Sacred Grounds Newsletter    12/07/22 @ 6:45pm PT sign-in


Face Book Group:

Features on Zoom:

Full recordings at the Café:

Archive of video links:
Sacred Grounds Information:

Global Open Mic:


Part One:     The Coming Week * The Team * Upcoming Features

Part Two:     Last week, notes of quotes * The Zoom Information * Recommended Bookstores

Part Three:  Procedures * Meeting Info * Protocols


Our First Show is at about 7pm while the Second at about 840pm. We hold to a 4-minute limit, participants observe their time; we’ve a timer to assist.


Part One


This Coming Week: 12/076/22 @ 6:45pm PT sign-in


Antoinette Vella Payne, a "regular" at Sacred Grounds since 2018 began writing in 2014 after a 30-year business career in real estate.  She has been published in the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal and the 2018 Sacred Grounds Anthology as well as The Poetry Express Newsletter in London, Issues 68, 69 and 70.  As A Course in Miracles student for 40 years, many of her poems reflect humanity’s spiritual connections to divine consciousness and to one another. Her stream of consciousness style verse and wordplay shares her personal stories and other reflections that just might stimulate memories of your own. She is a native San Franciscan of Maltese descent and indebted to the Sacred Grounds community for its generosity of spirit and welcoming of new poets. She is currently working on her first collection of poems.


Her recent feature at Rivertown, May of 2022:

At Sacred Grounds Café two years ago:


The Team

The Keynote:
David Erdreich  Last Word: Britt Peter  Mini-Feature:  Richard Ivanhoe  The Co-Pilots Tommi, Antoinette, and Richard, unless I miss my guess  Theme is: “Light and Shadow” Thanks to: Johana Ely   The Timer: may well be David, but we’ll see — Last, if I err in any of this, let me know and I’ll fix it up.


Updated news regarding: Sacred Grounds Café –updated:


We have three possible choices at this point. As I am not yet ready to present myself in person, I would like to have a hybrid meeting for which I’d host the zoom, which would mean someone or someone’s would have to be the MC at whichever venue we find ourselves in. Then, depending on the scheduling, I could continue the Wednesday night zoom. To proceed with any of the ideas, however, I can only proceed with a person, or persons, on board. The scheduling can also change.


The first of the three choices is Sacred Grounds Café but as Teddy has does not want to work nights we may have to see about a daytime event, perhaps on the weekend.  .

The second possibility that came our way is Clarion Center for the Arts, Clara Hsu’s venue in Chinatown. It is at 2 Waverly Place, between Sacramento and Clay. The venue has a professional sound system and stage area. They put on performances and have enough room for poets, certainly.


The third option that came our way is Faithful Fool, which is at 234 Hyde between Turk and Eddy I had a chance to visit the venue and it does have enough room for crowd of poets, the staff is friendly, and very open to having Sacred Grounds host poetry events there. They have hosted poetry events there, are very involved with the community, and we may have a couple of folks they know, who have run poetry venues, help us out. They have a good sound system too.


Upcoming Features:


We are seeking features; I mainly do this through recommendation. If you care to have one of our own be placed in the limelight or if you have someone new to us, please let me know. Recommend someone you very much enjoy and, if they raise the roof or bring the house down— so much the better for everyone.




