The so-called Classic Site that Google has provided to me for a couple of decades is being replaced by a new site with different formatting as of 9/1/2021. I have tried working with the new formatting and have mostly failed. I'll check back 9/2 and see what has become of my site and any pages connected to it that might remain..
27 June 2021, wonderful artist Susan Street of Benicia’s HQ Gallery gave me the painting I wrote a poem for that was exhibited in May and June at the gallery. To see all the paintings and their accompanying poems, go to hq gallery.net.
15 November 2020, Wayne Thiebaud’s 100th birthday, for which the Paul Thiebaud Gallery in San Francisco will include among his greetings Leaving Sweet City, as published in the November Crockett Signal.
31 October 2020. Since June I have enjoyed participating in Vallejo’s Ozcat radio’s poetry hour at 10:30 a.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month, reading my Carquinez Frog on 6/25/20, Reconsidering My Relationship to the Artichoke on 7/23/20, and To Our California Landlord on 9/24/20. In November I will read Leaving Sweet City in honor of Wayne Thiebaud’s 100th birthday 11/15/20.
31 August 2020. 94th Annual Poets Dinner winners list released after Covid 19 canceled the in-person event. “Substitutes” has been added to the Winners page.
8 August 2020. Among 18 ekphrastic poems online at https://artsbenicia.org/flux-wax-in-all-forms-poetry/
are three of mine (Clicking on Enter the Gallery and then Poetry Gallery will get you to the art and poetry written so far.)
1 August 2020. “Reconsidering My Relationship to the Artichoke” appeared in the Crockett Signal, Issue 340, August 2020.
31 July 2020. “Lady Liberty” appeared in Mary Susan Gast’s Benicia Herald column (see series info beginning 17 April below).
24 June 2020. “Masked” appeared in Mary Susan Gast’s “Going the Distance” Benicia Herald column, Volume 3 of the new series headed by the Statue of Liberty in a mask.
3 June 2020. “Benched” appeared in Mary Susan Gast’s “Going the Distance” Benicia Herald column, Volume 28.
17 April 2020. My acrostic poem “Pandemic” appeared in the Benicia Herald, thanks to Mary Susan Gast, whose “Going the Distance” series can be found here, where “Pandemic” is in Volume 8: http://marysusangast.com/going-the-distance-index-to-authors/
28 March, 2020. HQ Gallery in Benicia had scheduled an ekphrastic reading for 21 March that had to be canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here's a link to 16+ paintings with their poems including mine to work by Ronna Leon and Sara Wong. The gallery will be updating its ekphrastic pages during the pandemic: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IvxqDasRGbKt9YTCf0P25gZ64vJyVuZf/view
10 January, 2020. Happy surprise when John Rowe, BAPC president, notified me that "Two Woods" had won a third prize in Contest 40 (see Winners page).
2 November, 2019. Wonderful 100th annual Ina Coolbrith Circle banquet today. Was delighted to win in Humor (see Winners page).
13 September, 2019. Another fun ekphrastic event, this time in Vallejo.
10 August 2019. Another ekphrastic event at Benicia Plein Air Gallery—Judith Kunzle’s reception, for which the poem below. (Click to expand.)
30 March 2019. 93rd Annual Poets' Dinner gave me a win and an honorable mention today. See Winners (navigation to left).
22 March 2019. Another Benicia ekphrastic event at HQ Gallery—such fun! Two dozen of us read our poems for two and three paintings and sculptures by HQ artists to a crowd out the door. Peter Bray made a 3-page photo collage, and since I’m in it, I’m posting p. 3 😏
24 February 2019. Arts Benicia's "Art of a Community" closed today with some 30 of us reading our ekphrastic poems. Here’s a Peter Bray photo of part of the audience. Elizabeth Bush’s photo and my poem for it, “Prickly,” are on the More Ekphrastics page, to the left.
15 December 2018. Another fun ekphrastic event in Benicia, this time at Benicia Plein Air Gallery, featuring Samantha McNally. Pasted in is one of my poems for her paintings (click to expand).
