Friday, March 29, 2013


It is no surprise to Jesus, that I find it a bit of a joke.. That I had to laugh when I heard the gentleman on the radio talk about the importance of "protecting the traditional definition of marriage.. One man. One woman." And how timely is it, that for national women's month, I just finished reading, OUR ELEANOR, by Candace Fleming.. A scrapbook look at Eleanor roosevelt's remarkable life. I highly recommend this book, by the way.. But for the purposes of my blog post today, I'm going to skip writing about her phenomenal accomplishments.. Like the universal declaration of human rights, and instead write about her "traditional marriage" to who would become President Franklin Roosevelt. One man. One woman. The pretty dress.. The fancy wedding.. The legal documents. Just the way everyone who opposes gay marriage would like to -see- things (remain). Because apparently.. If the customs have been adhered to, ... Well, here's the thing: I won't pretend to know the truth, but the way this scrapbook looks.. It leaves the reader with no doubts Eleanor was a closet lesbian; closet with the door proped open,that is. And Franklin Roosevelt was quite out in the open with his mistress... So, there you have it folks.. This one "traditional marriage" pretty much sums up why I think marriage is a bit of a joke to begin with. When I put the "traditional marriages" to the test, the ones I've either been exposed to, or experienced personally.. I think to myself, and even say to God in prayer..'really!? They want to protect that?!' -come on people.. i can't be sure when or where I locked in my idea for what a marriage SHOULD look, act, and be like.. But I can describe it pretty succinctly here: two adults who genuinely love each other. Who are on the same team. Who celebrate each others victories and accomplishments, and who comfort each other through tough and trying times. I believe in monogamy; loyalty; faithfulness and truth. I believe the two adults in love should be at all times, respectful of each other. And each should honor the other publically and privately, secretly and overtly, with equal devotion and commitment. There ought to be some consistent relationship between what is said.. And what is done. /keep in mind Ive been divorced two and a half times... AND notice, that my personal vision of love.. Or rather of marriage.. Of both love and marriage (which appears very hard to find in combination) well, my definition and vision places no value on what the two adults LOOK like.. For me, it doesn't matter if you are black and white, young and old, catholic and Muslim, rich and poor, republican and democrat, near and far, tall and short, two women, or two men,.. my vision places all the value on what the LOVE looks like... Are these two people respectful toward, true to, honest with, loyal to... Do they celebrate each others victories, help each other through crises? And do they only do such things for show.. Or is it consistent and genuine, in public, in private...when everyone is watching, when only google and God and Bay area alarm can see.... So the upshot remains the same for me today, as it has for very many years now.. Overall, I think "traditional marriage" ... Which sometimes includes affairs, and/or domestic abuse, of which over 50% end in divorce, of which some serve as business partnerships and financial agreements and have no actual love/commitment at all.. This "traditional marriage" is a bit of a joke.. Where lust and unhealthy impulsive attractions are confused for love, and getting married is nothing more than a cultural habit.. Well, I have no desire to protect the 'traditional marriages' I've seen. And if gay people want to join in on the joke.. Because the government will only provide benefits if they do... Then "congratulations" to you, and God bless you for tryin'. -maybe it will be two men, and/or two women who stop marriage from being an institutionalized joke, and elevate the status. And as far as honoring the bible goes.. Well, we learn in the good book, the good news: God is love. ... So ... Let's work on that: love. And turn to 1 Corinthians 13:4 --->. And remember God's love endures forever..

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

NOW MY JESUS IS ALL MESSED UP by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Briefly: I've had many visions over the years which include Jesus.. And Jesus was this kind of -dare I use the word, generic, Jesus.. His image a combination of the many images my eyes have been exposed to over the years... Long dark hair, kind face, white robe; that's it. And in my dreams and visions I've sometimes been dancing with Jesus, walking hand in hand with Jesus.. I've seen myself as a tiny human being in the palm of a giant Jesus hand... A tiny human being clinging to a giant white robe.. And there was the time Jesus caught me from the noose fall, and spared me from dying from humiliation and ended my repetitive scary dream for good. I could go on... But my point is.. Never has my Jesus been so... Like, -gorgeous. He never looked like he should be on the cover of a magazine.. And so, whoever the actor is for the new bible mini series currently out... This has messed me up.. Corrupted my beautiful, innocent visions and dreams... Jesus is not supposed to be that attractive. Now, when he says "follow me.." I'm like... "yeah.. And who wouldn't?".

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

10 CENTS FOR A BAG!?! Cries (me!) Sandra, tvgp

On iPad, so this will not be spaced to my desire, but should still be readable: Part I: a segment on CBS Sunday morning which showed, in great and very persuasive detail, the crisis we all face due to plastic bags being available at the local grocery stores. The litter! The trees filled with plastic bags... Fences covered by windblown plastic bags... The inability to recycle! The damage to our Eco system! Etc., etc., and under the influence of this segment.. Which aired many, many months ago, my next several trips to the grocery store, when they said, "paper or plastic?" -the video would flash on my mental movie screen and I answered, "paper" of course. PART II: fast forward, and next thing I don't know, is that my grocery stores aren't offering bags at all anymore; period. Paper or plastic. bring your own bag.. Or YOU MUST PAY! ..for a bag; 10 cents each. Paper only option. -fine. PART III: that's annoying! PART IV: I purchase only the absolute mandatory essentials. For me, that means.. Salame, coffee, beer, chocolate, listerine 6 in 1! And some lotion that gradually tans your skin.. It's a lot to carry.. But carry it I do! And carry it I will! ...because there is an automatic, built-in, stubborn streak in me that just REFUSES to fork over that dime. I mean.. I'd rather stuff my purse, and have to bend down and pick up the three things that keep falling on the floor, than pay that stupid ten cents for a paper bag! And the embarrassing thing is... - if they bumped up the price of my salame, or any other item I buy, by 10 cents, truth is, I wouldn't even notice; in my cart it would still go.. And in my arms... But not in a ten cent bag! PART 5 (because, I forget what the roman 5 looks like): ..I wonder how it is that we got our bags for free in the first place for all those years? They do have to be manufactured and sorted and shipped and distributed... How is it that they never charged us for any of that? But I'll tell you what, about the human condition... You can't go giving something away for free for a hundred years and then suddenly start charging a dime for it! A dime! You either need to attach a fee from the very beginning and just raise it slightly over the years, like they do postage stamps, or never charge a fee at all. A dime? That's a dollar for every ten bags! Times how many people? ..PART six: "no, no, no, I will just use your grocery cart to get my items to my car, then I will place them, one by one, inside my automobile. They will, no doubt, roll around, and fall and nearly get me killed during the hard write turn on my drive home, where it will take me at least two trips to carry them inside the house... But I refuse to pay 10 cents per bag! And next time.. I will remember to bring my own bag(s). -no. I will no longer be bringing your grocery cart back to the store or designated area.. I realize I have been doing that for free for all my grocery store shopping life, but I feel a change coming on... Loose change...

