How… 5 poems | Linda Chown

Daria Shevtsova
via Pexels

Bigots have not spigots

Bigots have no spigots of charity
They burn bias with threaded needles 
As a way of catching and trapping us
God save all our souls from this evil contamination 
Of such wickedness and sadness.

Let us stand on the streets together 
Tall and proud
And read poetry with each other 
Hug and love with all our muster
To share a shining nuance of the wonderful 
While this untenable world circumnavigates around 
in crippling blindness

Life Could Be A Weapon for Change

Life could be a weapon for us to change, to live even,
To spread peach plenty about the shade,
To drink frozen oleanders,
To soften the pain of drone death and safe words.
Say your speech to wake us from wanton laziness
When in the near distance 
People implode in pain and panic, 
Sting entrenched pale in pus and puke.
If half the world is jerking like that,
We must not tell ourselves Christmas stories. 
Drink drunken words that crash shields

Let your comfortable life quiver and unsettle.
We may all then might maybe come together 
in a vast epic colloquy, 
as in Odysseus with Telemachus 
two great forces affirming the inchoate shape of
that uncertainly love.

How we face the world

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—Attribution (source)
Whenever tides spun avid 
Wherever it was inevitably dark
Annie sang soft whisper memories, 
of what was said quiet in her parents 
bed.
At first glance she was a small circumference
in others views—
one gentle cell dreaming.

Her mind waters welled
like the tides blood 
and Annie without knowing 
why searched in her gentle blue  
for Caleb a man all strenuous!
he of the mind’s rough face

His voice a rocket to Annie’s
stillness   Sometimes she even 
thought quiet like a night star,  
sometimes calm dreaming 
her intransitive wonders running. 

Caleb he burned too hot for her cool 
she felt in this soft black cave the souls,  
spirits of the balmy present, turning and turning 
Annie could not reach the off switch 
to silence restless Caleb burning. 
She tried turning off that switch
To unwriggle his wrestling
ongoing transitive chaos.

And Annie bless her she said 
I want to slide 
not to possess
to roam not to own 
Red periwinkles and blue hyenas
The best.

Palm Sunday Passover

This great tide of solar beginnings
Growth indivisible—beyond words
Such reawakenings
When we green ourselves
Sun spices everything stronger
A triumphant glare shows you
and her and the world wallows with us
all in now when life wells to a head. 
Plant blooms bloom more
In a plethora of themselves 
A grand annual rejoicing 
When our faith strengthens
In silent joy that all is what it is
That we can be blooming now together.

How I Miss Him on Labor Day

My indomitable father was a man of unseen dreams 
In all his grey garb he looked so gentle
Like a philosopher assembling life drifts.

Life and injustice forced him to get rock taut  
Like those Herbeden’s nodes  
Marking his knuckles so beady.

As a girl, to grow I had to challenge 
That certainty he held so tight 
Fear quiet there in his feeling And between us we gained 
Mutual lifelong soul respect.

He would come to Grand Rapids and 
walk with his beret and cane in the Labor Day parade 
in honor of workers, of you and we, dignity 
and of his daughter, perennially late sleeping me.

©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved



Linda Chown…

…is a poet professor musician who now lives in Michigan although her past is coastal and international: Spain and California. Author of four books of poems and finishing her next book, Sunfishing, Linda is a life-long activist, sun-lover and dreamer. She was raised in an activist family from the start. A hopeless romantic, sometimes inequities  everywhere drive her to despair and to writing action.


Pandemic Learning | Linda Chown

Pandemic Learning

Dylan Thomas wrote "Death Shall Have No Dominion"
And we are learning how near it is, how uncertain life is now.
We need to stipple our moment,
Make every second resound with deepest glory,
tell that story double time.
Perhaps the fear will bring us nearer to writing a new story
To love each other obsessively and newly
With the desire of new hearts,  
undominated souls.