14        Richard Ivanhoe

21        Diane Moomey




11         Sally Love Saunders

18         Jennifer Nuesi

25         Stacy Dyson




1          Dina Klarisse Dugar

22        Martin Marshall

 25         Stacy Dyson




15          Mark States


Part Two


Last Week:  In Notes of Quotes, then the Zoom information


Notes of Quotes, First Show


Keynote, Tommi Avicolli Mecca: a “Word has Reached Me” by Alice Walker, from Hard Times Require Furious Dancing – a great, great piece he read in part because of International Aids Day, what a voice he has wow - DianeM:  a beautiful sonnet ... “the flight is delayed ... something breaks your sleep cocoon... a tune ... you’re up and on the avenues ... now you tremble... carrying your bag, pursue that air, a cul-de-sac, above an open window... still on the airport bench... a stairway’s in front of you.. at the door you don’t look back...” - GaryT: a piece on a dinner, Thanksgiving day... after a restart of a in life we don’t always get a do over, but in cooking thank god we do...” then he followed with a recipe poem, sounded so very good, yay for family tradition! - TommiAM: a piece on AIDS “... Simian who led a fight to desegregate lunch counters... Doug the apostle went out dancing... Joe went out with the ancestors... at a candle lit dinner... and Sag who cast me at s tommi in a his play... Roberto was moving to San Francisco... “I’ll be back he said... I’m still waiting...” - DavidE: in honoring a friend ... Frank Ritter, a friend: “camera’s eye, grainy proof... thousand words left unsaid... instant captured hint projected...moment in time resurrected or just...” – “it’s the determination of freedom of thought, freedom of dream... to look into the beyond and seek the truth -JohannaE: back from Egypt, an amazing trip, and the poem is from it in Call To Prayer” “... near dawn I wait to hear the call to prayer, the way a woman longs to her lover’s tap at the window... at first one, then another and another, through the smoky darkness as night slips away, a lover’s quiet sigh... hearing the faithful called to prayer... through streets to the ancient river... an awakening of millions of hearts beating as one...” - JackM: a mathematical consideration of the common things... space time, a room, coordinates and pieces of thoughts that prompt musing on the conceptuals – sweet - BrittP: on the theme playing with fire ... I’ll tell you whose playing with fire PGE, Putin Biden strike breaking ... and they all suffer from the same malady... staying stupid...” - ThomasS:  “... the sun had almost set ... the redwings and others singing it up... and the nice guy who dressed like Jack London... and the cape cod couple facing us west with the high rise sun in their easterly eyes... warning us not to turn our backs to the sea... with two little dogs barking their way... and secret directions to desire...”  - RichardI: on the theme, playing with fire, “a sky darkens shortly after sunset... two silhouettes stand atop a hill, light flame, fire sticks juggled and twirled geometric forms contrast with the gathering dark... a performance repeated in an alley, two weeks later, nearly brings down the house... unlike other animals humans tamed fire... or have they... just ask those who live in California...” - MarkOH:  will be on later - CesarL: “... into the earth she slides... a cloth she made herself... a cloth that changes colors, latticework.. the poet smoothes the floor psychic knots... fall to the floor... soon to become feral opals, iris crystals... the poet prepares the door... butterflies of every stripe arrive...” - DanB: a set of haiku and then something thought provoking – a piece called “Mother’s Day” - DanielO: a published piece 3305 Folsom St, “... I had my kids three days a week and I think I explained the roaches and mice well enough... my room right above a Laundromat between a taqueria and lottery store...” a presentation of a hard life but one that had its moments... well done!           


- Feature, Mary Eichbauer: begins with somber tones and moves to the light...  “There are no more words, but there are always more bullets... another angry man... with bullets ... you can’t get blood out of a carpet ... can’t unsay that explosive word, the word that stays unsaid...” – “... you don’t want to be to obvious... if things are going to go down hill, better not say so to early, let your reader be innocent for a time...petals become paste under the rain, guns scatter the distant birds and her husband wanders hollow eyed through the rainy streets...” – “... in Parma, Easter Week, 1983... the last time we were friends, slowly spring reclaimed the earth... from your window I saw a woman snapping beans into a bowl between her knees... it was the usual story, you husband left a letter in his pants... the dictionary helped, but there were questions... at the café we drank espresso with a grappa chaser, that spring when love was losing you and all the walls fell down...” – ‘when romance left she flopped and gasped on the floor... and... he stood blinking keys in hands... maybe I parked on another level he thought...” – “... Greenwich Village, 1969... the bar a bulwark of mahogany... the sizzling New York Day, we sat at table while a gaggle of old men sat at the bar... Joe the barkeep, lined our martinis up... cool... and drips down the stem... someone asks him to sing Old Black Magic... we were, in magic, extras, the dust motes sparkling like stars... his voice tempered by smoke and whiskey he sang it...” –  “I do not recognize your absence... your words scorch the words on the page... a vision of a landscape seen by fire... these words to not consent to absence... that loss is their text, they say you are here, it was written, not graven as on a sepulcher this is not an elegy...” – weeks grow through cracks... no one cares if they live or die... an Italian ghetto earning nickels... kids stole potatoes and roasted them over fires in vacant lots... six kids in a bet always hungry... no one remembered to send my mother to school until she was eight.... her brothers and sisters all had gardens and pulled up weeds the things they hated most..” – and dedicated to her son... “you built the birdhouse together hoping someone will stay, a squirrel chewed the hole larger... but later we noticed it had straw inside... maybe someday you and your daughter will build another and hoping to attract a little wildness, bright eyed, flicking its tail..” concluded with The Poet’s Occasional Alternative by Grace Paley – wow!