Monday, March 25, 2013

theHEARTseen... by (me!) sandra, tvgp

final touches being put on the business plan.. several more found heart photos emailed in and waiting... select few i've found the past couple weeks shared here: love notes from heaven...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

DAYS LIKE THIS by (van Morrison!) for (me!) Sandra, tvgp

And so, I was drivin' down the bernal hill where everyone's car naturally -and safely, I might add- goes about 40mph, but speed limit is 30. And not only is the 30 speed limit posted in a traditional way, but there is also one of those portable electronic flashing sign gizmo things which provides a Vegas style lightshow illuminating the exact speed your car is traveling... So, instead of saying, "girls! Girls! Girls!" it flashes, 40! Slow down! 38! that's better! Slow down more!" but honestly... It's downhill! Steep! Like a roller coaster... Makes you want to take your foot off the break and put your hands in the air. And that's what I sometimes do, but today.. For reasons only Jesus and van morrison's mama know... I was listening to KLOVE 107.3, (my positive and encouraging music station) and singin' along to Toby Mac..."I don't want To gain the whole world and lose my soul.." and without personally, consciously trying, I was simultaneously driving.... -the legal speed limit! And then glanced to my write... And spotted a police car with it's nose sticking out of a driveway at the bottom of the roller coaster hill just waiting to catch someone speeding... I even made eye contact with the officer and smiled and winked because... Well, I was innocent! And it is the greatest feeling to accidentally (or supernaturally) being going the speed limit when you - surprise! -come across a cop car... So, I did the sign of the cross.. Said "thank you Jesus!" and continued on my 30mph way... And then somewhere along the way realized I was singin' van morrison: "When you DON'T get betrayed by that old judas kiss..Oh my mama told me there'll be days like this...When you don't need to worry, there'll be days like this... When no ones in a hurry.. There'll be days like this..." and may I add on here, that the sky is beautiful blue today! The air is crisp and clear.. Good things not only seem possible; but probable.... Inevitable... Writeousmom says... Love, love, love... Days like this

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

ADVENTURES IN BASEBALL with (me!) writeousmom/Sandra, tvgp

Like, getting there. To the game. That's where the adventure begins. Especially for those of us born without the advantage of an internal compass, or the ability to use an external one. For us, it is not so poetic a journey as "the road not taken" but rather more like, "the wrong road taken; again -and again.". I'm still not quite sure how I turned what should have been a "L" shaped drive route into a figure eight, but my daughter and her boyfriend, and my son, and my niece, nephew and sister, and anyone and everyone who finds themselves trapped as a passenger in my writeousmom-mobile... Well, they've all trained themselves to be good sports about it. "It was a pretty drive" my daughter said with such compassion. "as in pretty long..." -but anyway.. We made it. And in time to witness a baseball game with a basketball scoreboard... 23! To like, 2 or 3. Now, my son has sometimes been on the opposite side of the winning team, but this time he was on the same side as the winning team, and so instead of my "you'll get 'em next time" speech, I got to give my "awesome!.... Be a gracious winner.." speech. -awesome it was! Three different homeruns... My son with a walk, a single, a double and a triple! Plus several great plays at 1st. Cool parents in the stands.. My daughter and her boyfriend making each other laugh with jokes and stories between innings, me and my handsome prince snuggled in to keep warm.. The whole game played under a gray sky with the constant threat of rain.. occasional wind blowing the white flowers from the trees like a spring snow in the stands. and I just never stop learning from watching my son play baseball.. "..not whether you win or lose.. But just how long will it take me to get to the next game?"

Monday, March 18, 2013

PIMPIN' THE WRITEOUSMOM-MOBILE by (taryn! Jack! And me!). Writeousmom

My kids are always pointing out cars they'd like to drive or own one day.. "one day," I tell them, "after I pimp out this two will be fighting over who gets to drive it." my writeousmom-mobile is a 2007 Saturn view hybrid. They are not convinced. Still... When the three, (or often, four, including my daughters boyfriend) are in it, everyone tends to contribute to the idea with imagination and hope. I know, for example, that it's going to get an awesome paint job.. Black still, but with dark black that glitters and light black swirls. It's going to be all textury and lean/tilt forward with larger wheels on the back than the front. Jack suggested rims that have a gold W symbol, which of course, as it rotates goes from a "W" for writeous, to the "M" for mom. And taryn likes the idea of colored lights inside, and I like the idea of heart shaped break lights. Pink and red. Taryn also suggested with a certain degree of... Tough love, let's say, that the very first thing I might want to pimp out, is the name itself. "what? You don't want to drive around in the writeousmom-mobile?" there is a facial expression that I identify as "love you, but.." -she wore it. And so, I said... "I've got it! If we pimp it out.. And give it a horn sound that roars like a harley, and puffs out fake colored smoke.. We'll call it.."writeous muhtha (not sure of the spelling there.. It is mother, but pronounced like a MACKLEMORE lyric) In any case.. We must have a new stereo system and speakers.. Engine, interior... But! A saturn view hybrid she will remain.. Only like, "severly pimped out". -plans bein' made and laid... And some wonder why I removed the big white font from my back window that said, "". -could be because I came close to having to sell it to keep food on the table, or... Could be to erase and make room for ""... But then again.. All pimped out with Writeous~Muhtha in tag font might make a great conversation piece during the car shows on main street.. "soon as the budget allows"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

BELATED THANK YOU TO COCA COLA from (me!) Sandra, tvgp

That's write.. What more evidence do you need that I avoid tv commercials at all cost, with the invention of dvr's and I was obviously talking during the superbowl -because I just saw the coke security camera commercial just now for the 1st time. -all I could say was, "thank you!". And think of the variety of times over the past several years someone has said, "better watch out.. No talking, the security cameras are on you," -or something to that effect. -always as a threat.. It's such an ugly way to live. And of course I wonder.. Did they catch my awesome customer service? Notice when I made the sad customer smile, or the angry customer laugh? Notice when I helped out my co-worker? When i Go the extra mile? Stay late without charging the company? Did the cameras catch my loyalty? My caring when a co-worker's loved one died? Or was ill? Did the camera catch the problems I've creatively solved? The litter I picked up in the parking lot? My overall productivity? When I came to the company's defense in a conversation at the local grocery store? Is the camera catching how I collaborate to get the job done? Apologize when I'm in the wrong? Ask questions when I need some help understanding something.. Is the camera catching people doing things write? And as it appears we are and will be living, working, breathing with cameras all around us.. I do suggest we pay attention to every opportunity to say, "you just got caught.... Doing a great job!". the job-security camera... And an equal opportunity reviewer.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

FAST! by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Thoughts/passages on fasting and lent and grace: true, last year I gave up all social media for lent.. No blogs, no Facebook, etc. And as much as I blog, everyone thought this would be very difficult for me; it was easy. I had been blessed with grace... This year I'm not fasting at all. And I feel zero guilt about it. My son is fasting on soda.. I'm witnessing the success and struggles.. But overall, and over the years, watching people fast on everything from tv, to chocolate, to beer.. I've been able to pick up on the silliness of it all. Write up there with new years resolutions. My favorite passage in the bible on fasting is here, where the Lord himself, seems to address the silliness and bring people back to higher causes: ISAIAH 58:6 --->. "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yolk, to set the oppressed free and break every yolk? Is it not to share your food with the hungry, and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood. Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. if you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry, and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

WRITE OR WRONG by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

This is another one of those highly transferable life lessons; observations. Inspired by the combination of having recently received a speeding ticket AND just reading about the speed limit being INCREASED and DECREASED on several streets in my magical town. Now.. Follow along: MOST (not every single), but the very most large majority of people, will and do, drive at a comfortable and safe speed.. This is true whether a speed limit sign is visible or not. And it is as true for people driving on freeways as it is for people driving in residential areas, frontage roads, etc. NOW.. All you have to do, is... Observe, observe, observe. Let's say, on a given street.. 98% people drive 35mph on average, give or take a mph. AND now.. Let us place a speed limit law/sign that reads 25mph. -it's what known in my mind as -a set up. These type of set ups -well, we are surrounded by them everywhere... Home, work, organizations, churches.. All you have to do is Take the normal standard human behavior or thought.. And not on a grand scale, but only slightly.. Make that perfectly normal behavior wrong, or sinful, or illegal, or taboo. Entertaining to contemplate, observe, ponder... How/what areas of life are like this... Where this -set up- formula might apply... Perfectly safe, normal: 35mph... But the law says 25mph. And so.. You havE been set up.. To break the law; to fail or fall short in some way. And the fault/blame is yours now... Not the law, that was maybe stupid and not reasonable or necessary to begin with... FASCINATING to me also, to witness the Easter season and the "fasting" inspired by lent. To watch, my son, for example.. Give up soda. To witness how ..suddenly.. Drinking a soda, which was perfectly acceptable weeks ago, registers now in his mind as a failure or sin or crime.. Since he decided to fast on this item during lent. And how many people are at a perfectly healthy weight.. But convinced by media they should be -10lbs- lighter. 10mph off. 10lbs off. Culturally invented/self Inflicted set-ups. Follow along.. 98% of people who parked in a given lot, all cut through -the same patch- of grass, to get to their destination. What would you do? Put up a sign that reads DO NOT WALK ON GRASS, or place walking stones/cement in the area where everyone naturally walks anyway...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A "HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAIKU" for my handsome prince, by (me!) your bathing beauty

by now you're a pro
forty eight times in a row
make a wish   -and blow.

with love,
your bathing beauty.


** ***

not everyone belongs in direct sunlight.

not everyone belongs in shade.

figure out what's write for you

then you've got it made.

"HERE I AM! A LITTLE LOVE" by (me!) sandra, tvgp

and so last night, i hopped in my writeousmom~mobile to go visit a friend. before i even left the parking lot, glanced out the passenger side window and couldn't wipe the smile from my face

how precious is this?!

looks like it even smiled for my camera.

worked its way into my favorites in the darling competition... because, the combination of it appearing at night, in the dark. on what appears to be its very own tree trunk bump of a stage

"look at me! here i am! a little love..." and the contrast in size to the tree itself and fresh life green color/darling heart shape with dark of night scenery in the background

what a winner -and captured on 12/03/12 -which contains my lucky numbers.

i have to share this with my handsome prince... and facebook friends...

NAKED a poem by (me!) sandra, tvgp

ORIGINAL POST 03/20/2011:

** **

when i say i want to see you naked

i don't mean without your clothes, stupid.

i mean

without the props. left stage. stage left.

away from the scenery you've painted all around you, to influence your pedestrian audience; fork-feed your ego.

i mean

i want to see you

under pressure
off balance
in a fix

i want to see what direction you look when i back you in my corner

and the expression your beautiful human face takes -from down on your knees.

i want to see you in nothing but vulnerability

with your health taxed, and wealth in question.

when God spills hot coffee on your masterpiece.

i know you lie.

we all do.

but i want to see under what circumstance; to who; for how long...

i want to see you

i want to see you naked

and alone

disconnected from every false sense of security

faced with the fact


despite your every pre-conquered fear
and grand spectrum of dark, wobbly, confidences

i love you

and want to see you naked

like me.

MY WORDS a poem by (me!) sandra, tvgp

ORIGINAL POST 06/26/2010:

**  **

   my words


~~ into ~~

the 8th ocean of memories, hopes and dreams.

my words

swim write around the clown fish, write over the sharks

and see clearly the life raft in the distance

they know

~ my ~ words ~ they ~ know ~ the ~ way ~

my arms, my fingers never tire
my mind turns work to play

i free fell from the edge into the 8th ocean

of memories, hopes and dreams

swam blind-folded -write past that life raft

and wrote my own way

to land.

around the clown fish and over the sharks

i wrote my own way to land.

TAKE THAT! a poem, by (me!) sandra, tvgp

ORIGINAL POST 07/09/2010:

i am the write~handed mistress

i know my author's name

i know the truth
the inside scoop

my part in this half/game

i am the write~handed mistress

a masterpiece; his keeper

and i kissed your soul!
left a whole

that only love digs deeper.

THAT IS NOT A REAL POEM! by (me!) sandra, tvgp

ORIGINAL POST 06/03/2009:

**  ***

 that was a trick. "write me a poem"

you cannot just up and write a poem. that would not be a poem at all; just an assignment.

it is only a real poem if it spills out, messy, all over the place without anyone asking, suggesting
or anticipating its arrival


these are not poems! they are word puzzles -academic assignments! cerebral hemorrhages

if a teacher requests it

a person suggests it

or if you stop to count your lines

that is not a poem -my God!

real poetry cannot be summoned -and it will not be contained.

real poems do not require invitation

or call to rsvp

and if you see one dressed appropriate for the occasion; that's not a real poem.

real poems break glass; break hearts

crash parties

dance barefoot with imperfect stangers.

make a scene. make noise. -make unwed mothers

give birth to life without first completing a proper education or saving money in the bank

real poetry

a real poem

it just shows up. demands to be seen. leaves a messy, permanent mark.

then quietly skips away to a corner pub in the heavens; camouflaged as a regular.

wrong place. wrong time. a poem by (me!) sandra, tvgp

ORIGINAL POST 01/22/2009: **

**  ***

  i'm coming back.

it will be just a moment.

first, i need to clean up after myself; all that mess i left behind when my soul accidentally
projected all its vomit on you

sitting there -innocently enough-

wrong place. wrong time.

which is exactly what happen to me
to make me so sick in the first place

i've stained your shirt

and most sincerely hope
it won't come out

if for no other reason


i am

most sincere.

ON THE SPOT POETRY by (me!) sandra, ttgp

ORIGINAL POST 11/06/2007: coffee beans n' bistro/nov 5th

i saw this man passing by
'thousand stories inside green eyes
his smile and accent undisguised
his nature good, his lessons wise
i listened. looked. smiled goodbye
anew from our exchange.

ON THE SPOT POETRY by (me!) sandra, ttgp

ORIGINAL POST 12/14/2007:

he doesn't want the pretty package

loves to read me raw

he doesn't like to instant message

he reads slow be-cause

he loves me from the inside out

and not the outside in

exactly why i love him back

too bad he's pretend.

~sandra, ttgp

on the spot poetry while mowing the lawn

BRAGGING RIGHTS by (me!) sandra, proud mommy & tgp

ORIGINAL POST 01/12/2007: who was that stunning young girl that read her beautiful and original poetry to the entire school population this morning? my daughter! here's what she wrote and was invited to read:

compassion isn't what you do
have to do
need to do

compassion is a part of you
that speaks a kind language

compassion has its own way
every way
compassion is a way to help
people all around

~taryn, 4th grade

THE LIVES OF THE HEART by (jane hirshfield!)

ORIGINAL POST 04/18/2008: **

among my newest cherished additions to my inscribed book collection and collage: the lives of the heart by jane hirshfield.

posting w/her permission two of my favorites from this collection:

if the rise of the fish (pg 82)

if for a moment

the leaves fall upward,

if it seemed a small flock

of brown-orange birds

circled over the trees,

if they circled then scattered each in

its own direction for the lost seed

they had spotted in tall, gold-checkered grass.

if the bloom of flies on the window

in morning sun, if their singing insistence

on grief and desire. if the fish.

if the rise of the fish.

if the blue morning held in the glass of the window,

if my fingers, my palms. if my thighs.

if your hands, if my thighs.

if the seeds, among all the lost gold of the grass.

if your hands on my thighs, if your tongue.

if the leaves. if the singing fell upward. if grief.

for a moment if singing and grief.

if the blue of the body fell upward, out of your hands.

if the morning held it like leaves.

-now that is just plain sexy- delightful
to read silently; to say out loud.
those ~ if 's ~and long
and short alluring, suggestive sentence structures
-the sensual unanswereds

interruptive contrasts
singing and grief;
leaves falling upward.
love it.

the poet (pg 86) -this one included in her keynote speech at the pleasanton poetry, prose & art festival:

she is working now, in a room
not unlike this one,
the one where i write, or you read.
her table is covered with paper.
the light of the lamp would be
tempered by a shade, where the bulb's
single harshness might dissolve,
but it is not, she has taken it off.
her poems? i will never know them,
though they are the ones i most need.
even the alphabet she writes in
i cannot decipher. her chair--
let us imagine whether it is leather
or canvas, vinyl or wicker. let her
have a chair, her shadeless lamp,
the table. let one or two she loves
be in the next room. let the door
be closed, the sleeping ones healthy.
let her have time, and silence,
enough paper to make mistakes and go on.

-this poem is so beautiful and complete. i cry in the retyping of it. the imagery of the shadeless lamp.. the simplistic needs behind the complexities of writing simplistically: a chair, a table, a lamp, some paper
but i love this more, because the writer is female.
a wife, a mom, perhaps - because it speaks to a woman's higher needs: those loved ones.. healthy loved ones.. the experience and knowledge of these things vital
-because the heart is wide open even when the door is closed
it captures so perfectly what writers need..
table, paper, health, love, light, time, silence,
-and those two rooms; for space and mistakes...
this true across the globe

thanks again jane hirshfield! under your spells ~s.

EXCUSES, EXCUSES a poem by (me!) sandra, ttgp

ORIGINAL POST 02/25/2008:
i can come up with

at least a dozen

- legitimate really -

at least thirteen

noble, good-sounding excuses

so cleverly disguised as reasons

no one else would suspect a thing

fifteen reasons

- so unsuspicious -

so researched, valid and partially true

even ~i~ almost believe them

but that one damn truth

voids them all

cuts to the very front as if the place were being saved, sarcastically thanking the others

now there's some 21 great reasons all lined up, screamin' 'bout the unjustice of it all

to shush them, and before i send them on their way, i award the top 3:

has anyone EVER come closer to sincerity without actually being sincere? no.

-white ribbon for you-

has anyone EVER so skillfully, seamlessly avoided the predictible, obvious or cliche'? no.

-red ribbon for you-

has anyone EVER -IN THE ENTIRE HUMAN HISTORY OF EXCUSES- displayed such genius in the selection and arrangement of mere words? no.

- blue ribbon for you -

now run along and don't come back.



alone; together

me and that one damn truth

contemplate silently

out loud say,

"who the hell was it.. said you'd set me free?"



alone; together

me and that one damn truth

contemplate silently

out loud say,

"was there any mention of a time frame?"




contemplate silently

out loud say,

"'cuz i can come up with at least a dozen new excuses

so cleverly disguised as reasons

no one else would suspect a thing.."

excuses, excuses

by sandra, ttgp

BLOGGING a poem, by (me!) sandra, ttgp

ORIGINAL POST 02/24/2008:
i am not unlike a criminal

this nature i have to share myself

no different than the nature of a thief to steal

each time, each post i publish

without consequence

grows my confidence, increases my desire

to share more; MORE!

i am not unlike a criminal

we travel at the speed of risk

fear pacing our momentum

i am indeed a thief of a different kind

stealing power

from those that be

"catch me, editor -if you can!"

(i do return in the scene of my crimes)

sentence me to silence -conformity- isolation.

this nature i have to share myself

no different than the nature of a thief to steal

death is our only opponent of worth

which makes worth noting:

words live on.


by sandra, ttgp


so i called my daughter in my room, showed her the cartoon caption contest in the back of the new yorker. said, "you have a thought for this one?" -and in no time, she was out with a winner. -i laughed on the spot. "write that down, i'll frame it for you!"

i've been getting my new yorkers from the pleasanton library. at the library i can stack up on the new yorker and smithsonians for only 25 cents each, and it does my heart good to purchase anything these days on the honor system.

a small treasure chest with a slot for inserting coins or folded bills sits next to the rack of donated magazines and they just trust you to put a quarter or more in for each magazine you take home.

that part is wonderful, the bummer part is that when you are paying a quarter for donated magazines, they are often a bit outdated, and it was too late to send in my daughter's winning entry.

but it is so much fun, the cartoon caption contest. i've decided to subscribe today, in large part because i want to challenge and excite my daughter this way..

