Category Archives: WOA2020

WOA Open Mic-July 20th-w/ Feature Jeremy Greene

Jeremy Greene-Part 1-Poetry and Prose

Jeremy Greene-July 20th, 2020 Feature

Jeremy Greene-Part 2-In Conversation

Langston, Whitman, cancel culture

BIO

Mr. Jeremy DeWayne Greene is a school psychologist/poet currently living and working in the Sacramento region. In his spare time, he writes, records, and performs poetry/rap which has been featured in both Sacramento and Shanghai (China) literary circles. Though previously living and working in Shanghai, Mr. Greene strongly connects with his familial roots firmly planted in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

His works can be found on the following platforms: https://gmile.bandcamp.com/, https://www.youtube.com/user/GMile, and https://youtu.be/dWzBWToX4cg (TEDx talk: The Transformative Power of Rejection).

Still Busy aka The Art of Loving From the Moon

Still Busy aka The Art of Loving from the Moon
shanghai

Isolate Your Distance

Isolate Your Distance

Mimosa Sunday-July 19th, 2020-Jennifer O’Neill Pickering Reading

Jennifer O’Neil Pickering July 19th, 2020
Dear friends,

I am pleased to announce my new book of poetry, Fruit Box Castles: Poems From a Peach Rancher’s Daughter is available for pre-0rder from 
Finishing Line Press.
Please support my goal of selling 55 books by August 15 so, that the book will be available for additional releases. You can order 
here .

The book will be released at the end of October 2020.
Also, join me for my first soft book launch on Zoom at Writers on the Air July 19, 4 pm hosted by Todd Boyd (Mimosa Sundays!)  Open Reading to follow. (Meeting ID: 358 106 078/Password: 025674)


Below find some of my favorite poems from the book.
Bountiful  

Mom midwifed rows of freestones 
Late July we’d sit
under umbrellas of the walnut tree 
peeling pink ribbons of skin
release pits in a curl of wrist
These filled canning jars clicking and clacking in cauldrons of water
pale circles of paraffin 
floated on bountiful mouths 

November we’d yank the light’s chain 
creep down the grouchy stairs
to the basement crocheted in spider webs
scatter whatever, behind steamer trunks that stored secrets: 
kimonos wrapped in tissue paper, waiting an occasion, the dragon tea pot, a formal table, 
helmets pitted by shrapnel, uniforms grown too small letters in cursive, a wedding gown— a first mistake;

On one wall summer saved in jars: green beans, pickles, yellow hearts of peaches; 
Mom stopped canning and I could never fit into her waders
use the watery screen of an I pad
to recipe words,can memories
picked ripe in season 
honest labor.
  
Mother’s Sadness Writes a Daughter’s Poem

They lean against the flatbed truck
mother’s hair escapes a bandanna
dad’s straw hat half cocked
both in bibbed overalls arms chained,
smiles bright as charms.

Winter mother sews hope
into gingham curtains
crochets thimble sized shoes
pieces together squares
into pastel blankets
craves pickles and honey
keeps busy.

Named for their father she is born still
first born, sister the siblings won’t hold
tumble of crimson curls
on satin pillows pink as taffy.

The clergy speaks lovely words
for a child he didn’t know
the mourners call a porcelain doll
placed in a casket small as a shoe box
the mother’s sadness writes
the daughter’s poem.

Trembling Stars quilt earthy beds 
where olive orchards once grew
and families of crows dressed in black,
still harvest the fruit from
those trees that remain.
Sparrows sing lullabies
from the choir stalls of cedar boughs.
Guardian angels hold watch 
spread marble wings frozen in eternal flight.
Blessing

Blessed with a blossoming heart
with summer flowers seeded in spring
in this garden of wild, native, exotic, and tame;
this pitcher of morning light
poured across the wooden planks
Cannas’ umbrella of leaves.
the walnut’s basket of nuts
squirrels’ steady harvest
mandalas of black-eyed Susan fringed in gold
sycamores and breeze linked in song.
 
Blessed with sparrows’ passion to sing,
hummingbirds’ endurance, inquisitive jays,
afternoon baptisms quiver of wings
release of sorrow
space that cultivates joy;
feelings turned over
like the trowel amends;
the yin yang
sadness and joy
different and the same.
the yin yang
sadness and joy
different and the same—


Jennifer
         

WOA Feature-Doreen Procope-Monday, July 6th, 2020

Feature Reading July 6th, 2020

Doreen Procope

Doreen’s Bio-Doreen Procope was born in England to parents who immigrated from Jamaica. Today she lives in Sacramento, California. She’s a wife, mother of two adult children, and a new grandma. 

Doreen discovered her purpose and passion in life during a brief illness. Having very little to do besides focusing upon recovery, she unearthed her passion for writing. In 2019, she published her first book entitled “Be inspired To Inspire”  with her daughter’s company, Mertina Publishing. This collection of faith-based poetry chronicles the journey of a person who has minimal knowledge of God and desires to dig a little deeper. 

