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Spring 2011


Vol. II, No. 1 • Winter/Spring 2011

Table of Contents



Eagle Poem





Morning Tea with Gary Snyder



Back on the Bowery



Leon Came Back

Holy Child Blues



From Into the Stars

From Tales from the Eastside



Lunch at Annabelle's

What If?

The Uninvited Guest

Haiku Silence



For Neal Cassady on His Birthday

Winter Storms

Spring After a Long Cold Berkeley Winter

Reading Po Chu'i on a Rainy Night I Dance Sometimes

How You Began

The Moon Is a Stone Gone Mad

I Asked the Fox

eel poem


Oh! Sons of Adam


Vestido Rojo


When Civilizations Die

Friday Night at Agios Konstantinos

Chinatown — Yesterday, Today

She Jane, Me Tarzan (the Story of Petra)

A Consideration of Lightning

Beyond the Masks

I'm Not Manzanita, Roots Set into Crag and Rock


Always With Whitman

Pan to Tomb

Raggedy Rider

Geometry of Fog

Road to Perdition

The Lesser of Two Evils, Or How I Swallowed the Cat

Over the Edge

Question Mark (at Age 90)

Sweet Children of Tibet (Goodnight)



The Night BP Drove Old Dixie Down

The Oldest Debt

How You Play the Game


The Origin of Hummingbird (a Mayan Tale)


Joy Harjo


Charles Redner



Robert Yehling



David Amram


Gary Lawless

Robert Yehling



Michael Blake

Isaac Lomeli



Gail Bornfield

Kelly Thacker

William Thompson Ong

Angelee Deodhar



David Amram

John Vincent Rouleau

Kate Harding

Kate Harding

Kate Harding

R.T. Sedgwick

Gary Lawless

Gary Lawless

Ryka Aoki

Ryka Aoki

Clifton King

Clifton King

Timothy Dean Martin

Thea Iberall

Thea Iberall

Mai Lon Gittelsohn

Nelly Williams

Harvey Stanbrough

Harvey Stanbrough

Marte Broehm

R.D. "Duke" Skaff

Kathryn Kopple

Harry Griswold

Harry Griswold

Linda Amundson

Linda Amundson

Dick Eiden

Trish Dugger

D.N. Sutton

Andree Stolte



Charles Redner

Harvey Stanbrough

Beth Black

E. Scott Menter

Leonard Frederick





Publisher’s statement


            Sing Praise for the Words!

            Muse please, do not fail me now.

I begin each issue with “Sing praise for the words.” Don’t believe

there is a more appropriate oath for this labor of love we named,

The Hummingbird Review. To wit, the issue you now hold, shines

a laser-lamp on one of the most electrifying, dramatic and fruitful

ages in American literature, proclaimed the “Beat Generation” by

other than the exceptional writers who lived it. Read the reflections

of a few octogenarians who participated. We bring you a glimpse of

the energy field that they generated.

            Overhear Jack Kerouac talking with David Amram. Follow Gary

Snyder as he walks through six decades of poetry at his Kitkitdizze

home. Another clan member, poet Gary Lawless, chips in with lyrics

reminiscent of a tale from the Korean or Vietnam Wars – although it

would be apropos for any conflict. Among those learning from the

West Coast Beats in Berkeley was Kate Harding, who shares the

experience in one of her three poems this issue.

            Alone with me in the basement of a New Jersey motor lodge,

a presidential candidate who vigorously campaigned against the

Vietnam War took off his suit coat. Two secret service agents remained

stationed at the top of the stairs. He unbuttoned and removed his

shirt, unbuckled his belt, stripped to his shorts and handed me each

article of clothing as he dressed in more “conservative” attire. He

explained that he was heading to New York City and didn’t want

the folks back in South Dakota, via national television coverage, to

see how he appeared during the luncheon stump-speech delivered

minutes earlier.

            Now I possessed the answer to the burning question of the ’72

campaign, asked by at least one reporter at each stop. The candidate

glared at me and said, “Charlie, swear—swear you’ll never give the

answer to the boxers or briefs question.”

            “Yes, Senator, I promise.” But I wondered if travelling campaign

reporter, Hunter S. (Gonzo) Thompson, if he knew, would keep Sen.