3 November 2018. Added two poems to Winners page (navigation to left).
14 October 2018. Another fun ekphrastic event in Benicia,
where Sara Wong gave me this cupcake cookie for the poem I wrote for her cupcake painting.
April 2018 celebrated with the release of two anthologies:
The Ina Coolbrith Circle Gathering 14, 2017-2018, and
the Benicia First Tuesday Poets' seventh anthology, "Light and Shadow."
19 November 2017. Another fun ekphrastic event in Benicia.
1 August 2017 Look forward to Sunday, as below.
1 April 2017 Added "Josephine" to Winners page (navigation upper left).
13 February 2017 At Arts Benicia, 991 Tyler St., on Saturday afternoon, 4 February 2017, an ekphrastic reading with 20 Benicia First Tuesday poets for "The Art of a Community" attracted a sizable audience to celebrate many of the 200+ art works at the exhibit. A binder of the 40+ poems we read is on site. The exhibit will remain until Sunday, 19 February, 2017. Hours 12-5, Wednesday-Sunday.
5 November 2016 Ina Coolbrith Circle's 97th annual banquet was fun to read for and win a prize at (third in Humor for "Vicarious Exercise"). Here's a photo of banquet host Connie Post (in black) with readers Deborah Grossman, Stan Morner, Charlie McCauley, and me (behind Stan).
25 September 2016 Thanks to Dr. Jim Ott, yesterday's feature at the Ina Coolbrith Circle meeting, my poem "Escape" landed in the ICC Po-Bowl at http://coolpoetry.org/inthepobowl.html for a month.
12 August 2016 Benicia Plein Air Gallery reception with paintings by all 12 artists, for whom the Benicia First Tuesday poets wrote and delivered their poems.
I was happy to see one of my poems published in the 12 August Benicia-Herald.
23 July 2016 Participated in the Nikki Basch Davis Benicia Library exhibit with other First Tuesday poets.
25 June 2016 Benicia First Tuesday Poetry group's sixth anthology, Crossing the Strait, launched at the Benicia Public Library (100+ pages).
19 March 2016 is Catherine Fasciato's Saturday afternoon reception at the Benicia Plein Air Gallery, 307 First Street, from 4 to 6 p.m., where Frances Jackson and I will read our poetic tributes to Catherine's ocean paintings. More information is here: http://www.beniciapleinair.com/Benicia_Plein_Air_Gallery/Home.html
6 February 2016 Enjoyed reading Coastal Jewelry from the February Crockett Signal at BAPC's February gathering in Berkeley with a very lively group of poets. A write-up of the event and the winning poems (online through April) can be seen here: https://sites.google.com/site/bayareapoetscoalition/Home/annual-contest
8 January 2016 Added Coastal Jewelry to WINNERS page (Navigation to the left).
24 October 2015 Very much enjoyed participating in this Ina Coolbrith program put together by Maggie Morley and videotaped, where it can be accessed here:
Saturday, October 24th, 2 p.m.
THE CAMPBELL THEATRE
636 Ward Street
The following members read about Ina's contemporaries and from their poetry:
Richard Angilly: George Sterling
Stan Morner: Bret Harte
Sherry Sheehan: Jack London
Tanya Joyce: Joaquin Miller
Robert Eastwood: Robinson Jeffers
1 August 2015 Enjoyed the reception for "Streets and Straits in Poetry and Paint" at the Benicia Library, where more than a dozen of us read our poems for Benicia Plein Air Gallery artists' paintings on exhibit at the library through August. Here's the poster Peter Bray created for the event.
11 June 2015 Added Mary Reusch's painting "Abode" to MORE EKPHRASTICS with my ekphrastic poem for it, "A Bonnard Bath."
23 May 2015 Enjoyed co-featuring with Deborah Silverman at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts in Alameda. Jeanne Lupton runs a fun venue.
