Monday, October 2, 2017

BLOG OF THE WEEK ~ An Update with Bekkie Sanchez

Today, my friends, we are heading down the west coast to San Francisco, to visit Bekkie Sanchez, the Capricious Poet, whom we interviewed in 2016. Bekkie is an avid cyclist, and happens to live right near an interconnected series of biking trails through some spectacular scenery. You may wish to choose some cool water for your beverage as you read, in case the distances make you thirsty!

Sherry: Bekkie, for our newer members, would you give us a snapshot of where you live, and what life looks like for you on any given day? Anything new since we last checked in? 

Bekkie: I live in San Mateo, CA where I’ve lived for the last 7 years. I’m semi-retired, mostly because I can’t find work, and live with my good friend James and my cat, Ninja.

My Ninja turned one on May 6th of this year. I trapped her in my neighborhood as she was a feral kitten in a dumpster, with no sign of a mother or other kittens. We noticed her on the 4th of July in the parking lot next door. I borrowed a trap because she was wild. She has grown so fast into a beautiful girl but still has some feral in her. Her father was a cat that used to sleep on my car's convertible top. We think he passed away because we never see him now, and we never found the mother cat or any other kittens. I had just lost my 8-year-old Boo, so Ninja came along at an amazing time.

Sherry: She is a pretty girl. And so lucky that you found her, poor thing.

Bekkie: I rise at 7 am every morning, have breakfast around 8:30 and hit the bike trails. I go early so I don’t have to fight the strong bay winds in the afternoon. Biking is a large part of my life. I started it for weight loss and now ride regularly. It’s been over a year and I haven’t felt this good in ages.  
On my days off I write and work on my art projects. I love to cook. I’m very serious about my circadian rhythms so bed is at 10 pm unless I’m doing something special.

Lately I’ve been meeting with a group of poets in my area that I found through the MeetUp application. It’s great fun to share poetry in person and once we met on a city corner with microphones and read our poetry out loud to the passersby. It’s great fun to share in person I’ve learned a lot.

I just spent a week with my best friend in Oakland, CA where we went to Pedalfest 2017. It was all about bicycles and bicycle products what fun!

There were people’s creations and bike decorations. (That mouth opened and closed.)

There were rides made with bicycles.

There were bicycles of all kinds made from recycled parts that you could try out.

At the end of the day there was Rock The Bike.

Rock The Bike was a rock band using the power provided by numerous people on stationary bikes (behind me) to put on a concert. They were mixing smoothies with bikes to serve to the people peddling.

At the end of the day the sky was full of cloud hearts. A good time was had by all.
Sherry: Oh, I love the heart clouds! The peaceful, loving vibes reached right up into the sky and spread the love! That makes me happy. Thoughts and good vibes do have an impact.
In our interview in 2016, you told us the story of your health and fitness program, when you turned your life around.  How far is an average ride? Tell us a bit about the wonderful area you get to ride in, won't you?
Bekkie: I cycle every other day 20-30 miles around the Bay Trial which is a  mostly paved trail around the San Francisco Bay. You can see where I bike on the Bay Trail here. There’s also pictures from my rides to look at.
The Bay Trail takes me through 4 cities along a mostly paved path through towering Eucalyptus trees, rock cliffs, restored wetlands, grassy meadows and more. San Francisco and the airport can be seen down the peninsula along with Mt. Diablo (our highest peak) and other landmarks. I’m very fortunate to live near such prime trails and state parks.

Before I cycled, I walked with a cane and could barely get around with my bad knees but now I can walk up to 4 miles easy. I encourage everyone to bike no matter what age or medical problem but always clear it with your doctor first.
Sherry: That is amazing, that you once walked with a cane, as I do now. When I was younger, I biked long distances daily too, and never felt as fit as I did then. 

This is Dave, one of the people I ride with occasionally. He is 83 years young and bikes regularly like I do. He’s proof you are never too old to ride.
Sherry: Wow! He is a handsome and young-looking 83! A poster boy for bike riding to keep fit, as are you! (I think I have a little crush on Dave. Smiles.)

My 1986 Schwinn World Tourist bicycle, 
which is half my age.

I’d like to get everyone on a bicycle! Or bottle this feeling to sell. Lol!

Sherry: Your enthusiasm is contagious! I would gladly hop on, were my knees not shot. Tell us what you love about poetry, won't you?

Bekkie: Poetry lends itself to every occasion, there is never a time when I can’t write a poem about something. Poetry gives me the opportunity to use words I love both old and new. It challenges me to try different forms and complete thoughts in a few lines. It gives me a look at life through another person’s eyes. Most importantly, poetry introduces me to my inner self.

Sherry: I especially loved your poem, "Nuns and Sunflowers," recently. I would love to include it here.

