Friday, March 04, 2011

The Leaves On The Caring Tree

Martha Ann Blackman (left) at The Book Collector in 2010
with Bill Gainer, Sandy Thomas, Trina Drotar, Ann Menebroker
and Joyce Odam
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

The Caring Tree
—Martha Ann Blackman
What is heard
is the rustling of leaves
as branches
in the breeze.

Not heard is an eon
of cooling the earth,
bringing sweet water up
from hair-like roots
to the tips of leaves.

Not heard is the cacophony
of birds and squirrels,
singing the tree’s lifeline.

Not heard is the weeping
as pollution entrenches
the valley
and the waters
run dry.

See the leaves
in prayer,
giving blessings
to all.


—Martha Ann Blackman

Poetry isn’t everything,
it’s merely the song
caught by the wind,
chasing past tree boughs
with the bird
winging by.


Shed Light
—Martha Ann Blackman

Shed light
on a shadow
and it disappears,
the dark edge
as you


Stone Mother
—Martha Ann Blackman

Stone Mother,
whose sides
are round
with soft hardness.

She comes
when I call,
ancient rocks,
ancient rites.


Up the Hill
—Martha Ann Blackman

Walk the ground,
it blesses you,
caresses you;
home again
catches you,
by briar
or beauty
or both.


Thanks, Martha, for today's poems! Martha Ann Blackman has co-edited a number of poetry collections, including Hard Pressed and Watching From The Sky ; the latter co-edited and co-published with Ann Menebroker to benefit Grandmother’s for Peace.

Martha's poetry has been featured in Rattlesnake Review, Poetry Now, The Tule Review, Because People Matter, 24th Street Irregular Press/Poems-For-All, and on Medusa’s Kitchen.

She participated in the “Poets in the Schools” program through the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission and has performed poetry and song in Earth Day and Friends of the River events. She has appeared on KVMR Radio in Nevada City and KVIE-6 and KXTV-10 in Sacramento. She also sang with the band, Space Debris, for going on eight years

Martha Ann has been a featured poet at The Book Collector, The Sacramento Poetry Center, Luna’s Café, Whole Earth Festivals, Giavonni’s, and The Nevada County Poetry Series. She is currently collaborating with artist, Laura Jane Coats, on The Memory Within, a poem/book that will be published in a hand-set, letter-press format.

Today's poems are from Martha Ann's new chapbook, The Caring Tree, from Rattlesnake Press, which will be released this coming Wednesday, March 9 at 7:30pm at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, along with a littlesnake broadside, Maybe Tomorrow, by Carl Bernard Schwartz.

Today's LittleNip: 

—Martha Ann Blackman 

We are the leaves
on the branches
of the limbs
on the trunk
of the tree
whose roots
are in the earth.



Martha Ann Blackman 
(w/Allegra Silberstein in the background)
—Photo by Katy Brown