Gerard Sarnat‘s twin poems: Deep in Portola Valley Forest and Short Stories


Deep in Portola Valley Forest
Short Stories

Though I do live in one,

it’s also anything but hot.


Weather cooling down as now

approach month of November’s


last Thursday – which through

‘19 used to be called Thanksgiving


I’m still unsure whether this 2020

will be among self’s strangest years


yet as family collectively tries to decide

Should we all get together….or sequester?


Thus, then just in case decision is to celebrate

Turkey Day, Pops got out his trusty ol’ popgun


plus went into musty woods searching for signs

feralest gobblers, autumns often frequent our local


wild oak groves: hound dogs unable to follow some

their tracks; for pretty penny, my wifey hedges her bets


to accommodate a dearest Israeli son-in-law who doesn’t

know from nada about that most un-American of holidays


bought only kosher bird left on Mollie Stone’s Grocery shelf.


i. Untitled

Long ago told by his father, 

Seek the golden key that will unlock


the door to your soul, 

the divine ruler kept predatory eyeteeth


in a rock jar in a monument 

soon to be toppled by earthlings


who’ll settle up before dirt settles down 

on the tottering despot.



ii. Smell the here and odd now of God.

Binge-ing on honeydew before bed…

sweet amber liquid is no mirage

when I am stepping into wet slippers

as you Rumi-nate joy post arrival.




iii. Reflections kouta 

— thanks to Tim Olmsted and David Cohn


Avatamsaka Sutras 

tell us we mirror 

what aspire to, right here 

this very moment.


If Ger sought rank in human 

value systems (rich, 

funny, accomplished, handsome

smart), he could be dissed 


as pretty seedy, riddled 

with hope well as fear,

disregard Sis, compete with

my other brothers


which brings suffering plus low 

self-esteem, doubt, shame,

pride and jealousy — no less

depression, self-hate.


Rumi urged: pass before you 

pass, die to worldly

grasping, rebirth toward feeling 

your peaceful divine.



Gerard Sarnat has been nominated for the pending 2022 Science Fiction Poetry Association Dwarf Star Award, won San Francisco Poetry’s 2020 Contest, the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for handfuls of 2021 and previous Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published including in 2022 Awakenings Review, 2022 Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County Celebration, 2022 Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival Anthology, Lowestoft, Washington Square/NYU Review, The Deronda Review, Jewish Writing Project, Hong Kong Review, Tokyo Poetry Journal, Buddhist Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, Hamilton-Stone Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Texas Review, Vonnegut Journal, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, Monterey Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, and The New York Times as well as by Northwestern, Pomona, Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Columbia, North Dakota, McMaster, Maine, University of British Columbia and University of Chicago presses. He is a Harvard College and Medical School-trained physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalised as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate justice, and serves on Climate Action Now’s board. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with progeny consisting of four collections (Homeless Chronicles: From Abraham To Burning Man, Disputes, 17s, Melting the Ice King)  plus three kids/ six grandsons  — and is looking forward to potential future granddaughters. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s