Tuesday, June 28, 2016

David Randall Ware Obituary

Here is a Press Democrat link to Marianne's husband Dave Ware's obituary

David Randall WARE( 1934 - 2016)
WARE, David Randall It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather, David Randall Ware, on June 28, 2016 at the age of 82. The cause was due to complications from colon cancer surgery. Dave, as he liked to be called, was a man of strength and determination. He was born in Rotan, Texas on March 16, 1934 to Minnie Jewel and Alfonso Ware during the Dust Bowl. He and his five brothers and sisters spent some of their early years as migrant farm workers and eventually made their way from Texas to California. Dave spent these difficult years caring for and nurturing his younger siblings while his parents worked. It was also during this time that he began his career as a cabinetmaker at the age of 16 by working for Jackson Bros. Cabinets. Dave met his wife of 55 years, Marianne Ware (nee: Horwitz) in Compton, California when he was a young man. He described this meeting as life changing as Marianne brought humor, intelligence and creativity to his life - all qualities that Dave possessed but needed encouragement to express. Marianne passed away in 2010. Dave and Marianne married and gave birth to three devoted daughters: Laurie Celli of Forestville, CA, Wendy Whitson of Petaluma, CA and Carrie Ware-Kawamoto of Pleasant Hill, CA. Dave enlisted in the U.S. Army on November 13, 1953 and served dutifully as a Sergeant for three years. He was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. Although Dave was a lifelong democrat and against the draft during the Vietnam War, his military service was a source of pride for him in later years. He volunteered at a local V.A. Center, sitting with Veterans and offering a caring ear and support. Dave moved his family from Southern California to Guerneville, California in the late 1960's and never looked back. He loved the redwoods, the clear air and the privacy. It was here that he set up his own cabinet shop (Dave Ware Cabinets) on his property and found the peace and independence that he longed for. Dave could fix anything and enjoyed using his hands to build and create. He was a woodcarver, master cabinetmaker, played the banjo and auto harp and loved to sing folk songs. He also completed his A.A. degree at Santa Rosa Junior College on June 15, 1974 under the G.I. Bill. Dave was a family man at heart - he cared deeply for his daughters (Laurie, Wendy and Carrie), his sons-in-law (Michael Celli, John Whitson and Jon Kawamoto), his grandchildren (Angelo (Michelle), Vincent and Nicholas Celli, Gabriel and Rosemary Whitson, and Mia and Carly Kawamoto) and his great-grandchildren (Sofia, Dylan and Isabel Celli). He was a nurturing and present father who showed up for his children in all of the many ways he could (baking bread and cooking, helping with school projects, repairing things, building them furniture, and offering big bear hugs and "I love you" every time he talked to them). He will be greatly missed. Dave reconnected with old friends and made deep friendships with members of his grief support group during the last six years of his life. Those relationships brought him much joy and pleasure. Please join us for a celebration of his life on Saturday, July 16th at 10:00 a.m. at 543 Clement St. in Santa Rosa.

Published Online in the Press Democrat from July 3 to July 4, 2016

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Want a Deli in It

I Want a Deli in It

Some poets’ landscapes
are too stark for me,
their vistas spare,
deprived in form and content,
so I get hungry at the breaks,
each time a bloodless phrase
is turned, and skinny similes
just ramble dryly on and on.

Too quickly, I begin to crave
cream cheesy themes,
an ample bagel’s verve,
pastrami, lox,
where there’s no heft,
no meat, just desert sand,
a shade like Gulden’s mustard
yet without its zip,
its smooth, cohesive texture.

I long for something solid, then:
good chewy chunks of speech
like Polish sausage, pumpernickel;
yet all I get are tasteless dunes,
bland yucca spears,
a slice or two of cryptic sky.

Mojave pastorals are not for me;
their mesas beckon mainly to
who think of substance as a sin,
and that a worthy feast
is made of wind and grit
(no caraway) blown carelessly
across some bleached white
bones of words.

If there’s no piquant pickle’s bite,
no corn-beefy lines to love,
no beaming human being there,
gesticulating at me
from behind the counter’s glass
then, I repeat, reiterate:
a poem isn’t much,
it’s really desiccated,
without a deli in it.

