Site Write
Poets Laureate

Fame In Alameda


Alameda Island Poets

Cathy Dana, President Alameda Island Poets
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CATHY DANA Alameda Island Poets President
Dear Members and friends.  

 Alameda Island Poets have a monthly reading venue.  First Wednesday of every month, however since independence Day, the 4th of July falls on a Wednesday this year, an exception has been scheduled, our July monthly reading has been moved back one day. 

Our Featured Reader on  Wednesday September 5th  Alameda Island Poets is honored to present Avotjca  

 and fellow musician, Val Serrant. Avotcja is a poet/playwright/multi-percussionist/photographer/teacher who has been published in English and Spanish in the USA, Mexico and Europe. She has been published in more anthologies than she can remember. Avotcja has opened for Betty Carter in New York City, has played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bobi and Luis Cespedes, John Handy, Sonida Afro Latina, Dimensions Dance Theater, Nikki Giovanni, Terry Garthwaite, Piri Thomas, Janice Mirikitani, Diane Di Prima, and Michael Franti just to name a few. She is a Bay Area icon with her band Acotcja and Modupue. Most recently she opened the San Jose Jazz Festival's Latin Stage to standing ovations. Avotcja is a popular Bay Area radio host with shows airing on KPFA and KPOO in SF.
She continues to teach creative writing, storytelling and drama in the schools, is a member of PEN Oakland, Poets in the Schools and is an ASCAP recording artist.
She will be accompanied by talented percussionist and member of her band, Modupue, Val Serrant.

 Alameda Island Poets is a multicultral, multigenerational poetry group.

All are encouraged to attend.
Reading series is coordinated by Nanette Bradley Deetz. FMI call (510) 522-2226.

Open Mic until 9:00pm.

Light Refreshments will be served.

Books Inc, 1344 Park St.

Alameda, California 94501

(510) 522-2226 or (510) 995-8698
Parking is available at a public lot (free after 6pm) located directly across from the Alameda Theater. Street parking is also available.

Sponsored by:
The Alameda Island Poets Chapter of the California Federation of Chaparral Poets Inc.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
OPEN READING -- BRING POEMS AND ALL READ following feature reader....


SATURDAY  Sept 1sr, 2012   3:00 - 5:00 PM
(first Saturday of each month)
1320 Addison St., Berkeley
(Addison, one block south of and parallel to University Ave.)
between Acton & Bonar St.  Reading held on the 4TH FLOOR MOVIE ROOM, Please check in at the front desk.
ALL AGES WELCOME come and enjoy friendly, informal read-arounds -- 3-5 minutes per poet/reader, "just listening" is fine too .
BAPC member JEANNE LUPTON, hosts 2nd & 4th Saturdays Poetry & Prose Reading Series, features with open mic, at FRANK BETTE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 1601 Paru St., Alameda, CA.
Also, BAPC member CATHY DANA hosts a Storytelling Swap on 3rd Thursdays at FBCFTA.
Donations welcome. Get more info about these ongoing events and other programs/classes: http://www.frankbettecenter.org/sub-homepages/programs-homepage.html 
Poets Dinner details visit Poets Dinner Page
Opportunities for future workshop volunteers are available.  

