Poet’s Work

By Phoebe MacAdams


For Lewis MacAdams

This morning the birds
ate most of the black sunflower seeds.
I fill up the feeder,
watch squirrels on the grass
look at asparagus fern in the garden
and read old poems.
I move from room to room,
think about my mother, my sister.
I sit quietly for a long time
then mail letters and observe the hummingbird.
I am thinking of the Eastern Sierras
and the sweep of mountains up to
the red tailed hawk’s air current glide.
Now I am looking at the yellow Buddha cat
and the bright red minutes of Holly’s clock.
The first time I heard a poem,
the poet fell right off the stool
and I thought:   why yes,
that must be the voice of God.


Phoebe MacAdams
from Touching Stone
Cahuenga Press, 2012

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PHOEBE MACADAMS was born and raised in New York City, but has lived in California most of her adult life in California, first in Bolinas in Northern California, then in Ojai in Ventura County. She has been active in the Los Angeles literary community since her move here in 1986. She was a founding member of the Los Angeles Poetry festival and for two years ran the Gasoline Alley reading series on Melrose Avenue with poet Bill Mohr. She taught English and Creative Writing at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights for twenty-six years, until her retirement in 2011. She is a founding member of Cahuenga Press, a poets’ cooperative press, which was created in 1989 by her and the poets James Cushing, the late Holly Prado and Harry E. Northup. Cahuenga Press just published its 28th book. Phoebe MacAdams has published seven books of poetry. Her last five books, including her latest book, The Large Economy of the Beautiful: New and Selected Poems, were published by Cahuenga Press. In 2017 Beyond Baroque published her chapbook, Every Bird Helps: A Cancer Journal. She lives in Pasadena with her husband, Ron Ozuna. According to Amelie Frank, “What she reports back to us from her daily pilgrimages should give us hope: truth and beauty are at hand everywhere we look and always just as we need it most.” www.cahuengapress.com

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