Forgive me if I forget*

January 27, 2022


2021 Walk Award
by Marie Eaton

Forgive me if I forget to return your phone call.
I have been chasing an elusive melody
across guitar strings,
subtle and swift as a hummingbird
darting through my butterfly bush.

Forgive me if I forget to come in from the garden.
I have been lured by ripening red tomatoes
in my greenhouse,
and blueberry bushes, heavy with fruit,
bending boughs to kiss the brown earth.

Forgive me if I forget to unload the dishwasher.
I have been reading poems,
slowly turning pages
reveling in rhyme and a perfect turn of phrase.

Forgive me if I forget to lock the front door.
I have been tempted
by brilliant washes of color across the western sky,
and the firefly wink of stars
as dusk creeps toward night.

I may forget,
but this forgetting is truest remembering.

*Copyright © 2021 by Marie Eaton. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Poet’s bio:
Marie Eaton’s writing has taken many forms — “stories to gather in memories of earlier years, songs to capture images or emotions, laments for our sweet planet, academic research papers, and proposals to inspire us to create a palliative community of excellence.” She taught writing in all these forms at Fairhaven College at Western Washington University for many years, and now as Professor Emerita she is the Community Champion for the Palliative Care Institute at Western Washington University. She loves helping others find the tools and strategies to find their own passions and the voice to express them. Most of Marie’s creative work has been as a songwriter, marrying melody and lyric. With the singing group Motherlode she has produced nine albums, each featuring Marie’s writing.

more poetry to read

January 26, 2022

More titles for your growing list:

What poetry book(s) have you read lately? If you have don’t-miss recommendations, leave a comment!

Hunchbacks*

January 23, 2022


2021 Walk Award
by David P. Drummond

We launched where
pioneer cabins gathered
long, glass and resin craft
of ancient organic design
Hidden ruby-colored bark
in their alder shoreline stance
Hangs of strobili and catkins
unto a river mirror move
Tar paper flaps, spirit bird
and whistle-call from eagle
Southpaw slough steerage
past woody debris, of flood water

A rest on cedar springboard
grey-blue feather dreads
trench coat trundle
after scale-leg and bare toes
Whisper paddle alerts
his golden-eye, sabre-
beak stare, at ‘yakers
Vanguard sentinel for
shaggy-squawk flock
of Jurassic fly-a-ways
Nooksack nobility flushed
from sleepy longhouse hide

*Copyright © 2021 by David P. Drummond. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Poet’s bio:
David P. Drummond gives attention to insights from Our Universe and shares them in poetry, classes and discussion. You can read him in: Clover, Whatcom Watch, and the Noisy Water and Solstice anthologies. He also enjoys fresh perspectives with open-hearted people via WWU/ALL, WA Department of Ecology, Coastal Forest Merlin Project and beyond. Inspiration for this poem: “Seeking a shared outdoor odyssey, we kayaked the slow-flow of the Nooksack River to its confluence with Bellingham Bay. Here is a ‘slice of my senses’ experiential on our Time-Space Continuum.”

untitled*

January 19, 2022


2021 Walk Award
by Ty Colson, 1st grade

Mama…made me son
I love how she handles things
Wishing upon stars

*Copyright © 2021 by Ty Colson. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

Poet’s bio:
Ty is in first grade, doing school from home and on the road this year, and looks forward to returning to Alderwood Elementary in the fall. He loves art, food, jokes, Lego, and riding his trick scooter. He is currently traveling through the Wild West with his family, collecting stickers to put on his helmet.

Lately, Ty has been creating haiku poems with his mom, Ally, as a way to connect and wind down at bedtime. “My mom is very special to me, and this poem is for her.” This is his first published poem. And, yes, Ally’s heart has indeed melted.

Still Life: Geneva Pond*

January 15, 2022


2021 Merit Award
by Kathleen Byrd

I make my self in the nature preserve
a home to taste names in silence —
Miner’s Lettuce, Stinging Nettle,
Bleeding Heart, and — hear deet, deet
of an unseen Chickadee and tap
tap, tap of a Sap Sucker’s red head.

Geneva is a rename, a claim
of place — of Salmon Berry, Heron, of Owl.
Geneva is a gilded city, a Juniper
Tree, a Euro-myth. The trees here hold secrets
close and still. Thuja Plicata, I roll a
taxonomy of botany on my tongue — Western
Red Cedar — not cedar — after all.

At the edge of the pond, I see —
not see, really — but glimpse
what was there and gone —
the black eyes of a frog on the surface.
I focus to capture a look, a name,
but it’s already gone, letting go
the trace of its being
circling the surface of Geneva pond.

*Copyright © 2021 by Kathleen Byrd. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

on poetry

January 14, 2022

“Music is really the center of my process. A lot of it is intuitive and some of it is — for lack of a better word — mysterious. I’m following the sound of a word or phrase, and during revision, I have an idea that a particular sound wants to come back. A lot of my process at every stage is substituting different words into a line based on a sound or series of sounds. What enters is often a more precise word or a word with associations I hadn’t expected or planned, a wilder word.”
Patrick Rosal
(b. January 14, 1969)

. . . . .
photo by Mark Rosal
quote

On Remembering*

January 11, 2022


2021 Merit Award
by Barbara Bloom

I listened to you breathing
I wanted to remember the sound of your breath.
W.S.Merwin

Still dark out, I wake slowly.
Even the cat still sleeps,
a warm lump curled into my leg,
and, having slid into you in the night,
I relish the warmth,
the familiarity of your flesh against mine,
and know the sharp need to hold it in memory,
yes, to memorize it, as the poet I read last night
does the morning — so many
poems about morning
in this book written as he approaches ninety,
nearly blind,
hearing the rain against the broad leaves
of some Hawaiian tree
and remembering his childhood
in a much different place,
those rains, those trees, those mornings —
knowing even memory
won’t hold them steady against time.

*Copyright © 2021 by Barbara Bloom. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

What to read now

January 10, 2022

Let the recommendations flow!

on poetry

January 9, 2022

“…it’s the nature of the work that a poem is getting at something mysterious, which no amount of staring at straight-on has ever solved, something like death or love or treachery or beauty. And we keep doing this corner-of-the-eye thing. I remember when we were in training to be night fliers in the Navy, I learned, very strangely, that the rods of the eye perceive things at night in the corner of the eye that we can’t see straight ahead. That’s not a bad metaphor for the vision of art. You don’t stare at the mystery, but you can see things out of the corner of your eye that you were supposed to see.”
William Meredith
(January 9, 1919 – May 30, 2007)

. . . . .
photo
quote

on poetry

January 2, 2022


“I like a sonnet and I like shattering a sonnet.”
David Shapiro
(b. January 2, 1947)

. . . . .
photo
quote

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