The Poetry of Turning Point: An Anthology of Work, Part II
From June to July of 2017, residents of Santa Monica’s Turning Point Shelter took part in Films & Poetry, a workshop facilitated by Women’s Voices Now. Throughout these classes, residents watched films from WVN’s archives, read poetry, then wrote original works. Following are a selection of poems from these workshops which the authors have allowed me to share with you. This is the second and final installment of the works completed by our participants at Turning Point. I look forward to meeting the second cohort of Turning Point workshop attendees in January 2018!
An Eco Poem for Turning Point
After watching a number of films addressing climate change from WVN’s archives, we wrote and filmed our own Eco-Poem. Here is the text (below) and here is the footage:
Woodstock, crying, leaning
branches that hug you
Concrete that you glide
across to make it your own destination
Humans that you smile at
because it looks good as
a certain expression
Building that does not speak,
talk, or move, but stares at
you. with embracing gestures
Leave it at the door
The carcass of who I used to
be – putrid, rotting,
lifeless on the floor
Leavin’ my chrysalis
I start to soar
The solidity of a tree
The strength of its structure, adds
balance, as it reaches up
to the sky.
There are many levels of mentalities
at Turning Point, with different journeys.
Stay on track. Don’t turn back.
Don’t turn in. Don’t turn out.
(James E. Sanders)
The purple one is gone……
so young…. so beautiful….
still in his prime.
A kaleidoscope of magnificent jewels,
his sweet falsetto ever-present in our memories,
like a beautiful, clear mountain spring
sparkling in the sunshine…..
a lark is on a tree beside the spring,
singing the highest and sweetest tones –
arpeggios, growling, husky bass notes to falsettos,
yet with syncopation, holding out his notes,
bends his notes with such funk
like no other purple bird
Mist. Big leaved trees. Ocean air.
We are all animals, but
these folks are most elegant. See, Sherry’s
We have a little garden that I have seen die and come back alive.
What will it be today
Will it look dry and wither away.
or will it be given a new life
by those who care
A Poem by Ariel Fintushel
In closing, I present this poem for Turning Point. Thank you for so graciously welcoming me into your home.
A Poem for Turning Point
Press the gas and the speed dial turns;
stars turn sending rays through space;
a diamond turns in the mind –
no one is a thief.
An acorn, finger, and compass turn
without judgement; the fan blades turn
cooling down the room;
a pen turns, inking down the page
where words appear for you to follow.
A point where what’s wanted changes;
difference of degrees changes a person.
The lemon tree’s branch turns
against a wall without fruit or leaves –
where’s it headed with no belongings?
At the base grows a plant;
its red stem is turning green.