Category Archives: Poetry

student writings

Shy

 

S

Accessible Word Version_ Shy_Kayla_Wilton

Shy by Kayla Wilton

 I received my English degree with a Spanish minor from CSU Stanislaus in Spring 2019, and I will complete my creative writing certificate at CCSF in Spring 2020. Writing is my passion, but I also dabble in drawing, painting, photography, and performance. My work has appeared in Penumbra Literary Magazine.

Glass canister with metal top
It’s Not a Salt Shaker by Travis Yallup

It’s Not A Saltshaker by Travis Yallup

Travis Yallup is a contemporary realist who lives and works in San Francisco. He has studied art at various colleges and universities over the past eleven years and has developed a preference for drawing and painting in a variety of mediums. His  focus usually comes from life, photos, and collages and he often draws an inspiration from influences such as Andrew Wyeth and Vija Celmins.

Solanum Lycopersicum

light from overhead fixtures

reflects off of your hallowed surface

like distant low beams

cutting through fog 

 

cold and unyielding

though supple in places,

your smooth skin covers familiar topography

in reds and oranges so fine

hiding the vulnerable flesh within 

 

nightshade sepal

that you wear as a crown

does it remind you of the flower

which commenced your only season? 

 

your scent is strongest

at the point where you jettisoned the connection

to the vine of your birth

leaving behind countless brothers and sisters

to find your destiny before my eyes 

 

thank you.

Written By: Steven Louis Ray

Steven Louis Ray is a multidisciplinary artist working in traditional film and darkroom processes, in addition to writing and recording experimental music and writing poetry. He’s currently slogging his way to a creative writing certificate and studying printmaking at City College of San Francisco. More of his photography can be viewed at stevenlouisray.com

Copy of The Little People in Our Plants_Visual Arts_Procreate Digital Illustration

Art Title: The Little People in our Plants

Artist: Bianca Joy Catolos

Bianca Joy Catolos is a graphic designer based in the Bay Area  with a passion for drawing and illustration. She illustrates to document memories, stories, and assets of life in a quirky, abstract and colorful way to share and commentate how she sees people and world. Bianca is a digital artist with a traditional background in painting and often mixes the two to create endless worlds and scenes to fuel the imagination.

Bag of Marbles

We were shooting marbles with our older brother

Arnulfo kneeling on a patch of dirt

Front of a mud brown apartment building 

 

Clink as one marble collides      into another

He won a ruby glass Cleary 

 

Shiny marbles, shiny joy in our eyes

As he was 27 and playing with us kids

My little brother Herbie and me

Written By: Rocio Ramirez

Rocio Ramirez is a Counselor who works with families. She has a Masters in Counseling Psychology and a Certificate in Expressive arts therapies. She has been a Presenter for IVAT, Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Trauma, in La Jolla. She has recently presented on the use of Sandplay therapy and Collage with Domestic violence survivors. She is currently writing a book on sandplay therapy and art therapy with disenfranchised populations. She is always happiest when she is next to the sea.

Copy of Canid I_Visual Arts_Pastel on Stipple Paper

Art Title: Canid I

Artist: Teresa Beatty

San Francisco based artist, Teresa Beatty, has spent the last few years honing her skills in printmaking and drawing. Her interests span from scientific illustration to art therapy. In pursuit of bettering her craft she’s traveled across the globe. She uses art as a tool for healing, expression and connection.

Embryonic Drums 

I need to pasture this plain

but have no water supply,

no aqueous piping to advance the drink 

 

that last river to cross

in the bloodvein of bone-filled alleys

where bibles and knives

lay used and worn 

 

hummingbirds careen in plein air,

flip, then flop,

land in a grove of latticed leaves

their journeys immense 

 

a jigsaw of cracks

beneath my feet

show intricate veins on stones

that map the wandering mountains 

 

a bony little fist of flowers

in a smoke of moon

ignite the petaled sky 

 

whirlwinds tousle my hair,

over the barn weathervanes

spin like pinwheels

brooms lose straw 

 

clouds crash together

in cool combo

the notes of chords

like embryonic drums

beat through the woods 

 

bursts of raindrops

like marbles from a sack

soak undertow roots

the waters of floods

cyclone through the streets

the parched land

comes to an end

Written By: Gloria Keeley

I’m a graduate of San Francisco State University with a BA and MA in Creative Writing.  My work has appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Slipstream, FORUM and other journals. I graduated from CCSF and I taught at CCSF for 34 years and was the editor of FORUM in 1969.

Copy of spitblossoms_spring_Visual Art

Art Title: Spring

Artist: Spitblossoms

CCSF student, Bay Area born and Tijuana-raised, Spitblossoms is a visual artist and successful musician who has always found joy and meaning in realizing his artistic visions and sharing with a community of artists. For Spitblossoms, art is a meditation, release, source of pride and sustenance that helps him perfect his vision, overcome hardship, and continue to push forward to achieve his goals and dreams.

Sticky Pavement

Tense, blurry sight. 

Status? Stagnant water 

without the contemplation. 

 

A deep-rooted 

spinal itch, 

trails like a trickle, 

not cool,

not sweet, 

up to my neck and down 

to my tailbone. 

 

Let me breathe myself 

into the night air that drifts 

and clings to my nose tip 

ears, eyebrows, lips, 

chest. 

 

I want to melt 

into the sticky pavement 

because it sounds cool 

and might smell like 

woodsmoke, 

carried on the rain. 

 

But I am filled with string, 

muffled and amassed like 

cobwebs and candyfloss. 

 

Tense-eyed, blurry sight and heated cheeks from stagnant 

studying, still water but without the contemplation but instead a deep- 

rooted spinal itch trailing like a trickle, not cool, not sweet, up to 

my neck and down 

to my tailbone. 

 

Let me breathe 

 

breathe myself into the night air that drifts so sweetly across, clings ever-so 

slightly to my nose tip, ears, dry lips, 

tongue, chest. And let me forget all the rest, that mass of muffled string filling 

me so unproductively. Yes I know it’s me but how can I help myself when 

 

I want to melt into the sticky pavement because it sounds cool and 

might smell like woodsmoke floating on the rain. Bathe me in the white light that’s dulled 

by the misted streets, let it seep into my pores and line my lungs so they fill. 

 

I am filled with string, taught, but with too much of it, strung energy 

with nowhere to project to.

Written By: Helen Halliwell

Originally from England, Helen is currently studying English Literature in the Bay Area, and hopes to one day move back to the UK to continue studying and pursue teaching. When not reading or writing, she tries to keep a keen eye out for things in people or nature to inspire her poetry, stories, and sketches.

Copy of Canid IV_Visual Arts_Linocut Print

Art Title: Canid IV

Artist: Teresa Beatty

San Francisco based artist, Teresa Beatty, has spent the last few years honing her skills in printmaking and drawing. Her interests span from scientific illustration to art therapy. In pursuit of bettering her craft she’s traveled across the globe. She uses art as a tool for healing, expression and connection.

Momma Spider

The tenuous strings that hold her aloft 

Are of her own creation. 

She weaves them and deals them, 

Spins until she feels celestially secure. 

 

Strung between a hearty green branch 

And a wooden-panelled house, 

She softly sways against the pitch 

And fall of the warm-winged night, 

Silhouetted by the tiny icy stars 

That align her grand design 

With pinpointed, shining accuracy. 

 

She creates brilliantly and with ambition, 

So that even the moon sees fit to backlight her vision 

And allows her to nestle, 

Centered, in her crescent curves, 

While the rest surround and applaud — 

Diamonds who whisper and wink. 

 

Momma spider sits in the sky, 

Without an inkling of fear, 

For her spindly reach stretches far and beyond 

Outplaying fate with a hand of her own.