Looking forward to your suggestions,

Cathy Dana


AIP Post a Poem Blog

All poets are invited to join the Alameda Island Poets, one of the 19 chapters of the very active throughout the state California Federation of Chaparral Poets Inc, --one of the oldest and most prestigious Poetry groups in the state. To join, pay dues through the chapter -- the chapter does not keep any of the dues money but keeps record of the members and sends the dues on behalf of the poet to the CFCP Inc state treasurer.
 Membership dues are per year $20.00, add another $5.00 if you want the newsletter mailed to you instead of online. There are no chapter dues or other costs to join the Alameda Island Poets. Information from the CFCP INC newsletter states that anyone joining by December, through April, pays full amount for the year, joining after May 1st, the dues would be $10 for the rest of the year. If a poet joins in August for $20 the balance of this year is free and the dues would be counted by state as paid through Dec of 2012, --
Other Information: For poets who live in a city where there is no existing chapter, why not start a chapter? It takes 5 people with dues paid to state organization to form a chapter. No activities are required of a chapter. Each chapter needs to name officers to be listed in the state roster for contact if needed. Each Chapter is autonomous in deciding if they want to have activities or events, workshops, readings, publish anthologies, have contests, or other activities and events ---whatever the chapter members volunteer as a local chapter to carry through. However they want to serve poetry for their city, of also in the state. Some chapters have dues in addition to the state dues because they publish newsletters or anthologies, make flyers of their events, do mailings or need money for other causes. If a poet wants to be a Member-At-Large they pay dues directly to the Member-at-Large Chairperson, if there is no local chapter they may belong as an independent. There can be more than one chapter in a city, for example one that meets in the day for people who work and one that meets in the evening, or because they have different objectives or ideas for projects and activities, any reason.
A Chapter requires someone to collect the dues and record who members are, their names, addresses and email or mailing info and send it to the state organization. Also, people can rotate in doing this, someone needs to take record of group decisions, that is, a Secretary.
A responsibility of the Chapter President is to send (and give in person at the convention if the state president decides to also have oral communication on these reports) an annual rport on activities of that chapter. If the president does not attend the president delegates someone who attends to give the report.) An annual written report of the previous years activities the group has had should also be supplied, and these are filed by the state historian or other designated chairperson. For several years the chair to receive the reports has been Joy Haas who asks for written reports to be part of the state's permanent record of activity. Each Chapter president is also requested to be a participant in the state meetings as a member of the board and votes on behalf of the group on issues requiring a vote.The president can designate a proxy to give the report and/or vote on behalf of the chapter.  Just as a chapter can organize in any way it wants to under the By-Laws, it can also dissolve as several chapters have done so and as the state organization has come close to, not having officers to lead it; by some miracle it still survives after more than 70 years.
A Partial History of Alameda Island Poets by Mary Rudge: The Alameda poets formed in late 60s but did not become a chapter for 25 years,most poet members wanted only to be involved with local interests, did not want involvement with events outside the city. The group had monthly meetings which included workshops and published an anthology every two years involving over 129 people in these anthologies over the years. Many came from military families --writers new to the area looking for friends and community events to participate in, and a number of young poets from the newly opened college of Alameda -- some wanted to learn to write poetry, others were already known as poets , two had tv shows, poetry was new to the city, this was the first group and most were very enthused, the group did not lack for leaders, several talented individuals waiting their turn to be president, the anthologies and events were put together by committees who met separately and reported back to he group-- usually about 25 or 30 came to every meeting which included a workshop. The meetings were monthly and the business part lasted 30 minutes then the workshop -- such as incorporating words from another language into a poem, writing from the history of a country or culture, or a painting, drawing words at random and using them, using a key word someone presented , setting poems to music, etc. Copies of the poems were colleted at the next meeting and judged -- At the end of the year there was a lunch to which all came who wanted to in a reserved room at the Whales Tail or other restaurant and the awards were given.
