• Ballona Wetlands – Sharon Soeller
  • Plath Moon, Bukowski Night – Krista Schwimmer
  • Oil Babble – Shanna Baldwin Moore
  • The Lords of the Earth – Jim Smith
  • Onymous #7, Spell Against Enchantment – francEyE
  • The Poem Takes A Hundred Years To Come – Philomene Long
  • Low tide at dawn – Ray Steding
  • Who is this old man? – Roger Houston
  • Ode to Swami X – Cosmo
  • Made Up Joe – Joy Buckley
  • Night in Venice Beach – Robert Watts


Ballona Wetlands

Dear Granddaughter, he said
If I had only known.
I didn’t understand.
That, because of me,
You would never see
Land shining, water streaming,
Sunflowers baking, water birds soaring.

Yes, please, please forgive me
Had I known, had I cared,
For more than my greed
And self-important busyness of my life
I would have seen the beauty
But now it is lost
To you, this 30 years later.

Granddaughter, thanks to my greed,
No graceful landing of great blue herons
Or incredible common egrets, exuding peace.
Not seeing the delight in your eyes
At snowy plovers racing through ribbons of creek.
I did not know that these taught vibrant life.
This is what I mourn for your loss.

Please forgive me, can you forgive me?
For what I have given you, Grandaughter,
Are cemented boxes, blindly blinking windows
Vehicles smoking and choking,
Along more miles of black tarmack
With no place to view that brings peace to your heart,
Stilling you within the exquisiteness of wetlands.

How can I tell you my regret?
Had I known that there would be no more
No wetland for hundreds of miles
No feathered wonders of our seaside to land,
To nest, to treat our eyes to beauty,
This cycle of life I stole away from all the grandchildren…
Can you ever forgive me for what you will never know?

–Sharon Soeller

Plath Moon, Bukowski Night

i rush out the door
to buy my Wednesday lottery ticket
taking my white, goth dress
to drop at the dry cleaners. Haven’t
showered yet, but it’s Venice
after all & tonight
i’m happy to be alive.

In the sky, i see the full moon.
She glowers at me, a constant
stare i can’t shake. Deep lines
track her face & i know then
time is running out. The dead
yawn from their graves as i continue
on my errands.

On the way back, i decide
to stop at Small World Books
& look for the latest
Bukowski collection, poems
still attached to his fingernails
growing on his dead body.
What will Sylvia say, i ponder
when i abandon her for him?

The moon, mean with loneliness
stalks me from vendor to vendor
then vanishes as i breeze past
the Cat in the Hat selling
singular wireless phones,
past Zoltar, the Gypsy Fortune Teller,
& into Small World Books where
i make my lovely purchase.
Ahh, new & hard just like
i like it! It’s a salty night
& i’m ready for more grit.

i almost exclaim out loud
to the homeless man i pass
“Look! The latest Bukowski!”
but instead i simply hand him
a dollar bill & walk away, his words
“I love you!” left behind me.
They all love me, these homeless guys
but that’s another poem
for another day & here’s a toast
to Sylvia’s moon & Bukowski’s night
to resurrect once again.

–krista schwimmer


Oil Babble

such importance on words
people in public life
digitalized forever

can’t take ‘em back
but you can twist ‘em
in a circle the other way
infinity …two loops linking
ah such is the way
of politician lawyers
and real estate land cancer
that splices the tongue
of a black crow
once green wetlands
creosote mud flats
drying in a desert sun
while the wind
winds through
barren toxic shores
and the last tree
to grow
in man’s mire

–Shanna Baldwin Moore


The Lords of the Earth

By Jim Smith

The Lords of the Earth
recline in their private jets,
luxuriate on their yachts
with smiles on their faces
as they count their billions
of dollars and people
who do their bidding
in every country and workplace
and fight among themselves
for status and privilege.

the world under their thumb
one word, one look from a Lord
can end the lives of millions
deprived of medicine
deprived of land
deprived of homes
deprived of food
deprived of hope
they wither and die

The Lords of the Earth
invisible to us
pull the strings
of their prime ministers,
presidents and premiers.
As we settle in for a night of TV.
Eyes and mouths open
we take our numbing drugs
and mumble about ball games
and Hollywood stars.

One day
we ordinary people
we who love the earth
and each other
will break into their fortresses
and drag their desiccated bodies
into the sunny day
where they will disintegrate
to the cheers of billions
of their slaves.


Onymous #7
Spell Against Enchantment

By francEyE

We call science science because it works, and we
Call magic magic because it only works when
We believe in it. I do believe in science,
And I believe in magic too, but not in all
Magic, and I definitely do not believe
in your magic, whoever you are are, if you are
Using it upon me. Whoever you are, you
Cannot hurt me with your spells or even
Affect me at all. Magic, in fact, sent to me
Will return to its maker; I am a magic
Mirror. Sometimes I see my strong bright animus
Shining, sending all harm home again to be loved.