George McGovern’s deepest personal secret. I imagined not.

I retell this incident now because Thompson was greatly

influenced by the “Beat Generation” writers. He counted William

Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg among his circle of friends. Of the

nearly three hundred who attended Thompson’s funeral in 2005,

George McGovern was there to bid farewell to his old friend. Hope

you enjoy our look back at these mid-20th Century writers who

carved out a special place for themselves in American literature.

            I suggest you start with “Morning Tea with Gary Snyder” by

our editor, Bob Yehling, himself a decades-long student of Beat

literature. (To note: Bob dipped into the nurturing force of the

Beat literature movement, City Lights Books in San Francisco, on

this past Christmas Eve, to buy a copy of the first scroll/draft of

Kerouac’s On The Road.)

            Can you say Novels ‘R’ Us? Academy Award writer Michael

Blake graciously sends us an exclusive chapter from his new

novella, Into The Stars. During World War I, Michael finds a way to

tell a love story of a man for a horse. Newcomer William Thompson

Ong shares a chapter from The Lake, his soon to published historical

drama set against the backdrop of a great American tragedy, the

Johnstown Flood of May 31, 1889.

            We have been blessed by so many brilliant writers who have

graciously provided us with their work. It constantly amazes me

how generous these renowned contributors are with their time and

their writings. This time around, National Book Award nominee

Harvey Stanbrough presents us with a short story, along with a few


            Continuing with our multicultural offerings in every issue,

we feature Native-American Joy Harjo, Mexican-American

Isaac Lomeli, and Chinese-American Mai Lon Gittelsohn. The

September 2010 Southern California Writers’ Conference contest

winner, E. Scott Menter, shares his poignant title, “Dolphinarium.”

Some twenty writers fill out our line-up with an incredible variety

of amazing poems.

            Our goal is to share the words of established writers while, at

the same time, reach out to help up new writers who may someday

become the “Beat Generation” of their day.


Charles Redner, publisher





The Hummingbird Review

The Hummingbird Review presents fine writing by publishing both new writers and fully established literary figures.  The review is committed to portraying the beauty and challenges of life—the full human experience—through literature and art, and promotes cross-cultural writing in all forms.


Advisory Board/Editors:

Charles Redner, Lakshmi Bertram, Erica Lehrer



Charles Redner


Managing Editor:

Robert Yehling


Home Fires Editor:

Lakshmi Bertram



The Hummingbird Review - Premier Edition

Volume 1, Number 2


Summer / Fall 2010

Publisher’s Statement

Louange aux mots

Sing Praise for the Words!


This I believe.

There are places on this earth that resonate beyond the five senses.  For me, here in the lower forty-eight, I discovered one in Abiquiu, New Mexico, near Santa Fe—Ghost Ranch—where Georgia O’Keeffe waved her magic brush.  The second is located in Chinle at Canyon de Chelly (pronounced de Shay), in the northeast quadrant of Arizona.  The third is the state’s second city, Tucson, where I lived for seven glorious years.  It was in Tucson that I wrote my first novel and discovered poetry, thanks to Penny Porter, matriarch of the Society of Southwestern Authors. She invited slam poet Taylor Mali (interviewed in our premier issue) to perform at the SSA's 2008 conference.  Tucson, the Old Pueblo, is where I learned to appreciate a desert’s spectacular beauty, where I experienced its unfathomable wonder and gathered up the vibrations it sent my way.

Been kicking myself rather hard since I missed the second annual Tucson Festival of Books in March, where 450 writers assembled to thrill over 50,000 readers. Titled, “Where Words & Imagination Come to Life,” the festival even featured a hummingbird as its symbol—kismet.  I squandered the opportunity to mingle with authors Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty and 3:10 To Yuma); Michael Gelb (How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci); and Mark Frost, who along with David Lynch produced the phenomenal 1990s television series Twin Peaks. I lost the chance to talk with my old friend, Academy Award screenwriter/novelist Michael Blake (Dances With Wolves and Indian Yell); read his poem “Horse Number 1202” in this issue. I also missed out on visiting with our publication’s inspiration, Luis Alberto Urrea (Into The Beautiful North, Hummingbird’s Daughter), who was blessed by a shaman during his signing session.  Whoa!  I've already marked my calendar for March 12-13. 