Entire families joined, 3 generations in one family,  several families brought from 1 to 4 children who paid dues and participated in programs on various stages throughout the city  including some who did song or dance. on these programs. Several couple joined. People of all ages staffed book tables at recreation department events and other festive events poets participated in, performed on programs or worked on committees.
Several older people died and military families who were not permanent left,  graduates from the college left. About 12 people formerly in the group are still in the city but not involved in the poetry group due to health, age or having become more involved and active in art or their work or other interest groups. By this time Arts groups had multiplied, there were a number of new groups for visual artists, there were several writers groups and other cultural groups in the city.
Some of the poets who continued in their commitment to poetry joined the statewide Chaparral Poets as the Alameda Island Poets became a chapter. Since some of the poets in the chapter now lived in different cities and were leading in other events in other cities too, it was decided there would not be a group activity but each would support the activities others were leading in. I began a poetry series in Alameda of monthly readings. When I became the president of the Alameda Island Poets Chapter I coordinated readings, if the city or another group wanted readers or readings at their events I coordinated this. I prepared an annual agenda of things I would follow through on for the year and at the annual meeting in Jan people could give input what they wanted to do too and participate in. There were no other meetings or workshops but I emailed regular information updates so people could be involved, in events as they came up, December was a social and reading with also a poetry party activity. There were no workshops, meetings, or publications of regular anthologies or contests.  Several annual Haiku and short poems contests were held with events at the Alameda Multicultural Community Center. Three annual theme contests wee held. An anthology on peanut butter as a theme and an anthology of poems aout Alameda were published. A number of outstanding events in cooperation with other groups were held. More people also began joining the Alameda Island Poets and the state Chaparral organization For the chapter to continue it would be important that others would become its leaders, coordinate its readings, and if wanted, have workshops, meetings, or whatever the group members and new leaders would decide. A website was begun, readings had coordinators to continue, responsibilities to lead the group in whatever directions the members and leaders would decide did evolve.
Alameda Island Poets with local members and leadership in the group as has already been established-- there is a more than a year good record of successful readings and other events with new leadership.
I have been putting more of my own energy into the organization on the state level, having in the past, taken responsibilities in the state organization as Childrens Poetry Faire Chair for a number of years back in the 70's , subsequently helped the President without having an office, then have taken office during the past few years such as Convention Program Chair, and as a Vice President. (currently ongoing).  I would not have succeeded in any of this on a local or state level without the support, creative ideas, and good work of people formerly involved this group, such as Mosetta Rose London, Betty Romero, Al DeWitt, AM Fonda, Lisa Piatetsky and even now in the Alameda Island Poets such as Ken Peterson, Natica and Richard Angilly, Claire J Baker, Sarah Lum, Tom Golden, Amy EStrada. Lourdes Costales, Judy Hardin Cheung, and current local leaders, in Alameda, Nanette Deetz, Cathy Dana, Amos White and others who are members, Mary Loughran, Jeany Lupton and more. We remember help received in the past from George Simmons, Peter Sandholdt, others. There are people who have been strong and capable leaders in other cities coming into the local group such as Vince Storti who has a fabulous track record of having published and of having led a popular readings series in San Francisco for many successful years, and others with good, constructive ideas. So I think Alameda Island Poets Chapter will continue to be one of the largest and most diverse and creative chapters in the state.
Still, it only needs to be or can be what people want to volunteer for; there is no judgement of criteria or of people in the group if the chapter moves forward with only its basic minimum required. Any chapter can expand activities or decrease activities at any time, whatever people who volunteer decide they can or want to do. It will be whatever people can take positions to help it be, it is valuable in the community and for the state organization on whatever level it exists.

