(June 2002) Page 2


Born in San Antonio, Texas, I was raised in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley, where I took root. I got my love of wordplay from my mother. Other interests include needlework of all kinds, crocheting for family and charity, scrapbooking, reading, and geneaology. A former office clerk, I no longer work outside the home. I am married, have two married children and one grandchild.

I started writing poetry during the 1970's wheile taking a writing class at L.A. Valley College. Phrases and images tortured me for several weeks, and my instructor suggested I write them down. That gave me a measure of peace - for a while. My writing has been an on-again-off-again affair since then, calling to me when my emotions are stirred. In 2001, after picking up the pen again in earnest, I joined a local Writer's Workshop and the California Writers' Club. The encouragement other writers and family members gave me the courage to continue writing and to share my work with others.

My poems have been published in Glowing Embers, Rebirth of Artemis, Up Against the Wall Mother, the San Diego Jewish Times and newsletters. Ten of my poems are in Kedco's 2002 Millennium Dawn anthology, and the poem "Junction" appears in the February 2002 issue of Poetry Life & Times, an online publication. Two of my poems have been selected to appear in the California Writers Club, San Fernando Valley Chapter's 2002 anthology, Once Upon a Dream. "Fragile Heart", dedicated to my daughter, earned a 1st Honorable Mention in the 22nd Annual Fields of Earth Poetry Contest sponsored by The Writers' Ink Guild & The Arts Council of Fayetteville, N.C.

© Cara Alson, Dec. 2001

Girls in ponytails
huddled on the sand
sipped icy sodas
listened to the radio
flirted with lifeguards
dreamt of lives
they'd never have

Boys with peach-fuzz chins
played volleyball
ran in the surf
showed off their tans
dreamt of lives
they'd never have

White-haired ladies
huddle around the table
brag about grandchildren
play cards
replay memories and
missed opportunities
they'll never have again

Balding men
sit by the pool
baste in the sun
play cards
replay memories and
missed opportunities
they'll never have again

Bright sunlight
chatter and laughter
blue-green water
choppy in the
summer breeze

Days pass
dreams go by
the rhythm of live
plays on
edging towards
another tomorrow

© Cara Alson, Dec. 2001

Sweet sweat plays on my skin
Delicious river, rolling slowly
Making my skin ache
Whispering of gifts remembered

© Cara Alson, March 1985, Revised March 2002

Home was a battleground,
then quietly strained.
Mine was a weekend father,
not gone, not quite there.

Chance tampered with the life
of the child I once was,
As father's heart gave out,
yielding to the unknown.

My world splintered,
disintegrating at my feet.
Forced from my path
I turned a dark corner.

Sheltered behind a wall
of fretful observers,
Mother groped for words,
her fingers tangled in grief
for a spouse departed.

Only now can I look back
around that obscure turn.
My memory's spotlight
focuses on the discovery
that she cared for him.

© Cara Alson

I wrestle with words
    instead of a vacuum cleaner

I chase images
    instead of dust bunnies

My house is less than perfect
    and I am shining inside


Richard Vallance was born in Guelph, southern Ontario, Canada, on March 11th., 1945, and currently resides in Ottawa, the nations capital. A graduate of Sir Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloon, Ontario (H.B.A. 1968) and the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario (M.L.S., 1975), Richard is a professional University librarian, now on disability pension. Richards career as a librarian reached its zenith in October, 1983, when he won the prestigious Data Courier Award for Excellence in Online Papers ($1,000 U.S.), in Chicago, Illinois.

However, progressively aggravated alcoholism eventually forced him to retire prematurely, in September, 1991. Fortunately, Richard ceased drinking altogether in 1992, and has been sober now for a decade. While he did write some poetry during his "wet years", alcoholism severely blunted his inspiration. Creativity only truly blossomed in 1995. Since that time, he has written over 1,500 poems, most of them Sonnets, though he also specializes in both Haiku and the stricter, more traditional Japanese Hokku verse form. He has also composed numerous so-called "free verse" poems, and has published one book of poetry:
A Quilt of Sonnets: Forty Four Familiar Poems. Ottawa: Providence Road Press, 1998. 56 pp. ISBN 1-896243-7-x. [National Library of Canada]

Richard has been published on numerous occasions on some of the worlds best known poetry E-Zines, including, Poetry Life and Times (UK) and Autumn Leaves (USA). He also maintains his own bilingual international E-Zine,
Poetry in Emotion la posie smouvoir
and will soon be the editor of a new international Sonnet E-Zine, Sonnetto Poesia.