Need to salute Michael Steven Gregory and Wes Albers of the Southern California Writers’ Conference for the grand hospitality at their 24th San Diego Conference on February 12, when we officially launched The Hummingbird Review. We crashed their opening night mixer, and they welcomed us with drinks and praise while serving up hundreds of potential readers—next conference, September 24-26, Hyatt Regency, Newport Beach, CA. We also held a writing contest; please welcome the winner, Claudia Whitsitt, and her victorious, touching entry, "One Last Pearl."

Now turn the page and enjoy the other words we’ve collected for this issue. Among our esteemed contributors is Dr. Dean Nelson, director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and moderator of its annual Symposium By The Sea, who wrote for us an exclusive dispatch from Honduras. He's joined by Moroccan-born Said Leghlid of WorldStreams Radio, who shares an essay on "Amazigh Poetry: Oral Tradition and Survival of a Culture."  Luis Alberto Urrea has honored us with a fitting essay, his Lawrence Clark Powell Memorial Lecture entitled, “Haunted Arizona.” 

Greet Dr. Don Eulert, a trailblazer for haiku in the U.S. in the early 1960s when he was founding editor of American Haiku Magazine. Welcome former Woodstock-based poet Janice King, who offers up a dazzling mini-suite as part of a fine group of women voices in this issue. Speaking of Woodstock, remember the "Soul Sacrifice" drum solo from the movie (older readers)? The man who wielded the sticks, Santana drummer Michael Shrieve, joins his son, songwriter-musician Sam Shrieve, with a unique father-son contribution. Finally, our Home Fires section is back with more amazing poems, essays and haiku. 

Lastly, please welcome managing editor Robert Yehling, a book editor for many years, a lifelong fan of poetry and the author of four poetry collections. Among other duties, he is to keep the publisher’s statement from getting too wordy.  Should it please you, cut this extraneous paragraph, Bob.


Charles Redner


Laguna Woods, CA, June, 2010



The Republic of Poetry

by Martín Espada


For Chile


In the republic of poetry,

a train full of poets

rolls south in the rain

as plum trees rock

and horses kick the air,

and village bands

parade down the aisle

with trumpets, with bowler hats,

followed by the president

of the republic,

shaking every hand.


In the republic of poetry,

monks print verses about the night

on boxes of monastery chocolate,

kitchens in restaurants

use odes for recipes

from eel to artichoke,

and poets eat for free.


In the republic of poetry,

poets read to the baboons

at the zoo, and all the primates,

poets and baboons alike, scream for joy.


In the republic of poetry,

poets rent a helicopter

to bombard the national palace

with poems on bookmarks,

and everyone in the courtyard

rushes to grab a poem

fluttering from the sky,

blinded by weeping.


In the republic of poetry,

the guard at the airport

will not allow you to leave the country

until you declaim a poem for her

and she says Ah! Beautiful.


"The Republic of Poetry," from THE REPUBLIC OF POETRY by Martin Espada. Copyright © 2006 by Martin Espada. Used by permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

“Haunted Arizona” is reprinted by permission of the author, Copyright © 2004 by Luis Alberto Urrea. All rights reserved.

“Horse Number 1202” is reprinted by permission of Michael Blake. Copyright © 2009 Wolf Creek Productions, Inc.  All rights reserved.

“Tide Songs” and “Salmon Skies” previously appeared in THE FOOL IS KING, by Maggi DeRosa. Copyright ©2008 Aisling Press. Reprinted by permission of the author.

 “Scattered Showers on the Palouse” and “Heron Dances to the East” also appear in CAIRNS ALONG THE ROAD, by William Mawhinney. Copyright © 2009 Heron Hill Press. Reprinted by permission of the author.

"I'm Gonna Be Alright" and "Tales of Dreams Incarnate," music and lyrics by Sam Shrieve. Copyright © 2010 Meridian Music






Writers from Cabin 20



Hummingbird illustration by Judith DiGirolamo Redner,

Web design by Joan Hale,
e-Media Services,

Photo of Mayan ruin head by Dean Nelson,



Winter / Spring 2010


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