Notes of Quotes, Second Show


Last word, Garrett Murphy: his classic piece on Charlie Hebdo absolutely wonderful... as well as was his piece on the prison we all lock ourselves in... that there cell phone, what a voice he has! - RobertR: making a jump shot at 74 years old... the man enters, looks around, making sure he’s alone... he stops at the top of the key... stares... firmly tenderly he holds the ball... free from tension... decades melting into reverie... all born again muscle memory now... he shoots... the ball falls through time... swish...! - AntoinetteP: “I want to be your match stick... in your mind... I want you to light up when we enter the room... pipe dreams laid down first.. in our conjoined hearts... strike it hard, flames ignite... I want to be ... trusting you... see my mask hardened by survival... we can then tend the heart...” - JanS: a piece on a fire bug... the stared one in the canyon... in an alley... they took her to a psychologist which dampened her incandescence for a while... in high school she invented a trombone that doubled as a flamethrower... got into the Berkeley Music and her future is bright, but slightly smoky.”


Mini Feature, Barbara Saunders: bringing us ekphrastic poetry, based on a painting by Ronald Locket: “he watched the princess on TV as the virus feeding on his T-cells... he saw the familiarities... that day she touched the AIDS patients with an ungloved hands he felt a bit of hope... before it all faded to black he used all of his bright colored paint he tried to touch her back – honoring Princess Diana... well done - JohnS, debut, just visiting - JohnC: “... as clouds in grey blotches drift past the feeble sun, my love is lost in dreams, even as I hold your hips in dreams you invite strangers lips... and that is why I cannot be kissing you, as different faces hide behind my eyes... but why then the solid ground in my chest give way... why do I moan and sigh... but love only streams from the heart... not the dream...” - LoisR, debut: visiting - LouiseM:  “every day... horror is a natural companion... we disperse a... haze... hear words buzz and hum... go to the film classic slasher film... hate a philosophy... documentaries are cartoons... digital tickets for velour seats... naked harpies devour our brains we rush past the theater... vulnerable unicorns lose their footing... disperse in a sedative haze... failure of experimental belief... every day activity descends to violence...” - EdM: “windsongs in our hearts... these hearts have rearranged themselves... prodigal hearts seek permission to come to homes where contrition is not expected... but home, we think we know are the windsongs in our heart...” - Revolt: with a happy upbeat Christmas song – and from Revolt – yes!  Well yes it was and it was great up-tempo, and inside was all I want for Christmas is you... Jan said she liked it when you enjamb... I second that comment - Avotcja: “... she was just a little flower didn’t bother anybody she just sat that there... on her hillside and life was good... beautifully naēve... until the two leggeds... corporatized her beauty... if they had only came in peace... asked... all they saw was a sweet flower... poppy sweet... and its still grows beautiful... while they’re crawling around in their madness still searching for their souls...” - KarenMM: “ancestral tapestry... rough ancestry become their own incomparable destiny... encyclopedias of blame and misery...”  -- and a piece on working with nature to grow crops and the mystery of history and the lesson of living with and in peace... to help one another - GailW, debut: visiting - NateG, debut: visiting - Clincher-Closer-Super Duper Bull Dozer, Garrett Murphy: a piece on a young man as a new boy a piece on justice and fairness, humanity and being human, a new classic I think – I always enjoy his perspective, wry take, and clever touches...


The Zoom Information


If this meeting ID or PW become compromised, they will be changed ASAP, possibly on the day of the meeting. The plan is to post a notice on the Facebook page or on a revised edit of this newsletter; the facebook link:


While you may invite persons you trust, you will have to help us recognize them after we let you into the meeting.  Please do not share the meeting information on social media.


