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Letter Box On Line (LBOL) Files #40

  • Section A: January 15, 2015
  • Section B: February 15, 2015
  • Section C: March 15, 2015
  • Section D: April 15, 2015
  • Section E: May 15, 2015
  • Section F: .................................................................. June 15, 2015

    Del Rey Oaks, CA


      writing poems
      one stick at a time

      there is so much I can't understand

      the fear and pain of a loved one

      the random chance of death

      the soul searching line
      that marks the edge

    Stephen Brown

    Tucson, AZ


      Monsandough Inc. genetically engineers the future
      so it looks like this:
      First crops are genetically engineered to be able to withstand
      massive doses of aerially sprayed Agent Orange
      Nothing can compete with these crops
      drenched in Agent Orange
      all other life forms perish

      And the next step is
      thanks to a brilliant Monsandough scientist
      and the complicity of bucks up Uncle Sam
      to go back to organic farming for the survivors
      and spray the cities with Agent Orange
      just to weed things out

    Chris Lovette

    Carmel, CA

    Owning good shoes that have served faithfully over a long time develops a special relationship—one that is hard to leave. This is a story of such a relationship with a pair of old sneakers, "showing a good patina of used time," and their final parting.


      A nice young beautiful lady approached me showing me around. I was stroked by a beautiful pair of shoes sitting there on the floor in front of me inviting me to enter. Ah! Touching and gliding in. Oh! It felt so good! We where made for each other. You welcomed me by embracing a sensible part of my body. My little toe winked at the big one as saying, this is it—love in the air. I could not resist—we have to be together. And so we did for many years going to remote places: Argentina, San Carlos de Bariloche, El Tronador, Oregon, Washington State, Port Angeles—going up the mountains. You helped me to stay upright on those trails. Never letting me down, here at home and nearby Pt. Lobos, Palo Corona, many uneven trails, hard to adapt, but you did it always keeping me inside you, keeping me straight, moving side-ways, ups and downs. Some trails where difficult to adapt. But now we are going to our trail for the last time. I cannot leave you all at once. We will go for still one more walk—watching the whales. Remember the snake we almost stepped on? Dolphins jumping up and down—seemingly having fun? Watching a gray heron catching a gofer? It is difficult for me—the separation. I cry and keep my tears in a glass. When it is full, it will tell us the time has come. I will make tea from it with some special herbs given by Edy. I still have a small bag of old sugar from Argentina and some Brandy a good one left to me by my son Peter. So the emotions will run with my beloved once in mind, all to make this moment, this farewell, to be remembered as a pledge to loyalty between family. Good by. So long. Adios. Ciao! Hopefully they will take care of you, do not worry for me. As I have some others to walk with, very beautiful, as you where in your younger years. I really don't want to leave you, but circumstances are taking me to this decision—please forgive me. Who knows if I will see you on some other trails. Life is full of surprises. Having me once inside you will stay forever—to the bottom of my feet.

    Herman Van Gansen

    Carmel Valley, CA

      I LOVE

      I love that I can love
      feel my heart swell
      while I view the unexpected
      while hearing soothing sentiments
      while visiting through remembrances
      the pathways of my elongated life.

      On my back patio, earlier this spring,
      a single dark green spike of stem
      peeks shyly through a crack in the cement
      decides, yes, it is safe to venture forth
      to become the carrier of golden poppies
      to add a bouquet to sterile scene
      minds not that later small black seeds
      will ride a soft breeze to alight anew on waiting soil.

      In a restaurant in Carmel, sit with my oldest son,
      a rare visit, just we two.
      He now blossoms in Florida climate,
      year-round warmth for comfort,
      thunderstorms for accent of excitement
      and profession that allows him to stand tall.
      His arms long enough to embrace across the miles.

      In my journey, often transplanted,
      roots sometimes worn to bare threads
      I now well planted, awaken to sun's calling
      to stir seeds within still encased
      to venture forth to further beginnings.

      I love that I can love
      feel my heart swell
      while I view the unexpected
      while hearing soothing sentiments
      while visiting through remembrances
      the pathways of my elongated life.

