Link to Luella Adan's "Uncommon Stillness" post:

Jay Brown

A is for apple
B is for boy
The C[sea] is for the fish
to swim in and enjoy

D, E, F
doesn’t everyone forget
G[gee] they’re just 3 letters
in this short alphabet

H is for her
I is for me
J is for both of us
joint custody

K is for keeps
L has been lost
M is for money
but tell me, at what cost

N is for no one
O[owe] is for debt
P[pee] is to be relieved
But please, use the toilet

Q[queue] is for waiting
R is in a rut
S is for something
yet I still don’t know what

T[tea] is for two
not to be sipped on your own
U[you] are for me
so I never take mine alone

V is forsaken
very sad I agree
W should consider
changing its name to “double-V”

X is four I’s
that met at a point
Y[why]? I don’t know
that’s just where they joined

Z is for Zed
and Zed is for Zeta
Now you know your ABC’s
will you remember them later?

Ryan Stockton

Once I woke to beams of sun
Telling me the day's begun
Time for play and time for fun
I leapt out of my bed

Outside, snow had fallen deep
While I lay there fast asleep
I never heard it make a peep
It fell so silently

But now that day replaced the night
I knew that now the time was right
To play in frozen white delight
For hours upon hours

I grabbed my coat and made my way
Out through the door to shining day
Where little flakes dance their ballet
I took an icy breath

With snow-brick maker in my hand
I walked across the covered land
To build a fort so strong and grand
A hard-packed snow defense

Brick by brick I stacked the walls
The strongest snow-fort wall of all
The death-knell for a thrown snowball
Here I would be safe

The hours felt like minutes then
As a boy no more than ten
A time forgotten by older men
Where are those days now

Mem'ry fades like winter snows
As snow-brick makers we outgrow
This fort it feels so long ago
I wonder where I've gone

I've left behind the world of play
Forgot the wonder of snow's displays
What a price to grow I've paid
What's gained in the end

Come with me to winters past
Where youthfulness can be recast
And there we can at long, long last
Find our joy again

William Dickenson Cohen - originally published in The Rockford Review, October 1994

The Cobbler has gone insane,
she whispered,
he keeps ranting and raving
about mysterious elves
and miracle shoes
multiplying overnight.
I think he should be put away.

Eyelets wink at each other
in the empty shop.
They have just carted
the cobbler away.
"For His Own Protection,"
the Constable said.
A crowd gathered
and tossed sad glances
at the tired old man
who shod their weary feet.
An old woman weeps in the doorway,
blaming only herself.

The elves are speechless,
hidden in their secret holes.
bleeds like an open wound,
drowning them in a poison pool
of human nature.
They move
further away to escape the madness
and it is silently decided:

the days of miracles are over.

“Instructions For Getting The A You Paid For” Alec Miniero

when we read it, we separeranno those by the longer medallion and those by their cuero cabelludo – this is the one way by which our system for solutions trouble shoots in heuristic matters what the author intended
sredni chiclete is a proviso as is tongue-in-cheek (literally) to untether the pilcrows that linger like hair down hawks sometimes known as falci interpreters of Coca-Cola’s original exhaustion index
rostos on the neutrality of the text’s heirs will make a piebald chart on the family trees and plot arcs whether zigzagged, saliently air-drumming to headphoneless music, or other explications that make your heartbreak less crotch-seeking; albeit, we’ve all line-by-lined that into one omission
good luck then when clearing your oppyask – I’ll be available if you need me, re-reading the letter C in this encyclopedia


Photo of Kevin Peter Carroll, local district, trying out, the Scandinavian East Coast Museum's new game - jumping rope while wearing a Viking helmet. The idea is to perform this task without letting the helmet fall. Happy to report that Mr. Carroll's attempt was successful! The SECM is a proud member of BRACA and we had a blast participating at last night's Summer Stroll.


Richard Fein reading poetry

by Richard Fein

Grandpa won the gold watch for boxing, when palookas such as
Battling Bernstein, Two Fists D'Angelo, and Shillelagh O'Hara
would swagger to the ring and climb the ropes hoping to rise above the ghetto.
The watch would have made a brilliant accessory
for that high‑class suit grandpa always wanted but could never afford.

I was seven when he called me over and said he would bequeath it to me.
Bequeath, he was always so proud of his fancy words.
He smiled, patted my head and said,
"When the great referee counts ten, when the bell clangs ending the last round."
Soon after, ten was counted yet no clanging bells marked the finish.
Yet he was buried in an upscale suit.
Dad splurged for grandpa's lifelong and dying wish.
But the watch was bequeathed to me.

It's been decades. The watch spills out of the shoebox.
I see my reflection in the crystal.
and imagine grandpa's face superimposed.
After so many years I pick it up
but the minute hand sways loosely and falls off the center pin,
and the hour hand quickly follows.
The hands rattle around the circle of time.
The broken trophy is still worth its ounces in gold.
But the price of those ounces varies hourly,
and I have no way to track the hours now, even if I wanted to.

