Monday, June 3, 2019

A Tarot Angel, Residency News, and a Free Poetry Workshop for You

A Tarot Angel for Kalli

Happy June! Life is swirling past at an epic rate, or at least it feels that way with my firstborn on the cusp of graduating from high school. Here’s my latest composite tarot card sketch. If I’ve done anything for my girl, I hope it’s to teach her to love the second sun of her heart, right there in the middle of her body, and to steer forward with joy, heart-connected. May the angels watch over all of our children as they move on and blossom. Congratulations to all the mothers and fathers traipsing through this emotional landscape…what a blessing.

Rockvale Writers’ Colony Award

I am so pleased to announce that “Two Gardens” (from Berkeley Postcard, a manuscript of poems about my mother) has won the first Rockvale Writers’ Colony poetry contest on the theme of Time. “Two Gardens” will appear in Rockvale Review Issue Five (November 2019). The prize also includes a week-long residency at Rockvale Writers’ Colony. I am so looking forward to the time to focus on my writing projects.

Founder and Director Sandy Coomer writes generously here about choosing the poem and the synchronicity of the timing in relation to the residency, its location, and healing a lost opportunity. Both the poem, “Two Gardens,” and Coomer’s comments can be accessed here:  Two Gardens

June Poetry Opportunities

Not Your Usual Father’s Day Poetry Workshop: Letters, Rhyme, and the Senses. Join me in Carlsbad on Sunday, June 9, 2019 from 1:30 to 4:30 at the Georgina Cole Library (Community Room), 1250 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA. This poetry workshop is free (and graciously sponsored by the Friends of Carlsbad Library). Come with paper and pencil and we will explore the epistle form, drafting our own conversational letter poems as well as working with rhyme and the senses. Poets on our worksheet include Gary Snyder, Thom Gunn, Eavan Boland, Megan Arlett, Penina Ava Taesali, Lan Lan, and others.

Second Saturdays Poetry Read and Critique


Second Saturdays Poetry Read and Critique meets this coming Saturday, June 8 at Liberty Station from 10-12. We’ll be looking at Instagram Poets and our worksheet title is Reversals and Secrets. Come join us…we are a passionate and lively group of poets. Walk-ins welcome. Cost for this group is $30 for SDWI members, $36 for non-members.

Related Links: 

Rockvale review previously published two of my poems, “City Boys” and “The Marriage Counselor Channels King Solomon” (paired with photography in Issue Two, May 2018, Rockvale Review).


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Mother's Day Tarot


Photo by Robyn Beattie
I’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day by inviting my children to join me first in the yoga studio, followed by breakfast after, the present their presence. It’s been two years since I lost my own mother and I’m feeling like the Tarot Angel in the Temperance card, well--like I’m floating between her two cups, the streams of joy and sorrow passing through the filament of my body. Joy for my daughter graduating high school this summer and sorrow I can’t share that moment with my mother. But the truth is, we are surrounded by mothers and there’s an abundance of love, my mother-in-law and family members and friends coming from near and far to celebrate with us, and truly, my mother in spirit. I think also of the Empress, that beautiful card for mothering and nurturing, asking us to consider where in our lives we can honor the mother in ourselves, the mothers who mothered us, and the environments of beauty, harmony, in nature, or of our making, in which we thrive. 


Luna and the Butterfly Lantern
I’ll spend this Mother's Day afternoon (May 12) reading Tarot cards at Yoga with Shawna. Come play with me in Imperial Beach if you need to either spoil yourself or spoil your mother with some Tarot love. Sessions on Sundays are the 20 minute shorter readings. If you live far away, you can always book through my main site's Consult Page for virtual Tarot love. Tarot consults come with a Butterfly Lantern postcard bearing a personalized prompt for journaling and meditation based on your reading. Here's Luna, preparing to drink from my daughter's blue paint water, the famous disturber of art projects, this cat, famous dumper over of flower and paintbrush bouquet vases. 


And for my daughter, for the honor of being her mother, a paragraph I wrote with my Poetry Read and Critique class this spring:

Alice in Flames by Robyn Beattie
"Will you braid my hair," she asks, when we are late, ten minutes past when we should have left, all of us trained, her brother carrying her backpack...I've got her coffee and mine plus her second cup of yogurt and granola. We'll pull up at the curb in front of school where she'll have forgotten her shoes, ask to be driven around to the side gate. But that she ever asks--I am stunned--my daughter, did she just say, "Mom, braid my hair?" The very teen, averts the goodbye kiss, the one you can hug but no, no kiss on cheek, not even top of head, the very teen, at Christmas, will land all eighteen years of legs into your lap, always on her terms... always, always braid your daughter's hair when she asks.

