Seretta Martin, author of Foreign Dust Familiar Rain, and Love, Rain, Dog, hosts the Barnes and Noble Poetry Series, Grossmont Center, La Mesa, CA. She teaches poetry K-Adult and is a member of Border Voices Poetry Project and California Poets in the Schools. Seretta also works as a Media Escort for publishers and has had the pleasure of escorting Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Kreeley, Li Young Lee, Sharon Olds, Peter Maas, Clive Cussler, just to name a few. Her awards include the Linda Brown Memorial Idyllwild Poetry Scholarship, California State Poetry Society and the OASIS Journal “Best Poem” award. Recent publications include Margie:The American Journal of Poetry, Oberon Foundation, OASIS Journal. Anthologies: The Best Of Border Voices, San Diego Poetry Annual, A Year of Ink; San Diego Writer’s Ink, Magee Park, Tide Pools, Poppyseed Kolache and the 35th San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly. Several of her poems were translated in Russian and appeared in a UK newspaper. Seretta lives in San Diego, California with her tiger cat, Velcro. Web site: web.mac.com/serettamartin

Dance of the Fleeting Children
(for baby Fleur)

"The world of genetics is trying to reduce injustice.
Scientists and doctors will perform the miracles of the future."


                                              - James Watson, biologist who co-discovered
                                              the molecular structure of DNA - when interviewed
                                              about Progeria (premature, rapid aging ).

Come, let's visit the annual gathering
where Fleur and other special children
join withered hands, nod their bald heads,
and dance on bowed legs, swaying to music
              - young in spirit.

Before Fleur was born,
Father Time, dozed in his laboratory,
dropped the beaker,
shattered genes, set her clock
at five to twelve.

Now, she and her friends
resemble happy gnomes:
skin paper-thin, blue in their eyes
where light should be,
pointed noses, receding chins.

Most have arthritic limbs,
and a weak heart. By age two,
a stroke swells their legs
and bones are frail.

Listen, the music ends.
Their voices are the chirps
of newborn birds.

Yet, unable to repair their genes
we watch them age faster than ...
fireflies...on a summer eve...trapped in a glass jar.

Margie Rx Strong Medicine,
The American Journal of Poetry,
Vol. 5,– Finalist

Michelangelo’s David

I sneak into the museum after hours
for a passionate rendezvous with David,
slide onto a pedestal and stretch
to feel his firm lines. Eyes closed, I listen
for his tenor voice as if decades have crumbled.

There is a nude coolness in his solid curves.
An age of stone conceals unspent flesh and bone.
I follow the contour of his arm, sense a trembling
in his fingers. Neck tendons strained, he leans

toward me with his vulnerable left side.
My palms cup his angled jaw, receptive chin,
parched, yet moist, lips. His thick curls
turn in on themselves like an unsung aria.

I gather unspoken words from shadows, kiss
the crease of his elbow, smell fragrance of olive
on his cheek. Quivering, a slow whisper escapes.
His lips break centuries of silence.

San Diego WritersINK
Valentines Day,
Romance Contest,
Honorable Mention

Love, Rain, Dog

Her last story was about rain. No, it was love and rain. First love then rain, on the farm, before I was born. I may have even been the result of that humid Illinois night. She and father ran to spread sheets on the front lawn. Within hearing distance of cows and chickens they shed their clothes and caressed with love that lasted almost sixty-five years. At the frantic edge of a peak, thunder and lightning came. The dog thought they were romping and joined in. Or was there just the rain, or just the dog? She must have rewound her life as she weakened in a hospice bed where the dining table usually stood. Our family gathered ‘round and we all laughed with her, pushing aside the whisper of wind, those lengthening shadows before the greater, pending storm.

Published in Oberon Foundation Anthology

Seretta Martin Moonday poetry reading

© 2008 Seretta Martin


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