"we'll get you in the new yorker in 2008!" i've proclaimed. and already i can't wait for our first new yorker to arrive in the mail. my own goal is the publication of one of my poems..

the bar is set very high for both of us..

we wouldn't have it any other way.

WET HOT by (me!) sandra, ttgp

ORIGINAL POST 01/23/2008:
an r-rated poem about an x-rated movie: i dedicate this to billy collins. -and have jim ott to thank for this picture ------>

tonight my minds
in the way back machine

in a soft porn movie
with a hard core scene

your arms on my waist
my hands on your gun

i shoot at red circles
while you make me cum

my pleasure is heightened
my desires untamed

we shower together
in positions unnamed

the writer, director, the actors, the show
eased me, trapezed me, wet hot in white snow

to this visual sensation
i had to respond

urgent undressing
then slow like the blond

and you were the good guy
at cheating and lies
with camera and lenses
my dark naked spy

"don't think 'cuz this worked, you've found a new way
to cut to the fuck, and skip the foreplay!

massage my skin, head to toe
rub my

oh nevermind,

just pop in a show."

wet hot
~sandra, ttgp

THE MIND'S I fantasies and reflections on self & soul

ORIGINAL POST 04/28/2006: ** composed and arranged by douglas hofstadter and daniel dennett

pg 142/143: richard dawkins/selfish genes and selfish memes

examples of memes (rhymes w/cream) are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperm or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation. if a scientist hears, or reads about, a good idea, he passes it on to his colleagues and students. he mentions it in articles and his lectures. if the idea catches on, it can be said to propagate itself, spreading from brain to brain. as my colleague n.k. humphrey neatly summed up an earlier draft of this chapter: "... memes should be regarded as living structures, not just metaphorically but technically. when you plant a fertile meme in my mind, you literally parasitize my brain, turning it into a vehicle for the meme's propagation in just the way that a virus may parasitize the genetic mechanism of a host cell. and this isn't just a way of talking -the meme for, say, "belief in life after death," is actually realized physically, millions of times over, as a structure in the nervous systems of individual men the world over.

(skip forward)... i have been a bit negative about memes, but they have their cheerful side as well. when we die there are two things we can leave behind us: genes and memes. we were built as gene machines, created to pass on our genes. but that aspect of us will be forgotton in three generations. your child, even your grandchild, may bear a resemblence to you, perhaps facial features, in a talent for music, in the colour of her hair. but as each generation passes, the contribution of your genes is halved. it does not take long to reach negligible proportions. our genes may be immortal but the collection of genes which is any one of us is bound to crumble away.

(skip forward) ... BUT IF YOU CONTRIBUTE to the world's culture, if you have a good idea, compose a tune, invent a spark plug, write a poem, it may live on, intact, long after your genes have dissolved in the common pool.

Live! At The Oakland Paramount

ORIGINAL POST 02/16/2007:
i am still marinating in her words, her message, her presence

the lady to my left i think was representative of many others in the audience; a long time "speaker series" ticket holder, only vaguely familiar with the name Maya Angelou

so didn't i just beam when she asked me, "so why does the caged bird sing?" -because this gave me the opportunity to reach inside my red bag, pull out the complete collected poems, open directly to page 194 and let her (and her husband) read for themselves.

and i watched their facial expressions change as they took in her words, and listened to their whispered, wow's, and new that they, like my mom to my right, would be blown away by the presence, voice, personal stories, humor and inspiration of one of america's greatest poet's
her life story is extraordinary, but it's how she delivers her message, how she so generously turns her traumas and blessings into bread and wine for all of us to feed and grow on
i often think of Maya Angelou when i hear k.t. tunstall's song:
"she makes me feel like i could be a tower, big strong tower, yeah"
but here's the thing.. not only can she make us everyday people feel like we can be towers..
if you're feeling like dirt
she'll remind you you are the very soil; the foundation from which greatness can grow
in the retelling of stories about her uncle willie, paralyzed on one side of his body, black and uneducated, living in lynchville, usa
we learn that this everyday black man, despite his significant obstacles, and with every good reason to be bitter and unkind, instead helped people much as he could with the limited resources he had
and as a result, extraordinary experiences and opportunities are bestowed upon his niece because, over and over again throughout her life, "your uncle willie was the only one who once helped...."
and as we listen in utter stillness, then laugh out loud, and wipe away occasional tears
a dormant truth is being awoken in each of us: our significance.
the wide-spread, far-reaching, positive consequences of our smallest sincere gestures.
and she takes such beautiful, sweet time in giving due credit to all -the many, many neighbors, teachers, friends (and foes), family, police, congressmen, employers, staff, acquaintenances, on and on- who have touched and shaped her journey
her journey - which includes being stuck on a train at around age 5 with her older brother bailey, each of them with only a tag around their wrist noting their grandmothers name and address - no adult supervision - but somehow arriving
and the blessings from uncle willie's care and attention
but then also a rape by her mother's boyfriend, who spent one night in jail, and only days later was kicked to death
and then - having realized that her telling resulted in the murder of a man,
for some 5+ years she is mute. afraid to say another word in fear someone else might be killed
her journey - which includes falling in love with poetry, and the teacher who challenged her:
"you do not love poetry. you cannot love poetry until you sing it out loud and it crosses your own lips" -and how this helped her speak again "i left my voice, but my voice never left me."
her journey - which includes great financial and emotional poverty, a teenage pregnancy, being the first black female cable car conductor in san francisco, traveling on broadway as a singer/dancer and playwright, helping side-by-side Dr. Martin Luther King Jr among others in the civil rights movement, one son, two divorces, traveling the world, learning seven languages, earning 60+ doctorates, careers in news/television/movies/radio, reading at clinton's presidential inaugration, national best selling memoirs and poetry and sold out, standing room only speaking engagements around the world
her journey is poetry
and she sings it for us, on this night, with this refrain
"i am human. and because i am human, nothing human can be alien to me."
a fresh version of "we are more alike my friends, than we are unalike"
over and over, with grace and determination and humor and love she reminds us what we all have in common as human beings; always uniting; always shrinking the gap
and in the hour and a half she captivated, educated and inspired she told so many different wonderful stories, and not in chronological, but in spiritual order it seemed
there was a story about a mom who hugged her and cried "i want to thank you for saving my daughter's life" -which takes a wild emotional turn, because it turns out in the handwritten thank you for saving my life letter from this young, white, racist and suicidal girl, she also writes how very ugly and frightening she found Maya Angelou's appearance
and we feel deeply sympathetic.. taking into consideration Maya Angelou's 6ft stature and remembering the long, painful history of blacks ridiculed for their full lips and generous derrieres
she says, "reading that letter made me want to commit suicide!" and then follows that up with a loud, abrupt, burst of laughter
"oh, but if i was going to commit suicide, i wasn't going alone! i wanted to find that girl and help her get the job done"
and then the entire theatre fills with relief and laughter
and a fun story too, about her leaving a high paying position w/20th century fox because of some derogatory statements made about blacks
how they offered to pay her more if she would just come back, but she kept right on walking down the hallway, past numerous executives and celebrities, out the door, one foot after the other, head held high, proud and determined to stick by her principles,
around the corner she goes, out the door, across the lot, marching to her car
and then realizes she left her purse with her car keys in her office.
"so i did what any proud women in my situation would do," she tells us wearing a bright, wide smile
"i hid in the bushes until everyone left."
and weaved throughout these endearing and inspiring stories, she does not arrogantly recite but joyfully sings shakespeare, langston hughes, delighting us with her unique rhythm, breathing new life into the overlooked and forgotten
reminding us how we are each and everyone, free to do our own composing
compose our lives, our families, our communities, our world
every thought and gesture a note that carries on.
she was thanked with a long and loud standing ovation.
she is 78 years old now. there is no calculating how many lives she has touched and transformed in this short time frame, but i'm grateful to count myself, my mom, my children, many students and several friends among them.


