Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Fantasies by the Sea

—Poems by Marie J. Ross and Donald R. Anderson, 
Stockton, CA
—Anonymous Photos


The sun walks with sizzling shoes breathing like a demon crow on wings.
Perplexed by the tires melting as they roll, the students tread to classes
in droves, scavenging for spots and spare change to be able to park.
The pathway haunts them, as they react to dissolving shadows over the
heated cement.
Plastic and metal click into binders, chasing pen trails down corridors
each one pestered by stanzas running the other way.
Glasses glaring in the afternoon, the aftershock of light blinds in the
sudden coolness of the neon colored chairs and tables nearby.
August, her warm saturated hand smoothed book covers, zipped
pencil pouches and coffee mugs, until the face of dusk opened.
A curved shadow pattern fractal inches across a t-shirt design,
as graphic designers and word puzzlers earn credentials
in the forges of a smoldering economy.


Like milky spirits, the nebula swirled in explosive color,
transcendent plumes of stardust lighting up their night sky.
The journey a mysterious path, voiceless except for the whir
whispering like the eternal wind.
Stark in the night a pair of eyes, alluring flame-colored: uncommon cat,
crouched in the grass, it moved with the breeze, closer to their camp.
In the woods the screech of an owl frightened her, as the night moon
echoed its sound.
The night!  Yes!  The fire glowing, sounds awakened in nature’s drama,
Zeus looking down from aura, storm clouds beckoning them to climb North!
Stars carried sparkle to his throne to his staff, “No!” says Zeus, storm must
abide by my rules, and cause havoc, bring on the lightning not twinkle of stars.
A plot!  But the camp plodded onward to the next spot,
clouds chasing them toward the cliffs, she leading with the medallion of light.
Among the forest trees was the tranquil flutter of butterflies, white ones, like
the milky spirits and transcendent plumes that undulated across the moon.
All about were the cocoons of life, and the glow of heaven.  Eden’s edge!
She bid them all under the branches, she placed medallion in the gnarly bark,
wherein Pandora’s Box was revealed, and the Scientific Age began.  


On the fence of wisdom sat a faun playing a flute of peace.
In his space the realm of stars twinkled in rhythm of nirvana.
To the shore where the beached whale sat playing dice with the young boy,
and fish rolled over like trained dogs.
Animal life was tumultuous steaming and moving in circles,
like a tango dancer in a heated ballroom.
One shoe reaching to the ceiling, the fan rolling in coolness,
yet one could feel a sense of ghost dresses whirling and whirling,
enticing the waves to drift further until the birds saw the whale swimming
under the bridge, leaving the dice on the mossy rocks of his youth,
and Shakespeare's followers joined hands in a foggy waltz of the sea,
where wisdom was wrapped in a felt hat that lay on the granules of knowledge. 


—Marie J. Ross (fragment edited for publication by Donald R. Anderson)

She found an island with potential

Where ocean’s eternal motion

Set her footsteps in commune to her soul

Where she bent into the breezes 

That wafted from somewhere to nowhere

and heard waves swim against boulders

She sees a sea bird alight

Watches its wings enfold tranquility

Where her mind could be set free

Barefoot she picks up seashells

from sands so slowly moving their forms in cessation blunders

As salty air reminds her that longevity is not fair

She set her mind to song from rolling seaweed ropes

watches them untangle slowly in the movement of the tide

dance together 

in the movement of the tide
        she watches their dance together

in the midst of the wayward tide

urge of the tide, she watches them tangled together so green

there is music as they fight the surge of tide

rough, she sees them not as beauty

those whispers of rolling 

And in her hand she held their voice

the cry of cessation blunders her ears,

the cry of far-off cultures, of far-off places and cultures 

empty of ...

she, barefoot on the shore of seashells

where sand uncovered their fragile life

she, the voice to feel their fragile life before her

where no voice...

she saw its wings enfold tranquility 

like a spectacular moment of wind...

like the moment of wind...

And breezes wafted somewhere to nowhere

And set her footsteps in commute to her soul

She sees a sea bird alight,

Hears the swim of waves against boulders,

the bird’s virgin wings again in flight

The Tranquility the food for her soul

She steps into her mind with song

A momentous release from her past

Where salty air has no sting

On the lush green paths to realization

She looks to the bluest skies in wonder

Retreats on the shore of seashells

as voices recruit her emotions reclaiming her 

Under the sapphire icon of revelation

she gazes upon the bluest of skies

The sapphire icon of revelation

Retreats to seashells, the voices

that lay on the granules of time

She walks on seashells in voices.

She retreats in the resolution of time.

One step at a time.

Sky, the sapphire, 

the sapphire stone of heart.

And like the seashells on the shore

The widest path to realization.

And as a sting of salty air touches her past

She feels the sands of time shift as she waits

She kneels on the parcel

Rid of monstrous boulders and raucous waters

On a haven of lush green in dawn’s rising moments

And the granules beneath her feet 
Moving her toward sunset’s forwarding tides.


Our thanks to Donald Anderson for providing us with these poems that he and Marie Ross did in collaboration before she passed away in 2014. Marie J. Ross was widely published and honored. Of her poems, “Oh Honored Stone” is engraved in granite at the All Veterans Memorial Plaza, in Lodi, and “Pink Toe Shoes” placed 3rd in The International Dancing Poetry Contest. She was both President of the Stockton-Lodi branch of NLAPW and Secretary for the NorCal Branch from 2010 to 2013. She passed away 2/20/2014. More about Marie may be seen at and The following is a link to Marie’s audio collection of poems she had recorded:

Donald R. Anderson has been writing poetry since the mid-1990’s. He has been published in many small print publications and online, and self-published in many collaborative paperback anthologies and the “zine”, Poet’s Espresso. He’s working on a novel.


Today’s LittleNip:

Whitecaps on the bay:
A broken signboard banging
in the April Wind.

—Richard Wright



 Celebrate poetry by driving up to Placerville today, 5-7pm, 
for Poetry Off-the-Shelves read-around, El Dorado County 
Library, 345 Fair Lane.Scroll down to the blue column 
(under the green column at the right) for info about these 
and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that 
more may be added at the last minute.

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.