Diane Funston writes poetry about nature, and human nature. She co-founded a women’s poetry salon in San Diego and created a weekly poetry gathering in the high desert town of Tehachapi.
She has been the Yuba-Sutter Arts and Culture Poet-in-Residence for the past two years. It is in this role she created Poetry Square, a monthly online venue that features poets from all the world reading their work and discussing creative process.
Diane has been published in Last Stanza, Synkronicity, California Quarterly, Whirlwind, San Diego Poetry Annual, Meat for Tea, Tule Review, Lake Affect Magazine, and other literary journals. Her first chapbook, “Over the Falls” was published this July 2022 from Foothills Publishing.
Diane is also a visual artist in mosaic, wool felting, and collage. Her pieces have been in galleries in the Sacramento Valley.
I creep in to the butterfly habitat,
dappled with perfume.
Wearing my most colorful,
Ready for filigree butterflies
to cover me.
I stand still as a park statue.
Silent as the pious in prayer.
Occasionally I drift
toward a new feathery squall—
a turned-down bed.
Amazed, I see whorls of wings
flicker and flutter past me,
to settle instead upon
silver haired shrieking tourists,
corpulent camera man in a sweat logged suit,
chocolate smeared children waving their arms,
calling “Come here butterfly, come over here”.
I watch amidst chatter and clutter,
silent, scented, open palmed—
If I could save time in a bottle;
I used that old song as prayer.
1973, I was fifteen,
my grandmother, sixty-six.
Her extended round belly,
hard under her jersey dress
resembled new life growing strong
but the cancer grew as death’s quickening.
I watched the electric pump drain her poison
nearly every day as the six weeks it took,
the doctors having told me, by myself,
we had a 4 to 6 weeks left together.
I held her straw of the ice cream sodas
I’d bring her on the bus after school.
The time sipped and pumped away,
until she passed in the red of October.
I was her daughter in all but sown seed.
She still speaks every time I state “No”.
Every time I stand up by my roots,
untangle the ivy of pretense
from the brick walls of my growing up.
Each time I set a boundary these days,
I see her smile in raw approval
feel her hand in mine.