Thursdays at Readers Poetry Series: Miguel Robles & Karen Melander Magoon

Join us every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in our Readers Bookstore Fort Mason for our weekly FREE poetry series! Browse books and enjoy a glass of wine while listening to internationally acclaimed poets and artists such as Jonathan Richman, David Meltzer, Diane di Prima and California Poet Laureate Al Young. The series is  curated by Friends’ Resident Poet Jack Hirschman. For a full line-up and more information please visit our website:

Proceeds from our bookstores benefit the San Francisco Public Library

This Thursday, April 21st, we are excited to have Miguel Robles and Karen Melander Magoon read!


Artisan, poet and an activist, Miguel Robles was born in Mexico City, he studied art history, silversmithing, and creative writing. He has been influenced mainly, by a wide range of jobs experiences and his permanent involvement in different social struggles related to globalization, democracy, human rights and currently focused in environment and food justice. He has founded several organizations and launched successful campaigns of great social impact.

After lived in diverse environments and traveled for many years in Mexico, he is residing in San Francisco California since 2002.

A graduate of Indiana University with a Masters from Boston University and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, Karen Melander Magoon sang major roles in opera theaters throughout Europe, including Marguerite in Faust, Norina in Don Pasquale, Rosina in Barber of Seville, .  She has sung jazz since she was thirteen with her brother in Stockton, later in Vienna, Austria and San Francisco and composed and performed musicals about Clara Barton, Georgia O’Keeffe and Lillie Langtry. This summer Karen did Aegean and Dr. Pinch in Comedy of Errors with SVS and Dry-Five, Stories about the California Drought.  She has always written poetry and songs, even as a two-year old at Rhythm Class in Seattle Washington, where a teacher penned her first lyrics and melody.

Poetry below

Lightning’s Son **
By Miguel Robles

There was a time
when Jaguar was not just a cat
but a god fed by the lava of the volcano
godchild of meteor’s rage
lightning’s son

Heart of rock
obsidian claws
skin of serpentine jade

He did not hide in the thicket
he walked proudly through the centuries
lord and chief of all mortals
revealing to his subjects
the secrets of war and sacrifice

Owner of the night
he was the terror of the unfaithful
a quick whip
an executioner of cowards
incorruptible creator of all the ordeals
that befell the villages for lack of loyalty

Kings and princesses
gave tribute to his lineage
to his empire of shadows and punishment

There were days in which the wind dared to speak
but was silenced by a roar from the possessor of sound

His dark sight undermined any chance of rebellion
adversaries he exterminated with just a whistle

Until the day came
when he was erased from our school books
and now we only see him at the zoo in a cage

English translations by:

* Pati Moran
** Virginia Barrett


Morning in the City
By Karen Melander Magoon

Birds fly beyond windows
Venetian blinds rattle
Small slits allow a glimpse of wing
Shadows mark their path
Energetic beating of feathered muscle
Up down how many times
Is the life span wing beat of a gull?
How much space to be owned in fight?
Now is forever
In beating pulse
Sweeping motion
Landed motion
Balancing on strung cables
Riding across an open side window
Soon empty of bird
Quivering slightly
In regret
Or anticipation
Now still and quiet wires
Slice across skies of blue
Feathered eternity

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