©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved


Linda Chown…

…is a poet professor musician who now lives in Michigan although her past is coastal: Spain and California. Author of four books of poems and currently finishing her next book, Sunfishing, Linda is a life-long activist, sun lover and dreamer. A hopeless romantic, sometimes inequities everywhere drive her to despair and to writing action.



…pieces of history… | Linda Chown

Peace #11
Drawing
Dean Pasch ©2022

Crossing Over

The Strait of Gibraltar
Is all a glisten this Veterans Day morning 
Sunlit pieces of history
Matriculate and spin in holy flatness 
Sun surge cups my heart in praise of 
All that came here before.
The wars that surged the coasts 
that impinged like furtive eyes 
The blood rich battles, the hurry
for winning in this tight radiant channel 
This light could dissolve  me in my room 
Looking at painting floating on the wall 
Being nearby this way to Miguel de Cervantes
Maiming his left arm at Trafalgar
In a night smile I touch Miguel de  Cervantes 
Fighting here and Lord Nelson, caps, 
swords and daring Emma Hamilton with a flair
Their ships flaunting the air in zealous lust 
pushing madly through, 
pushing through fervor war hysteria 
aligned in light, bare blood and bones 
In this wild thin space, earth enclosed
To win more in the sea and the sun 
Floating in this straight strait 
To be up to this glorious moment 
Wild living in this brooding loud and dazzling glory
While I drift sorely trying to get earthly
Balance back.

Quote here—add return / line break
only if more than half-way across page.
Make regular block when adding this.
—Attribution (source)

How War Kills Silence

Skews the words buried 
There. How in the Valley of the Fallen,
the skins of Franco’s  Murdered stink war and shriek 
Deja me estar let me be me
In a silent light which welters
Peaceful living in a bright sky
My soul springs a strange hardiness 
To accost the noise of the killers whose rampant madness 
stifles the splendid sound of soundless Beethoven

I say no pasarán

Today is like waiting on
the Titanic for rising
water to eclipse us. 
Visions of Marcelino Peñuelas 
telling of fascist censorship with the great 
charm of the Spanish language full of lips and dips.
I hear Malvina Reynolds singing in the back seat, 
her spirit constant and believing.
I see all these fighters who would not back down ever.
No pasarán
And me facing a siege of ice
darkening when I want to
read and write. Primeval. Humbling. 
Pegging about with flashlights. 
Rose and Jack faced inevitable waters 
but they had each other. 
Robert Frost knew the terror of ice 
"But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice."
Tonight the taps will resound 
like thunder claps and I will
memorize my words and see the great ones
fighting for a promised land.

For A New House
Before the Election Poem

It was a military mob, 
swarming 
as a hive might, quite.
A concave movement. 
A kind of cleaving.
The rotten pieces hanging 
as a gang would 
in that shining 
knot of pain evil brings 
ready to bite and cling and stick to.

We the people must leave our dens 
and walk to forever to cut them out 
to let our strong peace beauty spread.
She said I’ll blow your house down.
She said this evil has lit too many fires.
I’ll blow your house down, she said.

Poems ©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved


Peace #22
Digital Art
Dean Pasch ©2022

Linda Chown…

…is a poet professor musician who now lives in Michigan although her past is coastal: Spain and California. Author of four books of poems and currently finishing her next book, Sunfishing, Linda is a life-long activist, sun lover and dreamer. A hopeless romantic, sometimes inequities everywhere drive her to despair and to writing action.



Ukraine Tonight plus 4 more poems | Linda Chown

In the Kremlin

In the Kremlin the guards were monsters of the kind 
of secrecy that flattens souls, 
an enormous place for hiding spies and jewels
where the air rang of old czars and killings. 
It was as though i too was masked and silenced
there in that killing quiet. 
That killing quiet.
I tried to imagine a blond czarina playing cards, 
being able to sing her songs in that pernicious silence, 
those halls staggered large and long everywhere,
Lenin outside preserved forever, what a deadly fear
and the polite waiting lines 
all too silent 
and I played Bartok and B.B. King voraciously
loud to obliterate that crippling politeness.

