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      POETS SALON

      05/06/20

      Hosted by Kath Abela Wilson

      sheltering in place
      I find
      ‘eight pieces
      of silk brocade’
      picking them up
      easily
      I’m taken
      on a new camino

      ~ Kath Abela

      sculptures surrounding a square

      Social distancing, University of Otago (Photo – Robert Johnston)

      Robert Johnston

      Exercising safely away from home during lockdown is difficult. The streets and the parks have lots of walkers and runners, many of them not particularly careful about rule of a staying two-meters away, so I have taken to exercising in graveyards, where few people go, and where there are hundreds of peaceful and interesting meters to pass along.

      in time
      even headstones
      fall down…
      covid graveyard

      Ο Ο Ο

      A trail with a marker and a dirt road

      Camino trail (Photo – Lauren Juliff)

      Lois P. Jones

      Along with my other courses and activities, I’ve been on a virtual Camino de Santiago for some weeks while we are sheltering in place. The camino is an ancient network of pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) in Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. The curator of this group, Amy Gigi Alexander, having guided several real caminos as well as virtual excursions has curated a beautiful journey rich with maps, photographs, details of local cuisine and culture, daily miles to be traveled and significant sites along the way. Most importantly, the trip is as much an inner journey as an outer one. A person who steps foot on the camino is the not the same person when they reach the end. These daily documents also help you to see aspects of the real camino such as letting go of things you cannot control, gratitude for what is given to you, the necessity of persistence and much more.

      The camino has helped me to process a at least a modicum of the deep pain from our human loss through poetry and private writings, as well as a few personal burdens I have been carrying along the way. It is always a matter of how we best use the journey and how the journey changes us.

      Poets are innate pilgrims, always on a journey of the mind. I highly recommend Amy’s forthcoming pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome this June. This is an gift to yourself or to a friend which will take you further than you could have ever imagined. You can find Amy Gigi Alexander on Facebook!

      Excerpt from “Camino de Santiago, Journey of the Dead, Day 1”:

      We ascend the long climb to the mountain
      silence has made for us, leaving our bodies
      to the wind like these wildflowers at the feet
      of Vierge d’Orisson.

      For information about the camino experience: “amygigialexander@hotmail.com”.

      Ο Ο Ο

      A panoramic view of mountains and trees

      Birthday hike (Photo – Gerda Govine Ituarte)

      Gerda Govine Ituarte

      Sliver of Light

      is enough
      an opening
      possibility
      to get through
      the dark
      without disappearing.

      Distracted

      Look over shoulder
      peer in rear view mirror
      blinds
      what is up ahead.

      Asleep awake

      inside our dreams
      stories flow from
      ancestors table
      feed our hunger
      telegraph clues
      answer questions
      that lingers.

      > Selected poems from the book “Future Awakes in Mouth of NOW,” Éditions du Cygne (SWAN World), Paris, France, 2016.

      Birthday Adventure

      Thank you for the Birth Day and Day After wishes. I am honored to be connected to you. Saturday was a memorable day with a five mile hike with Luis and Chicha, our new dog, to the top of Mike’s Mountain in Jamul, East County San Diego. We sighted a bulging rattlesnake that rattled and coiled as Luis used his walking stick to poke the snake off the path into the bushes. Yes, this was the first time I ever saw a snake outside of a zoo. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. I became more agile with my walking stick (there were many hills to climb), had lunch at the summit in a rock sculpture garden, and ate peanut and jelly and salami and cheese sandwiches, fruit and water for lunch. We decided to turn back because the path up ahead had lots of weeds and tall grass. We did not want to run into any of the snake’s relatives. Our pace was a bit slower on our descent and we made it up our steep driveway. Had beer, took a 2 1/2-hour nap and ate a yummy dinner with mimosas at sunset. Sat outside while Mars and Jupiter held court in the night sky–the brightest of them all with no competition from the crescent moon. We binged on Netflix past midnight. On Sunday I wrote a prose piece “Birth Day Journey.”
      Be safe.

      Ο

      two metal chairs in a garden on a foggy day

      A foggy morning in South Pasadena (Photo – Lois P. Jones)

      Finding a Way Through: Quotes and Credits

      Kath Abela Wilson says: “Thanks to the lockdown, I discovered “eight pieces of silk brocade,” the ancient qigong exercises, that will always be a part of my life. For a road not taken before, join Judy K. Young by the side of a lake where the journey begins.” (Qigong Full 20-Minute Daily RoutineQigong Self-Massage: Body & Limbs, Qigong Self-Massage: Head and Face).

      Robert Johnston dwells in the Western Pacific region where Covid-19 started (China) and where good models for overcoming it exist (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Oceania).

      Lois P. Jones was the shortlist prize winner for two poems in the 2018 Terrain Poetry Contest judged by Jane Hirshfield. Other awards include the Lascaux Poetry Prize, the Bristol Poetry Prize judged by Liz Berry and the Tiferet Poetry Prize, with work thrice listed for the Bridport Prize and the National Poetry Competition. Jones has work published or forthcoming in Guerinca Editions (2021), New Voices: Contemporary Writers Confronting the Holocaust (Vallentine Mitchell of London); Narrative and American Poetry Journal. Her poem Reflections on La Scapigliata was one of 30 featured film-poem collaborations for the 2019 Visible Poetry Project. She is the Poetry Editor for Kyoto Journal and the host of Pacifica Radio’s Poets Café on KPFK.

      Gerda Govine Ituarte is the author of four poetry collections, Poetry Within Reach in Unexpected Places (2018), Future Awakes in Mouth of NOW (2016), Alterations | Thread Light Through Eye of Storm (2015), and Oh, Where is My Candle Hat? (2012) in English and Spanish. She established the Pasadena Rose Poets in 2016 and served as Editor of their publication, Pasadena Rose Poets Poetry Collection 2019. She initiated poetry readings at Pasadena City Council meetings 2017-present and read at the City of Escondido and El Cajon City Council meetings in 2018 and 2019. Gerda publishes in many journals and performs internationally. She earned a B.S. and M.A. in Business Education from New York University, an M.A. and Ed.D. from Teachers College Columbia University in Higher and Adult Education Administration and Research and a Certificate from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, School of Law, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. She is the former co-founder and co-director with husband Luis Ituarte of La Casa del Túnel: Art Center in La Colonia Federal, Tijuana. She initiated G. Govine Consulting in 1985 and specializes in diversity and equity in the workplace.

      Tell us, by midnight Sunday, Pacific time, your story of the unusual interesting positive gifts and realizations that you have come upon by surprise, during these challenging times. Tell us about the new paths you have taken, those that might endure in your life, that may not have happened had we not been in this situation. We all know good things can come from difficulty. Unexpected doors open and we sometimes find treasure.

      Send short poems, haiku, senryu, tanka, cherita haibun, tanka prose, short prose poems, etc., or your own unique approach, to Kath Abela by Facebook 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, comments on the theme.
      2. Send photos or artwork by you, if possible.
      3. No attachments except photos.
      End of article

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      Contributor

        • 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.

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