Tag Archives: poetry

billy goat hill – Anna Sergeeva

i was reminded by
the totems of time
that hold up my mind
of two hunks of cold grey stone
where we sat stoned
watching fresh steel soar
cutting the sky without consent
bleeding oracles foretold
and you said this city is
dying dead death
eyes fogged with routine
unaware of the other side of
the truth
the side that’s not so nice to hear
the one that says
you, too,
are responsible
for this mess
for lives led on sidewalks
for roofs forcibly removed
for concrete coffins carved
for weeks without warmth
for months that look like years
on spirits beaten
and faces distressed
you, too,
are responsible
for this mess

Anna Sergeeva
Anna Sergeeva is an interdisciplinary artist born in Ukraine and currently based in San Francisco.

mandala
pen and ink
veronique fleming

veronique fleming
“I draw and create art to tune into a deeper sense of calm. It is a meditative practice to allow my attention to focus completely in the present moment through whatever is being created on the page.”
veronique fleming is a local artist currently living on the city island of alameda.

Storm Drain – Gloria Keeley

I could have gone to work, driven with windows open
rain, tiny pins on my face; traffic, slow and easy
I would have missed the news: the houses falling into the hole
like old tinker toys in a child’s sandbox
I could have driven all morning,
tree parts sucked into my car’s grill
a fallen branch here; a crushed car there

picture the tree crashing right through
the house where that family used to watch tv
now a sunken living room, furniture boats adrift

ballerina with dirty toe shoes pirouetting into the earth
the scene of the Seine, French-like and elegant
trees and stumps, broken plaster of Paris
paint mixed with mud, Moulin Rouge dripping

toys askew, broken, shattered, split
the happy clown cracks the big log legs
I used to play Cootie, putting the arms on, then the eyes,
the ears, then joyfully pulling them apart, bloodless and clean

I could have glanced casually out my windows
the winds blowing peoples’ lives apart, bits of their history
riding a gust to town, the garbage cans flying by,
like little soldiers in the war-torn streets

you would have laughed at how warm I looked
in my warm-ups drinking mocha decaf

Gloria Keeley
I’m a graduate of San Francisco State University with a BA and MA in Creative Writing. I’m a former student of CCSF and taught at CCSF for 36 years. When I was a student in the 1960s I was editor of FORUM and was lucky enough to have a few poems published.

Homeless but with perfect makeup
Photography
Joseph Johnston
I worry about my homeless friend
Photography
Joseph Johnston
Reading Pulitzer Prize Winner
Photography
Joseph Johnston

Joseph Johnston
Joseph Johnston has been taking photography classes at City College since 2011. He has won the top photography price of the department, the Cherkis Award, for a photo-story about a family member dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction. One of his current projects is a sympathetic depiction of homeless people.

Healthcare Settings – Maria Chow

Health
What does that really mean
The physical mental social
And not merely the absence of disease
And not merely the absence of infirmities
But in this environment
Where the mentally challenged are seen as weak
Where it’s easier to hide our vulnerabilities

Because that’s what we were taught
To repress our thoughts
To live problem-free
Or at least appear problem-free

We encourage patients to exercise
But look at our diets
Look at our diets

If health is wealth
Then many of us are poor
But we continue to ignore
This
is an issue

We’re taught empathy
And at the same time to not take things so personally
The personal crosses dangerous boundaries
So we depersonalize
We desensitize

We detach ourselves from the crowd
Outside longing for somebody to notice their pain
And the reminder calls begin to sound the same
Like customer service looped tapes
“Hi this is Maria from the Over 60 Health Center, How may I help you?
Your appointment’s at 2
Your appointment’s at 8
Have a good day!”

Next! The medical assistant calls
There goes the patient treatment assembly line
One pill here, one pill there.

Next!
And this goes on every 15 minutes
And this goes on every day

They open their doors to those
With gold and silver
But if he can’t afford health
They don’t deliver

If every human life has equal value
Why does the term, “pediatrics,” ring bells
But the word, “geriatrics,” sing silence
If every human life has equal value
Why are some still at the sidelines?

And to be healed
How long must we wait?
And to be healed
Are pills the only way?

Health isn’t just bandaging a paper cut
Or casting a broken arm
It’s also about mending spirits

And sending “Are you okay?” messages
To those that need to hear it
And health doesn’t merely happen in clinics
With doctors and stethoscopes
And formal white coats

Health happens in our homes
A place to feel warm and safe
to return to at the end of our days
Health happens in schools
When the 6th grader gets ready for PE
and when the 5th grader finally stands up to his bully
Health happens when we’re outdoors
Inhaling fresh air (inhale)
and exhaling despair (exhale)
Health happens at the grocery stores
Will it be carrot sticks on aisle one?
or corn chips on aisle four?

