for later.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery, and The Pink Institution by Selah Saterstrom. Some of her favorite poets are Pablo Neruda, Daisy Zamora, Yusef Komunyakaa and Tsering Wangmo Dhompa.

Constellations

The confused calla lily bulbs, having labored
over which direction to grow (it’s a 50/50 chance,
the surface one way and evermore dirt the other)
live only so long in this California winter. As if
it were my job to take on their struggle, I say
a prayer for the weather to stay right. While
I’m at it, I pray for the senate to pass healthcare,
for the Bay Bridge to stay structurally sound. I pray
for my great grandmother, who burned in Treblinka,
and for my unborn children, doomed to remember her.

For now they stand, the garden’s strongest flowers,
stems all a tremble in the February rain. Knowing.

What is poetry?

Poetry observes the world, and in so doing, uses bodies of words to reveal the extraordinary nature of the world – the world of language, the world of the poet, the world of the audience, the world of a specific poem as a specific artifact. When all the worlds come together, poetry has the power to transcend. Poetry is about the words/worlds on the page, but it’s also about the experience that prompted the poem, it’s about the experience of reading a poem.

Where does the need for writing poetry come from?

Poetry is like the ultimate action verb; whatever that may be. To poem. Poetry investigates, questions, examines, explains, observes, comments, creates….poetry tells history. We need poetry to remind us to investigate, question, create etc. And when we forget to do these things, we read poetry that does. It keeps us on our toes. It keeps us in touch with ourselves, and the world around us.

How does poetry align mind, body and spirit?

A poem invokes mind, body and spirit. It facilitates the melding of so many principles – the intellectual mind, the emotional mind, the “brain” as organ, the physical body of the poem, the spirit of the poem, the spirit of the soul. A poem creates a conversation between all these things…

What are the healing properties of poetry?

Writing or reading poems, for me, can be cathartic. When poetry resonates – it is an incredibly clarifying experience. I read some poems over and over again, and each time they reveal something different to me. Poems are living things; they change with you, and they change you, if you bring yourself to them.

How many types of poetry are there?

Endless.

Where to start when you think you are a poet?

There are a lot of different paths for poets. When I started to believe I was a poet, I started a manuscript and I used that manuscript to apply to MFA programs. Which is only one option, but it was the right one for me. I think MFA programs are fabulous places for poets; they have built-in communities. And poets need community – big time. Then start sending your poems out into the world, and hopefully they’ll find a home.

What are the qualities of a good poet?

A poet just keeps writing…and learns from writing. Also a good poet learns from reading – not just poetry, everything.

Why does poetry play an essential role in human consciousness?

Because poetry is a reflection of consciousness.

What it is like

The calf is born in winter

havened

by shallow waters
Fifteen feet long

all blood and blubber,

he weighs 2,000 pounds

Mother and son swim north

sprout the surface

hum across the void

From the blue mantle

rapid undulations

beg their notice

Sleek side bodies

abstruse eyes

a severe contrast

in black and white

All are Mother and child–

the whales and killer whales,

the ocean, the surface
Great bodies

crashing,

the water breaking

in shards around them.

Meredith Dana Page is an English Instructor at Berkeley Community College. She is a poet.

wrote this at 5am

i just had what can only be described as a lucid dream. i vaguely remember it, started out in a clerk type store, then i met someone, couldn’t quite remember her name. I said i was from Calameda, she laughed, i laughed, she said she had family there. then she went to a different door threshhold, and i stood in a clerk’s line. i was supposed to purchase something or another, but ended up just oddly enough, scanning the barcode, and taking it with me. then i saw a new looking wallet, which looked like my current wallet. i remembered i was supposed to dump my wallet, so that they do not look for me, the projections that end the dream. i swapped the walletes, and walked out the store, and as i did, i saw people in suits walking toward the store as i walked out. i can only assume they were after me. As i walked past them, i ended up near an slide escalator.i accidently kicke a baby as i went down. i said sorry, the mother was stern and looked at me, the father shrugged it off. then i remember ending up at Daniel Chen’s place, and as i got to his place, someone, not quite sure who,

i bought one single pair of shoe. at the store. for.. something. one single shoe, not pair. along with other stuff. this person, not sure who, dropped off 5 pairs of shoes. Daniel was happy, said even though he was out of the shoe game, it’s nice to have em back. god made him choose to stop. then he asked, are we leaving now? i said i was going to do some work. i pulled out a notebook, and exclaimed, i need a journal, and began to write. i wrote. it was awesome. i could see my words on the paper, i saw the words lucid dream and then my mind began to crunch itself. i said to myself, i need a journal. then reality flooded back, so i tried to stay under as long as i could, then right before i woke, i remembered. I was in my subconciouus, and i tried to say theseven while in dreamstate.

it was sunny. time literally felt like an entire day, but in actuality, it was about 5 hours in ConsistentConstruct. 11pm to 5am. the CAL vampus was prominently portrayed.