These poems were retyped by Donna Champion—the originals scans have numerous typos which I can't seem to eradicate. Blame it on dyslexia. They were prepared for the Petaluma Art Center's Day of Remembrance and I was double-booked for tow events, so Donna kindly offered to read them. But I was given two different sets of directions and poor Donna was driving around around one dark and storm night with new windshield wipers to deliver these poems of remembrance. By the time she got to the right place, it was too late. Blame it on dyslexia. I didn't catch the error on time. The least I could do is to repost them here. So yes, you will find these poems in Tomcat and Bodies Nearly Touching—but these are certified error-free. More or less. Besides, each poem really should have its own page. If only I can twist Donna's arm to type up some more. Maureen Hurley

California Magdeline

California Magdeline

On the road to Delano
in the late 1960s
the atheist’s daughter
(a tarnished young woman)
ponders this question:
“What was his name
on the road to Damascus
Saul something or other?”

A curious thought
for a wanton blasphemer
heading north on the highway,
up from Los Angeles,
over the Grapevine
in a blue station wagon
covered with slogans:
“Viva la causa!”

Raised as a cynic,
transgressor, irreverent,
she is secretly lusting
to give herself up to
someone who is worthy,
a cause that has meaning.
She’s a penitent,
this journey a pilgrimage.

Not Jesus her Savior
but a poor campesino
Cesar Chavez, the leader
of the Farm Workers’ Movement.
San Joaquin is her Holy Land,
Delano is Calvary:
redemption for bad girls,
salvation for gringos.

“And what was her name?”
(comes another odd question)
“The harlot who washed him,
sponged dirt from his ankles,
she who was pardoned
for all indiscretions,
the sins of the fathers
no longer her burden?”

Back home from Delano
in the late 1960s
comes the atheist’s daughter
who’s paid homage to Cesar
(his love like a mother’s).
Now bathed in the aura
of that pacifist martyr,
she’s become a believer.


Whenever she didn't feel too good, Marianne was wont to say, "Not today, dear, I'm feeling rather flarchy." That's feeling discombobulated and out of sorts. I forgot all about Marianne's coined word until someone asked what my Halloween plans were and I wrote, without thinking—not much, I'm feeling rather flarchy. Going to have to explain that one, I'm sure.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Marianne Ware Memorial A-wake is today

Marianne Ware's memorial A-Wake is today, Saturday, July 24th from 3:30-5:00 p.m., in the Youth Annex of the Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. Spread the word. Bring a poem, a memento to share. Refreshments will be served.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sonoma West Obit

Founding member of Russian River Writers Guild Marianne Ware dies from diabetes complications

‘Poet, novelist, and the grande dame of belles letters’
by Frank Robertson
Sonoma West Staff Writer
Published: Friday, July 23, 2010 10:57 AM PDT
A celebration in the Sebastopol Community Center this Saturday (July 24) will pay tribute to Marianne Ware, the West County poet and teacher who died in Santa Rosa on June 21. She was 74.

The cause of death was complications from diabetes, said friends.

Ware was a founding member of the Russian River Writers Guild in the 1980s and became a beloved teacher and mentor to innumerable West County writers who praised her wit, passion, irreverence and progressive political activism.

“She was an outspoken, flamboyant, creative person who really wanted to help other people find themselves through writing,” said Sonoma County writer Simone Wilson, who met Ware in the 1980s when the Russian River Writers Guild held weekly poetry readings at Garbo’s, a bar and community gathering place in a former bowling alley in Guernewood Park.

A Marianne Ware Memorial Page is now accessible online where friends have posted messages in her memory.

“Poet, novelist and the grande dame of belles letters — the epistolary packin’ mama and mentor of countless Sonoma County writers,” wrote writer and Russian River Writers Guild member Maureen Hurley.

Ware was retired from teaching english and creative writing at Santa Rosa Junior College. Her most recent book, “The meaning of Water,” was published this year as part of a Redwood Writers project through the California Writers Club.

The collection of stories “runs the gamut from intense childhood experiences to contemporary satire aimed at genealogists, would-be poetry contest winners and Vegan dietary diehards,” said a Redwood Writers Club description of the book that’s available online at redwoodwriters.org.

The book “was something she was so proud of at the end of her life,” said friend and fellow writer Kate Farrell. “It was a special part of the last years of her life.”