Time In War

We lived in the war pasting coupons 
page after page in the war our parents 
subdued for us, banned in a loud quiet.
banning feeling in themselves 
keeping the lights bright. We lived in a war 
bleeding alone, for there was no tv 
to see. Night radio muffled. The war hit our hearts,
what else? We ate polite weeklong pot roasts 

And knew something was missing. It was fear 
that the world would not be here, nor we,
that the rituals would crash like Alice 
fell through, fell to newwhere-land 

Oh, where will we go when we pass 
into you? Will our hearts even start?  
Who will keep this ritual life going 
with all the killing and darkness?

Anne Frank at least she said, and Joan of Arc withstood.
And we all targets geographical and physical 
And we exposed and frightened, having 
to put a good face on this evil which threatened all
those war days and witch-hunt days and 
always in our ever oppositional living 

And now again as the long days pass casting evil 
Again I wander-wonder alone what I’ll do when
Life turns into a living bomb cast and I’ll have no
Pot-roast or pretense. Writing my
Globetrotting weapon and disguise. 
In out and all about. In rife absurdity.
Calm the bombs and silence the mad.
Let’s feel clear water and soft words all
Green, clad in long love and trust beyond bloodshed
Not hope  but a sudden heartening.

Wall Mural by @2022 My Dog Sighs
Northcote Lane, Cardiff, Wales

One Night after Ukraine

Voice is an old cliche I’m
Not proud to say that closer 
It’s just all getting tighter 
Any way I see mushrooms
I see that angular nose
Spelling the world and time falling:
War cries upon us again harder
Takes it onto us harder.
We’ve watched all this before
Now let us speak 
peace surer & surer
Let no dictator bite the
Worlds chestnuts out and 
eat their way in. Stand up and plunder their bones harder 
And harder harder till our cliches stick true


Ukraine Besieged

Stones unto bones unto trinkets
there was a time I ain’t gonna 
study war no more bones 
no more shocks
Stones onto my big heart 
bones unto war 
no more and like death 
stones us tight into our years 

We have forgotten there was a time 
We locked hands and remembered
Those bones 
those overtones of war
And now there are three wars
Anyway
Where has all the young love gone
Stones unto bones unto trinkets.

©2022 Olga Shtonda
Instagram: @olga.shtonda

Ukraine Tonight

Poems make  a shape 
they take like magic
in a Finnish prayer 
they reach eternity 
where we’re all marching 
for peace, for each other,
our feet preaching peaceful.




©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved


Linda Chown…

…is a writer born in Berkeley who has been socially aware all her life. Years in Franco’s Spain only taught her more about group action and collaboration. Professor of American and teaching World literatures teach her how to live and love. Intensity is her middle name.

Books and the Other Side of Things | Linda Chown

I Want To Read Books

I want to read books that 
live in the air, that turn colors 
into permanent shrines as Cather and Carver 
each commute our psychological entrapments
Into shapes of blue boats and white clothes 
flapping in a midsummer breeze.
It is to say I want to hold 
on to something so that words
are not what I have to use 
when I talk to you 
but beacons and lifejackets 
in the rage of the line, 
the ripple of the moment 
when everything goes on through 
and into  each other. 
Writing is our shrine to live by, 
to learn from, to shine for.

Landscape As Thoughts – For The Romantic Landscape As Dreams
©2022 Gerald Shepherd

To The Other Side of Things

In the spring reading Ripley's colored
Believe books, I thought of Wonderland 
and hookahs, of the ways things go through 
each other to the other side of things.
An eloquent vanishing.
Not just any bell book and candle,
But Kim Novak effervescent on Powell Street
Elizabeth Taylor shining gold
Near where the water was, 
near where the mysteries lay uncovered.
Where the swami speaks of transformation 
and solid things shiver
Bigger

Flowers—Closer Look
©2022 Miroslava Panayotova

©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved


Linda Chown…

…is a writer born in Berkeley who has been socially aware all her life. Years in Franco’s Spain only taught her more about group action and collaboration. Professor of American and teaching World literatures teach her how to live and love. Intensity is her middle name.

