Poetry Night / March 16, 2024

“Still Warm but Rain” / Artwork by Diane Lockett


March 22, 2024

Dear Friends,

Several times each year, the Section has a Poetry Night in which friends and members of the Section read original poetry and in which poetry lovers in the Section read favorite poems, if there is time. Original poetry has the spotlight and priority. We’re lucky that we have several poets who participate regularly in the Section meetings.

Poetry Nights occur on Zoom. Some of our poets reside in places far from Northern California.

The Section also sponsors New Moon Salons. These are evening of poetry, music, conversation, storytelling, jokes and snacks in the style of early romanticism. Since so many friends and members live at a distance, we switched to hybrid meetings for these salons.

Here are the original poems and translations read by the Section poets.

All original poems and artwork are ©2024 by the signed poet or artist.


Philip Thatcher

“Prodigal’s Return”


He comes home one afternoon
just after his father has spoken
to his brother: You wonder
what has become of him

but remember, he did not slip
away in the night but rose at
daybreak, gathered in what was
his to take, walked out the door

ready to spend his life to gain
what knowing of the world is
his to purchase, as you would
conserve that which is yours

Consider that each is needed:
holding what is of value close
to the heart and opening the heart
lavishly at whatever cost

He will return to us triumphant
the world in his pocket, or
broken, with a life in his eyes
and the world in his heart

A servant enters with a word
and a gesture

Shedding his years as a garment
their father fills the door frame
for but an instant
and then is gone


“What Was It?”


What was it
you said in
that moment?

Your words
tossed over
your shoulder

leaving me
and wondering

turned the
whole of me
just so

and I heard
what l would
not hear

saw what l
could not

an open door
yet my self
caught still

between a
faded dream
of myself

and my fear
of never

held in place
until my

behind me
let go
of what was
letting go
of me

One foot moved
and the other




Here am I

Awash in words
with no anchor

Without referent
or references


where now?

A poem
or koan

Hide out
in a dissertation

to a dictionary

Get a real job
no references
still dangling

And what
am I dangling

From what
am I






Una Kobrin



Curious how the breaking bud
brings a known surprise,
a recollection drawn from us
like a newborn infant,
still covered in cosmic milk,
experiencing the first
startling freedom of the air,
steering our senses to fragrance upon fragrance –
baby skin, earth breath, green rain,
butter-cupped meadows.

Spring is the first thought remembrance –
the just birthed idea we already know.
It’s not only crocus and plum blossoms awakening
but a living picture of the earth beginning again,
never lost but breathed back
into our communal resurrection.


“Turning into Spring”


Out there at the edge of the garden
by the wild field, young ones are playing,

twittering in high notes of warblers,
running with flight in their bodies

as they chase after each other’s fears,
swapping them with laughter,

disappearing from the seeming-solid world —
enchanting the invisibles out of the wild.

Then one by one they break away
into the marvel of singleness,

gulp a larger breath, funneling the big world
into their small surrounds,

and begin twirling, sensing the hooping orbit,
stretching themselves out elastic,

fingers grasp at the outskirts
melding into the motion picture,

insides remembering earth-turning,
still spinning when they stop, holding

magnetic stillness… without boundaries …
flung into the ordinariness of dervishes.




Roger Rindge



If you’re to press anything
out of yourself,
let it be thanks—

but what the world wants,
let that press into you.
Her need is what? Her waters

flowing after rain, the bees
that attend her, shimmering,
converted to light; her dark

body, out of time and the lightness
of ash, taking you underground—


“Wondering About A Past Life”

For My Father


In China, I think,
and in a garden—surely there—
sweeping, raking,

your mind emptying
all troubles away—
only the pebbles, only the shape

of the path—before these too
yield, and you would
accept another life.

If you did not send this,
then I, leaning the broom
against the gate, send it to you.




