Wednesday, February 10, 2010

About Time


As the storm brews
The pond rests
Reflecting the anger
Of the storm
With calm

—Ronald Edwin Lane, Weimar


Thanks to Ron Lane for the photo and poem, and to Richard Zimmer, Pat Hickerson and Janet Pantoja for today's other offerings, as well as Shoka for the second photo. See more of Shoka's photos in the up-coming WTF which will be released at Luna's Cafe in Sacramento on Thursday, Feb. 18.

Our Seed of the Week is Speed Dating and Courtship; see yesterday's post, either by clicking on "Older Posts" at the bottom of this one, or by going to the Archives box at the bottom of The Bulletin Board and clicking on "Speed Dating at the Library".

Tonight the Snake Salutes the Tiger: Tiger's Eye Press will visit The Book Collector in Sacramento. Co-Editors Colette Jonopulos and JoAn Osborne will read, and the Tiger will release a new chapbook by Kathy Kieth (Emily and the High Cost of Living). That's 7:30 PM, 1008 24th St., Sacramento. Be there!

March 12-13: White Lotus Poetry Workshop at Esalen in Big Sur with Ellen Bass:

This is an opportunity to meet the poems that gestate within us and to engage our greatest resources—attention, courage, precision—in bringing them into being. We will strive for language that is accurate, fresh, and interesting in itself and we will work to create poems whose form, rhythmn, language, and meaning work as an effective whole. This an opportunity to delve deeply into poetry without distractions or interruptions. In our busy lives, many of us long for more time to write. This workshop will be a way to nurture the creative voice inside us and allow it to speak. We will write poems and share them—and hear what our work touches in others. We'll also read model poems by contemporary poets and discuss aspects of the craft. But mainly this will be a writing retreat—time to explore and create in a supportive community.

This workshop is open to both beginning and experienced poets. Though the focus is on poetry, prose writers who want to enrich their language will find it a fertile environment. Esalen fees cover tuition, food and lodging and vary according to accommodations. Fee for the weekend workshop ranges from $360 (sleeping bag space—this goes early, so reserve fast) to $695 (standard double) with higher prices for single rooms. Some work-scholarship assistance is available, as well as small prepayment discounts and senior discounts.

All arrangements and registration must be made directly with Esalen (831-667-3005 or, but if you have questions about the content of the workshop, please email Ellen Bass at or call 831-426-8006.

Ellen Bass's most recent book of poetry, The Human Line, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2007 and was named a Notable Book of 2007 by the San Francisco Chronicle. She co-edited (with Florence Howe) the groundbreaking No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (Doubleday, 1973) and has published several volumes of poetry, including Mules of Love (BOA, 2002) which won the Lambda Literary Award. Her work has been published in many journals and magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, The Progressive, and The Kenyon Review. Among her awards for poetry are a Pushcart Prize, the Elliston Book Award, The Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod/Hardman, the Larry Levis Prize from Missouri Review, the New Letters Prize, the Greensboro Award, the Chautaqua Poetry Prize, a Fellowship from the California Arts Council and a Fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her nonfiction books include Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies (HarperCollins, 1996); I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (HarperCollins, 1983) and The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (HarperCollins, 1988, 2008) which has been translated into twelve languages. She teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University and at conferences and workshops nationally and internationally. More info:


—Richard Zimmer, Sacramento

Time passes by with the wink of an eye,
but do what you will—time stands still
for the face of “the girl next door.”

Victim of an auto accident, Brad Wilson lies in a coma.
His thoughts stray back to his old neighborhood. There’s
where the Hawkinson’s lived, and that’s little Georgie’s
house. You’d tease him, Georgie, porgie puddin and pie.

Brad’s heart dances as he sees Virginia Riley coming toward
him. She’s in a nun’s outfit, and there’s a little girl skipping
along side of her. A cute little girl, spinning every other step.
Virginia! Brad calls out, I’m so glad to see you again!

We used to have such fun as kids. You could climb a tree
faster than I. Let’s go to the Owl Drug Store. We can talk
about things over a dish of ice cream. Virginia smiles and
follows Brad to the store. He asks for butterscotch ice cream.

You know, he tells the clerk; I never can find that flavor
anymore. Then he turns to Virginia—seeing the little girl
is not with them, he asks, What happened to the little girl?
Virginia sighs; I guess I should explain some things…

When you and your family moved away, I was only eight.
You were nine. It was a sad time for me. Then one day
when I was sixteen, I saw you with a friend. You looked
at me, but didn’t even say hello. It kind of broke my heart.

I wanted to meet you and be friends. You never came back
to the neighborhood again. That little girl was only a spirit.
She could have been our child if things had gone differently.
Brad groaned as he woke up from his coma in the hospital.


—Janet Pantoja, Woodinville, WA

I have a scrapbook on my walls.
I have a scrapbook in my hall.
I have a scrapbook just about everywhere in my living space.

You see I have photos of my family . . .
I have pictures of their faces.
I have their drawings, sketches, artwork,
vintage, antique and unique furniture.
I have their knick knacks, crystal and dishes, family trees and diaries—
old books and scraps of my family in times past—memories.

Even if all these wonderful things were destroyed,
gone missing or ceased existing . . .
I would still have my family.
I would still have them in my memory.
They are in my scrapbook for eternity!


—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

As time went forward
the mother felt more and more
that she was abandoning
her daughter to lost time
her daughter so recently timelessly dead
the mother leaving her daughter behind
in the depths of time
while the mother marched swiftly forward
into endless time
even at times enjoying her march
that had begun a long time ago
long before her daughter’s time—

Was it right her daughter should have had
so little time
while the mother sometimes yearned for an end
to her own time?



and burn my name into your chest
as you go to war

burn my name into your arms
as you go to war

burn my name into your eyes
as you go to war

burn, burn, burn, my love
and you will surely
go to Paradise
for your blind courage

—Patricia Hickerson

—Photo by Shoka, Sacramento

Today's LittleNip:

Just the knowledge that a good book is waiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.

—Kathleen Norris