California poem unfinished | Linda Chown

Where the Green Grass Was Yellow

In the sun we were riding
In the sun where the green
grass was yellow bending 
in such consummate purity California 
you were a paradise 
spinning open freedom. Inviting us in.

We lived in wood, touching trees
Wind-chimes and abacus. 
We ate food we made our own.
Inside flutes and recorders
Oboes and harpsichords in a cool plush of sound.
We ate chicory and wild violets like paintings
It all grew slower, then, on that road. 
Where we got a second wind
fables of the new earth and its people.
Making all this new energy together
And outside this silent plenty 
A sheet of rich yellow 
A violin and a soprano 
Singing of freedom

©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved


Linda Chown…

…is a writer born in Berkeley who has been socially aware all her life. Years in Franco’s Spain only taught her more about group action and collaboration. Professor of American and teaching World literatures teach her how to live and love. Intensity is her middle name .

Palm Sunday Passover | Linda Chown

This great tide of solar beginnings
Growth indivisible—beyond words
Such reawakenings
When we green ourselves
Sun spices everything stronger
A triumphant glare shows you
and her and the world wallows with us
all in now when life wells to a head. 
Plant blooms bloom more
In a plethora of themselves 
A grand annual rejoicing 
When our faith strengthens
In silent joy that all is what it is
That we can be blooming now together.

©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved


Linda Chown…

…is a writer born in Berkeley who has been socially aware all her life. Years in Franco’s Spain only taught her more about group action and collaboration. Professor of American and teaching World literatures teach her how to live and love. Intensity is her middle name.

Eight Poems | Linda Chown

Ageing

Sometimes I feel like I'm ageing, 
backwards, i don't know 
how we can go forth
when we're sinking so fast
under malevolent ignorance
And spring is shining so
bewitchingly.
When I think of Spain,
which I do in my sleep,  in my dreams,  in my everywhere,
I see women in black all clean
with ardent faces and a smile
below all that plain pain 
I hear Spain, their tongue-driven voices
rambunctiously them.
Please dear humanity
Do not let them be splayed and
Agonized like death clouds again.

Heart

As of now that rising sound 
Below my neck reminds me of Baku,
And Boris my remote cousin. It is that
I’m not breathing like I should be.
It is like it happens apart from me.
I stare and listen hard to that whine.
It’s as though I’m carrying Geronimo 
up high on CaveFighters Hill.
Only the lonely would complain 
and only the lonely will remain 
here in a vast vat of love
of understanding and profundity,
a way to live for you and me.
Stay away from green eggs 
and purple devastation.
Don’t, like a cavalier, give your 
heart away to the hawks.
As Katherine says in The English Patient 
the “heart is an organ of fire.”
Be sure to keep that organ
with another: to cast your lightning 
into each other’s excited airs.

Some Times

Inspired by The Rolling Stones

You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need

It’s like I don’t write a poem to explode out 
It’s like I don’t write a poem to complain in
It’s like when I start to hear the call to write
I start to float it’s like to float inconspicuous 
It’s like pieces of time and what’s mine join 
In a moment of homeostasis overtime 
It’s like poetry is a sublime 
coming together.  Feast and famine 
Holding place in this oneness 
A permanent addition like a mission 
Which we can make when pieces of time 
And what’s mine align in homeostasis sublime
To be ours for hours making such oneness rhyme.

How Sarah Saw to Herself

Miroslava Panayotava
Roses
digital art
©2021
at night in a quiet room
she sank deep into the lights of dreaming, 
to hold on to what she was 
finding out about seeing colors,
nuances shaping up in the night. 
Her always wide eyes. Wheezes
knocking at the doors of her chest 
like shutters flapping in a Texas wind.
The decisive whack of wood.

