Diane Moomey

Moon, Moon

A waxing moon, near full. Your patio—
camellia petals scattered at our feet,
the light, two shadows clear on yellow stucco
walls. Our speech—the cadences that nearly
swept away the memory of distance,
other marriages, of years estranged.
Almost, I could believe in second chance,
another answer. But I flew away

alone, and brought a pebble home—so round,
so like another moon. Camellia jar
with saucer overflowing on the ground,
the splashing echoing your words. I see
my solitary shadow on the wall,
remember all you told me of your dream.

Her Screen Porch

had a wicker chair with yellow chintz
that curved to fit her, cabbage roses curved
around her; mother's mother. Wooden floor
was red, then blue, then brown, then red again
—its peeling paint revealing layers, fancies

of the farmer's wives, the mother's mother's
mothers gone before—repainted every
other spring. The floor that sagged beneath
the weight of all their decades: every mother,
having daily painted, pickled, scrubbed,

would leave her steamy kitchen, take her hour
in a wicker chair, to look through wire
mesh once-taut across its wooden frame.
She'd watch: who's walking hand-in-hand and who's
alone, who's got a baby carriage. Summer

days, I'd visit. Summer evenings, call
to supper. Sticky hands, child's hands
slapped that screen door open, slammed it closed
again—don't slam the door! wash your hands,
take a plate, stop running!
Running 'round

the ell of porch cornering the house
to table set behind the vine of Dutchman's
Pipe, our privacy from street and yellow
jackets. Eat out there and sleep out there—
such quiet streets! A rusty screen enough

to buffer me from all the darkest
dangers of those summer nights.

Yellow Line

A memorial

Across the yellow line, the childish run—
nothing to be done. The yellow bus:
the scent of school that lingers even here
so many miles from gaily-painted walls
where crayon-lettered posters show the lives

of monarch butterflies. Cars and trucks,
the black and yellow bus. The country road—
houses, barns and chores await, perhaps
a batch of eggs about to hatch—a sight
worth running for. Beside the dotted line

a pickup truck; a gray sedan behind,
blind, catches her in flight and nothing's
to be done. She's lying on her back,
her shoulders small and soft. The gravel's hard
beneath my feet—I watch, and someone strokes

her fingers, curled if in sleep. We wait,
the witnesses: for twirling lights, the opening
of double doors, for questioning.
We witnesses, beside the yellow bus
so many miles away from colored walls,

crepe paper flowers.


Diane Moomey has lived and wandered around the US and Canada, and now dips her gardener's hands in California dirt. A regular reader at San Francisco Bay Area poetry venues, Moomey has published prose and poetry, most recently in Peacock Journal, The Road Not Taken; Nature Writing; The Sand Hill Review, California Poetry Quarterly, Caesura ,and Red Wheelbarrow, and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. She won first prize and an Honorable Mention in the Sonnet category of the 2016 Soul Making Keats Literary Contest, and first prize in the Creative Non-Fiction category of the same competition.


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The most recent addition to The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline is Rosa Newmarch by Jean L. Kreiling.

Marie Ponsot was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Celebration of the Timeline reaching 75 essays, Lincoln Center, Fordham University (Sponsored by Fordham's Curran Center) Friday, October 20th, 2017.

Charlotte Innes is the recipient of the 2018 Mezzo Cammin Scholarship to the Poetry by the Sea conference.

Rachael Gorchov: Recently I completed a body of work that focused on the landscapes that define suburban office and industrial complexes, contemplating their subtle relationships with the history of landscape painting. When looking at these places I saw English landscape gardens – orchestrated nature that gave way to picturesque landscape painting. I documented my subjects onsite by drawing their reflections in a Claude Glass, a convex black mirror popularized as an observation device in the 18th century. This tool appealed to me for how its skews and bulges its reflection, making my work highly subjective from the start. I then constructed paintings in the studio based on these drawings. The three-dimensional nature of my paintings further emphasized the forced perspective in my initial drawings and required viewers to explore the paintings much like they might explore a physical space by moving around, crouching and craning their necks.

Irregular versions of geometric forms such as cubes, parabolic curves, cones and triangles comprised the dimensional shapes of these pieces and eventually gave way to my working nearly exclusively on concave surfaces and ‘rocks with cast shadows.’ I settled on these structures for a few reasons. When a viewer stands directly in front of the concave works, irregular half-spheres with the convex side attached to the wall, the paintings fill their peripheral vision for an immersive experience. The rocks and shadows, amorphous objects paired with adhesive-backed prints, are reminiscent of portals and geologic abrasions. They invite viewers to question if the dimensional form is emerging from or entering into another space. Like in other works, these pieces frame the physical space the artworks inhabit.

In 2016, I visited Europe where I recognized parallels between the interiors of Renaissance spaces and my own paintings, such as the power that foreshortening possesses in its ability to collapse and intensify space in cathedrals– similar to my Claude Glass works. This experience coincided with a visit to an exhibition in Vienna featuring renderings of synagogues that once stood in the city. This piqued an interest in contemplating architectural space in my work and prompted me to consider architectural language in my own Jewish cultural heritage. I then began a series of tondos, a Renaissance term for circular artworks, of European Jewish architecture.

Beginning with paintings and mixed-media, in these works I build a photographic image that engages the space wherever it is installed, becoming part of the architecture. I arrived at the tondo format through my own history of making non-rectangular paintings, and appreciate its relationship to reliefs and rose windows found in synagogues and cathedrals. In gathering source imagery, I rely heavily on documentation – photographs and engravings as most of these buildings have been destroyed. I contemplate the collective memory images of architectural space can reveal. In this spirit, this work depicts layered environments where scale, color and depth shift ambiguously, revealing experiential space.

I consistently begin works by looking at a particular subject because of an art historical or personal association, and then through a process of extracting details from their surroundings using an accumulation of marks, color and a tactility, I sacrifice specificity of form and place, ultimately revealing a specificity of experience as my subject.

32 Poems
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