Doreen also writes and recites personalized poems for any occasion or event. Today Doreen enjoys a close walk of faith. Her goal is to introduce the concept of faith in a practical and simple manner. Her writings attempt to bridge the gap between humanity and spirituality and the main thrust of her mission is to tell the world there is still hope despite the seemingly prevalent nature of darkness. Doreen outlines the simple process of faith as well as the many facets of this journey. 

Doreen’s hobbies include reading, photography, meeting people and learning new cultures.

To purchase your copy of Be Inspired To Inspire, Please visit:

Amazon: ($18.99) Or Mertina Publishing: http://www.mertinawriting.com/store/beinspired ($14,99 + free shipping)

WOA Zoom-William Carr Feature-June 22nd, 2020

Bill Carr Feature-June 22nd, 2020

And More Bill Carr…..

The Boy Has Some Dogs

Blue Soul by Bill Carr

 Blue cracks mental me
  Abstractions riding my soul
  Today they are gone
 
Eyes on the white lambs
fresh prime rib choice cut visions
Mothered by rams
 
   Eyeballs on her hips
targets for the sick  in heart                           
  For a stiff hard dart
 
  Whispering into his mind
  Leave those thoughts behind
  He heard the soft wind
 
Curving red train tracks
  Blue veins twisting down old cracks
 Needing to “detrain”
 
Blue ocean so cool
  Roll through my long icy throat
  twirling spray upon
Brilliant bright pupils
  Milk white and red inner eyes
  Johnny sings the blues
Books drop from the sky
  Novels water the Earth’s soil
•  Wet to my armpits
American child
  winter’s hot and summer’s cold
  Inhale the white snow
Living in the cold
winter builds up hard crystals
 reflecting by the moon
Purple sunglasses
 
 
The bottomless pit
  Satanic society
  Run by the Moloch
The goat looking down
  Wondering when to descend
•  Into this old town
Dogs landing like cats


  The cats smelling cheese like rats
  Rats eaten by me
Twirling down steel tracks
  A whirling north towards the sea
  To see the full world
 
Rough men at road work
 clearing the  rocky mud path
With each mighty stroke
Bubbles beneath skin
  Lake fire with blue visions
 Cleansing  mind devils
 
 
 
  In the face of hate
  The soft sweet hands of the sun
 Warming cheeks and hands
 
mother of real truth
  father in the blue shadows
  holy ghost power
 
A loud evening sound
  Dogs are all around, talking
  With people, howling
 
Generation gone
  Never far from their cell phones
  And text messages
Ocean cascade
  Eyes full of silver crystals
  Apex sky rising
 
From rainbow droplets

splashing upon hitting ground
  Cleansing ,smoking brains
The Moonshine nightmare
  The cat dives under black sun
  The dog’s resting place
A bus ride round town
  Slow trek throughout a square street
  circular city
The big dark black dog
  Plays poker and rolls dice  well
•  No match for snake-eyes
The purple creatures
• With invisible features
• Vanishes in smoke
 
Soul shoes foot dancing
•  Full of James Brown stomp prancing
•  And black and white shouts
She rose from the tomb
• Slow as the drinking full moon
• weeping in the sun
 Night rider glides home
• He Stops to smell a rainbow
• In the pouring rain
Black horse white pony tail
new modern zebra hybrid
Rides into the sun
The Earth’s ride
                               i.
It was just another Sunday morning blow job
And the headache would pass as swift as the new
Monday morning coming{and I needed some me-di-cine}
 
 
 The flu had caused the most terrible of effects within my face that of running mucus from the nose.
•  But I blew my nose and said no more.
•  Everything was just fine for awhile. Then,
•  The hacking midnight pirate arrived and
•  Dropping with every passing hour his anvil on my head, so I took more medicine to subdue the cough.[me-di-cine]
iii.
•  The night was good and hot as well as cold and mean;full of boogers drops working their way about my body’s stream.
•  I put one oar in the water for balance;it
•  Drew a shark who snapped it off. I could
•  Smell viscid fluid in my mouth flowing
•  To my stomach and the increasing pounding of my brain, so I took more
•  [med-i-cine].I had to stop the hacking cough, tapping tummy pop, and the hammering head throb, so I took more mee-dii-cine].
iv.
•  “The iron tongue of Midnight struck”
•  “All lovers to bed,” I dozed.
•  Then the dusk came. I awoke in water vomit surrounded by the Atlantic, Arctic,
•  Pacific,Indian and sweat oceans, so
•  I took some more [mmee-di-ccine].
v.
•  I oozed my way through the liquid and puss.
•  Phlegm flying from my mouth;
•  Waste ready for dumping from the boat’s
•  Bottom.I sat up in the bed rocking and
•  Rolling:back and forth,calling for an anchor
•  To be thrown over board!
vi.
•  The boat disappeared replaced by fear.
•  The ghost darts around the bed in the darkest part of the room.
•  It’s in black and white.
•  I paddle hard heading for shore,
•  Looking for another dose of medicine.
 
vii.
•  The figure looms over me beginning a movement towards the left: a series of shadows and clouds are my eyes.
•  A roar from the universe pulled over to the right.
•  Circling the room with wide sweeping scans moving out of frame.
•  My medicine need I
viii.
•  Darting globins, singing witches, laughing zebras criss-crossing trains pulsating
•  Gyrating further to far end of the globe on my bed…lum.This rubber legged crew member attempts stance rewarded by a splash to boat’s bottom.
 
•  [mee-di-ci-ine took I]
 
 
ix.
•  I arise again to breath. Quickly,on my knees crawling down the hall
•  Through a worm hole
 
 
x.
•  A long linear corridor conversing merging
•  With whales and stars into a single vision
•  Within my eyes the Earth sky and it’s as blue as my soul.
BUBBLE’S BALD HEAD
•                                       I. 
 
•   AS THE MIST CLEARS THE MOUNTAINS, THEIR BROWN  SKINS AND DARK SHADOWS MAY BE SEEN AMAZINGINGLY RISING ABOVE THE LONG HIGH HILLS AND FOG ENCIRCLING THE REDDEST CAMP FIRES WITH  DANCING GERONIMO, SINGING COHISE AND PRAYING CRAZY HORSE,CRYING ROBERT KENNEDY AND HIS BROTHER JOHN,PREACHING MARTIN AND MALCOM,PROTESTING CESAR CHAVEZ,OBJECTING BARBERA JORDAN ALL IN MOTION…AROUND THE CAMP FIRES UNLIKE THE MODERN LAND BOUND BROOM DRIVING WEAPONLESS WARRIORS OF THE 20TH CENTURY GIRTH.
.
•   UNTIL ONE DAY, BUBBLE EYES ROSE UPWARD, TOWARDS THE MOUNTAINS AND VIEWING MANY SHADOWS ,BUT QUICKLY RETURNS TO HIS EARTH SOUND TASK OF BROOM PUSHING, MOP DRIVING, WAX FLOPING DUTIES
•   FROM 9 A.M. TO 5 P. M. BUBBLES’S JANITORIAL HAUL MUST CONTINUE;
•   MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY ON HIS FEET,WITH KNEES AGAINST KNEES AND HANDS PRESSING FLOOR GLORY: NORTH BY NORTH WEST.
•   IT’S HIS JOB SWEEPING FLOOR TOPS: BRIGHT, DUSTING THE PEEKS OF HILLS UNTIL THE VERY CRISS/CROSS SHINES
•   HE’S A BLEACH BLUES MAN …PRAYING ON THE KNEES
•   UNTL YOU CAN SEE    JESUS
•   AND AT 11.95 AN HOUR THERE IS THE LEMON PLEDGE SMELL THAT MUST RADIATE FROM  THE VALLEY’S FLOOR.
 
•   YOU CAN HEARD THE OLD MAN SAY: “GOTS TO GET CLEAN ,LORD
•   GOTTA GET IT CLEAN ‘CAUSE MASTER GONE UH BE HERE IN SETTING DAY”
 
 
III.
•  SO ON THE OLD MAN BUBBLE SCRABBLED,SCUBBLED
•  HE HAD TO GET RID OF THE SINGING FROM THE MOUNTAIN PEEKS
•  THE VAPOR DANCING OVER THE WOODEN FLOORS
•  FOR HIS JOB DEPENDED ON THE CLEAR WHITE FLOOR
•  AND THE BOSSMAN SAYING IT WAS SO
IV.
•  MR. EDISON ARRIVED ON TIME AN DROVE HIS HUMMER ABOUT THE FLOOR KILLING BUGS AND SPITTING
•  THEN WITH A EAR FULL OF MOUNTAIN SONG HE SAID DO IT AGAIN , OLD MAN
•  THE SONG IS WRONG
V.
•  THE OLD  MAN’S EYES THEN EARS ROSE TOWARDS THE INDIAN SONGS
•  ABOVE THE CLOUDS INTO THE VERY PUPILS OF THE ELDERS OF MARTIN OF MALCON OF GERONIMO OF COHISE OF CRAZY HORSE OF BIG BUBBLE BALD HEAD SR III
VI.
•  DOWN WENT THE CLIFFS AND STEEP HILLS
•  DOWN  HE THREW DOWN THE BLUE DETERGINE WITH WHITE BLEACH
•  DOWN WENT THE AJAX AND COMET
•  DOWN WENT DOWN THE EXTRA LONG HANDLED MOP THAT HIS DADDY HAD  BROUGHT HIM
•  DOWN CAME THE ROLLING MOUNTAIN PEEKS
•  LANDING IN ONE LARGE PILE OF DO-DO
VII.
•  BUBBLE KICKED THE BUCKET
•  DROPPED THE WAXER AND WALKED
•  AWAY INTO THE CLEARING MIST
•  OF DUN
The Earth Smell
•  i.
•  She smells like the earth at all times of the passing moon
•  Likes to walk about in her underwear
•  Pushing against the wind’s crying warning
•  With that fresh earth smell of hers…
•  Depositing it where ever she goes… on an arm, on a stomach, on the face, on the leg or any place on planet earth.
ii.
•  She sweats in Channel No. 19 and when all becomes calm, she takes that 6 a. m. yawn: the big breath inhaling in Africa, exhaling out of Europe. She’s full of air throughout her lungs; is full of water within her throat; full of land under her feet.
iii.
•  Whirling air
•  Spinning water
•  Tambling over the land
•  She sends
•  Virgins ocean tides against old rock of ages;
•  High pressure centers bouncing off low;
•  Dirt careening off of boulders
iv.
•  In time, all shall mountain down to the smallest of  hills and the earth smell shall hover above the earth. And her soulful droplets shall drop from the nose like falling rain to the ground to be absorbed by the soil and soul and only the earth hounds know—the scent.
v.
•  Blue blood dogs endlessly chasing the stuff from her nose keeping up a powerful pace compelled by her aura. Blue blood dogs seeing red while keeping the beat in the warning wind with the half moon moving to full.
vi.
•  Now, she breaths more heavily, for the moon has reached her full cycle and the dogs have slowed. She turns over grasping a tree branch to blow her nose. And when her nose comes clean and empty, she all at once takes to the sky:
•             jetting from the earth
•             blazing from the solar system,
•             blotting from the universe,
•  Leaving us poor dogs behind sniffing for the odor of her earth smell.
The blue soul by bill carr
•  All rights reserved. 02/21/2008
•  Written, edited and published by bill carr
•  A special thanks and dedication to penny



Bio

Bill believes in the long poem. The poems that travel down unknown roads and paths, twists and turns, where only imagination can travel blind.It is always grand joy, a desire to pursue for some pass on dramatic skills. We who look to teach others can always distinctly remember how proud those elementary school teachers made them feel when each child performed his/her school work to the best of his/her abilities. The goal of all good teachers and poets is to inspire their future students to perform their skill set to the best of their abilities.My interest in a teaching career continued through my college days at the University of California, Davis.

While at Davis, I majored in English and participated in many forensic events such as plays, poetry readings, and speaking events.During my junior year at Davis, I was awarded a fellowship to [attend any of ten Schools in the Calfornia University system and earn a masters degree. After I was awarded the fellowship, I spent my remaining time at Davis developing my academic skills and preparing for graduate Study. Upon graduation from U.C. Davis, I enrolled in California State University, Sacramento, in the Masters Program, I earned my Masters degree in English language and literature. Immediately after earning my Masters Degree, I obtained both a Community College teaching credential and an Emergency teaching credential and I began to teach professionally.We who have spent  years in teaching and counseling at both the elementary school and junior college levels learn the importance of communication skills. This experience teaches all that the world of instruction is rewarding, yet demanding. Students come to realize that the journey can be both demanding and rewarding in ways that they had never before imagined. While the learning of a new skill set  may appear to an outsider to be tedious and monetarily unrewarding, students find the skill set accomplishment of great joy . Truly.it is the educational trek that powers gaining of the storytelling and poetic skills.

WOA Features: June 29th, 2020-Len Germinara and Sarah Oktay

Poet – Len Germinara

len geminara

Len Germinara is author of 6 collections of poetry. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He was the 2003 winner of the Cambridge Poetry Award for best narrative poem. Founding member of Spoken Word Nantucket and the Moors Poetry Collective. Len ran a Spoken Word venue on Nantucket for 12 years and one in Southern Massachusetts for 4 years. In addition he has provided literacy workshops on poetry and bookbinding for a host of schools in Massachusetts and Colorado for over 15 years

Len’s webpage

https://lengerminaradotcom.wordpress.com/

Sarah Oktay

sarah oktay
the right way

Sarah Oktay works for the John Muir Institute of the Environment’s Natural Reserve System at University of California Davis as a Reserve Director for Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve and as the Director of Strategic Engagement. She received her B.S. in Marine Science and a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from Texas A&M University – Galveston. From 2003-2016 she was the Executive Director of the University of Massachusetts-Boston Nantucket Field Station, a biological field station on Nantucket Island. Her research focuses on climate change, carbon transport and harbor processes. After 9-11, she mapped the chemical signature of the World Trade Center ash and tracked it in the Hudson River. She currently is the President of the Society of Women Geographers. Her nine years of service on the Nantucket Conservation Commission has been featured in Vanity Fair, Yankee Magazine, Cape Cod Times, ABC.com, CNN, the movie “Rising Tides”, and many other news outlets.  She also was a science adviser for actor Mark Ruffalo, advising on topics such as climate change, fracking, and water quality monitoring for the non-profits he founded. She is working on three books, two non-fiction compilations of eight years of science essays from the weekly publication Yesterday’s Island on Nantucket and a memoir on finding her family in Turkey. Along with her husband, the poet Len Germinara, she funded and served as co-host for Spoken Word Nantucket for 12 years. She has dabbled a bit in poetry along the way, this will be her first public cofeature. More about Sarah can be found at  https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-oktay-ba84869/   

Zoom June 29th, 2020- Len Germinara and Sarah Oktay

Writers On the Air Distancing Project

The WOA Distancing Project is a virtual space for local Sacramento area writers and artists of all genres to share their art through Zoom readings, pictures, video, radio and this website. Below is poetry, storytelling, verse, music, much of which has come from our abrogated lives and former routines. But not all.

The physical space is now a virtual space.

Zoom 07272020

Zoom-Andy, Rose Ann, Vicki, Julia, Len, Mike, Jennifer, Todd

Zoom 07202020

Zoom 07132020

Zoom 07062020

andy, vicki, rose ann, wanda, david, len, teri, danielle

Zoom 06292020

Zoom Open Mic 06292020-andy, doreen, diana, nick, todd, mary

Zoom 06222020

Zoom-rose ann, vicki, mike, doreen, len

Zoom 06152020

Zoom-todd, lynette, len, joanne, vicki

Zoom 06082020

Zoom-vicki, len, todd

Zoom 06012020

Zoom-bill, andy, Jennifer, vicki, len, jill

Zoom 05252020

Zoom-Len, Rose Ann, Margaret
Zoom 05252020-Andy, Vicki, Joanne

Zoom 05182020

Zoom 05182020-Lynette, Andy, Vicki, Jennifer

ZOOM 05112020

Zoom 051120-Rose Ann, Vicki, Andy, Lynette, Len
Zoom-051120-Todd, Vicki, Dave
Zoom 050420-Joanne, Todd

Zoom 05042020

Zoom 050420- Ivy, Mary, Lynette, Vicki, Robin

Zoom 04272020

Zoom042720-Lynette, Donella, Joe

Zoom042720-Nick, Jeremy, Gena, Rose Ann, Ivy, Todd

Zoom042720-Nick, Jeremy, Gena, Rose Ann, Ivy, Todd

Distance by Frederick Foote

Isolation on a remote station

six feet outside my reach is

my untouchable destination

just beyond the flattening curve

ball life has pitched me

a novel virus that

reads like a

doomsday thriller

in Manila

ZOOM420a-Rose Ann, Joanne, Nick, Todd, Lynette

Zoom 4/20/2020-Rose Ann, Joanne, Nick, Todd, Lynette

ZOOM420bMary and Robin

Zoom 4/20/2020 Mary and Robin

Andy Laufer-The Owl Box

Zoom, April 13th, 2020 Reading

Zoom April 13th, 2020 Andy, Lynette, Mary, Robin, Todd, Jennifer

Zia Torabi

Invisible by Ziaeddin Torabi

We are prisoners in our homes

without locks or chains.

We are imprisoned

so we circle ourselves

circle

circle

circle

until we feel dizzy

fall and die.

We are prisoners in our homes

without locks or chains

and we know

our enemy

the devil

lurks outside.

The invisible enemy

we cannot see or feel

but he can

and he is waiting there

to catch and kill us

the devil

the invisible enemy.

*****

The End of Convenient Fictions by Mirah Lucas

Painting lips  with goodbyes,

an empty mouth of soft sounds—

a slow, long howl gliding like strings of a cello 

in double-stop unison—

my breath, your breath—

inhaling, exhaling 

the dissonance of our unexpected nows.

I pour my fictions onto you, a mix 

of memories, of misrememberings,

a muddled gouache on your body.

Today is the end,

as the swollen starts to rot, starts to grow

a masterpiece of ruin.

Today, we will not fold the world inside our arms, 

and instead say

I love you

forever

Vicki Carroll

Vicki Carroll- Uncertain Times

Joanne Leilani Carpenter

Joanne Carpenter- Rhiannon’s Magical Moon Ride

Andy Laufer

Andy Laufer- Frightful Night in the Woods

Mike Pickering

Mike Pickering-The Corona Virus Blues

Ivy Almond

zoom

Karen Durham

Lynette Blumhardt

Last Day-Lynette Blumhardt

Jennifer O’Neill Pickering’s Journal

corona virus entry #1

 March 19th, 2020

I am trying to keep a Coronvirus journal during this trying time. I had been hearing reports of the virus during the winter in a city in China, Wuhan that I’d never heard of.  The reports were scary but seemed far away. It was about this time I came down with the worst sore throat I remembered. On the second day I had a strep throat test that proved negative. For four days I could barely swallow, my glands were swollen, and I got a temperature of 102, which broke after a day. On the fifth day my sore throat had improved, and I had no fever but was weak from lack of food. I posted my symptoms on Nextdoor, the local neighborhood social media site to see if anyone else had the same symptoms. A few had and suggested several home remedies one that included whiskey. There was one person that suggested I might have the Coronvirus, though I had not been abroad or in the Bay area where a woman had developed it. I didn’t think much more about the virus or the 4-day bout with a sore throat. I couldn’t imagine the wakeup call that was coming.

On March 5th,

sister-in-law called with distress in her voice to tell me that her husband and my twin brother had had a major stroke from a blood clot to his brain. This is how I found out that there was a person in Sacramento with the virus and that person was being treated for the virus at UCD Med Center where I was headed at eight o’clock that night. On route to the NICU (neurological critical unit) and wandering in the hallway I was almost run down by a speeding gurney. My twin brother was strapped to it and I saw he was alive as I cried out his name. He had just come from surgery to remove the clot to his brain after being air lifted from a Chico Inloe Medical Center. I waited Tondering if he would make it. My husband had a bad swollen ankle caused by an infection on his calf and needed to elevate his leg and so had to leave me alone. After an hour and a half, a young woman who did not look old enough to be a doctor took me in a private room and explained the prognosis. She gently said in clinical terms “That I should not hope for much.” Parts of his brain were gone. He was hospitalized at the Med Center from March 5th, four days before our 68th birthday, on a ventilator for a week and unconscious for several days. I visited every other day, washing my hands before and after visiting. By the 7th day he was awake and alert and had pulled out the ventilator tube. By the 8th day he signed his name perfectly to a Power of Attorney form and was breathing on his own alert and answering questions, though his speech was garbled. I need to thank the medical staff at the UCD Med Center for their skills and amazing intervention and saving, my brother, Buck.

Stubbornness and determination are so important in recovery and it runs in the family. He has been moved to a skilled nursing facility still struggles with swallowing, can’t stand without assistance as these areas are compromised by the stroke causing paralysis on one side of his body. I can only see him through a window in his room. Skilled nursing centers are quarantined from outside visitation as they need to be .

March 22nd

Today I went to Trader Joes at 9am when it first opened. The store was rationing how many people could enter the store. As soon as one person exited another was allowed in. There was a line of people with scrubbed down disinfected carts waiting to get into the store that wrapped around the building.  I started to turn around and then asked a clerk if they had a time period where just “old people could shop?” He said well you don’t look old (in all fairness I had on my mask on). I removed it and he said, “You have young eyes.” “I, am 68.” “When the next customer leaves you can go right in.”

I was never so glad to be old since I received my first retirement check.

March 21st

Spring is here and there is so much rebirth and renewal everywhere it is hard to believe that we are in a pandemic and catapulted into the Great Depression of my grandparents. Unfortunately, President Trump’s tax policies (cutting taxes on the wealthiest Americans) have positioned us for more pain. He needs to reinstate taxes on the very wealthy, the 1% immediately as a “war measure.” It is the patriotic thing to do, but I haven’t heard anything about this mentioned at his moronic press conferences (excluding the science people who by the way are not practicing safe distancing)…nothing to diminish the deficit we are racking up.

March 22nd

I can’t sleep and it is 12:30. We are almost out of TP and PT. I can’t find bleach anywhere. I miss shopping. I saw my first Ladybug today on a leaf of a very hearty sunflower volunteer. I have never had so many volunteer sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, and sweet peas. The calendulas and Echinacea are also, coming back, but they are annuals. I love working in the garden. My moments there are centering and comforting despite the controlled chaos around me the sun is warm on my back and the lady bugs are busy taking care of my plants.

Mike and I took a long bike ride to the river. It wasn’t too crowded. I am afraid to go to the store. There is no hand sanitizer, but a friend told us how to make our own from liquid Aloe Vera and alcohol(60% alcohol to 40% Aloe Vera).

March 23rd

I feel crappy today mainly because of continued shoulder pain in my right shoulder. It hurts when I breathe deeply on my right side. Also, I didn’t sleep well. I just want to stay in bed. I have allergies.

March 25th
I wrestled with getting back to sleep after waking at 3am this morning.

I have been waking in the middle of the night since the days have gotten longer and before the Coronvirus outbreak. I wake and can’t get back to sleep with thoughts popping like kernels of corn in an air popper. I get up and rattle around in the kitchen wiping down the counters with disinfectant I concocted from bleach and dish soap. My husband cleaned up the kitchen last night, but I am more thorough. I toss my pea filled heating pad in the microwave to assuage the persistent pain in my shoulder, that I am afraid to get X-rayed because clinics and hospitals are full of sick people, and some with the Coronvirus. My doctor concurs.  But when I take a deep breath I hurt on my right side. I remind myself I have had similar pain in the past from bursitis in a shoulder blade area, but then that was before my twin brother was recently diagnosed with suspected lung cancer.

I climb back into bed next to my husband who is snoring contentedly. I try reading a paperback real book, by Elian Hilderbrand. It is called Summer of 69 and brings back my own memories of that uncertain, violent, and hopeful period. I read a little and then pick up my IPAD and go on Twitter, a mistake. The Lt. Governor of Texas has just asked grandparents (and I guess that means those who are over 60 who don’t have grandchildren) to make the sacrifice of themselves to allow the economy (which has mostly been shut down) to return to business as usual. I tweet,” Ok why don’t you set an example for us all by being the first in line to be sacrificed.”

Tomorrow I visit my brother at the skilled nursing facility where I can talk to him 15 feet away through a crack in the window or over the phone. When I get there, he is vocal about wanting to go home and I don’t blame him.  Most of the staff are millennials or of the Generation X age group. on and I fear he will develop the Coronvirus too and there won’t be a ventilator available or bed or both.  I just heard on the news that this age-group has the highest incidence of the Coronavirus. I am now his Power of Attorney and jumping through hoops with Medicare and Medical which has made me a huge fan of universal healthcare.

It is 7am and there is no hope of going back to sleep. I have started my 3rd journal entry to document my experience during the Coronavirus. I will make myself go for a walk or the dog will make me take her. I will get out in the garden and putter about with the abundance of annuls all volunteers that reaffirm life. It is a beautiful spring and the sun is a comfort despite all our troubles, I will create. There are short stories that need their happy endings, I will make art 

because I am an artist and this work requires solitude. I will login to Zoom and connect with other writers to share the uncertainty of our lives living in a in a pandemic. I am grateful to social media to be able to connect with others remembering my grandmother did not have such luxuries during the polio epidemic and the Spanish Flu pandemic. She’d recount stories of how they were shunned because her little brother developed polio and a notice of Quarantine was posted on their front door with crossbones

Too cheer myself up I even ordered a pretty summer dress because Mike, my husband will be taking me out to our favorite restaurant when this is over. I feel ashamed of relenting that my hair won’t be cut this month, or my pedicure will be put off and that I can’t get a massage or go away to the ocean for a few days. I feel ashamed because my brother can’t get up and leave the skilled nursing facility and that panic and suffering is the next “breaking news “on the television that seems always on in his room. I feel ashamed because there is so much suffering all over the world and the best and only thing real way I can do to help is shelter in place, help my brother, and pay my hair stylist and pedicurist, though they won’t be providing these services in April. I am not a seamstress and don’t know how to sew well but if someone will show me, I will.

 Hope everyone is safe or as my friend Sue says, “6 feet or six feet under.”

 Jennifer

Jennifer O’Neil Pickering-Song and Cat Story

A New Poem by Alexander McCall Smith, written as a response to the current situation and forwarded by Andy Laufer

“In a time of distance”
The unexpected always happens in the way
The unexpected has always occurred:
While we are doing something else,
While we are thinking of altogether
Different things — matters that events
Then show to be every bit as unimportant
As our human concerns so often are;
And then, with the unexpected upon us,
We look at one another with a sort of surprise;
How could things possibly turn out this way
When we are so competent, so pleased
With the elaborate systems we’ve created —
Networks and satellites, intelligent machines,
Pills for every eventuality — except this one?

And so we turn again to face one another
And discover those things
We had almost forgotten,
But that, mercifully, are still there:
Love and friendship, not just for those
To whom we are closest, but also for those
Whom we do not know and of whom
Perhaps we have in the past been frightened;
The words brother and sister, powerful still,
Are brought out, dusted down,
Found to be still capable of expressing
What we feel for others, that precise concern;
Joined together in adversity
We discover things we had put aside:
Old board games with obscure rules,
Books we had been meaning to read,
Letters we had intended to write,
Things we had thought we might say
But for which we never found the time;
And from these discoveries of self, of time,
There comes a new realization
That we have been in too much of hurry,
That we have misused our fragile world,
That we have forgotten the claims of others
Who have been left behind;
We find that out in our seclusion,
In our silence; we commit ourselves afresh,
We look for a few bars of song
That we used to sing together,
A long time ago; we give what we can,
We wait, knowing that when this is over
A lot of us — not all perhaps — but most,
Will be slightly different people,
And our world, though diminished,
Will be much bigger, its beauty revealed afresh.

Frederick Foote Contributions

Two Poems-Frederick Foote

Simplicity

Complexity breeds arrogance and self-centered reflection

that re-enforce the bias that complex creatures are the apex predators

Viruses invisible to the naked eye slay that conceit with a wicked blade

that cuts to the bone and unseats complexity from her throne

crumbles economic kingdoms, disrupts domestic tranquility,

soils every sanctuary, darkens every future courtesy of

“a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat”

A simple creature indeed

Author of the short story collections, For the Sake of Soul and Crossroads Encounters

Rose Ann Goodwin

Rose Ann Goodwin
Rose Ann Goodwin- Obaud-Marks Voice

Janice Burt

Janice Burt

Todd Boyd

Cowboy Saga- todd boyd
I Asked You to Come-Todd Boyd
Todd Boyd- Dinosaur City

WOA Open Mic with Frederick Foote and Michelle Woods,Vicki Carroll and Aeisha Jones

Michelle Woods is a writer of fiction and creative non-fiction.  Her work has been performed at Stories on Stage (Sacramento and Davis) and the Celebration Arts Storytelling Festival and published in the Sacramento News and Review and the Blue Moon Literary and Art Review.  She earned a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Sacramento State University.   Currently she is in the process of birthing a collection of stories for young readers.

– Since 2014 Frederick Foote has published over two- hundred stories and poems including literary, science fiction, fables, and horror genres. Frederick has published two short story collections, For the Sake of Soul, (2015) and, Crossroads Encounters, (2016). Frederick hosts the Prose and Poetry Meet Up group and is a member of the INK writers workshop and is currently preparing a short story collection manuscript. (Frederick was unable to join us at this time but please look for his work and enjoy)

  Vicki Carroll, a Sacramento native enjoys poetry and the spoken word. She is involved in workshops at Laguna Creek Valley High Library and Ethel Hart Senior Center. Vicki has participated in Writers on the Air, Avid Reader’s Speak up, both are monthly Venues. Vicki has been published in Medusa’s Kitchen and Sacramento Voices 2018.

Aeishaj is a poet, writer, creator, mother, grandmother, seeker of truth.  

She lives in Sacramento, CA and has eternal love for  RJ-nephew; granddaughters- Deijah, Desiree, Destiny and family/friends.  Aeisha embraces freedom fighters Odetta, Nina, Toni, Lady Day, Alice and other sisters whose arrows give us vision.  Smile Sources: Rainy nights, autumn leaves, the color purple, blues, jazz, warm hugs and sincere blessings.

Open Mic February 2020

Jennifer O’Neill Pickering
Lynette Blumhardt
Jacki Howard
Melen Lunn
Andy Laufer
Susan Lee Roberts
Pat Stanfield
Todd Boyd

WOA Open Mic with Michele Drier and Writing for Open Mic Writers

Michele Drier Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series. She is the past president of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime and co-chair for Bouchercon 2020 the world’s oldest and largest convention for mystery writers and fans.

Her Amy Hobbes Newspaper Mysteries are Edited for Death, (called “Riveting and much recommended” by the Midwest Book Review), Labeled for Death and Delta for Death and a stand-alone, Ashes of Memories.

Her paranormal romance series, SNAP: The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was named the best paranormal vampire series of 2014 by PRG. The series is SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story, Danube: A Tale of Murder , SNAP: Love for Blood, SNAP: Happily Ever After?, SNAP: White Nights,  SNAP: All That Jazz, SNAP: I, Vampire and SNAP: Red Bear Rising .

The first book in the Stained Glass Mysteries, Stain on the Soul, was published in summer 2019. You can reach her at mjdrier@gmail.com or micheledrier@att.net

Her webpage is under reconstruction but visit her facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMicheleDrier or her Amazon author page, http://www.amazon.com/Michele-Drier/e/B005D2YC8G/ or find her on Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram.

Michele Drier

Writing for Open Mic Readers-Andy Laufer, Rose Ann Goodwin, Todd Boyd

Andy Laufer-Andrew is currently a gentleman farmer, writer, and storyteller. The lion’s share of his career was with the California Department of Education. Prior to that, he was a Registered Dietitian, a butcher’s helper, a janitor, a food service worker, construction laborer, firefighter, research lab technician, phlebotomist, a soldier in the US Army, and a salesman. He’s hitchhiked throughout the western United States and had coast to coast adventures too. All of these, and many more experiences, have prepared him well to tell stories about life in America.

In 2014 he began writing his stories down for his kids. His stories are a written record of his legacy for them and theirs to remember him by. The stories will make you laugh and make you cry. They will make you think about life and elicit similar memories of your own. A few are sad, most are humorous, all are thought provoking to either lighten your heart, or to move you to deeper conversations. All are told from the truth as he saw it and it is his deepest hope that you will derive pleasure from them and remember him fondly.

His first attempt at oral storytelling was at a slam competition at the Sierra Storytelling Festival back in 2016. Although he didn’t win, he began to understand what it would take to become a proficient storyteller on stage. Practice, and he’s been practicing ever since. He participates in open telling whenever the opportunity arises. He told again at the Sierra Storytelling Festival and at the Auburn Winter Festival. Last October he told to a mixed audience at the Wilton Community Fair. Locally, he tells at the Sacramento Storytellers Guild, the Avid Reader, and at Writers on the Air.

Andy Laufer

Todd Boyd-I survived as a carpenter, railroad worker, and a social studies teacher before I retired for good, so I am no longer tied down to the wage industrial complex tracks, like Sweet Sue, like sweet sue used to.

I define myself as an agnostically oriented spiritual believer in Hope and second, third, and fourth chances because there’s no future in believing only in your own fallibility, no matter how much attention/notoriety you get nor how smart you are.

I’ve been taken on some long rides down life’s road and I’ve driven some too.

Nowadays I write illogical, mythological realism and continue to try my literary hand as a self-published author, internet radio host, blogging, making some visual art, hosting both writing and open mic events, working on another novel, and enjoying whatever sports my body will let me do.

Self-published author of one novel (Marat, Untrue Loves, working on a second novel, self-published four chapbooks-(Shark Poems and Caroline’s Adeline Street and Other Poems), one book of short stories, (Allred’s Short Stories), one journal of personal history (The Election of 2012- A Year of Living Inside the Definition of Insanity). Radio programmer (KUBU-96.5LP-FM), blogger (saylavproductions.com), website manager (writersontheair.com), and visual artist working with recycled materials.

Some of my work can be found at www.writersontheair.com and at my blog- www.saylavproductions.com.

Todd Boyd

The Open Mic

Addie

Aeisha

Joanne

Lynette

Pat

Zia