Back in 2013 I compiled a pastiche of past Feral Mom Mother’s Day posts; very nostalgic as the kids get older and I look back to the time before the boys were taller than sunflowers, near taller than my husband (taller certainly than yours truly). Here’s a link to that post: A Modest Bouquet: Ten Mother’s Day Posts.

And here’s a more recent grief post at Tarot for Two about saying goodbye to my mother through the lens of Reversal, or The Hanged One.

Poetry Read and Critique, SDWI

Second Saturdays Poetry Read and Critique meets this coming Saturday, May 11 at Liberty Station from 10-12. We are a happy, lively, heart-open and passionate group of poets. Walk-ins welcome. We are playing with writing list poems and looking at fairytale themes and apologues this weekend; to that end we have poems by Maggie Smith, Ruth Thompson, Rebecca Chamaa, Shel Silverstein and more on our worksheet. I hope to see you there.

Photos by Robyn Beattie, with the exception of Luna (by yours truly).

Friday, April 12, 2019

April Abundance: San Diego Writer's Festival and Tarot on the Balcony


Calling all writers and lovers of words! I’m honored to be teaching tomorrow, Saturday April 13, 2019, for the inaugural San Diego Writer’s Festival, a beautiful 100% free and open to the public event with over 60 make that 80 presenters offering workshops, panels and more such as: Highlights from the Memoir Showcase, Black Stories Matter, Stories from the Veteran Writers Division of So Say We All, Roustabouts Theater, Paul-Klee inspired WordArt Project for children, Children’s Face Painting, Spirituality and The Writer, Poetry Karaoke, and more. Whether you write poetry, memoir, romance, epic fantasy, fiction, ghost stories, children’s literature, or have a book or manuscript to pitch, or perhaps you have a child eager to write poetry and participate in the Children’s Poetry Slam, come on out tomorrow to the San Diego Central Library. Again, the program is free, every event! Here’s the link to check out all San Diego Writer's Festival events; come hear keynote speaker Piper Kerman (author of Orange Is the New Black) speaks from Noon-1, or catch her Q and A with Festival Founder Marni Freedman from 3:00-4 pm in the Neil Morgan Auditorium.

My workshop runs from 10 am-11 on the 5th floor, Room 563, so come and write with me! Here's the course:

The Bold Poet - Finding Your Muse

Where do you find inspiration? Under a full moon or beneath a blazing sun in the desert? Out quietly paddling by canoe down the middle of the misty river? As writers, we draw on the wonders of the natural world around us, we use our five senses, and we let our imaginations run wild. In this workshop, we will explore the sources of wonder that surround us in nature, that we experience through the body’s fives senses, and that we follow by traveling the imaginary landscapes of the mind’s eye. Where have you been, what have you seen, and where will you take us? Join this poetry workshop to write your own five senses adventure poem. All level of writer welcome. 

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to order copies of my first poetry book, November Butterfly in time for the festival, but I will be bringing giveaway writing exercises to our class from my latest writing project, The Heart's Compass Tarot and Writing Workbook. Here's a link to a poem from one of my working poetry manuscripts; this one is from The Fool in the Corn (about an Illinois commune I lived on as a child) and was published by Tweetspeak Poetry and reposted here: Cooking Class, Mid 70s, Illinois.

Poetry Read and Critique

If you can’t make it to Saturday’s writing extravaganza, join me on Sunday April 14, 2019 for my monthly Poetry Read and Critique class from 10-12 at San Diego Writers, Ink at Liberty Station. I’ll be sharing poems from chapbooks and books from Portland’s AWP 2019. Bring a poem to share with us, a pencil, paper, and an open heart. Walk-ins welcome, or register ahead of time. 



Tarot on the Balcony at Yoga with Shawna

Question of the heart? A tarot reading provides sacred conversation and an overview of your present situation in which we look for possible next steps towards your highest joy. Together we formulate the core of your question and seek solutions in a loving, compassionate dialogue. I’m next in session in Imperial Beach at Yoga with Shawna during Reiki Clinic this coming Sunday, April 14, from 3:30-6:30. I'd love to work with you. Learn more about my approach to the tarot here.