April 1-7, 2024: Poetry from Diane Funston and Robert Knox

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Diane Funston

Diane Funston served as Poet-in-Residence for Yuba Sutter Arts and Culture for two years. She created and hosted online “Poetry Square” monthly, bringing together poets from around the world on Zoom. She has been published in F(r)iction, Lake Affect Magazine, Synkronicity and California Quarterly among many others. Her chapbook “Over the Falls” was published by Foothills Publishing in 2022. She holds a BA degree in Literature and Writing from CSU San Marcos. Diane lives in Marysville, California in the Sacramento Valley with her poet-husband Roger, their 2 dogs and urban produce farm. 

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by Diane Funston and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Buddha’s Hand

The hand tempted me.
A plentitude of curved fingers,
each one beckoning,
come closer, hold me,
heavy in your palm like gold.
I wanted to caress its large, elongated grasp,
so welcome, a bright saffron yellow glove,
smooth as velvet, a gentleman’s hand,
a lingering scent of citrus in the air.

Instead of a palm in the hand,
more fingers reached out.
Hidden, reaching, a land-locked squid
stopped still before ink,
but this creature without beating heart
captivated me, one who has longed
for the exotic, who has tasted other continents,
armed with untamed palette and imagination,
found the hand sweet and firm to the bite.


Atmospheric River

Walking in Northern California rain,
snug under a plastic poncho
I’m bothered neither by wet or wind.
Brave dogs at my side,
we straddle puddles and gutters
to get our daily exercise
despite downpours ten days out.

Our snowpack is secure
after years of drought and dust.
Forecast calls for “Atmospheric River”,
the latest in dramatic terms
to excite the media-addicted sedentary class.
I continue my walk, tree limbs wave,
our pace reflected in standing water.

Robert Knox

Robert Knox is a poet, fiction writer, and freelance journalist. A contributing editor for the online poetry journal Verse-Virtual, his poems appear regularly on that site. They have also appeared in journals such as The American Journal of Poetry, New Verse News, The Eunoia Review, and others. His poetry chapbook “Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty” was nominated for a Massachusetts Best Book award. He was the winner of the 2019 Anita McAndrews Poetry Award.

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by Robert Knox and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Winter Gold

The neighborhood transfigured
I walk toward the light,
that late season fireball
of too distant love
It draws me, like a magnet
to the sum of old ironies

The trashcans line both sides of the road
filled with leaves like paper jewels and branches
like broken bones
With bags, plastic cans, even cardboard boxes
With files of old receipts, love letters from
anxious creditors
Leaves, lives, leavings

But even these are rendered irrelevant, unborn
Only the blinding beam twists its finger
in the final hour of the western sky,
turning everything base and brilliant to gold
I go on seeking it
hoping in the end
to be gilded myself