• The Women of Venice – Jim Smith
• In The City – Lynette
•  Four Daughters – Lynne Bronstein
•  Wolf Woman – krista schwimmer
•  Green Shoes/Zapatos Verdes – Antonieta Villamil
• .Mysterious, the woman – RF Wagner
•   Toe Dancing in the Snow – Cristina Rojas 


The Women of Venice

By Jim Smith

Venice is a feminine town.
Here, we take time to talk and walk
and admire the beauty that surrounds us.

Women of Venice paint the murals.
Women of Venice help the homeless.
Women of Venice stand up to free Venice.

Venice is a matriarchy.
It is The Lady, not The Man,
who inspires our poets.

Women of Venice sing our songs.
Women of Venice help women in need.
Women of Venice sustain the Beachhead.

And it is the women who hear
Mother Earth telling us
to balance our city with nature.

Women of Venice run our stores.
Women of Venice run our homes.
Women of Venice watch over our canals.

We live by the womb of the world.
From the sea we love came all life,
and the female spirit of Venice.

But Los Angeles, built for the Queen of the Angels,
was stolen by men whose greed
and craving for land knew no bounds.

Now, L.A. treats Venice
like the victim in a bad marriage
battered by developers and gentrifiers.

Someday, O someday, 
Venice will be serene and at peace
when we men learn to act more like women.

In The City
Wrapped in a coat of concrete and steel,
Glistening oasis on the green expanse.
Invading the night with chemical lights,
Flickering technological gems,
A glaring evening dress.
An island with windows for eyes,
Gazing at freedom from within impersonal monoliths.
Trapped in the urban prison,
Hidden in tiny speeding cars,
Faceless people lost in the endless maze of cement and asphalt.
Entranced by an old dress,
Manufactured by the Industrial Age.
In the city.
Four Daughters
By Lynne Bronstein
What says
The wise daughter?
I follow my heart
Into the sharing of the sacred star.
I do not ask
What are these rituals.
I know what they are.
I obey them.
I light the candles. I bake the unleavened cake.
I bless my family.
I offer my arm for the needy to rest upon.
I am my family’s shield
And the shade under the tree where they may lie.
What says
The wicked daughter?
Hey why bother doing this every year!
This is old stuff from another century and another galaxy.
Stilted prose and silly songs.
I can be found at the local disco.
No hunting for coins under the sofa cushions for me
when I can find a better Afikomen
who will pay all my bills.
What says the simple one?
The one who hides in the corner
who rolls her big eyes
and makes the family feel shame.
What is this?
What does this mean?
How long does it go for?
I wish I were Moses.
I would like to drink
from the cup of Elijah.
I like the silly songs.
I’m the one only Kid.
I want the macaroons
and the sweet stuff
from the concrete mixer.
And what of the daughter
who wits not to ask?
She is the one
who has stood outside
wondering for too long
if she had a tale to tell
and what was her story within this tale.
For her you must take her by the hand
and say that for everyone
there is an Exodus
a Journey
and a promise.
Yes even for her.
For the saint the sinner and the simple one
will always do the things they must.
But she the daughter who never spoke
will amaze you with new questions.
Wolf Woman
You will not capture me
ever again. You will not
trap me in your forest traps
while I prowl at night
or take away
my brilliant fangs and dark growl.
This is my night.
And these are my woods.
And there is no stopping me now.
Listen. Hear that howl.
I have sung my song of power
over the bones of a wolf
and set another laughing woman free.
–krista schwimmer
Green Shoes
Let me say to you that I know what you want. 
You want a pair of green shoes. 
Made of grass. Made of leaves.
With soles made of moss and strings made of roots.
Quick! That your legs want to be tree.
That your arms are already branches. 
That a nest is knitted with the tip 
of your nails and your fingers 
are writing the flavor of honey.
Zapatos Verdes
Déjame decirte que sé lo que quieres. 
Quieres unos zapatos verdes. 
De pasto. De hojas. 
Con suela de musgo y cordones de raíces.
Rápido! Que tus piernas quieren ser árbol.
Que tus brazos ya son ramas. 
Que con la punta de tus uñas
 se teje un nido y se escribe 
por tus dedos el sabor de las mieles.
–Antonieta Villamil
20:29 Monday, February 16, 2009, at an unknown location in Venice……….Mysterious, the woman. An unknown,/ unrecognized, unheard; descending stone/ gives birth to ripples. Never learned her name./ Omnipresent. No two are quite the same,/ but sisters, still. An oval miniature,/ or electonic billboard, I concur./ Your mystery continues; dare I ask/ your true identity? Remove your mask?/ Perhaps enough to open wide the door/ and let you pass. Or should your grace demur,/ let you take leave to simply stake your claim/ to your share of the gold, and all the fame/ that goes with it. With that, now I am done,/ and step aside, content to leave alone…..to every woman, everywhere
–RF Wagner
 Toe Dancing in the Snow
There is a story,
about this Chinese young woman,
who fought back against her feudal mistress,
refusing to be beaten,
and then fleeing up into the wild mountains.
The years passed,
her hair turned white,
and still she toe danced,
way up there,
beneath the swirling, falling, snow…
In time, the world she had rebelled against and then fled from, was no more,
and when she was found, she came down the mountain to a point a finger at her feudal masters.
In time, her new world was in turn no more,
and one of the very first things the new lords did,
was to proclaim loud and clear, 
how idealist to think that a woman would have rebelled against her feudal masters!
There was a time,
when this story was written, acted and danced to wondrous music, and filmed.
Toe danced by women who in previous societies had their feet and spirit bound…
The woman responsible for this creation also rose,
and then was cast down.
How independent, rebel, women are characterized and treated,
has ever been a veritable litmus test as to the genuine politics of any person, group or society.
Tonight, as the snow continues to fall outside in my beloved mountains,
I send you this image of a rebel feudal woman,
toe dancing in the snow storm,
joyous and free !
–Cristina Rojas 

Categories: Poetry