Len Anderson & his Science Guys and J. Zimmerman, make up the group of Scientist Poets. If you’ve seen the previous post, you’ve already seen what Len and Joan are up to. Here, you’ll see the remaining Science Guys who are poets too: Robert Pesich, J. David Cummings, John Nimmo, and Dennis Noren. The six of them will be presenting some fabulous poetry at the San José Poetry Festival 2016: Breaking Borders, on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at History San José, from 10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. Check the Schedule to find the location of the presentation.
ROBERT PESICH, President of PCSJ (2012-present), coordinator of The Well-RED Reading Series (2013-present) and editor/publisher for Swan Scythe Press. Nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize, he was awarded the Littoral Press Poetry Prize in 2009, received poetry fellowships from Arts Council Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and was thrice a Djerassi Resident Artist Fellow. Author of Burned Kilim (Dragonfly Press) his collection of poetry Night Sutures is in submission. He works as a research associate/lab manager for Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research and also for Stanford University, Department of Infectious Diseases.
The mountain invites the lightning to pierce its face
and the body was made to be plowed with the tongue.
I can’t help but press my chest
against the green blade of your name
that cuts a path through the day’s walls
to the silence that accompanies blood and blue
and the horizons in the horizon of our newborn breath.
J. David Cummings was employed as a theoretical physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for more than 10 years. He resigned in 1973 out of the conviction that he could no longer work in nuclear weapons development. In the early ’90s he traveled to Japan, visited the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park, and soon began writing the poems that culminated in his book Tancho. Poems by J. David Cummings have appeared in the Slapering Hol Newsletter, Poetry Flash, Bellowing Ark, Convergence, and in several issues of The Sand Hill Review. His full length manuscript, Envoy, was a finalist in several national contests, including the National Poetry Series Open Competition and the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award. Also, an excerpted portion of this manuscript comprises a chapbook that has been a finalist in the Tupelo Press Snowbound Series Chapbook Competition and the Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition. The poems “A-bomb Dome”, “Tancho“, and “I Have Begun the Folding of Cranes” are taken from the Envoy manuscript. Winning Entry: A-bomb Dome, Tancho, I Have Begun the Folding of Cranes Contest Won: War Poetry Contest 2010, Honorable Mention.
SUFFER THE CHILDREN, FORBID THEM NOT
—Mathew 19: 14
What can anyone do now
but remember the children
in the streets, eight forty-five,
dressed in their clean uniforms,
on their way to school, walking
together, chirping like birds
when the sky became the sun—
What can anyone do but
see it so pure in the mind
that time relinquishes time
and one arrives among them
in the knife-edge moment: here,
not here, ash where walked children,
for they were not forbidden.
John Nimmo finds excitement in poetry as well in his scientific research in the physics of environmental systems. His poems have appeared in many journals including Rattle, Stirring, Caesura, and DMQ Review. He has a chapbook, Out of Mud, published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press. From southern California, he went to Wisconsin for six years of graduate school, and now lives with his wife Elsa in Menlo Park. John has read at Peninsula Literary at Gallery House in Palo Alto, and at other locations in Silicon Valley.
EDGE OF THE SEA
Pale light breaks green
on afternoon waves. Froth
blunts each sharpening edge.
Kids flap and splatter
in shallows, not thinking
time will end or Mom will call.
Claws of crabs grope
toward nothing. Far out, I
dive deep. Spined creatures
fluorescing orange and blue,
whose eyes stick out or not,
enough our auras overlap.
Swimming back past rocks
alone in the middle
of life, I cross again
the sandy edge
of land because I must.
— Editor’s note: The short lines and stanzas of this poem reflect the bits and pieces of life and debris within the great waters of our planet, as does the drifting narrative. Published in: Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, September 17, 2015.
Dennis Noren is an enthusiastic participant in the poetry community of the South Bay. He is member of Poetry Center San José Advisory Board, and is actively involved in the Center’s activity at the Edwin Markham House at History Park. Dennis was one of the five winners of the 2012 Poetry on the Move contest (poetry on VTA trains and buses).
MURAL BY TOBY’S COFFEE BAR, POINT REYES STATION
After the chains roll up the metal door
to let first light press in and three shoppers
follow in the wake, the worn wooden boards
of Toby’s open too, and the scent of a fresh grind
escapes. I see notices about mugs for sale,
local business cards, a yellowed article
extolling Toby’s from the West Marin rag.
Cheda’s Garage across the street, the only
option for repair in miles, Don’s Barbershop,
closed for a week or so. Under Inverness Ridge
to the west, its kind but cryptic forest
with the sound of breakers beyond
A few feet away, on the side of the post office,
a mural shows a time when the rail came through
with bits of waxing commerce, pulling people away
from the city for a day or two. Bright colored hats,
golden hills to the east, children running, the Miwok
market with clams and mussels, one old woman
bent back with a burlap sack, one barn owl perched.
Motion and stillness as one.
My coffee is ready now. Tomales Bay waits its hour
to grow closer with the tide. The town sits on its bluff,
assured. It is said the sides of the fault line
slide by two inches a year on average
but the grip and slip varies.
I sip slowly, keeping the pace as even as I can.