Even when nobody heard her 
hear to say the fabric of what 
she was coming to know to think,
When she was all locked up little 
in those taffeta clothes, tiny buttons and plackets,
tight around her. When she was bending 
her toes around, wriggling them, just to tell 
how she saw to herself. To remember the smooth spots 
that she knew she knew by heart
but only when she was alone 
those times fitting into herself 
while she was in the corner 
coming to settle into herself.

Just knowing how she was
in that light of hers darkly,
paddling the peeling moments like a sailor
and starching the intricate fibers of memory 
with near collarbone precision.
Her voice a feather of tulips in the morning.

There Came This Big Rush

So when and if then,
there came this big rush, 
a rash of factors 
which took you back to
a giant shadow of memory
on the waterfront, 
California light falling 
and breathing in, then,
it was when history was, 
seemingly sublime, 
in the kind of closeness
we would die for, then, 
but it was happening, here,  
now longshoremen big armed 
talking like veteran labor leaders. 
Tillie Olson said a Mrs. Dalloway idea,
pondering soft. It was all bodies 
and more, beyond the blue line, blessed.
It was people living, bulging themselves.
In mass, together, out loud voluptuous:
It was real life warm out of the factory
lasting like Sunday hotcakes.

The Breath of my Blood

These two years  
Have thickened me, left me bewildered, 
High and dry as the debris in an elephant’s eye, 
Ringing unanswered bells in white hell halls.  
How I wanted to run again  
And to seem determined.  
How the breath of my blood  
Stiffened and I came to 
Look nice without my old exotic,  
That fire in a thin emphatic face,   
Those lingering lips and know it all eyes, 
How my feet grow restlessly stiff  
How I sleep with oxygen  
How I have gotten permanently 
Sick dramatically and unrecoverably smitten 

It Was He Who Knew

It would be Blake who knew 
It was the body which made us fair,  
More than stray stone bullets. 
His world was so physical 
His inner light transfused matter 
Into a moan of joy rushing in  
To the plenty of us all so physical 
That each petal of our being 
Sang itself way before Whitman 
Blake grew the Cartesian split into harmony. 
He made us big again, 
Big in our girth and our worth. 

He would take the full nine yards of us:  
“You never know what is enough  
unless you know what is more than enough,” he dared.  
And he feasted and saturated and wept sublime  
to encounter what he saw with a naked burly view. 

His path was not to split body and soul. 
Nay, he wept the veins and nerves whole.

The Reunion of the Soul and Body
William Blake, 1813

The cloudy shores of today

If life is now more of an adverb,
Participles all stuck in the sun,
Wrapped sticky in virus,
All we say now is how we see it
Not what, since facts died with Trump
So verily how we find each other is the final 
Dusty piece to play for dessert each to each 
It’s Kafka au lait in the cloudy shores of today.

©2021 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

All my life inside politics— | Linda Chown

Other girls remember baking cookies—
I remember Joseph Stalin dying
and the holocaust with McCarthy.
My Raggedy Ann doll had charcoal
eyes hot with a black cold light
All my years I've tried to choose
a way out but my heart
is two-fold:I'm with the people
and with the fires in my first by myself sight

©2021 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

In This, Dying | Linda Chown

In This, Dying 
And we wake to a slue of death
Every day now come the morning. 
Someone’s blood gets blown dead 
And i can’t stop seeing those tribes, 
Long woven beards and fields of opium 
Waving and thickening in Afghan sun 
Charlie Watts a panacea of balance
And substance, he was a golden child gone.
Don Everly widening in the time of his dying.
Such a classical hillbilly he was. Susie wake up.
It’s that we’ve shot our loads. In deliberate. 
In our wicked lust to have more of more 

©2021 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

Hold onto it Now | Linda Chown

And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be 
       Are full of trees and changing leaves,
                 Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
Soft bird,  as though we’ve only just begun,
The way our arms reach upwards as though
Hanging in a William Blake painting 
In which closeness is everything
The spiritual become all physical
A radiant yellow cloud of pulsing light 
In spite of all the bad light around
This beauty only makes a luscious sound
Soft bird,  you and I continue to soar 
Onward and upwards forever more. 