Anyone and everyone with an interest in Poetry and in the Alameda Island Poets Chapter is invited to renew or join our chapter.  (A one year membership makes a great gift).

Members need not live or work in Alameda. Our chapter does not charge dues for itself. The dues required by the Chapter are dues for the State Association.

Renewing members, please copy form below and include it when renewing.  Please provide the following information:








E-MAIL_______   USMAIL_________

**PLEASE ADD $5 IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE YOUR UPDRAFTS BY US MAIL. (Total membership $25.00 per year)

Membership includes all issues of the newsletter, Updrafts, free contest entry etc in Annual Contest, Monthly Contest information, and biannaual Membership Roster during membership period.

All members renew between 8/1 and 12/31 yearly.

Check the appropriate item:

Membership Annual/Renewal ** .................. $20.00

 Updrafts sent by U.S. Mail. Add $5.00 . Total $25.00

Spouse (1/2 regular member) .... $10.00, $7.50, or $5.00

Junior (under 21; show proof of age) ............. $3.00

Donation (specify amount) ....................

Pay by check or money order made payable to "CFCP, Inc."

Provide contact information and mailing preference (e-mail or U.S. mail) to Ken Peterson, Cathy Dana or Mary Rudge  or send to Ken Peterson, 1529 Sixth Street, Alameda, CA 94501

Some poets have given permission for their poems to appear on FaceBook and the Websites and these poems may be posted to be shared with the public.
Summer Site Write
    Poetry Reading
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For continuing, updated Summer Site Write events and information, tell your friends to check Alameda Island Poets website:   http:\\www.fameinalameda.com
Both the Journal and the Sun have, in past issues, published stories by Nanette Bradley Deetz about the Summer Site Write. 
The business community and AIP have been most enthusiastic about poeticizingwell received event.
for poetry always,
Mary Rudge

Nanette Bradley Deetz
Black crow sitting under a pine tree,
white clouds against an azure sky.
Lazy wind whispers her secrets
as crow listens
from the edges of the world.
We watch each other from different galaxies;
circles, intersecting circles,
as the waters of Alameda Bay
flow around us.
Crow begins his dance
as squirrel appears from behind the pine tree.
Butterfly and dragonfly watch
as our galaxies intersect
for one moment,
under a pine tree by the bay;
at the edge of the world.

Lourdes Costales & Amy Estrada
Lourdes Costales, Amy @ Frank Bette Center & mom

Poem by Lourdes Costales:
My Refuge
Nature - with its clean and simple lines
The sun fading into the horizon
The play of light and dark shadows of a mountain
The landscape at a distance is like
An Ansel Adams black and white photograph.
Trees baring their branches
Birds flying in the moonlight
Sailboats gliding in the calm water.
Whenever I need to refocus
and want to gain perspective
I come back to Crab cove to remind me of
Nature's Simplicity.
Poem by Amy Estrada
(from her book of poems  Ipagpatawad Nino Kami (Pardon Us),
Poems for the Philippines)

We will have a party for Nene.
Nene, "kaligayahan sa  iyong kaarawan"
(happiness on your birthday).
We have only red rice  –
her schoolmates, at home,
eat salads and sweets,
even cakes, everyday!                                                                                                                 "Ipagpatawad ninyo kami sa aming kahirapan"
(pardon us for our poverty),
but we will have red rice with coconut milk,
and let little girls play, pick-up-sticks and pretend.
                                                                                                                                                   It is too small a house for the dancing
and a radio is a precious thing.
ipagpatawad ninyo kami sa aming kahirapan.
(pardon us for our poverty)
but all will sing
"kaligayahan sa iyong kaarawan"
(happiness on your birthday)
Nene, eleven years old.

Amy (Filomena) Bernardo Estrada, born and raised in Manila, in the Philippines, studied and  received  degree from San Francisco State   She co-wrote a book of poems  Ipagpatawad Nino Kami (Pardon Us), Poems for the Philippines with Mary Rudge, and is published in Alameda Poets anthologies, in The Human Face of Love; Light, Dark Wind and Moon; and in Western Arrow 1998, among other publications. She has been a panelist at a World Congress of Poets in English and Spanish, at the California Federation of Chaparral Poets, Inc., convention, on Glenda Bargera's The Star Rover TV show, and has read her poetry at numerous events. Some of her poems are written for and dedicated to children she has adopted in the Philippines. Amy is active with civic, religious and cultural Pilipino community events.
Poem by Angela  Chung Reiss                                                                                                           (pub in Alameda Island Theme Poem anthology)
Angela Reiss is from Korea, a member of the Korean Writers Association, San Francisco Korean Literary Association, Korean Expatriate Literature. She has written articles for bilingual publications, has been a featured reader at poetry events including the Califonria Federation of Chaparral Poets, Inc., state Convention, she  has been a panelist, speaking on translation of poetry, Korean and English. In 2005 she was a  featured poet at a World Congress of Poets in Beijing and Tianan, in China, as a guest of the government.     Angela has also been featured on Glenda Barbera's "The Star Rover" Television show.     
Peaceful place, Alameda
A little island Alameda is
The corner of the bay
Twilight is passion on a shining
Place on the village.
In the early evening a large group of mallards
Calmly sit down with their families
On the golden turf
Over the sea shore
A boat is waiting for the sunshine
At noon,
When the sea is burning from the sun
The wind calls to the boat people
And brings them to the ocean.
But I know the central street,
A roadside tree,
Year and year a hundred years
An ancestor spirit of soul
A blood vessel tree
Deep green of a leaf, open to the sun
Embrace all of island people
Oh!  Yes.
It sounds like Alameda is
A restful,
And peaceful place.
POEMS BY CATHY DANA AND MANY OF THE OTHER POETS ON THIS WEBSITE AS WELL AS OTHER POETS MAY BE FOUND IN THE NEW ANTHOLOGY: Alameda Theme Poems, 2004, 2005, 2006. The first book of its kind in Alameda about Alameda. An Historic addition to your collection. Buy it in Alameda at Wilmot's Book Store, The Frank Bette Art Center, or contact this website or maryrudgepoet@yahoo.com.