    Illia Thompson

    Marina, CA


      Colors swirl by
      as delighted feet
      pound the floorboards
      into submission.

      Rhythm, rhyme and sound
      fuse into minds and souls
      as flowing bodies
      respond to instincts buried deep
      and lose themselves
      in the abandon
      of the dance.

    Olga Chandler

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    Section E: .................................................................. May 15, 2015

    Del Rey Oaks, CA

      we came to a river
      flowing down
      from the mountains
      a leaf floats
      on the reflection
      spinning and turning
      in tiny currents
      that make the flow
      ever slowly
      the river wears
      as it carries the
      towards the ocean

    Stephen Brown

    Carmel, CA

      (For Dylan Thomas)

      to begin at the beginning

      can we be alone here
      for a moment


      his absence
      as a symbol

      a weird innocence

      entwining our own
      enigmas and faults

      in the quick sliding

      under the bed
      and deeper

      much deeper still

    My interest ( in Dylan Thomas) stems from meeting his daughter, Aeronwy, who I arranged to speak in Monterey in 2008...

    My 1st book was published in 2012:
    Love For Ever Meridian: Finding Dylan Thomas in the 21st Century

    I am currently writing a 2nd book:
    Singing in My Chains: Dylan Thomas at the Birth of an Age

    John Dotson

    Salinas, CA


      Reflecting on illuminated swirls,
      Grounded on a hill of crazy lace.
      Designs forged in a mystic underworld
      Help to define a universal place.

      Exciting patterns ignite over head.
      New images emerge from every nook,
      Created from a flow sediment bled,
      As if to know, someday, our eyes would look.

      Beyond a pre-conceived language of earth
      Into a realm where ancient art aligns
      With fertile metaphors that may give birth
      To a truth that is concealed between the lines.

      Balanced on the ancient agate ledge,
      We wonder toward a new creative edge.


    Laura Carley

    Monterey, CA


      Six-Point Living Wheel:
      Shared Experiences,
      Lovely Surprises.

      Six-Point Histories:
      Power of the Past Explored,
      Revealing Six Selves.

      Hints of Things to Come:
      Past and Future Intertwined,
      Six-Point Time Machine.

    Ray Cyr

    Marina, CA


      The furious sea
      threw wave after roiling wave
      at the bits of wood, rope and bone
      that dared to disturb
      its liquid peace.

      Terrified sailors
      clung to mast and spar and hope,
      while praying to deaf gods
      to live to see another day.

      But in the recessed comers
      of shattered, trembling minds,
      lurked the certainty, the knowledge
      of what lay ahead
      in fathoms deep.

      The hungry sea would come for them
      and feed.

    Olga Chandler

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    Section D: .................................................................. April 15, 2015

    Del Rey Oaks, CA

    I awoke once again thinking about Global Warming and the mess that we are in. I was reminded of this poem (and these earlier writings):

    Watching the Santa Clara Valley change in the 1960's. Even then it was apparent that the automobile was going to be the death of us; still is at least it appears that way in July 2008. From sketchbook dated 1965. Hanging out in the Brass Knocker, a 1960's version of the Coffee House. Murray Brookman proprietor, ex bridge builder, hanger out with young people, and a character. It was in this Coffee House that I gathered notes in a spiral binder from the other inhabitants on the night of J.F.K.'s assassination, I date this as the end of my childhood. The first time that things "would never be the same."


      Cars Cars gulping air and spewing gas

      the lemming to the sea

      and man. . .

      Cars Cars gulping air and spewing gas

    Stephen Brown

    Carmel, CA

    American Pie

      [American Pie]

    Helene Constant

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    Section C: .................................................................. March 15, 2015

    Del Rey Oaks, CA


      I went to drive the sun
      when Apollo got too drunk
      with Dionysus.

      It did not work out well
      the earth became covered with fire
      when I got to close to the ground.

      Thank the gods they took away the reins
      and waited for Apollo to awake.

      The night was cold and long
      but we were better for it.

      Leave the driving to the gods.