©2021 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

Inauguration 2021 | Linda Chown

This natural national revolution 
has taken my breath away 
and given me my heart back
in a democratic moment
when sharing is the name of the game
all these different people becoming one 
in the winter Washington sun
where we’ll make new rules new ways
to give more that many an authentic say.

©2021 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

little girl and the sailing moon | Linda Chown

How wonderful it is that 
nobody need wait a single moment
 before starting to improve the world.

   Anne Frank

It is like how to explain the paucity of beauty 
On a hillside, how to hold silence stiller
Clumps of marjoram, Greek symbol of happiness, make a plenty.
Forthwith in this troubled land where the President of France 
Was face cuffed, where thousands of sick boys
Play murderous games and sing aloud to blood.
How to hold silence stiller to make a plenty,
When I was then her she held life in this staring.
In the city she saw the moon sail and marjoram 
Grew while she stood trying to understand Anne Frank
Who was too a little girl staring like she was and going 
To feel her roots and her eyes pulverized all dying
We must hold silence riper and green the marjoram.

©2021 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

Bigots—poems from Linda Chown

GROWING UP TO MCCARTHY

I grew up in a struggle.
Like always.
Like there was no peace.
Ever. But for the Bay.
That blue quiet light.
What can i say?
Inside the edges of childhood
sick red baited & bothered,
It made you bonkers in a new way;
the house shook on its stilts. No silk.
Just struggle.
What more can i say?

Bias Burning Time

Bigots have no spigots of charity
They burn bias with threaded needles
As a way of catching and trapping us
God save all our souls from this evil contamination
Of such wickedness and sadness.

Let us stand on the streets together
Tall and proud
And read poetry with each other
Hug and love with all our muster
To share a shining nuance of the wonderful
While this untenable world circumnavigates around
in crippling blindness

Ubiquitous need

Feeling the hunger
in the streets
I don’t
matter anymore
my slow lapse
a particle 
in the span
of ubiquitous wanting
everywhere barbarous
greed and rapacious
capitalist
tyranny

©2020 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

Posted in COVID-19/Pandemic, poem, Poems/Poetry

Two poems by Linda Chown

A Time for God

This is the time for God,
for a roaring sonorous voice,
a biblical moment, indeed,
when we’re shouldering the slaughtered daily,
trying to assuage the fire of fear in and around us,
when leaders spring forth and speak
with the hallowed tone of the ancient tabernacle.
Ages old salt smells, a smear of blood
We’re ready for the divine, dying alive in our
concern. This big, larger than life moment
when life and death waver voluptuously around us.


Modern Life Is Being

masked faces in the cubist ball
that modern life is being,
that modern life is seeing
masked ones gloved and covered
floating mindless in Edgar Allan Poe’s hives,
his Masque of the Red Death breaking,
reality cracks & strange shapes rattle
much like Robert Louis Stevenson incubates
fabulous forms his boats steering far off course, heroes double vestiges of how they thought themselves to be what they were
Poe and RLS brilliant slantwise visionaries. Besides they spun torn lives on the edge,
blooming irregular tunes, masked and twisted.

© 2020, Linda Chown

LINDA E. CHOWN grew up in Berkeley, Ca. in the days of action. Civil Rights arrests at Sheraton Palace and Auto Row.  BA UC Berkeley Intellectual History; MA Creative Writing SFSU; PHd Comparative Literature University of Washington. Four books of poetry. Many poems published on line at Numero Cinq, Empty Mirror, The Bezine, Dura, Poet Head and others. Many articles on Oliver Sachs, Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf, and many others. Twenty years in Spain with friends who lived through the worst of Franco. I was in Spain (Granada, Conil and Cádiz) during Franco’s rule, there the day of his death when people took to the streets in celebration. Interviewed nine major Spanish Women Novelists, including Ana María Matute and Carmen Laforet and Carmen Martín Gaite. Linda’s Amazon Page is HERE.

