-saving machinery by destroying it.)

      I am technology's castaway
      on a vanishing isle,
      residing happily surrounded by
            a rotary dial phone,
            30-year-old Zenith TV,
            piggy bank for my pennies,
            fat Yellow Pages directory,
            paper road maps,
            analog clocks & watches
            I adjust for daylight savings,
            books I purchased
            at extinct independent bookstores.

      On my island there is no ATM,
      no debit card, no online banking,
      no robotic car or Roomba,
      iPhone, iPod, iPad, or iCloud,
      no apps—whatever are those anyway.

      I use vellum cards to write personal notes,
      snail mail them with artistic stamps
      I buy with cash at the local PO,
      make out deposit slips I hand to a teller,
      fill blue-lined pages in cheap notebooks
      with penciled psychotherapy,
      and poems in Palmer Method cursive.

      I cling to every disappearing
      outdated fixture of a simpler life,
      am appalled to learn some states
      have officially dropped handwriting
      as an educational requirement,
      still have a loose-leaf address book,
      a 20-pound Webster's dictionary,

      and my sanity.

    Laura Bayless

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    Section B: .................................................................. August 15, 2012

    Del Rey Oaks, CA


      Now I know
      why god decided
      reading minds
      would not be good

      listening to the chatter
      that crowds so hard
      deeper thinking
      of the meaning of life
      reality and everything

      is buried way deep
      way deep
      beyond texting

      I started to realize
      how dumb
      my own utterances
      really are

      and the wisdom of silence

      the wisdom of silence. . . .

    Stephen Brown

    Carmel Valley, CA


      A breeze ripples the brown tide
      of parched blossoms

      across a thicket of thrift and yarrow
      out on Granite Point.

      A few gold bugles of sticky monkey
      sway on thin dry steins.

      Over the strand of colored stones in Moss Cove
      tide washes its benchmarks of highs and lows,

      the going out and coming in,
      flood and ebb.

      Out at sea, a gray fog line
      echoes the flow between mist and sky.

      I drift on a tide of age,
      ever so gradually going out

      more than coming in.

    Laura Bayless

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    Section A: .................................................................. July 15, 2012

    Del Rey Oaks, CA

    [Steve's face]
    Made when I was trying to figure out what it means to turn 70!



    Stephen Brown

    Carmel Valley, CA


      On a spur off the North Shore Trail
      concealed by an abrupt turn of the path,
      I sit on a tough wood bench.
      Along its weather-silvered planks,
      I read an embarrassment of initials,
      love hearts carved by strangers.

      Later afternoon sun gathers summer color
      from the hills above Monastery Beach.
      Beside me Indian paintbrush bloom
      next to yellow lizard tail yarrow.

      One sailboat floats on a calm sea.
      The rising and falling murmur
      of incoming tidal swells
      on stone islands at Bluefish Cove
      softens the hard cries of gulls.

      Lavender seaside daisy, bluff lettuce
      grow alongside landlocked gray driftwood
      cypress limbs and lichen-garnished granite.

      I remain for an hour,
      rest serenely at this private view
      across Carmel Bay.

      Every so often I hear
      impatient hikers insist this is dead end,
      as they come part-way down the trail
      and turn away.

    < P> Laura Bayless

    Thank you for your creative offerings!

    I invite readers to share their own creative works (poems, stories, images, comment, etc.) in Letter Box On Line (LBOL). I look for work and comments I feel support understanding and encouragement of the creative process, and hence, the process of life.

    The Editor

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