So if you tell me that health happens in a 10×10 exam room
I’d say, “Well – homes, parks, and schools…”
These are healthcare settings too
These are healthcare settings too

Maria Chow
Maria double majored in Rhetoric and Social Welfare at UC Berkeley. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with nature, playing badminton, and eating string cheese. Of course, all of these are better with friends and family.

MUNI Passenger
Jhon Terrado

Dragon Love God – Skooter Fein

Dragon
Love
God

Swimming in the lost
Seas

The last island
A ring of stone
Volcanic
Smoldering

O bearded Ginsberg
Queer saint
Of poetry

If the best minds of your
Generation were destroyed
By madness

How about ours
How about
Endless lattes
While looking at
That glorious glowing rectangle

So smooth & sleek
How it feels so good
In the hand

Hypnotizing
Mind
Corporate love God

All songs sound the
Same

Artisan
Everything
Cheese
Bread
Ice cream
Madness

King Rat
Sowing
Division
Stoking fear
Nuclear madness
Caged children

Intolerance
Of the Other
Race
Generation
Religion

Nightmare of
Climate Change

While nothing
Gets done

Nothing

The grand machinery
Of man seeking
Is it a heavenly
Connection
Or as simple &
Hard as
The
Meaning of
Touching another
Hand in Hand

Saint Allen
Where are you tonight
Greybeard fool

The same
The madness is the
Same
Wearing different clothes

And so is
I feel
The beauty

Skooter Fein
My mother let me eat chocolate sandwiches for breakfast as a child –
maybe that is why I write poetry today as well as drum and make picture collages

King Iguana
Sofia Ziemienski

Sofia Ziemienski
My name is Sofia Ziemienski and I am a graphic designer, but also love creating art in the “old fashion” way by hand. King Iguana is embellished past the scientific representation of an iguana, showcasing scales and anomalies that have an almost gem-like appearance inset into his head. This illustration was drawn in pencil, then colored in with Tombow pens.

We Do It to Remember – E.K. Keith

for Lizzy Hernandez

Get an old camera
see the world like it’s 1971

It’s fun
Sexual revolution in full swing
Gas is cheap
Movies cheaper
Led Zeppelin on the radio

Nixon in the White House
sending guys to Vietnam
Bone spurs
will keep you out of one
but not the other which one

Everybody’s on the Pill
but a few Gen X babies get through
Tupac
and Snoop
my little sister too

My finger’s on the shutter button
a bit of pressure
makes the aperture contract
like it’s swallowing light
from the past

Looking back
Thinking ahead

A good camera is still a lightproof box
but now the Me Generation
and Millennials
take selfies
with a phone
camera built in
a fixed aperture
a sensor
autofocus

All objects reflect light
A president’s face
contorted with rage which one
A war
hot or cold which one

We take so many pictures
and we always forget

Take another picture
memories of meaningless moments
made of reflected light

We always forget

E.K. Keith
E.K. Keith is a Latinx poet who shares her work widely in print, online, on the radio, at open mics, and on certain street corners. Her first book of poetry Ordinary Villains (Nomadic Press, 2018) has been nominated for the California Book Award, CLMP Firecracker Award, and the Pushcart Prize.

Sky Hunt
Mixed Media Photography and Digital
Jalil Kazerooni

Jalil Kazerooni
Jalil Kazerooni is an Iranian artist. He infuses his art with his passion for archeology and history. He sees his work as a way to reveal stories that lie all around us, hidden in cracks and rust. you can find more of his work at https://www.instagram.com/jalilkazerooni

MEM RY AND C GNITI N – Russell Reza-Khaliq Gonzaga

Will my mother remember who I am
The next time I see her?
Last time I was her brother, this time I’m my father
Cognition fades as neurons fail

The next time I see her
I may be nothing but a stranger
Cognition fades as neurons fail
Memory tattered, shattered and shade

I may be nothing but a stranger
Last time I was her brother, this time I’m my father
Memory tattered, shattered and shade
Will my mother remember who I am?

Russell Reza-Khaliq Gonzaga
Russell Reza-Khaliq Gonzaga is Poet Laureate Emeritus for Lake County, CA and has been on San Francisco’s National Poetry Slam team for three years. Currently working on a novel, he has worked as an Arts Educator with YouthSpeaks and Writers Corps. He is a writers workshop facilitator and hosts literary events. His mother, Aurora Marlene, lives in a care facility in Sonora CA.