Richard is the Poetry Reviewer for Poetry Life and Times. Anyone, who writes poetry for Poetry and Life and Times, is cordially invited to submit any poem of 20 lines or LESS for consideration for review to:
[email protected]

Richard also moderates numerous Poetry Discussion Groups, the most notable of which are:
1. Describe Adonis [Shakespeares Sonnet 53] 120 members. Yahoos largest Sonnet poetry group by far. Here are posted historical sonnets, commentaries on sonnet writing, and sonnets by members:

2. Kawasaki Zen Haiku 90 members. Yahoos 3rd. Largest Haiku-Hokku poetry group, featuring links to historical Haiku Web Sites, examples of historical Haiku by such illustrious composers as Basho, Buson and Issa, and Haiku/Hokku posted by members, in any language they like:

3. Iliassia [Homers Iliad]. 61 members. Discussion group focussing on Homers Iliad, both in the original "Epic" Greek and in translation. Includes a repertoire archive of pictures, paintings, archaeological sites and cartographic information + maps:

My Carousel Home Page is:
Poesie's laissez-faire Foire


  • 1. A Quilt of Sonnets: Forty Four Familiar Poems. Ottawa: Providence Road Press, (c) 1998 56 pp. ISBN 1-896243-07-x
  • 2. "À la belle inconnue (Robert Schumann)", in: Arts and Literature Review. Lakehead University. Vol. 1 (3), 1972
  • 3. "Chanson d'Auverge", in: A Ray of Hope. (c) 2000. 257 pp. pg. 129 ISBN 1-58235-559-2
  • 4. "Pow Wow", in: An Hour at Sunrise. (c) 2000. 313 pp. pg. 167 ISBN 1-58253-539-8

    Autumn Leaves [May/June, 2001] - and several of his poems will soon appear in Kedco's Millennium Dawn Anthology
    March 2002 - Nominee for
    The Poets Hall of Fame
    © Richard Vallance 2002
    1965; Dec. 21 & 24, 1968, Revised, 1997 & 2002

    My sailing schooner, jibs up where’s foresail’s light,
    flipped free of the water, up anchor, goes fleet at the night,
    flying on white caps, caps to the blue,
    blue so compulsive
    it's shipped every sailor over
    wherever the Nor' Westers blew
    so long ago, where’s blustery high every single night.

    Should others sail out, where, briny, sails white,
    blowing full in the face of the eyes to the winds, in the sun, white,
    light of blue silver capped sailors,
    would they recall
    who's taken the helm
    where such thunderstorms their gales blew
    so long ago, too too swiftly into the night?

    So many hands flailing, where palms were still grasped tight,
    raised from the serpentine, snared of its blight,
    blight of daft sailors, sailors in dark,
    deeps so engulfing
    they’re moved off all all these young sailors
    wherever austerely Austral gales blew
    and many to wreckage, dour* but stark!

    * Pronounce as in Scottish, "moor" = "door"

    WHERE EAGLES SOAR (F.H. Johnston: 1888-1949)
    The Group of Seven
    © Richard Vallance 2002
    Aug. 3, 16; Nov. 3, 1970, Revised 1997 & 2002
    (From Pictures at an Exhibition: 1970-1972)

    Alone and yes
    lost or not or who cares where
    no man’s weighty eye would ever scale
    those craggy walls incarnate
    in their defiance,
    rear abutted cliffs primordial to northern climes or
    Where? not that I could ever claim I know
    a plain repose pervades
    the panorama where as though it placid
    painted aspen and
    the alder strewn of leaves of
    yellow amber red and shed
    their wild green light below
    the same lone cliffs forlorn unfathomed
    Where? If only where’re a lake so silvereen
    and never’s been by any human’s glaring
    scrutiny once
    met and yet
    light purpureal hills are
    making streaks along
    what’s uncharted shores where as thoughtless
    reflections leaves in
    the birch go sounding the faces of waters
    scurrying along the brow of one sacrosanct ridge
    whose furrows in time over time’s escalades
    nor betray their own marks never of any hell,
    nor nor ever echoes of ground in ferrite rails
    (which through forests glaring go)
    nor for this betray the last receded presences
    of many propellers
    spinning, that throbbed and echoed too to the all too auburn sky.

    These clouds unearthly sun
    wizened whisps how could they
    have come
    to inspire this single artist’s
    soul that’s left secluded
    for God’s intentions or
    for its secrets sealed
    in tough brush strokes is
    as cheerfully applied to life as to his death
    now an imminence now
    between prattling aspen leaves
    and arching birch barks stripped
    by aorist aboriginals
    he’d come along to see
    etched in petroglyphic shores
    where eagles soaring, glided just past him every one of them one on one on one
    now and then or whenever when
    diaphanously firs came blurred with spruce
    perched on a brink
    of imperceptible height
    scaling the far nave of heaven
    till he discovered eternal oubli.

    Jan Sand in New York

    JAN SAND, poet and illustrator from New York, is a regular contributor to Poetry Life & Times and the newsgroup alt.arts.poetry.comments. A great deal of his work is about animals, or science fiction.

    Recently Jan was published by Kedco Studios Artist Profile Press, on their latest CD ROM e-book, "A Way With Words (Poetry Real and Surreal), which also includes complete books by Dale Houstman, Sara L. Russell and Keith Gabriel Hendricks. Jan's illustrated book on the CD is called "Wild Figments And Odd Conjectures", which is also sold separately, in a limited-edition "single" CD.

    To see an illustrated article about Jan's poems, visit the November '98 issue of Poetry Life & Times, and scroll down past the Editor's Letter. He also has his own poetry pages on Charlotte's Web at Artvilla.

    © Jan Sand

    The dead are a cunning lot.
    They have no current thoughts to deprave
    Their empty purity, their smooth vacuity.
    But, superior to us living wretches,
    Reside most comfortable in their grave.
    Confidently they hold their spot
    In time and historical nostalgia,
    Not aware what temporal catastrophe
    May lie in wait in each pregnant second
    Of our uncompleted history.

    © Jan Sand

    The world is a chain
    Which hangs in space and time
    As a necklace of events.
    A boulder rolls down a mountainside
    Because a sequence securely demanded
    That here must be a mountain
    And here must be a boulder
    And, at this time, a crystal structure
    Became inadequate to be still.
    So, the rock rolled down the hill.
    This morning, I awoke, had my tea,
    Chewed my bread and cheese,
    Picked up my pen and wrote:
    "The world is a chain".

    © Jan Sand

    The bond that marriage mends of loneliness
    When coming frayed released flames
    To burn the core to dead gray ash,
    Frees cosmic acid to corrode the sun,
    Transforming sunlight into spears of pain.
    Thus destroyed, coordination grinds
    For lubrication from the dust
    That clogs all windows to the world.
    So, one to one denies its interface
    To entomb the seek of empathies,
    And leaves but burrowing from old middens
    Left by careless unconcern from permanance presumed
    But now acknowledged as impediment.

    © Jan Sand

    The bird of night
    Devours sunsets,
    Regurgitates the Sun at dawn
    To feed the sky
    With bloody light.
    Then is gone.

    The serpent sea
    Roils its scales,
    Spits flying fish,
    Dolphins and whales,
    Waltzes in to polish beaches
    Catching clouds, the blue of sky
    Wherever foaming wetness reaches,
    Then retreats as if it fails,
    An endless tireless busyness
    With patience of a Sisyphus.

    The stars and Moon, surreptitious,
    Peer down at us
    From blackest space.
    We’re a puzzle, they’re suspicious.
    A most confusing human race.
    We fight, we love, we manufacture,
    Fill the Earth with clacking widgets.
    Then, in fury, flail and fracture
    With motives out of mental midgets.
    Are we worthwhile, or a disgrace?

    Mountains lie with hips and shoulders
    Breaking up the line of sky
    Outlined in bushes, trees and boulders,
    Sleeping now, complete, quiescent.
    To them we are evanescent,
    Fragile as a passing fly.
    But when they waken from their dream,
    Scream with fiery rocks and steam,
    Lava vomiting like Hell
    Arising in a molten stream
    No human force could change or quell,
    The fury of the Earth released
    Reveals the liberated Beast.

    Click here to return to rest of the June 2002 issue

    Click here to return to main index