ORIGINAL POST 08/02/2010: oh, wish i had a picture of the turn out for yesterday's LOL poetry event. -packed the century house! had people sitting up the stairs inside, and around the patio outside -who woulda guessed?

-beautiful people... beautiful sight to see

big thank you to each of my friends, family members -each guest in attendance. wonderful to see such support for the local poets

and big thank you to deborah grossman -an awesome poet laureate. all her work behind the scenes talking it up, spreading the word, sending out the press releases

how encouraging to have it pay off

and of course.. biggest thank you to my dad... wish he could have been there to hear his material from 1960 somethin' get a new laugh, with a new audience

and great treat to collaborate with john barry & marilyn slade -still smiling as i recall some of the lines, the words, the silly~fun poems

and the open mic was a great spirit lifter.. giggle here, giggle there...

add the great food, beverages, the gorgeous climate, the environment of the century house itself -the building, the landscaping

and i just can't believe you can get all that for $5 -and FREE if you're a student. -talk about bang for your buck!


and deborah mentioned poetry events will be migrating over to the firehouse arts center

a larger, but still intimate venue, with 230 seats. -want to give credit to deborah here too, for growing the audience and participation in general, over the course of her time as poet laureate

robert frost event packed the century house -poetry rocks in all language packed the century house

LOL packed the century house

i like this trend

~hallelujah & am,en!

CELEBRATING ROBERT FROST (deborah grossman!)

ORIGINAL POST 02/05/2010: very excited

our pleasanton poet laureate, deborah grossman, is hosting a "celebration of robert frost" event at the beautiful century house, 2-4p, this sunday.


do you want to go with mommy and listen to some exciting poetry on sunday after church or would you rather (yawn here for effect) watch the superbowl with your dad?"

and so i'll be going solo again, but always see friends and familiar faces which makes it more fun.

looking forward to readings/performance by david alpaugh,

and read there is a dr shirley badger, whose family knew frost personally, flying in from ohio to share some history/stories/insights /photos

+ open mic

/i'm bringin' anything but love...

all that for $5 -talk about a return on investment!


ORIGINAL POST 09/24/2007:
sorry i didn't get a chance to meet you in person. you were a handsome one, i'm sure you don't mind me sayin'. -and i only missed you by a decade or two

anyway.. i'm going to write a 2 page application, applying new criticism theory to your road not taken poem

i have a special place in my heart for that one, having sprung from it in my, number 5, neurotictransmitters poem. -made you laugh didn't i.

well you make me laugh too. yelling at me the way you did

i was barely thinking to myself.., how this poem is more often referred to as "the road less traveled" poem. barely started wondering if, given the chance, and given the public's response, you would change the ti

"NO!!" -no worries mr. frost. that came in loud and clear.

The Road Not Taken it is.

and if i'm not mistaken -and you've yet to correct me- road not taken is about our misguided sense of free will, yes?

it feels like we have a choice... a decision to make between things

feels like, especially if we stand there long,

turn our head in two directions and

contemplate before we move

feels like free will doesn't it. feels like we make up our mind, when in reality, our mind is already made up

if you're programmed to explore... pre-programmed to explore

there is no decision. only action, awareness and story.

it's brilliant; road not taken. Road Not Taken. statement. period. fact. robotic report.

road. not. taken.

and the rest is poetry. i hear your song in the last stanza (one i borrowed from thank you) but am still working on finding your rhythm in the beginning & middle

i think i might be adding/subtracting syllables inappropriately. feel free to let me know.

i'm grateful for self-interpretation and all that, but would like to hear it the way you heard it in your head when you composed it.


sandra, all ears, kay

" oh, i kept the first for another day!

yet knowing..."

-very clever mr frost. enthusiastic insight

time for a beer with my sister. you are welcome to join us

THE WEATHER OF WORDS, by mark strand

ORIGINAL POST 12/21/2006: pg 64/65: then the phone rang. it was my mother calling to ask what i was doing. i told her i was working on a negative narrative poem, one that refuses to begin because beginning is meaningless in an infinite universe, and refuses to end for the same reason. it is all a suppressed middle, an inexhaustible conjunction. "and, mom," i said, "it refuses to mask the essential and universal stillness, and so confines its remarks to what never happens."

and i thought to myself: "what the fuck does that mean?"

and it made me feel better about two things 1) chit-chatting with my mom and 2) not having a formal education when it comes to poetry; just a real life emotional one. and i was just shy of dumping the book, but related quite well to what he had to say on the next page, which is the next chapter also, titled: notes on the craft of poetry.

pg 67: .... each poem demands that i treat it differently from the rest, come to terms with it, seek out its own best beginning and ending.

and not only does that ring true for me; but it sounds english.

in my mind, emotion is to poetry as music is to dance.

i see an irish dancer, watch her arms relax while her legs tap dance all over the place. and i cannot picture as well, this same choreography to say, country, jazz or heavy metal.

or a ballet dancer - and the elegant, graceful and regal movements performed to rap or rag time.

music dictates the dance. and when the two are in artistic harmony you know it.
it's beautiful.

it is emotion (for me), that dictates the poem. when i experiment with fitting my poems, my words, my emotional experiences, inside pre-determined poetic formulas

this feels like to me - putting african dance movements to light classical music. it's interesting but it doesn't work as well.

and then sometimes for me, predictability dillutes the beauty. the real joy always come from complete freedom of expression; the surprise.

like when i taught children's creative dance classes

it was great to listen to a familar song and then create movements to match; but greater still, to create unfamiliar movements first and then compose new music to match.

the organic emotional experience dictating an equally organic poetry form.

and then in keeping this relationship true

i believe fonts are to words as costumes are to dancers. it is so much fun to dress them up, make them fit the part and look pretty.

and page layout, the stage.