Writen By: Helen Halliwell

Originally from England, Helen is currently studying English Literature in the Bay Area, and hopes to one day move back to the UK to continue studying and pursue teaching. When not reading or writing, she tries to keep a keen eye out for things in people or nature to inspire her poetry, stories, and sketches.

Copy of WomanWithHat_Visual Arts

Art Title: Woman With Hat

Artist: Suzanne Notario

My photographic journey started seven years ago when I took my first photography class at CCSF. This course ignited my passion for making pictures. It has become a way of expressing myself while capturing moments in time with my camera.

Neon Pharmacy

I know I’ve stepped on sands of beaches

hit on all sixes; shot the Chicago typewriter

mammy cradles Jazzbo to the living end

near the villa I kiss his warm lips,

tarot cards over dry lake beds

near Missouri tugboats

map my route

wings flap like coattails as

anchors fall from the sky

leaving their sailor moon

over the lily pond snowflakes mix

like neon pharmacy by the candy aisle

butterflies land, colors camouflaged.

in the backyard the dog gathers bones

to study archaeology

the sound of crab apples in the distance

lingers in the key of leaving

chopsticks click; once conjoined

the capo slides onto the guitar 

Written By: Gloria Keeley

I’m a graduate of San Francisco State University with a BA and MA in Creative Writing.  My work has appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Slipstream, FORUM and other journals. I graduated from CCSF and I taught at CCSF for 34 years and was the editor of FORUM in 1969.

Copy of ornithophobia_Visual Arts_photography

Art Title: Ornithophobia

Artist: Eunbin Lee

I am a student studying photography  from Korea. Living in a new culture and environment of the United States, I try to express through pictures what I felt based on various daily experiences. I feel a sense of freedom by expressing it through my photographs rather than words. I hope people can feel the feelings that I want to convey through my photos.

Pant Legs Protrude

Gritty sneakers, one 

sock, raggedy pant legs protrude 

from a soiled pockmarked box 

abandoned in a doorway 

the wrest of him 

slumbers hidden 

in precious privacy. 

 

Next door excited 

people queue up 

for a grand opening 

salivating for pricey chicken 

and waffles and the hullabaloo 

of musictangledchatter to numb 

conflicted hearts.

Written By: Grace D’Anca

I came to San Francisco in the late 60’s to pursue theater and dance, performed with small companies and wrote poetry too; discovered creative arts therapy as a profession and    worked encouraging people facing challenges to express themselves. Retired now, I love taking writing and art classes at CCSF.

Copy of Flowers_illustration_ink

Art Title: Flowers

Artist: Dimas Arellano

Illustrator of queer things and Portfolio Club representative pushing for more Art exposure on campus! From Los Angeles but have called San Francisco home for nine years. Love City College to death and want students to continue to express themselves as much as they can through the Arts programs offered.

Court Geometry

r           r

  u      e

     b b

pavement 

 

cassette tape beat

don’t chase the ball into the street 

l            r

  e       e

    a th

hardwood 

 

scoreboard screams

television bleacher dreams 

 

he and i memorize the lines

— on the court

on the ball —

in our pronouns 

 

sweat and contact and equipment closet-

ed

after practice 

 

one on one 

 

a timeout stolen from the game with no final buzzer

in which every move is a statistic

and on the line is

out

Written By: Matt Luedke

Matt Luedke is a former editor of Forum who continues to be inspired by the writing community he’s found through CCSF. He has also been published in Prairie Light Review and Ripples in Space. Links to his published works are at mattluedke.com.

Away

Our eyes met amongst the oak desks 

 

and rough wooden school benches, 

pencils lost between their skinny cracks, 

 

and stray chalk dust on shiny wax 

 

floors that reflect your blue 

sneakers reaching out to mine 

 

But only briefly— 

you headed out the door, 

 

shoes squeaking in the wax.

Written By: Britt Trachtenberg

Britt Trachtenberg is a high school senior who plans to major in creative writing in college starting in August. They are inspired to write mostly by nature. Their favorite poet is Mary Oliver.