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Judith Terzi has published two collections of poetry, Shiny Things Make Things Come Back (2002), and most recently, Lightning Bugs Don't Travel Westward. Inspired to write during her mother's five-year adventure with severe vascular dementia, her poetry centers on this struggle as well as on reflections about nature, events and objects connected to memories, passions, people and politics. Her poems have appeared in publications both in print and on-line, and she reads regularly in venues in the greater Los Angeles area. A career teacher, Judith has taught French and English in Algiers, Algeria, English eomposition and French at California State University, and currently French language and literature at Polytechnic School in Pasadena, California. Judith writes in English, French, and Spanish.


May 26, 2004
Pomona County Fairgrounds

They rush toward the white building.
Or perhaps it is green; they won't recall.

They hurry toward pages floating
     in between navy blue, 
     toward a document where high tides or low 
     of deep pasts 
     will transform instantly 
     into official sky blue rectangular 

They rush toward white liberty.
Or perhaps it is red; soon they won't recall.

They stride through large, glass doors from borders filled
     only with air,
     or limpid earth
     or happenstance waters.

They rush to where desires swerve
     like enormous moons rolling
     over both sides of human destiny.



Pottery Sale Pantoum

Finger tips instinctively touch vessels.
Palms slide up, down, across high-fired walls.
Hands lift to see how thin a piece is thrown.
If only one could handle a poem.

Palms slide up, down, across high-fired walls,
Roll around lips of vases, rims of bowls.
If only one could handle a poem.
If fingers could slither along its tone,

Roll around lips of meter, rims of rhyme, 
They would grab the ridges of metaphor.
If fingers could slither along its tone,
Then one would stroke drops of sentiment shown.

They would grab the ridges of metaphor
As though the poem were a bas-relief.
Then one would stroke drops of sentiment shown 
As blind lovers caress the still unknown.



Visit with a Butterfly

With each visit, mother assumes a new form:
a butterfly birthing

With each visit, mother assumes a new form:
Proteus appearing
As flame

Four wings collapse into a once kaleidoscopic 
frame filled with fluid flights 
from sweet lilac to lantana

The flame burns her palms
Dissolves future
Scorches past

Wings flutter inward as beauty implodes

As fast as melting snow stirs early spring nectars

and larval shroud wraps itself
around her fragile aura

And winter broods
Inside wings
Of broken monarchs

and an egg nests 
on milkweed
as life resumes 
in the earth's cocoon.

© 2004 Judith Terzi


26 de mayo 2004
Pomona County Fairgrounds, Pomona, California

Se precipitaron
hacia ese edificio blanco
     o verde.
No se recuerda.
Hacia esas páginas
entre un azul


Se precipitaron
hacia ese documento
donde mareas altas

     o bajas
de una memoria profunda
se transforman en seguido
en memoria rectangular

     de un azul

Se precipitaron
hacia esta Libertad blanca

     o roja.
No se recuerda.
A través de estas puertas

     de cristal.
De estas puertas de fronteras

     de puro aire
    de tierra límpida
    de aguas ilógicas
donde marean deseos
como lunas enormes andan 
vagando por dos lados 
del destino humano.



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