August 16, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Peg Hunter photo



Frank Kearns




Dreaming in America



A courtyard by Olvera Street

chairs and microphone arranged

adults—teachers, volunteers


in front    a dozen students stand

one steps up when introduced

and begins to speak


her voice sails north from Sinaloa

past Sonora’s ancient sands

El Paso and Los Angeles


she speaks of rising past her past

dreams the future bright   and we —

sitting in the audience—agree


but who among us dreams

the white of blinding spotlights cutting

shadows in the night


who among us knows

of sitting on a dark El Paso curb

of seeing van doors swallow fathers


as the flashing reds and blues

reflect off bits of trash and oil

to tattoo lines across her mind


that darken like a child’s scribble

whenever it is time for her

to dream about America






Puerto Rico


Found words from the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times



No light at night against the darkness

deeper and more ominous than ever


A series of tweets last Saturday

The silence has a texture


Rico: rich, wealthy, delicious, exquisite

The shelter lost electricity


The steady quiet from Washington

has an ugly feel


Trump lobs paper towels


Waiting is what Puerto Rico does best

500 years of Spanish empire


The elderly are dying

at twice the typical rate


Half my house was made of cement

I still have that one wall






Frank Kearns

Frank Kearns is a transplanted New Englander and a longtime California resident. He is the author of two poetry collections, “Circling Venice” (2013) and “Yearlings” (2015). His work has also appeared in anthologies such as “Beyond the Lyric Moment,” “Like a Girl: Perspectives on Feminism,” “The California Writers Club Literary Review,” and “Now and Then.”

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