Surfing Out of the BoxMarch 2011
Home The Business of the Journal Town Business It's Our Nature Slo Coast Life Slo Coast Arts Archives

Shadow Tag

by Jane Elsdon

Bishop Stream
Watercolor by Gene Elsdon: Bishop Stream

Winter plays shadow tag with spring, nature displays its harshest creations in floods, mudslides, thunder snow, blizzards, droughts.   And the world foments revolutions for good and ill with humankind's most recent inventions, the electronic central nervous system of the planet we call Facebook, My Space, and Twitter.   Makes a soul yearn for a quiet poem and a spring landscape to inspire, doesn't it? 

But before we get to a quiet poem, let me tell you about a new literary journal conceived by Christine Neilson, author of the SLO Coast Journal column, "Under the Tongue."  Interesting name?  It's her way of paying homage to the satire streaming through her blood and her sharp eye for the humorous. 

Recently, over a good cup of tea at Top Dogs in Morro Bay, we discussed Christine's departure from the Central Coast for the last ten years while she explored states in the southwest and taught, followed by a respite in the northwest to allow herself three months to meditate upon the shape the next chapter of her life would take, a challenge she felt required isolation. The result was the birth of "ViVACE, Art, Photography and Writings Selected and Edited by Christine Neilson."  "It is a self-published extension of my Masters Thesis," she told me, "and a means to explore other avenues of self-expression."

The second issue of ViVACE emerged in January.  It is a tribute to George Hitchcock, Christine's longtime mentor and friend, who passed in 2010 . Twenty-three of Hitchcock's colleagues and friends share lively vignettes from their lives with him.   The engaging cover artwork was painted by him. 

Christine says ViVACE welcomes the opportunity to read unsolicited nonfiction, poetry, and personal narratives for our next issue, due out in the late spring. There are no submission requirements for style. She urges potential contributors to adhere carefully to the following guideline:

  1. You may send, via email , up to three unpublished poems or two 1,000-word fiction or nonfiction pieces written in Microsoft Word.  We do not read simultaneous submissions.
  1. Include your name, address and phone number at the beginning of each submitted email attachment.  Submissions without this information will not be considered.
  1. All writers/artists/photographers are kindly requested to subscribe to ViVACE:  $20/two issues.  Send email for subscription information.  Deadline for submission to issue 3 is March 31st, 2011. 

It is a lively, entertaining collection.

* * *

Now, on to the quiet poem. This particular piece evolved as a result of someone I loved telling me this tale over and over again through the decades. I observed how her misery "saved her" in one respect, yet crippled and imprisoned her in another.  One day it came to me as an epiphany that this was a lesson worth heeding. The poem wrote itself in the subject's voice. 

A Springtime Decision Reviewed at Winter's End

                                                After my first love jilted me
                                                I vowed no one would ever
                                                hurt me that way again,
                                                she said, shivering.
                                                So I built a wall
                                                around me,
                                                impenetrable as ignorance,
                                                a wall so deep and high
                                                no one could ever break through.

                                                Her face frozen in arctic blizzard furrows
                                                beneath a drift of wispy silver snow
                                                took on all the shadows
                                                of a lifetime's regrets, sorrows,
                                                and rapidly descending night.

                                                What I didn't bargain for
                                                was the same wall
                                                that kept me safe inside
                                                its impenetrable shield
                                                isolated me there,
                                                forever alone.                                                      

Monarch Butterfly Banner Image by Mike Baird
Site Menu

The Business of the Journal
About the Slo Coast Journal
Just for Fun
Letters to the Editor
Stan's Place
Writers Index

The Business of Our Towns
Community Calendar
Get Involved - 100+ Women Who Care
Morro Bay Library Events
Morro Bay Police File
Quotable Quotes

It's Our Nature
A Bird's Eye View
Elfin Forest
Marine Sanctuaries
Nature's Voice
Ocean Creatures
Sweet Springs Reflections

Slo Coast Arts
Art Talk
Genie's Pocket
Great Shots
One Poet's Perspective
Opera SLO

Slo Coast Life
Behind the Badge
Best Friends
Body, Mind, Spirit
California State Parks
    —State Parks Events
    —State Parks Mindwalks - 2011
Double Vision
Far Horizons
Let's Go Green
Medical Myth Busting
Observations of a Country Squire
Surfing Out Of The Box
Under the Tongue

News, Editorials, & Commentary
Slo Coast Journal Exclusive: Coastal Commission Rejects WWTP
Seagull Sentinel Backers Exposed
State Controller's Audit Authority May Be Extended
Morro Bay-Cayucos to Hire Lobbyist
Sale of Morro Bay Power Plant Stalled

Local Film Showing Exposes 'Silent Epidemic'

Green Web Hosting
All content copyright Slo Coast Journal and Individual Writers.
Do not use without express written permission.