Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Feb 10th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Poems of David Swanger

ae poetryEditor’s note:  This week’s Poetry Corner features David Swanger, the second Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate. Swanger has received fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council. He has written a book about poetry, “The Poem as Process,” a book about aesthetic education, “Essays in Aesthetic Education,” as well as four books of poems. His most recent book of poems, “Wayne’s College of Beauty,” won the John Ciardi Prize in Poetry, and was a finalist in Fore Word’s Book of the Year Awards.
Natural Disaster
(January 1982, Santa Cruz County)
 
Overflow advances across strawberry
fields, insinuates streets and suddenly
everyone has a house on the water. And
such rich, redolent water, water carrying
land with it, effluents, aromas, stranded
cars, bodies in cars; water driving snakes
ahead of it, water augering through levees
and piling the fluid tonnage of itself against
bridges that break, great trees that swim
away from the bank and ride the roiling
surface until they are snagged by other
trees and slam sideways, trees logging up
into dams over which the river schusses.
 
The names of the creeks: Lompico, Bear,
Soquel, Zayante, Kings, Two Bar, Empire,
Aptos, Granite. And the rivers: Pajaro,
San Lorenzo. The names of the dead:
George, Leon, Sheila, Juan, Unknown and
Unknown. The names of the gods: Jaweh,
Father, Holy Spirit. The name of the lake
on whose bank grows a tree said to form
an image of the Virgin Mary in its bark:
Pinto. The name of the lucky one, not
home when his house slid over the edge:
Robert. The name of the thing that brings
the rivers up and the hills down: rain.

Personal Statement by David Swanger:
I am honored to be chosen by the Cultural Council and representatives of Poetry Santa Cruz as the second Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate. And it is a privilege to succeed Gary Young in this position. Gary brought luster to the laureateship by his talent and stature as a poet, and by giving voice to poetry throughout the community. We have an especially talented and active cohort of poets in Santa Cruz. I look forward to working with my fellow poets on a range of endeavors—Santa Cruz reading series, publications, commemorations, festivals and other celebrations. With colleagues, I plan also to engage in outreach among diverse audiences, joining teachers, librarians, journalists, and civic and religious leaders to broaden and deepen poetry’s presence in both Santa Cruz proper and South County. Most of all, I anticipate joy in being an official emissary on behalf of poetry.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Making Dreams

Coen brothers salute vintage Hollywood in sly comedy ‘Hail, Caesar!’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster