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February 2019

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Ms. Alyza Lee Salomon

Alyza Lee Salomon is a poet, dancer, editor, and tutor who ascribes her love of words and languages to a trilingual childhood with a European heritage, as filtered through the experience of being a first-generation American. Alyza’s poems have appeared in local anthologies, and two of her essays on Virginia Woolf have been published in scholarly journals. She has danced with Natica Angilly’s Poetic Dance Theater Company since 2003, the year the company debuted “The Muses” dance. Thus far she has attended three UPLI world congresses. Alyza earned her master’s degree in English Literature at Sonoma State University. She grew up in Maryland, has lived in Israel, and now for over four decades has enjoyed calling the San Francisco Bay Area her home.

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(on the photograph Emerging by Tibby Lerner)

is a red
amaryllis bud

basking in
glorious show—

while a crimson
slower flaming

your secret
soul’s process

of dreaming

the moment chosen
to leave
the chrysalis
and unfold
(both you
and your reflection)
the hope
in your hold:

like a hand unfurling
the concentrated
essence of

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(on the painting Autumn Vineyard by David Klaprott)

Autumn’s golden hoard
couldn’t choose a more
perfect context
than a mature vineyard
in late afternoon.

Here the patches
of shade-strewn burnt grasses
and the graying path
descending through dark evergreen
branches conceal a secret.

Yet enter we must
into this singed magical
yellow glade of reckoning
that beckons—yes demands
that our dusty football

give up all hesitation
to accept the sky’s bluest fading
smile, while the thick air
prepares to let go
of summer’s warm embrace.

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On Vermeer's The Art of Painting

Ah, Clio—what secret golden mirth
curls away from the floortile weight
of history’s black and white clarity
held ever so lightly

across your humming heart,
as the suspended trombone
notes escape
from the laurel leaf garland

the maestro tells you
the goddess Diana herself
crafted for your frolicking
hide and seek birdcalls, as

an invisible tutor’s quillpen
mapping the epical quest
of youth cantering away
from itself—what is this

masquerade if not a lesson
in the patience of posing
for the easel’s velvet sleight
of hand promises: for you,

Princess Clio—for you the
chocolate bon bons of life’s eternal
red silk moment
in primal oil of shadowed

blue taffeta, and the rose
blush of late
morning on your cheeks,
your perfect eyelids . . . .

This poem appeared in Art of Awe II and the Power of Your Creative Spirit by Richard and Natica Angilly and received an Honorable Mention in the 99th Ina Coolbrith Circle Annual Poetry Contest.

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EROICA—July 21, 1996 at Stern Grove

      circling again,
                    blue dragonflies

           glide the upsweep
of a Beethoven symphony
filling the eucalyptus grove

                       with the breathing
           of bark and earth
     and rapt audience
dotting the grounds

with lawn chairs
     blankets and beer,
          sandwiches and treats.
                    See how the trees reach

                     to meet each cadence,
     releasing now and then
a red leaf
          to spindle down

     billowing air currents,
                     as if this life, this space,
                             was nothing
         if not a proscenium

         created solely
     for the glorious
dancing of blue
        dragonflies ….

This poem received a Second Prize in the 99th Ina Coolbrith Circle Annual Poetry Contest.

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On a painting by Marc Chagall

When moondrops float near marble torsos,
a nocturnal party unfreezes these dancers
to bathe in the basilica’s neon
pulsing heartbeat.

The street turns a silver riverbed,
overtakes the deep-rooted
blue tree of memory
with a rustling song to windows
hungry for a glimpse
of this dissolving lifetime.

The mauve dreamscape yawns,
unfurling a pungent vision
resembling your own fluent yearning
to trace the orb’s milky crescent.

It this is a quest for hommage,
you will find the secret map
in your rainwashed hand
because the angel conveying flowers
from Caspian groves
now demands of you:

Take this exquisite fragrance
and plant it in your heart.
Take your heart’s gift
and share it with strangers.
Take this glowing moon and pour
liquid light on your darkest hour.

This poem appeared in Essential Arts: The Dynamism of Moving Fusion by Richard and Natica Angilly and in The Gathering 14.