Posted in April 2020 Poetry Month, COVID-19/Pandemic, interNational Poetry Month, International Poetry Month April 2020, Poems/Poetry

The World as a Terror Field and other poems by Linda Chown

The World as a Terror Field

World as a Terror-Field
Think of those sunflower petals
Flying away so yellow in a golden light
Think of the anarchists’ red shirts
Pungent in Guadalajara, overt and blood-drenched,
Think of you this sunny morning receiving a spam email
Threatening to contaminate your whole house with Coronavirus.
There is no safe place anymore to dream of La La Land.
We can be reached anywhere and pulled and tugged,
Unhinged even from the safety of our soul.

I think of Virginia Woolf having coffee, her mind,
Measuring the world of decades, stirring the sugar in her coffee.
It’s as though her mind-place reached around the world.
At a glance, with her word nest intact.
Now, we are within walls polished so transparent,
Our souls close like an x-ray’s light, all seen into.

There’s a terror of no intimacy, leaking passwords and invasive viruses.
Megabytes of someone else’s knowing
When all we need is what we know
Curse those who disparage the robin
Plucking away, the stalwart bluejay.
Curse those who say we don’t matter
Anyway, any way.


Rebels everywhere

This talk of corpses likely to be,
These flat charts with hollow corporate names
Remind me of the 50s when people popped into mushroom clouds.
Those consonant-heavy names Malenkov, Andropov, Chernenko
and Stalin loomed large in unseeing brutality.

This was a time for the feminine way,
a time for pockets of air and lavender,
That way to reach between things, to slither love
like Dickinson finding new feet for poems
to say what wasn’t said, for Emily Bronte to
take love out of bounds.

While HUAC measured people as
stones and lashed at pinkos
I voraciously read of rebels everywhere,
Those who spoke for something
I found latent
In my sick little-girl heart.


Death into this spring

Spring finds us speechless
to say, to say how terror is,
how death turns our head.
We’ve been used to letting life go by without us.
I breathe hard for life with addled lungs.
After all, we are life, all there is of it.
Now in the heart of growth,
death is climbing hard
toward us all over.
Now, we have to stand out in the balance
and ring our life for living,
jump and plunge
over the edge into what comes next.
Quick the blue iris is coming
And the red peonies
And all your wonderful life.

© 2020, Linda Chown


LINDA E. CHOWN grew up in Berkeley, Ca. in the days of action. Civil Rights arrests at Sheraton Palace and Auto Row.  BA UC Berkeley Intellectual History; MA Creative Writing SFSU; PHd Comparative Literature University of Washington. Four books of poetry. Many poems published on line at Numero Cinq, Empty Mirror, The Bezine, Dura, Poet Head and others. Many articles on Oliver Sachs, Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf, and many others. Twenty years in Spain with friends who lived through the worst of Franco. I was in Spain (Granada, Conil and Cádiz) during Franco’s rule, there the day of his death when people took to the streets in celebration. Interviewed nine major Spanish Women Novelists, including Ana María Matute and Carmen Laforet and Carmen Martín Gaite.

Posted in Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change

Being Greta Thunberg, a poem by Linda Chown

Thunberg in front of the Swedish parliament, holding a “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (transl. School strike for the climate) sign, Stockholm, August 2018 courtesy of Anders Hellberg  under CC BY-SA 4.0 license


to be like Greta Thunberg
you must become yourself
completely as though there
were no prison of skin to stay inside
no ego to say don’t try
no doors to close
the kind of bravery that moves
lives is not second hand
it is the ultimate it’s like an
we can do it trip
the magic liberation of person
we’ve been dreaming for
the closeness of fish in water
pure semiosis and pre-verbal closeness

© 2019, Linda Chown