Tag Archives: Christine Richardson

News this week: 2 events and Save the Date!

A busy week ahead for the Poet Laureate. First, I’ll be attending the Montalvo Arts Center event, “Feast of the Idea,” and reading one of the poems I wrote while in residency there. The event will be a conversation among special guests led by Montalvo Culinary Fellow Niki Ford. Anyone interested in sustainability and “how our internal and external environments relate to our sense of wellness” feel free to attend. Wednesday, November 14, 7pm, in the Carriage House Theater.

The following evening, this Thursday, November 15, I’ll be the Featured Reader at Poetry Center San Jose’s “Reading at Willow Glen” series (scroll down at the link), hosted by the inimitable Dennis and Christine Richardson and followed by an open mic! If you’re interested in hearing some of my recent as well as older work, please join me there, and bring along a poem of your own to read, one you’ve written or one you admire. I’m looking forward to reading with the home crowd.

LASTLY, but not leastly, please SAVE THE DATE, Thursday evening, December 6 for a special December Favorite Poems Reading featuring voices from around the world. Selected readers will share a poem in an original language and in its English translation. Full publicity to follow, but the reading will be held at Stevens Creek Barnes&Noble at 7pm.

I have the delightful privilege of posting this to you from my daughter and new son-in-law’s guest room in Brooklyn, New York where all is well and where we enjoyed an equally delightful 60 degree sunny Sunday. The world is a wild and whacky place, frequently wonderful, and I don’t mind if you quote me as saying so.

We do not forget those in nearby communities who are still without power, shelter, or home.

See you soon~

Sally Ashton
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate

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Christine Richardson: A favorite poem

Here, Bullet
Brian Turner

So many poets, so many poems. It was hard to decide, like having to pick your favorite child. I finally chose this poem by poet-soldier Brian Turner because in 16 lines he speaks of a reality that occurred repeatedly in a decade of inexcusable tragedy, because like Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman, “Attention must be paid,” and because this is what poetry can do at its unflinching best: take you where you never want to go.

Christine Richardson
Poet, Retired Teacher
San Jose


Here, Bullet

If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta’s opened valve, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you’ve started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel’s cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue’s explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.

Brian Turner

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Coming atcha: More contest entries~

I hope you’re enjoying these entries of Poetry on the Move poems and the personal way each interprets the contest theme, “Invention.”

If you care to leave a comment, I know the poets would love hearing from you. Thanks for reading along~I’ll be posting these poems through the end of April, National Poetry Month, so stay tuned.

Poetry on the Move is a project of the Santa Clara County Poet Laureate. All poems remain the property of the authors.

Sally Ashton
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate

* * *

Can you put it in motion without it?
found
launch
start
Can you act on it without it?
spirit
catapult
aim
Can you want it without knowing you want it?
ambition
fly
spark
Can you find it if you don’t don’t look for it? 
innovation
focus
spotlight

Ruth Pangilinan
Cupertino

* * *

Here, In the Valley

Give us a spot, unfettered.
A space for breathing, where the gears sing,
and static invigorates the skin,
where one craves the taste of metal on the tongue.
Where even in the tenuous bloom of exhaustion
the potential vibrates,
until molecules crash into being.
Birthed out of the synapse air.

Mary Pascual
San Jose

* * *

Silicon Valley Crop Version 2012

Rivers of asphalt
Flow past orchards of buildings,
Where chip designs bloom.

Michael Pelizzari
Sunnyvale

* * *

Oldman Coyote and Grandmother Spider say

Those who promote that they’re always wise
why believe such lies?

Meanwhile, we’ll continue to find new ways
to live, travelers from sea to mountain
and in your garden
as you travel in ours.

Consider this, that your question
and answer are the same,
a reinvented recipe for sweetening pain.

Robert Pesich
Sunnyvale

* * *

Techie Daughter 

I handed her a bag of broken glass
and said, “A stained glass window is the hope.”
She winked and worked and thought and on and then—
Voilà! My own online kaleidoscope.

Palmer Pinney
Palo Alto

* * *

Wherefore  

My Aunt Necessie
Is the mother of Invention.
I asked her once why she named
Her son Invention.  She said
She didn’t really have a choice,

Especially here in this Valley
Where technology grows its
Apps faster than cherries.
Want to see her garage?
It’s a museum now.

Dennis Richardson
San Jose

* * *

At the Crossroads:
37
° N  /  122° W

I am a fancymonger.
Who are you?
Are you a fancymonger, too?
Ah, there’s a club for us.
Come along.

If you dream in What-If
and speak in Why-Not.
If you fashion Never-Before
out of Never-Could.

You belong.
Come along.

Christine Richardson
San Jose

* * *

King of the Hill

Competitors across the choppy seas
ready to stomp you down

But you raise yourself from the sodden ground
Young minds
New ideas
Lifting you higher still

Innovation keeps you
King of the Hill

George Rinaldi
Sunnyvale

* * *

Gems in the Valley

Inventions pop from

a matrix of failures,

gleaming like garnets.

David Ring
Palo Alto

* * *

Sight

Tonight, I stare outside, seeing.
Straining through the haze, through the dark.

I blink, and the haze disappears.
The darkness vanishes. And now I can see.

Enlightenment dawns precariously upon the clearing dusk.
Now, It has no doubt, as it envelops the world.
Because there is always more to see.

Manasa Sanka
Cupertino

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