Ryan Stockton reading poetry

by Ryan Stockton

From the sky I saw the earth
A beauty to behold
Descended I from heights unknown
Brought by rain and cold
Where would I land I wondered much
So many spots to fall
Would I land and make a home
Or pass through in a squall
The ground before me gathers white
As my brothers reach the ground
We cast the earth in winter glow
And soften every sound
I land on someone's concrete step
Cold and hard and wet
Why could I not have fallen soft
In a forest’s silhouette
There the trees would whisper cries
of joy to catch my fall
The birds that stayed would welcome me
in this port of call
Or maybe on a country road
where horse and buggy trot
Where life is slowly lived throughout
And slower ways are taught
Perhaps on mountains grand and high
reaching to the stars
I'd land on peaks of majesty
And gazed on from afar
In forests dark, or country lanes
on mountains noble peaks
Why could I not have fallen there
in nature's fine mystique
But here I sit on concrete steps
With cars and garish lights
The slush from dirty tires kills
A snowflake's pure delights
It seems a waste to find myself
in a man-made, blaring city
Alas this is my lot in life
arousing thoughts of pity
Wait, I, for morn and rising sun
a new day to begin
I long to find my purpose here
Amongst the city's din
But wait, what's this that's poking through
A crack from opened door
A child's face who sees the world
as never seen before
Her eyes alight with wonderment
as on the streets they fall
She struggles to contain her glee
while taking in it all
First one step from in her home
lands on whitest snow
The crunch beneath her boot begins
to set her face aglow
Down the stairs she now descends
Closer to the stair
Where I have come to rest and watch
This child's face so fair
Cheeks now flush with winter's kiss
Lips ablaze with fire
Her hair stuffed in a knitted cap
and puffy warm attire
She watches her feet with every stride
Each step brings joy anew
She looks around to see her world
From a whole new point of view
The snow that fell throughout the night
Including me, you know
Softened all the hard-shorn edges
with pillow-like white snow
And then she looked down at the ground
and saw me lying there
She stooped to take a closer look
right there upon the stair
She reached for me with mittens blue
And scooped me in her grasp
My many intricate facets caused
This wond'rous child to gasp
"Oh mommy look! So pretty now
Our stairs and sidewalk too!
Just look at this new snowflake that
I've brought to show to you!"
Mother now was outside too
To watch her child play
She ooh'd and ahh'd with daughter there
As my beauty held their gaze
Now I know that mountain peaks
and forest glades so neat
Or even on a country road
Where nary a person meets
While soft and quiet and peaceful there
I never would have known
The joy of one little girl who sees
Her first fall of the snow
Glad am I for this gift of grace
To cause a girl-ish smile
To fall on city's busy life
And the sight of one dear child

Ryan Stockton

Once upon a time there was a Clock
A special Clock that could walk and talk
There was no time where this Clock lived
Which meant that he had much to give
"It's time for time!" Clock would yell
So he built a tower that held a bell
When his face struck one o'clock
He'd ring the bell just once, then stop
At two, two times the bell would ring
At three, three times you'd hear it sing
And so and so throughout the day
And through the night he'd ring that way
Thus the folks of the land could tell
What time it was when they heard the bell
Clock was proud and puffed his chest
"Now people will know when to work or rest!"
But one day Clock was caused to grieve
When told his bell would have to leave
For with every hour the bell would sway
The people found how short the day
So Clock struck out to find some friends
Who wanted to know when the day would end
Soon he found a foreign place
Where people rushed at frenetic pace
They charged ahead from town to glen
But had no clock, so had no "when"
So there Clock built his bell once more
To tell them when to do their chores
They now could hear and tell the time
Thanks to Clock and his bell's chimes
So on rang Clock, hour on hour
Over hurried people with faces dour
Smile-less rushing from house to employ
For Clock had brought time, but not so much joy

BRACA officially launched on April 14, 2011. Funders, arts advocates and the press were invited.
Over 35 individual artists, arts/cultural organizations and businesses participated. There were information tables, performances and compact press packets featuring our wonderful logo
designed by Ellen Nygaard.

Link to Press Release pdf

Councilman Vincent Gentile, co-sponsor of BRACA

To celebrate the reconstruction of the Overlook at Owl’s Head Park, Councilman Gentile and BRACA presented two family events. The first held on Saturday, September 17, 2011 featured arts & crafts with local artist Michelle Farkouh and yoga with local instructor Patti Kelly. On Saturday, October 22, 2011, the blue grass band, New River Travelers strummed away, while the audience also indulged in a potluck pie tasting.

Victoria Hofmo, yoga students, and Justin Brannan

Jimmy Johnson handing out samples of honey from the Narrows Botanical Garden

Patti Kelly, Olive Reich, Dan Reich, and Jimmy Johnson

*All photos by Joe Rubino

BRACA held a fundraiser at Hinsch’s local ice cream parlor on Saturday, December 3, 2011. It was held here to celebrate and promote the reopening of this local treasure, which was saved under new ownership. The events included songs and a sing-along with the Narrows Community Theater and arts & crafts projects in which children or adults could make puppets or hats based on characters from The Snow Queen. The latter was sponsored by the Church After School Center. We were raising money to fund the creation of our BRACA website.

Link to article about event

BRACA members Ellen Nygaard, Victoria Hofmo,
Fran Garber, Joe Rubino, and Dan Cardona.

Victoria Hofmo and Gerard Bell

Krystle Pietrafesa of Christ Church puts a
newly made hat on Katrina Patrick, eight years old
*photos by Denise Romano

Because BRACA’s goal is to bring artists together we host networking socials. Our first one, co-sponsored by Councilman Gentile, was on January 26, 2012, at The Three Jolly Pigeons, one of the oldest bars in Bay Ridge. It was held here because BRACA’s mission includes supporting local businesses. The place was jam packed and over 50 people attended.

Link to article about event

Victoria Hofmo, Adrienne Mikulka, and David Appel
*Photo by Heather J. Chin