Excerpt from a Poem by Cathy Dana:

Conversations with the Sea

Part I. The Place

I notice the place
Where wet sand meets dry
The line curving and
Uneven, a soft shadow
Of hills and valleys, dry sand
Licked by a curious tongue.
Sand embraces, arms open wide,
Greeting these waters, welcoming the waters
Never rejecting
Never too busy
Never closed for the day.
Licked sand smooth and glistening,
Sculpted but not tamed by the watersı touch.
The uneven waterline meanders
Graceful in its lack of discipline
Sometimes a distinct line
Sometimes the dark wet fades imperceptibly
Into the light dry.

Part II. The Gifts

The sea, for its part, brings little gifts
To amuse the sand; pebbles, driftwood,
Broken shells, seaweed; deposits them,
Then leaves them for a time.
Great mounds of seaweed hug the sand,
Resting after a long, liquid voyage
Waiting till the tide sweeps in and
Calls them home again, back
To the undulating underwater world.
The seaweed, pungent and steeped
In by-gone eras, memories of
First life, birth of life, the briny Origins of life,
Is now only great mounds of
Sea debris, heaped carelessly
On wet sand. I step around this debris
Deliberately. I turn to lovelier vistas,
Lapping waters shimmering beneath distant hills and
Big sky, then catch myself knee-deep in a skulking,
Invisible prejudice. Sea ³debris² I
So quickly name it---
And find myself guilty of
Dismissal without observation, perhaps
The one true sin
Against life, against God.

Part III. The Space
I look sandward once more,
Look closer, more space in my breath now
The mounds are angelıs hair, seabraids,
Twisted like French knots
Mounds with long tails
Or tentacles. Angelıs hair
Green, maroon, pink, golden, tangerine,
Purplish brown---a sea rainbow
Festooned with green streamers of
Wakame. Itıs that ³beauty in the eye
Of the beholder² thing; just
So breathtakingly true.
I smile at the seaweed
And nod to prejudice, stalking me still.
I find new space in my breath
For my prejudice. Recognized, it
Becomes transparent and docile.
I turn again to the great
Mounds with tails.
How would I look upon them
Were I the proud mother of
These fine seaweeds?
Would I take time to know
Their every nuance? Would I see beauty
No one else could possibly
See? Would I ache For my seaweed child,
An ache raw, unbidden, and
Clasped fiercely to my heart?