PoPo’s Pearls (PoPo #7)
Oil on Paper
Ginny Fang
Follow the Sun (PoPo #4)
Oil on Canvas
Ginny Fang

Ginny Fang
Ginny Fang makes art and lives in San Francisco. Initially drawn to nearly achromatic water-based mediums and the immediate gratification of large, abstracted figurative drawing on paper, she more recently expanded her exploration to embrace color and the slower meditation of oil painting.

Through The Night – Doug Johnson

Her wares neatly placed
On the uneven sidewalk
Drawn into the shadows
She offers a free smile

No one takes notice
No one takes a look
At the finely-woven
Blue and white blanket

Nor the silver spoons,
The carefully-organized
Tea cups and saucers,
Nor the beaded purse

Back pressed to the wall
Day exchanged for night
Patiently she waits
Persistent wind passing through

Hotel in Tenderloin
Photography
Eunbin Lee

Eunbin Lee
I’m eunbin lee from South Korea. Studying digital photography at ccsf as an international student. Currently living in Nob Hill in SF, trying to take more photos of my neighborhood and arround me.

her photo – Julie Southworth

because this time she told her dad to smile,
her photo because a camera shielded her
from his not now, goddammit face, because
a camera made him forget not now,
goddammit
, her photo when light rained
onto film as she pressed the button and
commanded cheese, when she ripped apart
the drugstore envelope that held it, freed it
from the stack, her photo since even with
her dad’s arms stretched past the frame, it
still held him down, since with his face
pushed beyond its borders, she flipped him
over, scribbled “Decapitated ‘88,” her photo
as she slipped the 3 x 5 into her Oxford
Anthology of Poetry
alongside Allen
Ginsberg

Julie Southworth
Julie Southworth’s poetry has appeared multiple times in the Milvia Street Art and Literary Journal. She received her certificate in Writing Poetry from Berkeley City College in 2018 and will complete her certificate in Writing Fiction from them this year. She is a writing coach at Berkeley City College.

Matthew
Photography
Steven Salinas
Carlo
Photography
Steven Salinas

Steven Salinas
Steven is a young digital and film photographer whose style incorporates elements of street photography and portraiture. His work reconciles past and present as he focuses on the streets and people of the Bay Area as a means of exploring the warped reality of nostalgia and past trauma.

Corsets and Heels – Tehmina Khan

stilettos
stilts – water birds wading
spike heels
wedge heels
short achilles
stutter step
stumble
stop
falling
sprain

tight bodice laced up
breasts squeezed upwards
woman as hourglass
sifting sand
through squished lungs
I can’t breathe
falling
faint

squeeze into
skinny jeans
smaller than
size six
calf muscles
constricted

tight tank top
underwire
plunge
D-cup push up
modesty panels
hide nipples
show cleavage

eat less
self-control
disappear
whisper
lightheaded
what was I saying?
falling
shame

loose shalwar
boxy kurta
tell the tailor
cut it loose
belly jiggling
free underneath
silk embroidered sleeves
catch sunlight
wind blown scarf shimmers
feet firm
running
away

eat more
savor spicy
deliciousness so hot
please
take more
take space
nourish self
feed others
speak
with full mouth
full body

Do not put me on display.

Tehmina Khan
Tehmina Khan has taught science to preschoolers and citizenship to octogenarians. She teaches English and Poetry for the People at CCSF. You might find her riding her bike on foggy San Francisco days. A keen listener, she strives to learn new words in hybrid languages. Her work has been published in Forum, Written Here, OccuPoetry, and PoetsEleven. Tehmina lives with her husband and teenage son in San Francisco and keeps close to extended family around the bay.

Aging Poppy
Photography
Gayle Markow

Sweep – Y Lowy

to closely monitor your working liquids
and to have found his voice glassy and
unbearable and to have left

the room to cry in the hallway
and to have found someone already there,
crying.

it’s just that you thought
the flood had already come
so long ago and now it’s

the aftershock,
all reels and strained waters
and you have to go home

to fish the mop out from the closet
so you can sweep the waves clean
back into the sea

stop hourly to drink ice water
and then continue
again

with your life,
all the hottest days
booked up for sweeping

the oiled blues from the cracks
in the
tile

Y Lowy
Y Lowy is a writer, visual artist, performer and musician based in San Francisco, California. Y’s poetry has been published in Fifth Wednesday + and Forum Magazine, and she attended the Ox-Bow School Fall 2018 Writer’s Residency program. Y is currently working on her first short story and full-length album.

River
Photography
Nathan Morales

Nathan Morales
A rediscovered childhood passion that is leading to new adventures. Currently living in the city, and retaking photo classes.