Dan Davis

“druids against dread”


the oaks’ leaves once more appear so save
and fortify the root the trunk— limb— even
shoot the nut sups— for its ovular shape—
its harder shell harsh winds drop— to no

bright leaf enlargen— darken—
pacify the sun your source

hail long days’

weigh no note of your survival—
dance the still light wind
spring brings—




down the dell up from the river
wild turkeys shallow plumed
bronze, jade, turquoise
with purple’s amethyst—

where’s the tail that tells his tale?

his wattle’s droop is all he shows:
see the white azalea which
in the center of spring
holds a rose throat
never shall sing—

(the wattle
the gobbles

daffodils at large toms continue traverse.
(the wattle so risible its waggle unstable—
its colors express his verse).

hear ye. hear ye. you dun hounds you lunge
your fence you’ve been made cage
at best your dull bark your domesticated growls
mere snarls—

the daffodils at large: the wild turkeys stroll their strut a show.
what of the snood? where does the caruncle begin?
why did his tail not stand on end?

(the white azalea with a rosy throat
the same as tom’s wattle enthralled).

with a host of furious fancies
to the wilderness i wander
yet will i sing
poor tom will injure nothing
it’s spring it’s spring (thanksgiving fall be past)
wild turkey wild turkey
no matter no pale master his mystery
no sacrifice he

no overnight low the higher
his perch he’s not purchased
asleep like an oak on the oak tree




Susan Koppersmith

“Poet in Old Age”


I remember that last Wednesday morning, I sat at this desk writing a poem started at birth. It is still being written though now the handwriting is more legible because old thoughts have substance and truth is more easily apprehended though I do not know sometimes what day it is. I do know that right now darkness is somewhere else. Each evening, for many years, I walked a straight path towards a horizon over which stars flickered like old friends in the velvet darkness.

Encased by straight streets, the park across the road is where dogs are unleashed and most days they jump and wrestle with each other.
Last Thursday morning the rain cleaned the air and washed the trees and, as I puttered, the sky cleared and I saw crimson blazing from the maples in the park. That colour flowed into my eyes and filled them for a long time. The colour red was everywhere, for hours.
The dogs are still playing on the grass. Someone has thrown a frisbee and all them run to fetch it. The big black one grasps it firmly in his teeth and runs back to his owner

This year, in a life where the earth has circled the sun 80 times, the days unfold as if planned by someone else. Memories shuffle like clouds. Faces of the deceased appear vividly, then they’re gone.I hear the phone and, before I can answer, it stops. I worry when friends haven’t called back. I worry that I might fall down.

I hear wild dogs bark in the park. Do they need food? Where are the owners? I want to write about them but can’t find a pencil. What day is it?




Peter Rennick

“Spring Planting Valentine”


In a barren patch of ground
I threw some new seeds down
And placed four narrow sticks
In the sign of a star upon it
And poured some water
Salvaged from the rain
And watched it settle
Sparkling in the sun
Into the darkness of the soil
And having made my grave
I knelt and prayed
This new moon would unfold
From memories I’ve saved
A rising of green and gold


“Driven Into Spring Valentine”


Given the wrong directions
I found myself lost in the desert
On a road going nowhere
Run out of time to make it
Back to my appointment
So I just kept driving alone
On this twisting hillside road
The full sun leading me on
It had rained the day before
And the pure air was lending the desert
A luster that lit it from within
Great stretches where the original
And exiled trees survive alone
The loveliness and agonies of spring


“Something Else Valentine”


Sorry isn’t quite enough
To bring back the spring
Something else must intervene
In the heart’s underground
That stirs the stones to think
They might possibly be flowers
That someday it could happen
And the dizzy flowers start
To dream that they can fly
Right up out of the darkness
Of the putrid silly heart
So spring can ravage them
With a whole new sorrow
And a whole new joy




Nicholas Morrow

“Enkindling Love”

This poem was written as an invocation and prayer to begin a conference hosted by the Anthroposophical Society in Canada entitled, “That Good May Become,” held in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada, on a farm near the small hamlet of Gimli, September, 2023. I did not attend this conference.


