Theresa is a poet, and host of two popular poetry venues in the LA area: Mudpuppy Poetry, originally started in Highland Park at the Mudpuppy coffee house, and Projectile Poetry at Dutton’s Books in Brentwood. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies such as Looking out of Alhambra, Looking out of Pasadena, and various San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterlies, along with the Poetry and Cookies series through the Alta Dena Library. As a contributing editor, her poetry has appeared on PoeticDiversity, and in various anthologies as a member of the Emerging Urban Poets, and the Echo Space Poetry Collective. She is also editor and one of the directors of the Valley Contemporary Poets- bringing new voices to the San Fernando Valley. As a small press publisher, she has put out a number of her own anthologies series, chapbooks and has appeared on various television and radio programs featuring her poetry, as well as being asked to perform her one woman show. Known for writing about family in her prose, storytelling style, she has been featured at most all the venues in Los Angeles, asked to perform at book fairs, art openings, and has toured as part of a poetry troupe…but her dream came true when she was asked to feature at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA…more than once. She is also an art therapist, with a M.A. in a psychology related field- working with and writing about cancer survivors and the incarcerated. From her work as a photographer/filmmaker and working with “at risk” youth as a grant recipient and “artist in residence” she is completing a documentary on kids and creativity.

Summer Day

Dad holds me tight-
as I lean over the pier
and pull up a big fish
dangling on the hook

Mom hands me
a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
in tin foil- as I sit down to lunch
and slowly unwrap

my childhood memories

Dancing with dad

The square dance begins at 7.
I am there on time, and so is my dad- In his cowboy hat and sequined shirt, holding hands with the woman he took up with two weeks after my mom died.

They step onto the dance floor and he twirls Lois, as the caller starts; “Promenade right, swing your partner, dosey-doe, now promenade left.”

Lois says to me when they come off the dance floor, “Go dance with your father.” I think, “How can I dance with him, when I never saw him dance with my mom?"

He holds his hand out, to take me onto the dance floor. I stare at it for a while, but agree to take his hand and go- The caller starts again, “…take your partner, bow hello- twirl your partner, ready to go?”

Then he bows to me, actually bows to me- How could I betray her, by dancing with him?

I notice he is bald on top and looks very fragile to me… But his hands are soft and strong and when he holds mine, I feel safe with him, for the first time.

I step on his toes; he steps on mine…we laugh. I glance back at Lois. She is waving at us. I think, “She looks a lot like my mom,” and I take comfort in that, somehow, and the fact my dad and I are dancing,

He is holding my hand, actually holding my hand. I never wanted to hold his hand until today. And when the dance is done, I also notice, neither of us wants to let go.


Sacrifice was her middle name, she believed in God.
She did not like me wearing short skirts,
or tops that exposed too much skin.
Long-sleeved shirts were best, she'd say, "even in summer".
She forgave fully, she was a saint.
She had no enemies- except for herself.
When I asked her why she was so good, she'd say
"that’s just the way I was raised."
She was a fragile dandy-lyon,
blowing every which way the wind did.
Being with her sisters was her favorite place.
She laughed more with them, than with us kids.
When I asked her why she’d say,
"I’ve know them longer than you."

Theresa Moonday poetry reading

© 2007 Theresa

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