~sandra, ttgp


ORIGINAL POST 11/26/2006 :
an anthology of stories, poems, and creative non-fiction written and told by people who write and tell stories at livermore's 4th street studio

and the release party was yesterday; at tenuta vineyards!

now, i am guilty of creature of habit driving, and always on isabel from vineyard, i turn left.. head down to concannon, make a right.. look for the collection of winery posts; follow the signs and wine taste down the sunset strip of wineries: tesla, maybe branch off to mines. but never before have i turned right on isabel.. so this release party quite literally took me in a new direction!

and what a beautiful drive! what magnificent views!

the poetry and short story readings took place, not inside the beautiful and festive wine tasting room at tenuta, which several of us would visit afterward, but inside the warm and gorgeous home of tenuta's owner: nancy. what a treat to drink wine, snack on cheese and crackers (and brownies!) and get lost in the words and stories of fellow writers who all read with such passion and authenticity, standing in front of a gently hypnotic fire in a rather grand fire place; with easy access views to mount diablo, the vineyards, the landscape and sky in general. and on such a gorgeous november day!

blessed we are.

i have some idea that printing and publishing this anthology is no day at tenuta, so want to of course thank karen hogan and selene steese; wingspan press

i love so many of the stories and poems in this anthology, and still have many left to read. but it does come easy for me, choosing one as my favorite to capture on this blog. the reason it is easy, is because the first time i visited 4th street studio, this particular poem was read by its author, and it just entered me so directly. the message and rythm reminded me, i think, of maya angelou's work, and so my attachment was immediate. not just to the poet & poem, but to 4th street studio and the saturday salons. and i've heard her read it at the century house, and then again at this reading. i am so happy to see it officially published. and prior to her reading it, she said something like.. "hope i don't have to read this again" and i thought.. please no. each time there is something new to learn. i hope she reads it again and again (midnight train to georgia); the more ears the merrier...

i pledge allegiance to freedom
by charan sue wollard,

we are americans, free to be who we are,
to say, love, vote and pray who we are,
to shout, march, lie down in the streets who we are,
to wear ribbons of many colors who we are,
to wrap ourselves in flags or chadors who we are,
to cover our heads with mantillas
or yarmulkes or dastarrs who we are,
to write poems, sing songs,
dance in the streets who we are
grasp hands from sea to shining sea, light candles,
hold silent in earnest vigils who we are,

(and the rest can be found on page 284/285 in this anthology).

i feel bad i didn't get to hear everyone read, arriving not until 3pm-ish, and worse, that i can't remember everyone i did get to hear.. but i do remember:

selene steese: always wonderful and straight from the core of her soul
tom darter: theatrical, relatable, funny
peter bray: wonderful love story.. true appreciation of life; family & romance
frank thornburgh: always engaging, original, so candid and as a result: very funny.
and, feel terrible... met you, can see you in my mind, but sometimes fail with names.. but you read discarded things for the author/judy clement wall. you were the perfect person to read this aloud! you gave this story so much life! i loved every word! and the writing/reading made it so easy to see the entire movie in my head. to feel it/experience it. ~wonderful. and i totally understand and appreciate: not every writer wishes to publically read. that is why i am extra grateful for people like yourself

and oh my goodness! david hardiman.. you were hilarious! obviously you are one of those people who speak AND write with equal talent. i've not seen, heard or met you before, but i have read your work.. i kept thinking to myself... that name seems familiar... and when i returned home and looked, sure enough... it was your piece titled identity thieves strike god, that was my favorite in the 2005 anthology! please consider me a fan.

and, slightly intimidating to read after you! -but elevating also.

and cynthia patton! i want to tell you this... i was glued to every word. how you used words, shaped this story at the pace you did, conveyed the intensity of emotion through the behaviors, actions, scenes, dialogue. it was just magnificent. and the thing about creative non-fiction is that, at the same time i can be awed by the writing skill, the whole experience is deepened when i realize throughout that the story is not just craft; but a very real human experience. congratulations and thank you!

and frank: thank you for your good company and encouraging words. look forward to knowing you better. perhaps come creative collaborations lie ahead... or mischief. or both.

thank you for your hospitality to: nancy and rich.

arrived home with a bottle of serendipity (chardonnay/pinot noir) and zinfandel; good memories behind, good book ahead, and what i hope is just the beginning of a long & rewarding creative writing career.

oh please i pray. ~amen.