(My tribute to Fellini.)
A long afternoon spent
in a field of ripe sunflowers
my faded picnic blanket
a magic carpet.
The ultraviolet rays
sing my body a warm lullaby
my hands stop worrying
at the worn threads of my mind
as goldenrod heads gently nod
in blissful agreement above me
nature doing Fellini proud
(or is it just me?)
As the day settles into the heat
the visions start to fade
but before the spell is broken
I see myself surrounded
by nuns in old habits
collecting seeds and planting sunflowers
(I am not alone.)
My last thought of course
like a hummingbird’s sweet kiss
settles on you.
© Rebecca Sanchez 2017
Sherry: Sigh. The imagery in this poem is so beautiful, Bekkie. Tell us about the nuns and sunflowers!

Bekkie: When I lived in Madison in the 70’s we went to see movies at the University Of Wisconsin. They were cheap and I saw my first Fellini movie there. Those images stuck with me all these years later and ended up in my poem. Who can forget Fellini once experienced?

Sherry: There have been moments when I felt I was in a Fellini movie, lol. Would you like to choose two more poems, and tell us a little about each one?

I walked a wooded winding path
and where it led was so unclear
Sequoia trees were everywhere
and they were pressing very near.
Out of the corner of my eye
I spied a slowly moving tree
and then I saw another one
for they have now surrounded me!
Trapped inside with no way out
how long it’s been I cannot say
as long as trees are blocking me
I won’t escape these woods today.
As day gives way unto the night
I fell into a soothing dream
the trees were calling out to me
yet nothing was the way it seemed.
The light was warm and shining down
I stretched my arms into the sky
my feet were buried deep in Earth
I was so tall I know not why.
I watch the seasons come and go
the creatures making homes on me
nature’s way and simple needs
makes sense to a Sequoia tree.
© Rebecca Sanchez 2013
Walking amongst the large Sequoia trees in the woods here in CA it’s hard not to imagine something happening like Secret Sequoias. The woods can be dark, thick, and a little creepy at times. My imagination is immense, and a useful tool when I create.

In Bloom
I want to bloom into a gazillion colors
I want weeds to flourish and take over my heart
I want my bones to opalize and shine
I want my silver hair to line a hummingbird’s nest
I want the worms to eat away the cloying flesh
I want to become a part of this meadow
to be a small part of nature's way.
© Rebecca Sanchez 2015
I feel that we, (mankind) have lost touch with our planet and only want to rape it for the money. The things we do to the land and other creatures that need the land is horrible (to say the least.) What are we thinking?
Sherry: I absolutely feel the same way, Bekkie. We are disconnected from our Source. It is long past time for humanity to awaken, as a whole. 
Bekkie: "In Bloom" is a personal look at what I’d like to happen after my death. Maybe when I die I’ll find a better way to fit into this crazy world even if it means becoming something else.
I love to write poems about nature, in fact, I’m working on my first book and it will feature my poetry about nature. I’m self publishing so taking my time and learning along the way.
Sherry: I'm thrilled you are putting a book together, Bekkie. The satisfaction is beyond compare, when you actually hold that book in your hands!
I know you have been an artist since childhood, and that you enjoy animation and online art. Is that your current favourite?

Bekkie: Lately I’ve been drawn away from my Chromebook and outside. I used to post heavily on social networks, besides my constant writing. Without thinking, I’ve taken the summer off.

Sherry: We all need those down times, and summer is definitely about being outside.

Bekkie: I’m still taking photos on my rides and animating them using my phone. I’ve been using filters from Photo Lab Pro on my photos; it makes them look like artworks. (It’s free to try so I included a link for your readers.)

Sherry: Thanks, Bekkie. Do you have a few of your images/paintings you might share with us?

This is a photo of 2 cyclists I saw hoisting their bikes over the rocks on the jetty at Coyote Point.
Sherry: Wow! Such wonderful patterns and colours. And I love the name “Coyote Point”.

My bike on the cliffs at Coyote Point in spring. That fence is a cliff that drops off into the bay.

The Cormorants line up to dry their wings and watch for fish.

Sherry: This one is my favourite! Your images are spectacular, Bekkie! Thank you for this wonderful visit. Is there anything you’d like to say to Poets United?
Bekkie: I’m pleased to say there’s not a nicer group of people to write with than you guys. Everyone is so interesting and supportive. I like that we are part of a larger group that I’ve been writing with for decades now, a big poetry family.
I’ve been absent a lot, but when summer is over I’ll be back at it. Thanks for all of the support; you’re the best!
Sherry: We are always happy to see you, whenever you pop up, kiddo. Cycle onward, into fall, my friend.

Wasn’t this an uplifting visit, kids? Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


  1. Bekkie's bike-enthusiasm is enlivening. I luv her poetry and i'm happy to meet her now up close, Thanks for sharing these photo . Wonderful

    much love...

    1. Thank you, Gillena! I know I enjoy reading your work, through which I learn more about you.

  2. Bekkie reminds me of my own biking days. Such exhilaration, pedaling along the highways and byways. Thanks, Bekkie, for sharing this passion with us, along with some wonderful poems and incredible photos. You live in such a beautiful area.

