Tag Archives: poetry

Bricks – Jason Szydlik

it takes
a lot
of bricks
to build
one one
by one
and it
takes a
lot of
time and
sweat to
take back
the ones
that weren’t
in the
first place

Jason Szydlik
Jason Szydlik studied poetry at City College.

Nikii Davidson

Nikii Davidson
This was from one of my favourite days last year. At my five year old best friends birthday party. A day filled with face paint, glitter, giggles, small creatures and fun moment lenses.

Irony at Unity – Corey Weinstein

What a joy to walk to school,
A path well-trod, to and fro,
Past the bus and street car stop,
Dumping loads of molding minds,
For me a bid to keep from molding.
Ring of the rails, the breaking buses
Ptishshsh, ktoooshah, whiiish.
Unity Plaza our common ground
from bus to coffee to class,
Tabled chaired talkers in full throat,
A mixed multitude, pods of Chinese kids
one fourth my age. Flirtatious youth
studying, soaking up the sun and each other.
Grannies with rollaways and canes,
Homeless dragging houses behind them.
No suits, more stick figures than six figures.

Clacking of skate boards crash the air,
As I set to walk into the clatter
a reared up board and boy tumble at me,
The trick not meant to crash old men.
His “sorry, sorry” met with my brush off.
Walking away he yells something about
old white men, I turn to his “you heard me.”
Angry young man of color liberating his grudge.

But that evening I could only puzzle,
The irony of a cat call about whitey
three days after eleven of my tribe were
massacred by a lone white supremacist
while in our sacred place at peace in prayer.

Corey Weinstein
Since retirement Corey Weinstein has devoted himself to his passions of clarinet and poetry, playing with the Or Shalom music ensemble, chamber groups and his neighborhood jazz band. He published two CDs and wrote a play, Erased: Babi Yar, the SS and Me performed in 2016 to commemorate the 1941 massacre at Babi Yar.

Untitled 2
Recycled Toys on Wood Base
Bernadette Bohan

Bernadette Bohan
Bernadette Bohan is a multidisciplinary artist and renaissance woman, not only topping her long-standing fine art career with new recycled, museum-ready collection of pop-art pieces but she is also a singer-songwriter, musician, writer, performance and installation artist, dancer, talk-show host and activist. She is a member of both Ducal and Imperial Councils and on the leadership team of the Comfort & Joy non-profit. She has raised awareness and thousands of dollars for amazing causes in the Bay Area and beyond. Her impact and influence on the art scene in San Francisco is fierce and pertinent, contemporary and charismatic.

Albeida – Thomas A. E. Hesketh

Without count
Or sound
Light’s rays recede
Timeless pace
Turquoise yields
Melds into azure
Blue hues deepen
Dusk approaches
Silent silver specks
Creation’s eyes
Fireflies or faeries
Mute echoes
Shadows dissolve
Emerge as stars
Cycle in turn

Thomas A. E. Hesketh
I was born in Toronto, Canada, on a cusp, last millennium; none of it was my fault.
 Most of the things that have happened to me have happened to other persons, too. Coincidence!?!? 
I enjoy poetry because of its verbal range, except the caesuras,
 and chess because it is non-verbal, until one talks about it alpha-numerically. P-Q4.

Acrylic on Canvas
Michelle Engeldinger

Michelle Engeldinger
This piece, titled “Neptune,” is inspired by the eighth and farthest known planet from the sun in the solar system and its moon- Triton. With its vast detail and intricacies, Neptune is primarily composed of ice and rocks, which can be seen in the abstraction of this piece.

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.

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
Joseph Johnston
I worry about my homeless friend
Joseph Johnston
Reading Pulitzer Prize Winner
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

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
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.

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


Swimming in the lost

The last island
A ring of stone

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

Corporate love God

All songs sound the

Ice cream

King Rat
Stoking fear
Nuclear madness
Caged children

Of the Other

Nightmare of
Climate Change

While nothing
Gets done


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

Saint Allen
Where are you tonight
Greybeard fool

The same
The madness is the
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
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

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
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.