Carrie Clinton
Peace slices generously like a birthday cake
Smells warm like baking cinnamon
Glistens like royal icing
Squeezes like light pink roses
Shines bright yellow and lemony
Celebrates like shiny silver sprinkles
Parades like candles
Satisfies like brownie dark and rich
Refreshes like an ice cold glass of milk
After the bakery burned down
Deadly sweet fumes of crisp sugar
Sharply sliver your tongue
As they hover, as smoke does,
Against the unyielding walls
To ashes and soot the once shiny roses
Blister and peel the shiny metal sprinkle
Candles too weary and wickless to stand
Unrecognizable, the albino brownies
Crumble and sog in the reckless spills
Of lukewarm soda

The New "Gal" in Town by Valerie Broadbent

It was 1999 when I found this special place with tree lined streets and Victorians of grace.

I'd never seen so many: each a treasure with stained glass windows for everyone's pleasure.

Alameda won me over, and I knew I'd stay in this charming island city by the bay.

As soon as I was settled and had more time to explore I became enchanted, as I uncovered more.

My curiosity grew about Alameda's history but our local museum helped solve the mystery.

Its old photos enlightened me greatly when historians showed homes standing stately.

Some were built a hundred years ago or more, and they held the keys which unlocked the door

Revealing interiors of quality construction lovingly restored and saved from destruction.

Enjoying these homes by the bay

is just one of the reasons I plan to stay.

.Peter Lim is a published poet who has enjoyed a long and storied career of writing, though just in his early ‘20's and a student at San Francisco State.      He freelances in his field.  His genre of poetry is "Spoken Word Poetry."  He is  the lyricist for his electronic pop band, Tensegrity Nine and he is also a lead singer extraordinaire. and says he  is available for hire "to perform or write beautiful prose or poetry for your next baby shower, wedding, square dancing event, poetry slam, bar/bat-mitzvah, or on any special theme; nothing will prove too difficult, too outrageous or too far out".  Contact him at
CYBERLIMa@aol.com.  Tensegrity Nine  is an Oakland/Alameda-based Electronic Pop music duo formed in late 2003 and featuring Matt Payne and Peter Lim on a variety of electronic and acoustic instruments. Tensegrity Nine fuses elements of Folk, Rap, J-Pop, Progressive House, and Hyphy to create a distinctly out-of-this-world musical atmosphere. Tensegrity Nine's live performance is a seamless, high-energy affair featuring passionate vocals, musical solos on strange instruments, quirky humor, and choreographed dancing. In essence, it is the musical nerd-rock, electro-pop equivalent of John Mayer, anticon, Yanni, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, thrown into a pot of steaming lava, mixed together with an electric egg beater.
. For more information check websites:

SEASONS by Mary Rudge
Season cycling, cycles spinning
we bring
Interior circles, inner dream
moved by sun-spin, moon-cusp, Saturn,
shaped by our mother's mother's gene
to child of thunder, light, or darkness,
we who are never as we seem,
we who spend a life time learning
who we are and what we mean
are measuring the seasons turning
cycles ending, and beginning..

Mary Rudge speaks internationally at universities, schools, cultural events, and libraries, on five continents on teaching peace skills and Poetry as a Healing Art. She was awarded Honorary Doctorates in Greece, Taiwan, New York, nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her literary work, named Princess of Poetry in Italy, crowned in ceremony at the City Hall Rotunda, San Francisco as an international Poet Laureate. She has been the Poet Laureate for the City of Alameda since 2002. Newspapers have called her a global catalyst and one of the Bay Area's most charismatic poets. Her books include "Water Planet" (Leopold Senghor wrote the preface),  "Hungary, Austria and Other Passions", "Poems for Ireland" "Beat, She Can't be Beat", and a Beatzine publication: "When The Rapture Comes." She co-edited "Poets and Peace International" for ten years which went to numerous countries with poems in seven languages, "State of Peace: The Women Speak," "Poems from Street Spirit" (on homelessness and other social issues), "The Human Face of Love" on Mental Health issues, and most recently edited three volumes of peace poems by local poets  "Farewell to Armaments", "Flaunt Peace in the Face of War" and "For You World Peace IMAGINE."