11 April 2015 Added to the WINNERS page (menu to the left).
9 December 2014 "An Exploration of M.A.R.S.: Poems inspired by the Art of Marco Antonio Rosales Shaw" is an anthology of poems by Suzanne Bruce, Susan Condeff, Deborah Fruchey, William Landis, Stan Morner, Indigo Moor, Maria Rosales, Deborah Silverman, Sandra Lee Stillwell, and me. This beautiful 50-page paperback is available at Amazon for less than $10. "Wipe-out," one of my poems in the book, has been added to ANTHOLOGIZED (menu to the left).
[earlier events deleted]
Welcome to my paperless poArtry and poetry pages. Since composing this Home page in October 2008, I've added more recent updates and a few more pages, clickable under Navigation to the left.
For links to more art and poems at other sites, please scroll to the end of this page.
The five poems on this home page are
IRONIES AT THE DMV
ENCOUNTER ON I-80
This mysterious Santa Fe painting by Michigan artist Mary Reusch provoked a small ekphrastic tribute below.
after Mary Reusch's painting, "Inside the Kiva Inner Door, Inner Light"
What glows so much that its identity mystifies me
Makes me think of a heavenly newspaper delivery
Makes me wonder whether I could read about the dead
Not their obits as in our newspapers
But their doings as related in this dispatch
Tell me please that such a medium exists
That even if on earth our newspapers
The dead have not discarded theirs.
Here's a long ago poem I still like.
A frog near a pond,
on a smooth stone,
I lie in bed
under a leaf
on a hot morning,
for a flyspeck of desire
to prod me to action.
My pond is the Carquinez Strait,
at least a mile from here,
at least an hour's hopping,
but I remember a closer pond,
empty in the next room,
the clawfoot tub.
I'll start the water in it,
rub the mud from my thinking,
and soak until I’m human.
Published in "Windows & Skylights / Anthology 3 / Benicia First Tuesday Poets (Outskirts Press, Inc., 2010) and in the Benicia Herald on April 26, 2011, as part of its April poetry series. Also published in the April 2021 Crockett Signal, Issue 347.
The two poems that follow appeared in the Crockett Signal.
IRONIES AT THE DMV
"Perfect score," she beamed,
looking up from my DMV
exam. "Blue eyes, brown hair"
the other clerk said, sharing
my stats, ignoring the gray
and buying the figure I gave
as my weight, which let me
leave, confident in my abilities,
until I couldn't find my car
without asking a stranger
to direct me to the store
whose parking lot I'd used.
to the printed page
than to the real world,
I combined the two
in a dark cartoon
when I chanced to witness
a passing Prius
whose driver blew
a cloud of smoke
from the cigar he chewed.
ENCOUNTER ON I-80
From the back of a Berkeley Farms van
a painted Holstein looks at me.
She seems black-and-white sure
of her place in the universe.
As we roll down I-80,
I talk to her through my windshield.
She’s a silent metal shimmy
among thick-trunked trees.
Her eyes are meltingly real.
I am reassured by her bovinity.
I inform the Holstein, who keeps a watch on me,
that I’m on my way to a latté,
a drink of steamed milk rich in calcium,
and that its espresso with flavonoids
is also healthy.
I call the latté my medicinal libation.
As the Berkeley Farms van pulls away,
I thank the silent Black and White
for my upcoming milk and caffeine fix.
It couldn’t exist
without her adorably lovely coy cowness,
now disappearing into the distance.
© Sherry Sheehan
For my granddaughter Claire's seventh birthday in October 2008, I sent her this poem written when visiting her and her family in Michigan shortly after her birth.
Through a window wet with rain
I see a row of cypress sway.
They mark the nearby neighbor's lane
a minute’s walk away.
I hold my infant grandchild, Claire.
While watching from our kitchen spot,
we sway the same in our cool air.
October here is not that hot.
Though I've no leaves for her to munch,
she holds me like a koala bear
who’s found a eucalyptus notch
that she’s prepared to share.
While wind and water swirl outside,
I shift from one leg to the other.
I’m the traveling tree she rides,
her just arrived grandmother.