A sculpture at beach during sunset

      Illumination (Photo – Kathabela Wilson)


      Hosted by Kathabela Wilson

      above our heads
      below the surface
      everything we ever wanted

      ~ Kathabela

      Ο Ο Ο

      drawing of birds

      Cycads in Strorrier Stearns Japanese Garden. Drawing by Robert Stewart

      Joy McCall

      Dreams of freedom

      I was a young girl and had not yet been in love.
      The gypsy fair came to our town, with noise, and music and bustle.
      I tried the games, throwing small balls at moving metal ducks. I found I did it well enough to win a prize – a plastic bag of goldfish.
      I ran home and my mother put the four golden fish in a dish bowl and we named them John, Paul, George and Ringo. (Of course I loved the Beatles back then).
      The next day I skipped school and went to the field where the gypsies had their camp.

      I stood on the gate
      watching the caravans
      and horses
      and children playing
      in the sunshine

      The women and men were dressed in bright coloured clothes.
      Camp fires were burning.

      how I longed
      to leave school and home
      and run away
      with the gypsy boys
      wild and free

      The beautiful goldfish lived a long time, and I came to the end of my school years.
      When I left home to move to America, I set the fish free into the village pond.

      has dangers and risks
      for fish
      and for all creatures
      …and for me

      Ο Ο Ο

      a garden with koi

      Storrier-Stearns Japanese Garden – Pasadena (Photo – Kathabela Wilson)

      James Haddad

      lightning plays about
      dancing wherever
      it wants

      falling across the sky

      shouting where it wants
      to the old gods, maybe


      they glide, like phantoms
      through the water
      going down stream

      their shadows
      on the rocks below

      silently whistling

      an abstract painting

      Wind Borne – 18″x22″ – Acrylic+Collage/Board, 2016 by Toti O’Brien

      Toti O’Brien


      I understood. Finally.

      First, the smell of the sea. Then the smell of fish, so intense that along with the smell of bread it meant life itself. Then the fragments of rope, the consistency of the sail, so sheer in the light, so solid to the touch.

      I understood the sense of abandonment and where it came from. The terror of losing the one I loved most, each time that he left. The uncertainty of his return. And the worship of the boat shielding him from the elements, bringing him home unscathed, once again.

      Now I knew why the harbor, the lighthouse, the foghorn had such appeal. I had been the fisherman’s wife before, as were my mother, my mother’s mother. Yes, yes, all the way back. Deep into the memory of the island, buried by the sand and pebbles I trod on as a child, while I stared into a blueness only whispering freedom and possibilities, silent about its secret essence.

      I had not learned, yet, how to spell the word loss.

      But it was engraved in my cells, soaked my arteries and veins. It just needed to unspool like a fishing line from its reel, my heart hooked at its tip. My heart already harpooned, quietly bleeding.


      Dreaming of Freedom: Notes and Credits

      Joy McCall lived much of her life in the United States and Canada. She now lives in the ancient city of Norwich, England, where she was born. She has written and published many books of tanka, and published in many anthologies and journals. She has been a regular contributor to Atlas Poetica, a Journal of World Tanka, for many years.

      James Haddad is owner of the Storrier Stearns Garden in Pasadena, where he hosts and participates in Poets on Site meetings once a week.

      Toti O’Brien is a Pasadena area writer, artist and performer. See her website for the great variety of her creative work. Her recent books, in her terms 2021, An Alphabet of Birds, 2020, and Other Maidens, 2020, and others previous, are outspoken and lyrical, full of with powerful and profound insight into our human condition.

      Memory Lane
      > You will love to visit, with Gary Wilson, Tom Clausen, Olivier Schopfer and Karla Decker, the beauty of our related salon in 2019, "Mystery House."

      Submission Guidelines

      Suggest your own theme. or write Kathabela for a theme suggestion. We publish every two weeks. Send short poems, free verse, haiku, senryu, tanka, cherita, haibun, tanka prose, short prose poems, etc., or your own unique approach, to Kathabela by text message or (click here to email her directly). We can feature your work again after five months. Multiple Submissions can be saved to appear later:

      1. Send a short bio, with comments on your theme.
      2. Send photos or artwork by you, or friends.
      3. Put your poems directly in the email.
      4. No attachments except photos.
      End of article

      We hope you appreciated this article. Before you move on, please consider supporting the Colorado Boulevard’s journalism.

      Billionaires, hedge fund owners and local imposters have a powerful hold on the information that reaches the public. Colorado Boulevard stands to serve the public interest – not profit motives.

      While fairness guides everything we do, we know there is a right and a wrong position in the fight against racism and climate crisis while supporting reproductive rights and social justice. We provide a fresh perspective on local politics – one so often missing from so-called ‘local’ journalism.

      You can access Colorado Boulevard’s paywall-free journalism because of our unique reader-supported model. People like you, informed readers, keep us independent, beholden to no outside influence, and accessible to everyone.

      Please consider supporting Colorado Boulevard today. Thank you. (Click to Support)


        • Kathabela Wilson

          Kathabela Wilson is a local poet/writer/artist and musician. Her Poets Salon has become an international respected must read in the poetry world. She's the creator and host of the Pasadena-based group, “Poets on Site.”

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

        • Latest posts by Kathabela Wilson

          See all articles

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *