Tag Archives: Kathleen Goldbach

Kathleen Goldbach: A favorite poem

In Praise of My Sister
Wislawa Szymborska
translated from the Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

I always love poems that have bits and pieces of everyday life in them. This poem does, and it also has humor and generosity. I wish I could read and understand it in the original Polish, but I have to be content with the excellent translation. It makes me grateful that through such translations we can view the lives of people so far away and see that what is meaningful to others, as well as ourselves, are the differences we accept in each other and the small moments of grace that we find in each day.

Kathleen Goldbach
Music Teacher, 68

In Praise of My Sister

My sister doesn’t write poems,
and it’s unlikely that she’ll suddenly start writing poems.
She takes after her mother, who didn’t write poems,
and also her father, who likewise didn’t write poems.
I feel very safe beneath my sister’s roof:
my sister’s husband would rather die than write poems.
And even though this is starting to sound as repetitive as Peter Piper,
the truth is, none of my relatives write poems.

My sister’s desk drawers don’t hold old poems,
and her handbag doesn’t hold new ones.
When my sister asks me over for lunch,
I know she doesn’t want to read me her poems.
Her soups are delicious without ulterior motives.
Her coffee doesn’t spill on manuscripts.

There are many families in which nobody writes poems,
but once it starts up it’s hard to quarantine.
Sometimes poetry cascades down through the generations,
creating fatal whirlpools where family love may founder.

My sister has tackled oral prose with some success,
but her entire written opus consists of postcards from vacations
whose text is only the same promise every year:
when she gets back, she’ll have
so much
much to tell.

Wislawa Szymborska

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Wonderful entries: More poets on the move~

Here comes another installation of Poetry on the Move contest entries to keep National Poetry Month moving.

Enjoy! And if you care to leave a comment, I know the poets would love hearing from you.

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

* * *

Something In Us

We grew from ORCHARDS and Sand in this VALLEY.
In HOME garages, great minds CONNECTED us.
ELECTRONS streamed, re(e)-inventing the way we view the world.
Here, the World comes to us, not because of lines that have crossed.
Because something in us Changes lines to include the All in US.

by Nick Butterfield
San Jose, CA

* * *

State of Mind

Golden State
Land of Invention
Mother of Invention
Promised Land
Land of Opportunity

by Debbie Ford-Scriba

* * *

Going Home
People come from everywhere and wind-up on Stevens Creek,
Some talk to friends on their cell phones, while others, they don’t speak,
Some read a book, others sleep as down the road they sail,
I’m happy to be headed home today on the light rail.

by Stan Garber
Los Gatos

* * *

The Little Spider

Designer and builder
No degree from a school
She builds what she needs
Without blueprint or tool.

Climbing, rappelling
Trailing silk all the way
Constructing radials and circulars
It’s done in a day.

Apprehending a fly
She binds him up tight
Using loops of her silk
He’ll be dinner tonight.

by J. Richard Gaskill
Los Gatos

* * *


An inventor invents a tool
with the one shape that fits.

An artist invents light
with the right shade of blue.

A mother invents a soup
with her last scraps of food.

A child invents the world
with the ants in the sand.

by Kathleen Goldbach

* * *


Alas, I have another fear:
Antiques get newer every year.
Computers now are getting old—
I must accept that, I am told.

I guess I mustn’t make a fuss
When they include my old Mac Plus.
I’m sure I’ll see, before I drop,
An iPod in an antique shop.

by Jack Hasling

* * *


On the train,
in the bus,
no need for defensive
In the quiet,
scenery passing,
“what if’s” rise to the top.

The best thinking
not always in the shower.
The wheels turn,
the mind’s wheels turn,
replenishing the invent-
ory of ideas.

by Bonnie Home
San Jose

* * *

On the Right Track

It’s a mouse that cruises all day,
in Silicon Valley it finds its way.
You can Google the traffic right around the area
or take the historic trolley without the hysteria.
“Take us to Great America”,
as they jump and scream in euphoria.

by Nicandro Ilagan

* * *

Ode to an Electric Motor
(Powering a VTA Light Rail Car)

Oh Motor — How quietly you propel through busy sanity;

Silently laughing, almost smirking at auto profanity.

Oh Motor — Ever driven forward – Faraday’s electrons pulsing overhead;

Your safe, warm transport sometimes forgotten as dreams turn dread.

Oh Motor — Powering things big and small, keep us on-track through life’s inhumanity.

by B. Johnson
San Jose

* * *

Silicon Valley 3.0

Once dubbed Valley O’Hearts Delight
begat Shockley’s transistors
a silicon birthright

The Farm seeding
ventures to be
computing solutions the fruit of HP

NeXT Jobs and The Woz
thought differently
Macintosh truly an extension of me

iPhoney friends only in numbers grow
#Quantifed-self a friend or a foe?
Crowdsourced solutions IS Valley 3.0h

by Edward Jonathans

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