    Stephen Brown

    San Jose, CA


      I ate your poem
      line by line—just empty words
      when the heart was lit
      by a certain shaft of light

      I felt you casting a spell
      of imperial affliction
      to keep mind and heart awake
      day in and day out

      I am filled with stillness
      when shadows hold their breath
      so clear and boundless
      it drowns the din of the world

      Through your words I see my life
      a flash of light—a reflection
      dancing in the distance

    Inspiration came from reading Emily Dickerson's poem:
    There's a certain Slant of light, (320)
    See below.

      There's a certain Slant of light, (320)

      There's a certain Slant of light,
      Winter Afternoons—
      That oppresses, like the Heft
      Of Cathedral Tunes—

      Heavenly Hurt, it gives us—
      We can find no scar,
      But internal difference—
      Where the Meanings, are—

      None may teach it—Any—
      'Tis the seal Despair—
      An imperial affliction
      Sent us of the Air—

      When it comes, the Landscape listens—
      Shadows—hold their breath—
      When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
      On the look of Death—

    Franz Spickhoff

    Carmel Valley, CA

      LOVE AFTER 80

      After being awake, long enough to reflect and allow that which is waiting to arrive at the surface, I realized that I needed to talk about Love after eighty.

      Through discussion with a friend turned a few years older than I, whose journey into the next year came without much forethought, I described my apprehension at turning that age, which came forth as I neared that turning point. But a dream, where, after going under a dark bridge, found me upon a landscape of spring growth, the only admonition was that I step not on delicate new shoots. My surprise brought elation, and since that January date, this year, I have felt a new tenderness, akin to deeper love for all around me.

      Joy arrives in unexpected forms, just by watching the edge of a leaf move in accordance with the will of a breeze. Laughter often arises from my depths that precludes a sense of richness, and most of all, a deeper caring for those people who inhabit my life and my thoughts. I can truly say that I am falling more in love with my children, all three, so different, yet sprung from me, nurtured in my way, and, in spite and because of, it all, come into the forefront of being my friends and now, with families of their own, ideal spouses and parents.

    Illia Thompson

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    Section B: .................................................................. February 15, 2015

    Del Rey Oaks, CA

      EVENT 1/16/15

      swollowed by
      the hospital monster

      deep in its bowels

      so far away

      yet so close
      to the River Styx

      abundant fear
      crosses all lines
      of constant refraction

      placing arrows
      across the sky.

    Stephen Brown

    Carmel, CA

      [Day Of The Dead]

    Helene Constant

    Carmel, CA


      a lone bird is singing
      a little far off

      insistently now

      calling me out
      into the morning

      of all our livings and losings

      and of this very loving
      that is for ever

      and only new

    John Dotson

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    Section A: .................................................................. January 15, 2015

    Del Rey Oaks, CA

    Christmas 1970—we had gone to Europe to visit the Art.


      It was along
      the Arno
      in Florence Italy
      waiting for Christmas to

      bathing in the Renaissance
      we went singing
      Christmas Carols
      through the streets
      in English
      at Giotto
      and Mike
      the Angel
      near the Domo
      down the lane
      with Fra Angelico

      and Americans
      in the awe
      of Ghilberti's Doors
      . . . we went singing

    Stephen Brown

    Carmel Valley, CA


      A thin mist sits lightly,
      delicate as a whisper over the valley.
      To the east, evidence of her dissolving
      lingers along the sliver of moon visible
      in the colorless sky of early morning.
      Drawn west, fog appears to depart
      rather than vanish from warmth.
      Moving more swiftly now,
      lying close to the mountains,
      it follows the ramble of the river.

      Scrub jays come again and again
      to the seed bowls on the deck,
      pick out sunflower shells
      from millet and milo.
      Vapors hesitate, can't seem to decide
      to stay or continue on the path to sea.
      Fascinated by her moods and manifestations,
      I find no distinct edge, but a soft sculpture
      of faint borders in motion.

      It's been too long since I stole
      quiet time for myself.
      Something undefined is at work,
      an embrace in the tender haze
      that carries a beauty all its own.
      Something is being revealed slowly,
      like my valley on this early June morning,

      and I am being asked
      to trust the mystery.

    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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