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"Kitchen Tools”
Alison Parham


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Barbara Bloom to honor Joan Safajek

Orchards in Deep Time

When I was a child

my father brought home oranges,

gold and exotic from groves

that surrounded our city,

small towns called Santa Ana,

San Jacinto, Temecula, Corona del Mar.

Each morning my mother juiced them,

and I remember how I loved to pull

down the long metal handle

that pressed sliced halves flat,

the juice sweet as California's

endless summer.


Now the groves of my childhood

are gone, forgotten in a sea

of red tile roofs and air that kills.

I hold their loss in deep time

to soften sorrow: the long history

of earth remaking itself, tectonic

plates adrift on molten mantle,

continents faulted and folded,

magnetic poles wandering,

even the equator restless,

and all of California

predicted to break away,

in the end an island

worn down to sand.


On such a scale the weight of grief

becomes irrelevant. We learn

to anticipate silence.

And yet I weep for orange blossoms,

the lingering absence of their scent,

in the desolate Santa Ana wind.



BARBARA BLOOM – a longtime Cabrillo College English instructor, grew up on a remote coastal homestead in British Columbia, Canada, came to Santa Cruz to attend UCSC and never left.  She currently lives in the countryside outside Corralitos with her musician husband. Her first full-length collection of poems, On the Water Meridian, was published by Hummingbird Press in 2007.  She enjoyed many years of fun and productive association with Joan Safajek in her writing group and is honored to be reading her work tonight.

JOAN SAFAJEK – (1937-2012) was born in Los Angeles and educated at Stanford and UCLA, received a MS degree in Clinical Psychology from San Jose State University, and trained at the San Francisco Jung Institute. A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist,  she was committed to depth work in dreams and sand play. Joan loved Hawaii, the Hawaiian culture and people.  She lived for four years on the Big Island, where she designed her own house, joined a women’s writing group, and began writing poetry. Returning to Santa Cruz, she studied with Joe Stroud at Cabrillo College, published in Porter Gulch Review, and in 2002  won the Mary Lonnberg Smith Poetry Award. Joan delighted in her river cottage in Felton, her family and her dog Kaimu who rarely left her side. She published her book of poems, In Deep Time, and gave it a beautiful launch reading just months before she died.

In Celebration of the Muse
Brianna Barreto
Donna Becker
Deborah Bryant
Ruth Elliott
Susan Freeman
Patricia Grube
Diane Dobrin Grunes
Geneffa Popatia Jonker
Sylvia Patience
Jennifer Pittman
Bernice Rendrick
Dena Taylor
Louise Thornton
Patrice Vecchione
Renee Winter
J. Zimmerman

Rosie King for Tilly Shaw

Barbara Bloom for Joan Safajek

Featured Artist
Alison Parham

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