The Poem Takes A Hundred Years To Come

By Philomene Long

The poem takes
A hundred years
To come

And then it blooms
At night

The branch almost breaks
Under her weight

She is old
She can bear the loneliness

Although she invented angels
She was driven out of heaven

Are you astonished
By her white mouth?

She will tell you
It is blood
That blood is
The silent country

Its orchards ablaze
With the bleeding


Low tide at dawn

Mixtures of moisture and twilight.
Long pools of water
Flowing variable streams.
In a quiet offshore breeze.

Washed over silt.
Glassy layers
Coated patterned sands.
Gravity’s creation with matter.

Clouds mirrored in liquid crimson.
Broken shells of ancient life.
Arranged fractal and glimmering death.
Set by the water’s grace.

The mystery of now slain by the past.
Tears returned to the source.
Hushed inner dialogues silent.
Merged water and sky.

Seeing the blindness.
Driven into going.
Filled with knowing not knowing.
On footprints washed away.

–Ray Steding


16:29 Thursday, July 8, 2010, Dan Blocker State Beach, Malibu….. Who is this old man mirrored back at me? Where did HE come from? So mysteriously, He made his quiet entrance, unannounced; And, likewise, did he catch me so suspensed By living. Let my guard down. Unaware That he’d come creeping up to find me here. His face, vaguely familiar. I should know, Should recognize him readily. Who knew? Was not expecting company. Strange fear Has seized my being. I did not prepare For his arrival. Fortune was misplaced. A treasury of lines, gray hair, all sensed Through weary eyes; nearly too tired to see. Who let this old man in to call on me?…. Roger Houston of the Talking Stick, Venice


Ode to Swami X

Swami oh Salami you are just a slice
in my sandwich of life full of wisdom
& love, words of ruff kindness.
Direct connection to everyone’s Soul,
you are the Dharma Tiger on earth
for a while, patching broken hearts & minds,
bringing much joy to many.
You are a very rare jewel
this time around, simpatico
to Buddha, Lenny Bruce &
Mickey Mouse too!
You are a friend’s friend to all people,
a Galaxy of compassion & knowledge
sensitive to every twitch,
& you don’t miss a step
even when you sort of hesitate,
or stutter words of wisdom;
you are playful with people’s potentials.
Your middle name should be laugh
or Be Happy, as you say so often.
These words are for & of you, my friend
You ancient fuck.


Made Up Joe

where are you now
who caused me so
many sleepless nights
inventing reasons why
you were not knocking
at my door or ringing
my telephone to explain
why you didn’t show up
your car crashed your
battered body clawing its
way back up some steep
ravine or the police mis-
taking you for another
tossing you into a cold
damp cell without access
to the outside world
and when you finally
show up without apology
or excuse i imagine that
your love for me is so
immense you could not
show it as another might
I knew we were soul mates
even after you left town
married that girl and had
two children i knew it be-
cause you called me once
when your wife was gone
I heard it in your voice
my friends claimed you
were bored but i knew that
you realized I was your one
true love, you wanted me back
only your kids and wrongful
marriage stood in the way
surely there might have been
another joe, selfish, false,
uncaring, cruelly absent who
looked a bit like you but

not to me joe not to me

–Joy Buckley


Night in Venice Beach

By Robert Watts

At Greta’s place, by the bay
We take our bikes and ride away
Down the bike-path, thru the sand
On our way to see the band.
An African band plays on the pier
Loud and hypnotic, for all to hear
A sea of people sit down below
Where else would you want to go?
The gathering dusk turns to night
Paper lanterns are shining bright,
We drink and talk and smoke
Jim can be relied on, for a funny joke
The “other-world” feeling is the one I crave
Down here on the beach, it’s my fave
Oh – the music’s over, time to go
That’s the end of this show.
We take our bikes and ride
Jim yells at everyone “Venice Pride!!”
“Free Venice from the Chains of Los Angeles!!!”
A slogan good for all of us.
A Venice free, unconditionally,
would keep more money, locally.
With this thought in mind,
I begin to unwind,
We wind up at a surf shop party,
Lots of hip people, very arty,
We hang around outside,
Up comes a young woman, she does ride,
stops to listen and catches my eye,
I should talk to her, but the moment goes by,
In a minute she’s off, on the fly,
We hang some more, drinking beer,
Then we’re off, Greta’s place is near.
Back in her nest,
it’s the best,
We drink, smoke, play music and all,
Then her neighbor pounds on the wall,
We’re a bit taken aback,
But Greta just gives him flack,
turns up porno real loud,
to show him, this party is allowed!!!
It’s a battle, I guess, but then time to go,
Jim and I go with the flow,
Back to the city, it’s a pity,
Fun-time is over………a nice stopover.

Categories: Poetry