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Part 4 Contributors

 

Tony Barnstone
Willis Barnstone
Ellen Bass
Christopher Buckley
Neeli Cherkovski
Boris Dralyuk
Alicia Elkort
Mary Fitzpatrick
Michael C. Ford
Kate Gale
Frank X. Gaspar
Dana Gioia
Shotsie Gorman
S.A. Griffin
Donna Hilbert
Brenda Hillman
Glenna Luschei
Phoebe MacAdams
devorah major
Clive Matson
K. Silem Mohammad
Rusty Morrison
Harry Northup
Holly Prado Northup - In Memoriam
Cathie Sandstrom
Shelley Scott - In Memoriam
Daniel Shapiro
Mike Sonksen
Pam Ward
Sholeh Wolpe
Gary Young
Mariano Zaro


Part 1 Contributors

Rae Armantrout
Bart Edelman
David Garyan
Suzanne Lummis
Glenna Luschei
Bill Mohr
D. A. Powell
Amy Uyematsu
Paul Vangelisti
Charles Harper Webb
Bruce Willard
Gail Wronsky

Part 2 Contributors

Elena Karina Byrne
liz gonzález
Grant Hier
Lois P. Jones
Ron Koertge
Glenna Luschei
Rooja Mohassessy
Susan Rogers
Patty Seyburn
Maw Shein Win
Kim Shuck
Lynne Thompson
Carine Topal
Cecilia Woloch

Part 3 Contributors

Michelle Bitting
Laurel Ann Bogen
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Lucille Lang Day
Corrinne Clegg Hales
Marsha De La O
Charles Jensen
Eloise Klein Healy
Glenna Luschei
Clint Margrave
Henry Morro
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Phil Taggart
David L. Ulin
Jonathan Yungkans
Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis


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Click to enlarge picture Glenna Luschei
Glenna Luschei
Californian Poets Part 4: Five Poems
by
Glenna Luschei


 

 



Canada Goose

We called him Wellington:
his long black boots.
He knocked on our door
with his beak.

He took off in the dark
flight of geese
over the Lake.
We expect him back.
Next time goslings?

Branta canadenis





sent the whale, Cetus, to destroy
the shores of ancient Greece.

Calving


Scientists call Tahlequah's care for her dead calf unprecedented
but isn't it natural to carry the dead with us, lift them up as she did,
all 800 pounds of her baby, only rising to take a breath, lifting?

How can the orcas survive when we net their fish, plow boats
into their mating grounds? Can this pod, with only one live birth, go on?

Our calves die of addiction, bullets, transmission of love. We lift them up,
keep them floating with us.


II

On our last Mother's Day I visited hospice. You asked me
to feed you. After, I wheeled you under the purple jacaranda trees.

You told me the nurse loved to brush your flaxen hair.
"God gave me a mane." You handed me the brush and I took your curls in hand.
"Tomorrow is my quality of life conference." I kept on brushing.
You had to decide.

Aphrodite, you knew my beautiful daughter and her vanity.
Lend her your brush, your mirror.





Possum


When we lived in that redwood house
built ‘round an oak tree,
the children gathered at the kitchen table.
custody battles complete.
I stepped outside. I couldn’t take the merriment.
Their giddy relief
scraped down my spine.

The branch next to me
held a mother possum, four
joeys on her back,
my own four jostling inside the house.
I knew her babies tiny as honey bees,
twenty to a litter.
On birth they crawled into her pouch.

Four of them on my back,
I barely provided.
I lived in the wilderness of marsupials,
my pouch their safe house.

I learned what it meant to scavenge as an animal,
to know the slaughter hour,
to be born white.

How did I survive? We got through.
I go back inside, bring them bowls of popcorn.





Meeting Moriarty


Your language sounds like the water in which you tried to drown me
at Pie de la Cuesta. Always water, always children, always in Spanish,
your ghost comes to haunt me, to taunt me.
You taught me duende, told me I was a fighter worthy
of your wrath, told me my heart would get me.

Fifty-two years ago they sent a diver out after me.
The waves tossed me but I could still see my son on the shore.
Thrashing, I watched him getting smaller and smaller,
I couldn’t drown.
I had to drive him to Little League ten years later
in a town where we had not yet lived.
I gave that swimmer my last hundred pesos, sodden, hidden in my bra.

Next time on the Rio Grande,
birth of a daughter in El Paso, deep vein thrombosis.
I ran the household from a wheelchair. I had cases to solve.
You’re playing with me, Moriarty. You wanted to save me for yourself.

I should have known we would meet in Cuba,
when I bit the dust in Matanzas. The doctor said I would die if I got on that plane.
One week in hospital, my son flew me home first class.
Your ghost loved that, Moriarty. If only I could wait fifty-two more years,
I know you’d give me one more scare.





The Fabulous Planet Uranus
—for my birthday, February 11



Like me, Uranus takes eighty-four years to circle the sun.
We're just now winding up, off to a rocky start
on to the next orbit. I won't last that ride.
We're stocking up on provisions anyway.
Like me, Uranus lies sideways on its axis.
I feel fortunate to be singled out
for this quirky ride. I don't mind sharing my birthday
with others. Thomas Edison, for one, also intent

on incandescence, and Burt Reynolds.
Uranus, cold, blue and windy, you are the God
of the sky. You are the reason I skate on ice.