LIVE! at garr'e vineyard's martinelli event center, livermore

ORIGINAL POST 03/05/2007:
california poet laureate al young!
well, how spoiled am i? Maya Angelou, elizabeth gilbert, al young; three national treasures in a row! and didn't al young keep us all mesmerized and entertained with his stories about poets, teaching at standford, traveling to egypt, how musicians listen differently and .. oh! darn!... the curse of the "i" poem
because what did i bring for open mic -of course! an "i" poem. and not just any ol' "i" poem... a rhyming "i" poem. and as i've learned from attending several of these events over the past couple years... rhyming poems are right up there with bell bottom jeans i think. so to read or not to read?
better just listen.
and, how can i describe this? it's like crunchy, twice baked, delicious biscotti; his stories... dipped in a fresh cup of your favorite java; his poems. you can enjoy each one separately, but together, and live! in his own voice and cadence, surrounded by livermore vineyards outside, fellow poets inside. it was church after church for me.
and, as i shared with my children: al young has a visible sparkle in his eyes. i saw it when he autographed my copy of his book: the sound of dreams remembered. and it says: for you sandra, (poems 1990-2000) of the lovely light; with warm wishes, al young. and he has such a formal, artistic way he signs his name; his A and Y remind me of asian calligraphy.
and then as i sat, the following day, at coffee beans and bistro downtown, under the warm sun with a beer! (they serve beer now! i'm so excited) and a tuna salad, and the sound of dreams remembered, all i could think between each poem and sip of beer and bite of salad was: somebody pinch me! this peaceful, fulfilling life so in contrast to everything before.
so, of course, it's all good. and as with any book of poems, there are always some outside my understanding/life experience. but there are always others i relate to so directly, or just appreciate so profoundly for the way they capture an experience and feeling with such beauty and rhythm. sometimes i might not understand an entire poem, but there are still lines within that poem; some combination of words i fall in love with. this happens often for me in al young's collection. i plan to read through again with a highlighter in hand, but at the bistro i just dog-eared several pages for my blog. among my favorites:
(blog format prevents me from matching al youngs line breaks here/and case does not match either. but the words/in order/as written).
pg 16: step out on the tightrope and don't look down
"each time i play, i step out on the tightrope and don't look down." -marian mcpartland
there were problems, problems, problems, and she had them
almost down. mastering the languages of daylight helped her make it through the night, 98.6 percent. tunisia didn't count.
she didn't think she could write melody, only arrangements --
or so she thought. it was largely personal, hugely undigital.
how do you carve an elephant out of a block of granite?
you get rid of all the parts that aren't an elephant.
and so in the days when music wasn't everywhere, she sat
in a little joint where she could drink coffee and nosh.
she scribbled one dozen poems in one night, each one a classic;
each designated, destined to be anthology fodder. set to music,
two turned into hits for singers who, like her, worked best
without a net. big money, big problems; big headaches, big dookey
whizzed in and she grabbed at them the way a high wire
artist might grab at a hot wire on no notice, no nod, no notion
of what lies ahead. seen clearly, daylight moved back in
and problems blacked out into their blameless blue origins.
"once again," she told the press, "i bow to the muse."
was her muse the blues? how many falses? how many trues?
mmmmm. love that one.
some 30+ people read during open mic at the wine and words event, founded and hosted by livermore poet laureate, connie post. and, i am very glad to include myself among them. i did not chicken out after all.
a personal goal of mine has been to read, at least once, each poem from my first collection of poetry titled beautiful fish, out loud and in front of an audience. there are 12 poems in my collection, and reading #4, chocolate rain, at this event makes it so i only have 2 more to read out loud to achieve my goal.
chocolate rain was as fun to read as it was to write. i asked for al young's forgiveness in a way in advance of reading it by saying something like this:
"almost chickened out because i brought an "i" poem." and he said right away to me
"that's okay. i write "i" poems too." (immediate relief!)
"and here's the thing," i said, "the first person i read this out loud to was my dad. when i finished he said, "oh! sandra! you are not the only one to feel that way!!" and i thought -excellent/great!- because if we poets are going to write "i" poems, hopefully we are doing it in a way that allows lots of other people to relate. i do agree that the "i" in a poem should actually be a "we" or "us" in spirit and meaning."
chocolate rain received a positive reception from the audience, and al young gave me a big smile. after the event, he said this to me:
"you know.. the problem is that you were trying to tell god what to do.. you can't tell god what to do. and the other problem, the devil... well, it was not the devil.. you are your own devil. --you are the devil," he said with hearty laughter and that sparkle in his eyes.
warm handshake goodbye /delighted i will see him again on the 31st at the pleasanton poetry and prose festival.
thank you connie post for hosting!
thank you al young for sharing!
thank you frank thornburgh for picture memories & dinner w/diane lando too!
thank you kirk ridgeway for your poetry & enticing encouragement!
thank you all poets for reading/sharing!
for listening/supporting/encouraging me with kind words and laughter
no place i'd rather be on a gorgeous sunday afternoon.


ORIGINAL POST 12/31/2006: having read this poem by our very own california poet laureate - i am quite delighted he'll be at the pleasanton poetry & prose festival march 31, 2007


you make me cry. you do all this for love.
you do it all because you dare to care,
you dare to dream. someone has to act.
you get sick of hearing about how somewhere
over the rainbow. you know too well why

the caged bird sings, (wait! i have that one! will find & post it!) but what about the blues
she sings? what about half-notes,
whole-notes, notes in-between? what about
the slot between got and got-not? someone's
got to fill that out, indeed, sweet queen of need.

i can stand here all day and tell you how much
i honor, admire, how brave you are. i can
call you courageous, make you a media star.
the truth is this: your kiss to us who survive
in sweatshops, sieves or suburbs, lingers. amazing,

your courage feels big and tight and warm enough
for me to ask: "what will it take to make
more of us feel the thrilling seal of giving?"
to give gets what we need and share. to get
and give back nothing? how incredible, how sad
this wanting world, where women, our deliverers,
get wasted or waste away. honored, humbled,
i know why you do it, know why i cry and get it
finally that you stun and give more than desert or river.
recover, discover, deliver -- for love you do all this.

-- al young. (commissioned for presentation of the minerva awards at the governor and first lady's conference on women and families, oct 2005)

and now of course, i must post on..

from the complete collected poems of Maya Angelou
pg 94

caged bird

(just thinking the title makes me teary/love this one)

a free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

but a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

the caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

the free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

but a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

the caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.


POEM FIVE OF NINE by sandra kay

ORIGINAL POST 04/24/2006: wait. this just in... a surprise delivery from ups. -what could it be? it's not in a box. hmmm. "open it! open it!" all right already.

why, it's a rejection letter from whitegate features syndicate for our cartoon submissions from JANUARY 2005!!! 2005! and there's not one, but TWO, TWO rejections for one submission. how very #@?>&!! of them. -must cheer myself back up with a little poetry

so read "the science of love" in the week and that + mystery inspired poem 5 of 9:

i'm gonna call it: neurotictransmitters

anything but love

see. i read it right here today.
- it was just my brain, a chemical rain, of oxytocin and/or dopamine.

see. thank goodness.

anything but love

and when i think about it myself i know what it was; what it really was...

the ambiance!
the timing!
my mid-life, your break-up -reason torn from rhyming

see. i know.

but i wonder this. i wonder this... -about that interrupted kiss
was it meant to shock, surprise? prime my brain, to hypnotise?

and you in total disbelief. think i'm with agenda

"that's your hang up, not mine." wish i woulda said
when you thought out loud and i knelt by your bed

but i may have been influenced by your smile and by the wine
and so i'll leave the past before us, the future far behind

and in the present what we both unwrap
is any thing, and every thing
-makes me laugh -makes me scream -chemical rain -recurring dream
all together, so completely con-fyou-zing!

and just as you said. my pride black and blue
i don't know you well enough -at all; it's true

anything but love


it subsides.

subsides and fades away
not worth chasing what leaves us anyway

truth belongs to yesterday

so there.

it's final.

not one more quick question
twas anything but love -and the power of suggestion

yes. it was just my silly brain and the power of suggestion

i knew it all along

so now i can breathe. move forward one space
strategically avoid that smile, your face

was just a passing fury -in fact is quite blurry

i don't remember now if i really cared at all.

your true love -who knows you
your true love -she'll show you

yesterday is history
along with any mystery

and thank goodness -now really!

'cuz what a waste of time
yours, theirs and mine

on something so trivial -so utterly predictable!

no hidden treasure
caudate nucleus pleasure
and what lights up must burn out over time

oh my anything but love, my anything but love,
my anything but love

be mine.

anything but love send a sign
do i make chemicals spill in your mind?
enhance the flavor in your glass of wine?
make you hungry or thirsty -make you want me again?
remind you as humans we were born to sin?

do i reach your ventral tegmental
make you feel sentimental?

oh my anything but love

be mine.

two roads diverged in a wood, and i ---
i took the one well paved. now am a cliche'
should have went the other way

who put that fuckin' fork in the road anyway?!?

and i've just made myself laugh out loud, so that will conclude this session.

verily well, verily well.