Upon the blessed Earth I stand,
upright, present, and free,
feet steadfast on sacred ground,
head buoyant with a blue sky above,
heart pulsing with the rhythm of time,
a conduit uniting Earth and Heaven,
a taurus giving consciousness form.

I extend my arms, embracing existence.
From my left I receive spring’s blessing
inspired by winter’s slumber and dream.
To my right I return the harvest
with seeds of tomorrow’s becoming,
all that is, flowing through me,
like a river from source to sea.

In front of me the future lies;
behind me the past is ever present;
from the sacred center within me
I step into the unknown on trust,
praying that my destiny will find me,
that my actions will be pure and just,
with beauty and goodness the outcome.

Within my seven-fold being
in my heart my soul resides,
the pure white light of Christ
shining as a beckon for love,
honoring all that is as myself
with thought, feeling, and deed,
returning the blessings I receive.

We gather in the beauty of the season,
asking questions and imagining answers,
opening to inspiration from spirit
and becoming what spirit apprehends,
one with the Earth and Her creatures,
enkindling love to inform and heal us,
to nourish all that is and will be.


“On the Path Again”


I open the window and unlatch the gate,
cross the threshold hoping I’m not late,
but when in a hurry I stumble and fall,
and when I linger get nowhere at all,
the middle ground is difficult to find,
looking too hard wearies the mind,
not daring to look is like being blind.

What is the solution for one such as I,
loving the sensation when I venture to fly,
appreciating beauty and dancing with fate,
taking a chance and making a date
without controlling the rules of the game,
but allowing the divine to call out my name –
when I am ready, the dragon is tamed.

Along comes a man with a supercilious frown
wearing a royal robe and a golden crown,
and I, desperate, with an eye on the prize
put on a mask and appear to be wise,
but, selling my soul is my ultimate demise,
although I am wealthy with fame my estate,
icing by itself doesn’t make a cake.

Then I met beauty and sacrificed my heart,
lost in romance and blind from the start,
desire consuming and passion burning deep,
while I made promises I could not keep,
deceiving my lover and deceiving myself,
becoming as a tyrant unable to laugh,
another chance missed, betraying my task.

Living a long life gives time to reflect,
crossing the threshold and not looking back,
beauty everywhere, in all living things,
loving without the burden love brings,
embracing truth without requiring proof,
the guardian no longer guarding the gate –
on the path again, pursuing my fate.




Bruce Donehower

“Gretl’s Tale”


At first the forest was not unfriendly.

I followed my father, trusting
his heavy footsteps, mindful
to keep good manners
as Hansel dropped his pebbles one by one.

“Why are you looking back?” the woman asked me.
“Don’t you know
that everything required lies at hand?
The world you imagine . . .
I am your alpha and omega.”

The wind clutched tightly at my throat.
The trees loomed tall.
Hansel got fat.
He is so greedy!

She killed the cat and ate the kittens.
She gave me a pile of books.

I dreamed of an archangel waving a sword.
Was it a sword?
Or something swifter?
When I awoke,

the woman said: “Why are you shivering, dearie?
The world is not cold!
Throw more wood into our furnace!
And shake out the bedding!
You lazy toad!”

All day,
she told me stories of her childhood,
until I wept.

“What has become of Father?” Hansel asked.
I had no clue.
So I told him a tale.

“Father,” I told him,
“Is in the vale
where Mother tends the sheep,
and little Spirit Brother lies asleep.”

Hansel smiled and said:
“O when I die,
sweet sister, dear,
and all my bones are nibbled clean,
plant me in the garden
where we played.
There, beneath our mama’s juniper tree.”

I dreamed of the archangel who waves the sword.
I dreamed of dark women who speak dark words.
I dreamed of the priest with cheesy face.
He hated mice.
He gave us grace.