Meeting ID: 221 224 5102                             Password: 135246

The URL/Link:


One tap mobile

+16699006833,,2212245102#,,#,135246# US (San Jose)

+13462487799,,2212245102#,,#,135246# US (Houston)

Dial by your location

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 253 215 8782 US

        +1 301 715 8592 US

Find your local number:


Recommended Bookstores:


Adobe Books

3130 24th St, SF, CA (415) 864-3936


Green Apple Books and Music
506 and 520 Clement Street, SF, CA  (415) 387-2272

Hours: 10am to 9pm, Book and music buyback hours: 10am-6pm daily at 506 Clement


Bird and Beckett

653 Chenery Street SF, CA  (415) 586-3733

Open six days a week Tuesdays to Sundays 11 a.m. to 7 pm
with limited browsing curbside pickup and delivery also available


Florey’s Bookstore

2120 Palmetto Ave – Pacifica, CA  (650) 355-8811


Part Three

Procedures * Meeting Info * Protocols



When you come to the meeting, you will be in a waiting room before a manager brings you into the meeting. Bear in mind it takes time to get set up and although we can send messages to the waiting room, we cannot hear back from it. When we’re ready, the copilots, as co-hosts, bring readers into the meeting as I randomly select a number card to determine a reader’s place in the line-up. Once in the room, please keep the room muted. We post a list of the reading order when we have it done. People who arrive after that process are given the next available slot


We may adjust the line-up, make announcements, and read the checklist before we’ll begin. After every fifth poet we pause and that’s when we can take questions or resolve issues. 


There is more information on the meeting in a following section; it is good to be apprised of what it says because it does change.

Meeting Info


1) There are co-pilots together we manage the sign-in, monitor mics, and answer questions by chat, text, or phone. It is my hope that the virtual version of Sacred will have the respectful and easy friendly ambience of the open mic at the café.


2) Vetting: if you are new to us, we verify your connection to someone already in the meeting or communicate with you. As you are brought into the meeting we may discuss your place on the reading list, please do jot down your number.


If you are calling in by phone what we see depends on your settings. We usually see a phone icon and the phone number or sometimes a name and a graphic. If you can set it up so we see your name and last initial, that will help someone in the meeting to recognize you and so facilitate your entry.


While you wait for the show to begin, listen to announcements, look over Zoom’s controls, and try the participant, and response options, chat with friends, acquaintances, or others in the room for assistance or contact one of the Co-pilots if needed. During this time keep your mics muted as we fine-tune the reading list before the reading begins.

3) Please mute your mic as we begin the show. We’ll ask each reader to unmute their mics after being introduced and expect them to mute their mics afterwards.


We announce readers in sets of five so you’ll be forewarned of your turn at the mic. Please be ready in advance to unmute your mic and begin reading after you are introduced. This way we can have more time for more poets. As time goes on, we will relax this practice as we create a friendly supportive space for artistic expression.


4) While we love the sound of applause, it is heartwarming and perhaps we’d rather a poet hear applause – but one can also respond using the program’s tools, thumbs up or clapping, gesticulating wildly in your video, posting comments to the poet or the group, and by raising and lowering your virtual hand. As we create a friendly supportive space for artistic expression, we will learn how to both respect the mic and sound off in a friendly, manner supportive of artistic expression we are getting there.

5) When you hear us say, “mind your mic” make sure you mic is off, that you are quiet and or in a very quiet environment, as someone reads. We can and will mute someone’s mic if it seems they’re unaware of their audio input.

6) Some poets like to have others see their work as it is read. We can share documents to read along if the document is on your desktop. It is best to ask about ahead of time. I, personally, enjoy seeing the work as it is read.



Be aware we do not tolerate any form of hate speech, racism, or disrespect. There may well be no warning before you are exited from the group. We will make note and alert other venues to the extent that we can.


Be helpful as needed. As we learn to do this, we, together, will create and modify the procedures and protocols. Help friends, acquaintances, and new arrivals, via chat, texting, phone calls, and emailing one another so as to advise and make this experience smooth as the proverbial baby’s behind.


Be compassionate. Together we make this a wonderful event; together we will get everyone on the mic; and together we’ll have wonderful time! One other item, if your piece may cover a topic that may be triggering, a word up to that effect will be much appreciated.


Please monitor time. Use your smart phone, a kitchen timer, the clock on your device, or the Zoom program, when in doubt check in with the timekeeper.


Please monitor your auditory input. Know when your mic signaling and respect the mic, the speaker, and the audience by letting everyone be heard.


Inviting others if you are going to invite others someone we may not know, It would be good for you to show up early on so you can help us vet them in order to let them into the meeting.

Do not post the meeting ID. We ask that you do not post meeting information on social media or give meeting information to those you do not know. – the circumstance, described below, has to be considered.


ZoomBombers, intruders who disrupt Zoom meetings. In response the host or co-pilots can mute mics, cancel cameras, prevent desktop sharing, and delete participants.


This is why we make it a bit difficult to find the Zoom information, use a waiting room, vet entrants, and restrict screen sharing.