Friday, April 14, 2006

Yet More Softly

—Gyorgi Petri

I like the cold rooms of autumn, sitting
early in the morning at an open window,
or on the roof, dressing-gown drawn close,
the valley and the morning coffee glowing—
this cooling, that warming.

Red and yellow multiply, but the green
wanes, and into the mud the leaves
fall—fall in heaps,
the devalued currency of summer:
so much of it! so worthless!

Gradually the sky's
downy grey turns blue, the slight
chill dies down. The ride
of day comes rolling in—
in waves, gigantic, patient, barreling.

I can start to carry on. I give myself up
to an impersonal imperative.

(Translated from the Hungarian by Clive Wilmer and George Gomori)


Giving Voice to the Stories of Your Life:
Three-Day Spring Renewal Writing Retreat for Women
Friday - Sunday, April 21-23, at St. Dorothy's Rest, Camp Meeker, CA

There are just two spots left in Susan Hagen's Spring Renewal Writing Retreat for Women at St. Dorothy's Rest in Camp Meeker April 21-23. The rustic, woodsy, Farmer Lodge is the perfect setting for a spring renewal of body, mind and spirit. We return for a third time to this cozy writers' cottage, where beginning and experienced writers alike will benefit from powerful methods of writing practice led by "Women at Ground Zero" author Susan Hagen. Susan's writing groups are intuitive and experiential rather than academic and intellectual. The goal is to help the writer get the thinking mind out of the way so she can gain access to the deeper inner life. It's about letting go of fear and judgement to experience the joy and freedom of writing without constant self-assessment. Susan uses meditation and guided imagery to help achieve this "clearing out." Participants spend a lot of time together in circle, writing and reading their stories aloud, then reflecting back to one another what they've heard. Most participants are amazed by the end of the weekend by what they have written and feel positive and inspired about their writing. They also seem to be very moved by the deep listening they have experienced from others. All levels of writing experience welcome; limited to eight women. $350 includes two nights (two single beds in a shared room) and six delicious meals ($375 for a private room).

Susan Hagen is a former news journalist, award-winning nonfiction writer, and co-author of the post-9/11 book, Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion. In addition to weekend retreats, she leads weekly StoryCircles in Sebastopol, CA to help others give voice to the stories of their lives. For information or to register, please contact Susan Hagen at (707) 824-6886 or, or click on "Classes and Workshops" at

Tonight in San Francisco is the
Baby Beat/Beatitute poetry event with readers/contributors San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman, David Meltzer, Sharon Doubiago, Neeli Cherkovski, Thomas Rain Crowe, Kaye McDonough, Kristen Wetterhahn, Janice Blue, H.D. Moe, Luke Breit, James Dalessandro (and more) reading to celebrate the Baby Beat anthology published in a French-English edition: poetry from the second San Francisco Poetry Renaissance of the 1970s. New College Theater, 777 Valencia, San Francisco, 7 pm.


—Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Deserted street, shadows of trees and houses, locked doors—
We watched the moon become a woman,
baring her breast, softly, on the edge of a rooftop.
Below the earth was blue, a lake of stilled shadows,
on which a leaf, the bubble of a second, floated
and then burst, softly.
Pale, very pale, gently, very slowly,
wine that is cold color
was poured into my glass,
and the roses of your hands, the decanter and the glass,
were, like the outline
of a dream, in focus, for a moment.
Then they melted, softly.
My heart once again promised love, softly.
You said, "But softly."
The moon, breathing as it went down, said,
"More, yet more softly."

(Translated from the Urdu by Agha Shahid Ali)



Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their poetry and announcements of Northern California poetry events to for posting on this daily Snake blog. Rights remain with the poets. Previously-published poems are okay for Medusa’s Kitchen, as long as you own the rights. (Please cite publication.)