""Full moon is standing, the sky is black...

I heed your call--I'm coming back!" --Judas Priest, from "Desert Plains" on POINT OF ENTRY

When I was living in Oceanside (and later, Vista), I was a member of the Magee Park Poets of Carlsbad. Once a month, we met to hear a featured poet, then tried our skills at the "open mic." Once a year (in December), we published an anthology of poetry from the group members.

Our meeting house was on Beech Street, in the old Magee Park Schoolhouse. And, on the 4th Thursday of every month, I'd get dressed in my shirt and tie, pop some completed poems in my backpack, then caught the 101 Southbound to the stop right outside of Saint Michael's By The Sea Episcopal Church. A quarter-mile north via Shank's Pony (walking), and I was there.

The routine changed when I moved to Vista, in that I caught the 302 Westbound from my residence to the old Vista Transit Center, then caught the 320 Westbound to Oceanside Transit Center, then the 101 to my destination. Still, I loved going to these events, for I not only got to hear some great poetry, but also to see my poems published (I have a poem in each anthology from 1993-1997) for others to enjoy.

Fast forward to now. Last week, in the "Coast News," I found out that there is an open mic event in Oceanside from 18:30 to 20:30 (6:30pm to 8:30pm) at the Sunshine Brooks Theater in Oceanside's Downtown District. I checked out their website, and found it's on every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month.

The open mic is caling me once again--and I'm coming back! I have some material from two sourcebooks (one of dark poetry, one of poems related to mental health issues) I've been working on. It is rather hard to find "open mic" nights here in North County (that can be accessed by public transportation), so this is a bit of a Godsend for me.

My uncle Jim said I have a gift when it comes to poetry. With having over 70 poems published in various journals and newsletters (and shooting for more, as soon as I get my computer out of the shop), It's nice to find a place close by, where I can share my work, listen to others, and have some real fun!

Wish me luck, folks--I'm going to need it! --LPR

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