    1. Thank you for making sense of the mess I gave you. It turned out great!

    2. I said this to Mary and wanted to say it to you too. I'm so pleased to be here. All of the blogs I've wrote with through the years and Poets United is the only one who's ever interviewed me or wanted to learn more about me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    3. We are happy you are here among us, Bekkie. You are a wonderfully positive addition, and voice, in the blogosphere. Thanks for being you. Keep on shining.

  3. Thanks Sherry and Bekkie. Nice poetry Love the first one "as worn threads of my mind"..beautiful Great you bike so much I always biked when in Holland but here in NZ it is a bit dangerous. But biking paths are coming :) Also love what you did with these photos Real artworks.

  4. I have seen Bekkie around the blogosphere and have read some of her poetry. I enjoyed reading this feature today. I had to smile Sherry, at your comment about Dave. He does look remarkable young, I guess it is all that cycling.

    Thanks ladies!

  5. Thanks again Sherry, for another enjoyable interview. Bekkie, I am glad you are part of our poetry family! I especially love your poem 'In Bloom' here – and those photos. Will be trying Photo Lab Pro!

  6. What a truly wonderful 'visit,' Bekkie and Sherry! I loved reading about your biking adventures, Bekkie....and enjoyed reading about Pedal Fest, which really seems a unique event. Ha, I had not known you lived in Madison in the 70's. I love, love, LOVE that city & its ambience. I like the special effects in your photos when you use Photo Lab Pro! I am glad you are working on a book, Bekkie. I really like the poem "In Bloom" that you shared in this interview. Wow, Dave is 85?? Amazing! I am glad you are here at Poets United, Bekkie. Sherry, a lovely interview once again!

    1. Madison is the best and I miss living there. I had some of my best times there and went to school there. I have family in Shawano. I left in 84. Are you from Madison?

      Dave is a very young 83 and he is handsome but married. Lol!

      I'm so pleased to be here. All of the blogs I've wrote with through the years and Poets United is the only one who's ever interviewed me or wanted to learn more about me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  7. Thanks all for your kind comments! I look forward to more writes with such good friends!

  8. What a delight this interview with Bekkie was. It took me back many years to the days of cycling in my youth and the reference to lying in a field of sunflowers of doing just the same in a field of ripening wheat, when I was about eight, looking up at the sky and realizing how beautiful life was. Thank you Bekkie and Sherry for this breathtaking interview.

  9. So glad I stopped by today and got a deeper glimpse into Bekkie's life. It is always a pleasure to visit her blog. She is full of so much passion and the joy of life. Thank you for another wonderful interview Sherry!

  10. We are so happy you enjoyed it, friends. Bekkie, you are a breath of fresh air. Thanks so much for saying yes and brightening up this day. It needed brightening.

  11. I loved this share ... Bekkie's life as a bike enthusiast and artist is so full ... what an inspiration. Another fascinating interview, Sherry; I really I enjoyed the selected poems and the artwork is so cool ... and intriguing. Great job on this, Poets!

  12. Totally uplifting! I have stood in the sequoias with similar thoughts. And when I'm a tree I will be "In Bloom"! You are an amazing artist, Bekki.

  13. This is an amazing interview Sherry and Bekkie. I can't tell how I've enjoyed the photos (specially the cormorant one), poems and the chat. I must say I would love to see myself in 'Secret Sequoias' and 'In Bloom' too. It's so lovely to have you here at Poets United Bekkie.

  14. I love your artwork Bekkie and enjoyed your interview very much.

  15. So good to get to know you Bekkie

  16. So great getting to know Bekkie and her California life. So enriching to share our common interest in poetry from the wildly varying perspectives of our lives. Thank you both.

  17. Thank you all! It's the best to have friends such as you. So supportive and talented yourselves! You are all such an eclectic bunch of artists I'm so happy to be a part of it.

  18. Our pleasure, Bekkie. It is another glorious morning on the West Coast. I am sure you are biking, as we speak. Smiles.

  19. Bekkie you are a woman after my own heart....I love using apps to process photos so I will try this one too...and wow love your art and poems...thanks Sherry and Bekkie for sharing!

  20. Bekkie, I have a confession - I never learned how to ride a bike. I tried in my early 20's but there's some kind of ingrained fear within me. Too bad because your words are so inspirational. Who knows maybe I'll give it a try. Reading this interview was fun. I feel your energy. I like the imagery in your poetry and how you paint pictures of your heart with your words.
    Thanks to you and Sherry for sharing this with us.

  21. So wonderful to read about your cycling as well as your new book Bekkie. What a fabulous trail that is. Thanks for a great interview Sherry.

  22. You are quite an inspiration, Bekkie. My sister has been at me to get a bike, and I don't know why I haven't done so yet. Love your writing, and artwork. I look forward to your book coming out. If you want to read wonderful nature poems, go online to The Avocet. It is a nature journal with a serious conscience.

    Sherry, thanks so much for this amazing interview.


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