The Least Tern's Turn
On The Edge of Extinction
On the Mothballed Runway
Of the Alameda Naval Air Station
Sunday, March 28, 2004
               by AM Fonda
There are migrating stars in opaque night skies,
That today to date, elude trained eyes,
These jaded Suns call galaxies home
As we search the heavens, thinking we're alone
Our awareness develops as we learn
To preserve nesting grounds for our friend Least Tern.
Such slender, graceful acrobat,
Sea swallow feasts on anchovies, or fresh crab, cracked
Shorebird, avid fisherman
Will nest on hospitable sand
Or pebbles, concrete or cement,
Whatever grounds Earth won't charge rent
A plot of land, a refuge so
Flocks of Least Terns may come and go.
If we ever locate the center of the Universe
And discover an endangered species arrived there first
Where we are now could be better or worst
Depending on our propensity to learn
On a mothballed runway where, rests, nests Least Tern
AM Fonda's poem, published in the Alameda Island Theme Poem Anthology,
Audubon Society Newsletter,  read in ceremony at the
Least Tern Sanctuary, Alameda Point March 28, 2004
Claire J. Baker has been active in Alameda poetry for years -- in past few years as a member of Alameda Island Chapter of California Federation of Chaparral Poets...Claire credits poetry as having helped her save her sanity when she returned to her birth state as a 20-year-old and began life on her own . Even then, Chaparral Poets served as a comforting anchor.
Claire has eight chapbooks and over 2300 published poems to date (newspapers, journals, anthologies, her Unitarian Universalist monthly church bulletin), among many others over the years.
She is now a proud senior living 10 miles north of Berkeley, her birthplace.
Local and national awards number over 400 to date: Artists Embassy Intl; Street Spirit, Poetalk, Writer's Digest, Coolbrith Circle, and the Poets Dinner, to name a few. She won two Triton medallions and the Grand Prize at Poets' Dinner, 1984, as well as two Grand Prize performances with Artists Embassy Intl.
Ms. Baker is proud to have promoted Poetry Landmarks (a tree, sun dial, bench, plaque) in Northern California. She is still active in the exciting poetry world where she has served as judge, editor and contest chair.  She is an avid reader, lover of animals, proud Unitarian-Universalist,  presently living in Senior apartments in quiet, semi-rural Pinole, CA
Claire has been happy to be a poet and a member of the Alameda Island Chapter of CFCP. 
July 26, 2007
Within the spirals of life's rousing ride
we carry DNA and spirit prints,
flickering drama, foibles, freedoms, talents
through every primal and transcendent fire.
Attempting to master loop-the-loops, we lean
to milder turns, away from jarring dips,
gratified each time we compromise,
cast sun on polar views and clear the fog,
practice stellar acts reflecting love.
When joy bear-hugs and we hug warmly back,
we sip the tasty tea of miracles,
believe that we will thrive on earth forever...
Yet somewhere on the journey, planets which
have circled, marked our birth, will tumble free;
the helix starts to memorize our glow,
our brief or extended melody. When we
can cling no longer, the spiral gives us wings
for soaring on.  We rise, become the sky.
(c) Claire J. Baker
Dancing Poetry Festival, 2005 Grand Prize Winner

Helen Montminy
Alameda is
where soft winds blow friendship
into our lives and hearts forever

Janet Ann Collins
We've got fascinating history and
....a cool delightful view,
A cozy small town atmosphere
....with urban access, too
But it's not just the location;
....those realtors are wrong.
And it isn't our great weather that makes
....this place worth a song.
Sure it's nice to live
....where we can see the Golden Gate.
But, really,
....it's the people that make Alameda great.