Okay, that was amazing, but i’m going back to sleep. GoodNight.

i could open my eyes and see the dream, but i blinked a bit, and opened my eyes, , clamped my eyes shut, slowly opened them back to CC.

The day nbefore the dream was w wweird too. It started out with Steven Munoz, whos aid these words, it’s going to be a weird day. cause i met this guy ffirst day of bcc in the counseling room, i didn’t rmember him at all. i sat down next to him because he looked like tucker. we reemembered out old scores, i remember hes from alameda, wait no , san leandro, and then as i was sitting and chatting, maria comes over. i talked to her for a bit, and blah blah, decide to head over to sasha. after the studying, i also met maria again, sasha and me went to an empty room and sat there till my class started. then i went to anth, saw maria outside. talked to ken. class ended, talked to maria outside, then i went to vending machine, got some chips, then to stats. stats, lauren, heather, cameron, weed guy, ended, saw mark. forgot ken’s number, ken found Me, upstairs one. then said goodbye to shsha, saw ken, went to study lounge to work. eventful, i left my book somewhere, probably with ken right now, then he left, i went upstairs. sasw sompong. saw Jessie. talked, shes in novato, bocapizzaria, pizzeria, then she left, i saw Russel, menlopark, etc. then i went on bart. saw Buddy and Michael Noonan, talked, egypt, noonan got off on macarthur, i leftt at 12th, Buddy going to san leandro bart. i came home, ate, took out garbage, showered, slept, dreamed. great day. GoodNight.

I choose to believe in choosing my beliefs.

Okay, so I have this writing assignment for class. In 500 words or less, I have to write about what I believe. One, absolute, soul-defining thing. Damn. Well, I thought i’d write it here too, for the sake of posting too.

Let’s hope it ends up being good.

Choice means being able to decide whether or not you wish to be the creator of your own life. It means knowing that everything within your life is something that you created, all the good things with the bad, and all the meaning behind why it has become a part of your existence.

I was introduced to this concept during my younger years. At that time, the main draw was that if everything was a choice, then there was nothing that I had to do, only that which I wished to do. It became the tool I used to justify not doing my homework or being kind to others. Needless to say, my mother did not take kindly to my newfound liberation from her rules. What she did not realize however, was that this belief brought truth and meaning to my life.

The truth is that you are the sole architect of your life and that nothing is without your making. This means that everything in your life matters far more because you are no longer living for the sake of living, but living for the sake of creating a meaningful existence. Armed with this revelation, I began to uncover why I do the things I do, and why things are the way they are within the lives of others.

Doing my homework and being kind to others became things that I wanted to do and things that I enjoyed doing. I wanted to do my homework so that I could learn the material and I wanted to be kind so that I may feel the elation of their gratitude. It was no longer because “my mom said so” or that “it’s the rules.” This manifested immense meaning in my life through knowing the reasoning behind my choices.

I could now see that my bad grades were not the direct result of the fighting between my parents, but were in actuality the result of my choice to squander my time in attempting to quell it. Any victimization I felt vanished and all the blame and potential fame became mine to take. It would seem that I had simply forgot this intrinsic truth of choice that all of humanity is given.

With this thought and all the other things that I choose to believe, I try to maintain a mind open with wonder and not closed by belief, because If everything is a choice, then nothing is an absolute. While there is a sense of pride and power in accepting this idea, there is also a deeply humbling aspect that is a tad more subtle. If I believe that nothing is an absolute, then I believe there could be something else in the world that I know not of. My mind ought to be open to the wondrous things that are out there.

There are intricacies and subtleties that interconnect the belief of choice with others, which changed the way I viewed my other beliefs and the nature of belief itself.