Ware moved to Guerneville with her husband and three daughters in 1969, organized and energized numerous creative writing groups over the years and produced several volumes of poetry and prose of her own.

She received her MFA degree from Vermont College in 1984 and published poetry, fiction and non-fiction in more than a hundred literary magazines, anthologies and tabloids including “Red Diaper Babies: Growing up in the Communist Left” (University of Illinois Press); “Salt Water, Sweet Water” and Cartwheels on the Faultline” (Florient Press). Her work has also appeared in Iowa Woman, the Modularist Review, Green Fuse and many others. She was the recipient of an NEA grant for her fiction. Her poetry chapbook, “Bodies Nearly Touching,” was published by Doris Green Editions. A satiric novel, “The Warzog Era,” followed.

Ware shared her love of writing, along with her enthusiasm and irreverent sense of humor with generations of students over her 21 years as an English teacher at SRJC.

“The only things she loved more than a good book or a beautifully written poem were her seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren,” said her family. “Her lively wit and gift with words lives on in them.”

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, David Ware; daughters, Laurie Celli, Wendy Whitson, and Carrie Ware-Kawamoto; grandchildren, Angelo, Vincent, Nicholas, Gabriel, Rosemary, Mia, and Carly; and great-grandchildren, Sofia and Dylan.

She had wanted an “awake” before her death, rather than a wake, said friends.

The July 24 memorial will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Sebastopol Community Center Youth Annex, 390 Morris Street, Sebastopol.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

For the Duration

Marianne Ware, poet, novelist, & the grand dame of belles lettres—the epistolary packin' mama mentor of countless Sonoma County writers—passed away on her 74th summer solstice. Too soon. We expected her to be here much longer to greet the return of the sun. Now something of the sun is gone from us. Eclipsed.

I first met Marianne through Lee Perron—they were coordinating the Russian River Writers' Guild.  I was newly arrived to poetry, and before I knew it, I was roped into the Writers' Guild, which became both my teething ring and my training ground.

Little did I know, I was also fresh fodder—grist for the mill—to help run it. And later, I was left holding the bag. But I learned to stick it out for the duration. At the time, I was living out of my car after a bad breakup. She even found me a place to live—at her daughter Laurie's cabins.

Because Marianne was adamant that prose also be represented at the RRWG reading series, and because of her, I learned to dabble in prose. Dyslexic that I am, I discovered what writing—like people—came in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Not just poems and stories, but letters, notes, lists. They all served to inform.

Marianne brought the light of writing into the lives of so many of us. She encouraged us to find our own true authentic voice. To spread our wings and to fly close—but not too close—to the sun. She always encouraged the next generation of fledgling writers: Doug Powell, Glenn Ingersoll, Trane deVore. The Guild offered a platform for new and established writers to read together.

We booked poets & writers—even musicians from near and far to share their love of the word. Utah Phillips, Rosalee Sorrells, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Ed Balchowski. Some of the writers she encouraged made it to the big stage: Andrei Codrescu, Michael Oandatje, D.A. Powell, Jane Hirshfield come to mind. But  the history of the Guild is a whole other story. We are here to honor Marianne today.

It takes a lot of energy to run a poetry & prose reading series. Little by little, Marianne was  letting go, transferring the reins of power over to us—as she had set her sights in another direction. She wanted to finish her epistolary novel about growing up red diaper baby.

Marianne was a consummate political activist like her father before her, and her arena was fighting discrimination against women and she was an outspoken spokesperson for people with disabilities. And though she had major health issues, she persevered. She taught me to fight the system and take a stance to redress societal wrongs. She taught me that poetry matters.

Marianne turned that determination to earn a MFA at Goddard. I admired her steadfastness. She became the phoenix, and shed her old self. Resurrected, she was. And it led her to the next significant part of her life's work as an English/ Creative Writing instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College. And despite physical hardship and mounting health issues, she persevered. She empowered another generation of would-be writers to follow their own voice.

I met Marianne during her second life transition—from mother and wife, to that of writer. I  also witnessed the next transition from writer to teacher and from teacher to sage. But her reign as sage was cut short too soon. She taught me to live in the moment. We are all here "For the duration" as Marianne would say.