Poems from the 20th Anniversary Authors’ Anthology

New poem by Kim Shuck

2017 Poet Laureate of San Francisco

Drought Break

Weaving of water is layered

Sitting in the rain

Feet dragging in the runoff

I know there are trees coming down tonight

Drought tired

Clots of soil run free

Sailors still catch and spill


Still navigate by song





So far we are still witness


Borderless Butterflies: Earth Haikus and Other Poems
Mariposas sin fronteras: Haikus terrenales y otros poemas

by Francisco X. Alarcon

Federico García Lorca / Roque Dalton /
Gloria Anzaldúa

oh poetas del mundo
de ayer, mañana, siempre
sin fronteras
hermano del alma
hermano en lucha
hermana mestiza
pusieron en riesgo
sus vidas en versos – y ante
mentiras, la verdad

9 de diciembre de 2013
o poets of the world

from yesterday, tomorrow

forever borderless

soulmate brother

brother in struggle

Mestiza sister

you risked your lives

in poems – choosing

truth over lies

December 9,2013


New poems James Downs

Whispers in the grass

The sheer

abruptness of sweetness

on the tongue

the full

dawning of sunflowers

in the mind

the repetitive

mirror taken down

off the wall

the shouldered

certainty of sightings

in the throat

what is it we seek in this life of woe

the twinkled

brightness of benevolence

near the stars

the tried-

and-true of whispers

in the grass

the hunger danger of hope in the heart


The Nature of Mountains

John Peterson

dark season

we keep finding small places that let the

smell of herbs come through

rosemary before its put in the black skillet

with potatoes onions and black pepper

basil oregano and cilantro growing on the roof

top deck where the sound of pigeons and sunsets

fill the sky and early morning bells

from the methodist steeple

stand out against the snow covered peaks

of the cuyamacas

the source of rain in the spider plant

the deep smell of burning oak

eucalyptus both wet and shining and played out in smoke

this is the season the bear sleeps where you and i

slowly give in and lay front to back like spoons in

a velvet embrace


Landscape of a Woman and a Hummingbird

Joe Milosch

He twists his neck to catch the sun,

which turns his throat to the same shade

of red as the fluid in the gourd-shaped feeder.

Peeling grilled tomatoes, she lifts her head

to see him dip his beak, turn his head,

and burst into shadow.

As they slip through her fingers, tomato seeds

become prayer beads, which seem suspended

for a moment before falling into her salsa.

Landscape of a Woman and a Hummingbird

Landscape of a Woman and a Hummingbird
Joseph Milosch
New from Poetic Matrix Press
Available on our website

Climbing Modjeska Peak

It is the same, climbing a mountain
or a high-tension power pole.
The world becomes smaller
as I climb, fixing my eyes
on fractures and fissures
no thicker than a quarter inch.
Creeping up, I follow a trail
of finger-holds as I scale
rock faces, not metal struts.

The world is above, below,
and around me, but I
can’t see more than
a foot in front of me.
Pausing on a ledge, I repeat
a cliché about the view.
At the top, the world expands
into a giant circle.

Standing in the center,
I stretch my arms
and become a cross
visible from the coast;
continuing to lift my arms,
I form a Y. Spinning once
around, I find the world
stands still, and that the earth
shrinks to the size of a pedestal
to keep me from falling into space.

Kings River Canyon – Joe Milosch

Kings River Canyon

This old, bald pine has to know it’s dying.
Maybe it over heard the whispers
of evergreens, growing on these
glacier-sheered cliffs, or maybe
the pine knows it intuitively
as it knows yearly it has to manage
to squeeze out a thin ring
between heart and bark.

Only in the middle does this
old tree show any green.
The top ten feet are marked
entirely by dead branches.
In the lower twenty feet,
bees nest in a charcoal scar
from an old fire.

They form a blossom, brushing
back a ribbon of sunshine
that threads itself through
shade and ground fog.
At its base squirrels abandon
old tunnels to dig new ones. Yet,
this tree still roots down in the face
of winter, in the face of a spring thaw.

In the grip of summer’s
morning breeze, it creeks
as it stands solitary and cinctured
by a semi-circle of saplings
too supple to creak.


Joe Milosch is a retired highway inspector and MFA-trained poet. His 2005 book, The Lost Pilgrimage Poems, was published by Poetic Matrix Press. His upcoming volume, Landscape of Hummingbird and Woman, will be published as part of our Summer 2013 Season of Poetry. This piece is a selection from that manuscript.