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Poetry Summer 2021    fiction    all issues

Cover of Poetry Summer 2021


Diana Akhmetianova

Monique Jonath
& other poems

Alix Christofides Lowenthal
Before and After
& other poems

Rebbekah Vega-Romero
La Persona Que Quiero Ser
& other poems

Oak Morse
Incandescent Light That Peeks Through Secrets
& other poems

George Kramer
The Last Aspen Stand
& other poems

Elizabeth Sutterlin
Meditations on Mars
& other poems

Holly Marie Roland
& other poems

Devon Bohm
A Bouquet of Cherry Blossoms
& other poems

Ana Reisens
In praise of an everyday object
& other poems

Maxi Wardcantori
The Understory
& other poems

William A. Greenfield
& other poems

Karen L Kilcup
The Sky Is Just About to Fall
& other poems

Pamela Wax
He dreams of birds
& other poems

Mary Jane Panke
& other poems

a mykl herdklotz
Mouettes et Mastodontes
& other poems

Claudia Maurino
Good Pilgrim
& other poems

Mary Pacifico Curtis
One Mystical Day
& other poems

Tess Cooper
Airport Poem
& other poems

Peter Kent
Congress of Ravens
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
White Women Running
& other poems

Bill Cushing
Creating a Corpse
& other poems

Everett Roberts
& other poems

Susan Marie Powers
Canada Geese
& other poems

a mykl herdklotz

Quandaries on the West Coast

“San Francisco Bay: Midnight”

i’m sitting on the frontage road

     Front Row

I. Overture.The Grand Drape is being drawn open.

     its gentle sashay sway

breathes across my face, my neck

     like the breath of one loved


          hear the horns on the westbound freeway 80

               behind me

the waves of applause coming off

          The Bay


          starlight—spotlight—moonlit stage

in this violet-blue auditorium

the ground row curtain Dark,

          getting darker as the lights dim

the refineries produce charcoal gray capes while the

  waterfront fashions satin evening dresses

          and sequined gowns

each performer takes their place

II. Entrée. The tugboat conductors, Corps de ballet




the passing lights and shadows are jesters

     jumping about,

          doing ronds de jambe

               stage left, stage right

up the Bay Bridge,

          the lights are dancers

               on a trampoline

the foghorns ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ their delight

III. Coda. The quietude allays

               solitudes chill

i sit in the audience of

   night creatures’ whose blinking eyes

observe the City’s skyline lights

   the gala’s nimbus

my senses satiated

             i exit this theater,

slowly travel the frontage road home

             in heightened wonder

                         of this performance.

“Mouettes et Mastodontes”

(On Seagulls and Elephants)

the ocean seems, a lifetime of poems

a university library’s overflowing

stacks and shelves, stacks and shelves

kelp tubes the sea’s daily flotsams

and shells and shells of creatures 

within the waves and tides reassurances

my friend tells me the ocean is not

a lover or mentor; surreal illustration;

merely ionizing specialties of the ocean’s air

still, i hear the seagulls interjections

i hear, hear, hear them call above, adjudicating

the sea’s crashing protestations 

my friend sees a world of physics, of

explanations, ‘empyrics’, definitions

calendars and planner’s days and months

this ionized air brings back to my mind

metaphorical mastodons of swelling sentiments

creating visceral in-body re-creations

his native language, his first tongue, 

misses the foreign expressions in these underworld

speak-easies, their currents and currencies

and i come to a north star recognition of

a language spoken by gray mammoths in vers libre

to an alien resident on a familiar planet

and the colony of white and gray Herring gulls

keow, keow, and ha-ha-ha-ha-ha their banquet days

and voice their condescension to the third heaven,

and by some surreal illustration,

                    J’ai été aimé et encadré .

                    (i am loved and mentored)

“This Park, that Spring”

This park, this spring

hidden in the Berkeley hills

speaks to me

as we view, from this vista,

the San Francisco Bay

the confetti of sailboats sprinkled

on the late afternoon table cloth bay

on this goose bump baby blue day

metallic sprinkles between the cornbread hills

catch the Maxfield Parrish colors of the dusk

this park, this spring where

hidden we were from this day

two plum trees in blossom remind me

of the blushing, the bleached white sails

filling your open-air smiles

embracing you from behind

my arms around your waist

looking out into the now

a day floating away like clouds

a day with a silk thread horizon

the sun setting into our blood

leaving warm the slow setting evening

our souls begging this embrace

to never end

in this park, that spring.

“Alcuni Contano le Stelle,
Alcuni Grani della Sabbia”

(Some Count the Stars,
     Some the Grains of Sand.)

Talk to me,

while i finish counting the grains

of salt on the brim

               of a margarita glass,

or after counting the grains

of sand on the rim

               of the pacific,

speak to me please,

               about the credible explanation

               of the vast, expansive, accelerated

               beginning of this Universe—

a commentary on the stars.

Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest

               on an ocean shore

               where i have often walked,

i would like to vision,

               a triumphant ‘ahah!’ vision,

               above a languishing earth,

beyond the counted stars,

               those markers defining time,

               recording time indefinite,

help me, as i walk the dunes of Mendocino,

                              (Voce sussurrato)

                                        “Alcuni Contano le Stelle,

                                                   Alcuni Grani della Sabbia

                                                (some contemplate the stars,

                                                      some the grains of sand)

to simply perceive their perfect possibilities,

                  as gifts.

“In a little breeze”

You are somewhere in California

i’m under the rumble of jet engines

as planes and jets roll in, fly out

of Colorado

it is the holidays

not my holidays

you are a thousand miles away

distant from me

               separated, hidden from you

and i wish you would find me

in a little breeze on the coast

               outside of Bodega Bay

i would fill your nostrils

were you to find me there

make your face moist.

It shines, i love the shine

you are unblemished, backlit

as the sun sets behind you

if you found me in the breeze.

If you could find me

in the drawer

you might find me in the


   of paper

        in your desk

            in the drawer with your cards

   and stamps and notes

   a scrap

with the words

or a phrase

that would make you smile

or would flush red

your face embarrassed

if you found me there

my blood being ink

my soul a phrase

a memory

in which you would find me.

Or you might find me on the floor

in the morning

in the clothes being picked up

and added to sheets from

the bed, and towels, socks


there finding me as

day old cologne

patterns of silk

a single sock

(behind the headboard)

that in a fragrance

or texture

or fabric

you might find me there.

You might find me there

   in a measure

a tempo or stanza

in the shuffle of life

and dissonant tones,

erratic staccato

of our lives rhythms

and a song

in the shower

over the radio

would find me there

finding no borders


Colorado and California

from a time past

where there were no


long ago

in days we pioneered

you would find me.

i wish you would find me

at breakfast, early Saturday

espresso grounds soaked

saturated broth

      over ice

chocolate and croissants

the breakfast your mother

never told you about,

next to an oak framed

window open

ivy hanging down

in your cotton

sleepy eyes

soft, stirring sounds

of neighbors lives


and there

you would find me

in your quiet prelude

to a lazy day.

i would have you find me


coursing through your veins

pulsing in your ears

electric swelling emotion

feeling the



booommmming within

a muffled resonance

a bells striker

padded with flesh

i wish you would

find me there,

find me there.

a mykl herdklotz is retired from UC Davis and living on the West Coast. i tutor and teach English (TESOL) and other subjects to foreign language students. See my profile
Along with my passion for teaching, writing has always been part of my life. i always hope a poem of mine will slow someone down and make them feel like the poem has given them something.

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