Two views of George Simmons

George E Simmons
I Always Come Back
I always come back to Alameda
I was but a youth when I first left
The people the shops the atmosphere
just thinking back I feel bereft
The friends made then, still lasting
and the memories we made
I often regret ever leaving
but those friendships never fade
My childhood was happy then
Spending time at the beach
or riding bikes, or days at school
and the rules they tried to teach
But I always come back to Alameda
for a visit or just a day
And each time I return, I'm reminded
that I'm sorry I once moved away.

two short poems from Light Blooms by
Michael Thomas Kelly
        Oh, Laura
She feels the pain in her beak
as this bird from paradise pecks
at the shell from the inside to break
into the next universe.
the old neighborhoods
      i like the old neighborhoods best
where it takes at least six people
to change a tire  -- two matriarchs
to supervise and advise the married
to console the unwedded
two patriarchs to prattle about
how it was in the good old days
and how it could've been if they'd of
been the boss back then
and one big strapping macho
buck to break the rust on  the lug nuts
and a youngster, eager and almost able
to do the rest of the work and sweat
but what i like best is the loud music
it's always tops with me.

Strength 8 by Tanya Joyce
Tail of a cobra,
Body of him  and her,
Necklace of roses,
Red fur.
Guess who I am.
In all my poses
Sitting, standing,
Running, roaring,
Asleep, I am
Deep inside you.
from anthology Tarot  Haiku
The book features Poetry by members of the
Thursday Night Tarot, started in the 1950's,  one of San Francisco's longest lasting discussion groups.
The book is dedicated to  the late Anna Ruth Kipping, with her photo on the dedication page receiving a First Place Award at the Alameda Short Poem and Haiku Contest Celebration in Alameda in 2002.
Tanya Joyce's Poem in the Alameda Island Theme Anthology titled Webster Street Stitching won her the title of Poet Laureate of Stitchery. She also composed several Haiku and other poems in the Alameda Theme Poems Anthology



Four theaters in Alameda were named Alameda.

Not many cities can claim something like that.

Yet though the names of all four were the very same,

Each could easily be told part from the other.


The first was a storefront in a most unlikely place,

A red Masonic Temple on a corner of Park Street.

A long time ago that first one was but that lair still abounds

Yesterday was super flicks, today is a Supercuts.


The second had an architect named Albert Cornelius,

Was on Santa Clara just off of Park Street.

Had a name change to Rialto but was close soon after.

Best known later on as bowl alley, now it’s bank.


The third, largest and best-known of all

Was on Central Ave just off of Park Street.

From Timothy Pfluger like Castro and Paramount,

Became rink now gym and awaits a comeback.


The fourth was drive-in, not off of Park Street

But an outdoor cinema just out of the tube,

Across the drive from its neighbor named Island.

Now is gone and replaced by a college (kind-of) named




Four teatros hath the name Alameda in Alameda.

One is true landmark, so should the other three.

The names were the same but the venues were not.

But all were once main sources of entertainment






İ 2006 Garrett Murphy



Mary Loughran

Mary Loughran


Zoo Story


She laughed when she saw the flamingoes’

brilliant salmon in the sunlight, a dozen

perched on one stalk leg creating their own

reedy vertical bed in that open grassy space

they slept in at the zoo.


Too young, to appreciate the uniqueness

of their necks wrapped around their feathered

bodies like a stole nonchalantly tossed,

I watched her enthusiasm through the lens

of childhood, feeling slightly lost.


Seeing wonder all around me, since every sight

was new, and from that place where wonder lived,

her delight, in my sight, grew into a strange,

unnatural thing I had not seen before

in this mommy that I knew.


Unnatural the zoo where tigers pace

round and round their outdoor cage,

and panthers pace indoors the same,

where apes toss oranges peels and apple cores

and sometimes heads of lettuce, where lions

spray and llamas spit and emus peck at

children’s hats and sometimes bit off buttons,

where mothers laugh, cajole and kid.


We saw the elephants that day inside

their own enclosure while mother

talked with shining eyes to the man

who looked no older. We saw those elephants

quite up close that day, heard stories

of love and comfort between them.

We saw a mouse among their dung,  

worried for its freedom. But most of all

I saw that day my mother as a woman,

and wondered why her cage was home,

and why the zoo was freedom.