Dear Rain*

October 22, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Sterling C.H. Bemment, 3rd Grade

Dear Rain,
You probably
don’t
remember me
The vast
Ocean
of sand
that is scorching hot
I would trade
all the animals
and all the plants
just for you
to visit me
And quench my thirst
And stop me longing for you
From, the Desert

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Sterling C.H. Bemment. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

(in)visible poetry

May 23, 2016

theres-no-bad-weather-just-bad-clothing-choices

Picture this: your rainy-day poem stenciled on the sidewalk…invisible…until it rains! Rainworks, a Seattle-based company (where else?), has come up with a non-toxic, environmentally safe, biodegradable product that does exactly that. It can be stenciled or painted on and once it’s dry it remains unseen until it gets wet. It lasts, on average, two to four months, the contrast fading as time goes on.

Now, Mass Poetry, in partnership with The City of Boston, is using a similar product to create “Raining Poetry” — four poems stenciled on sidewalks near downtown. Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Georges hopes to expand the program into the city’s neighborhoods.

Important note from the Rainworks website: “Please note that Rainworks Invisible Spray will not make you invisible.”

Darn.

More Rainworks on Facebook.
. . . . .
Rainworks photo

Poetry

Poet Carla Shafer, well known around Cascadia as the founder (1993) and guiding spirit of the Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater, has forwarded several invitations for poets and poetry lovers.

First, there’s the World Peace Poets Third Annual Read-In, which is happening tomorrow, Saturday, October 24, 2015, at St. James Presbyterian Church, 910 14th Street, Bellingham, Washington. This is a free, public event with special musical guests. Doors open at 5:00pm. A light dinner will be served at 5:30 along with coffee and tea. Readings begin at 6:15pm and 30-40 poets and musicians will present until about 9:30pm.

Next, there’s the Thanksgiving Community Concert to be held on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 25, 2015, at 7:00pm, also at St. James Presbyterian Church. The evening will include the reading of three poems selected from open submissions. Poets may submit up to three poems (maximum 35 lines or 1-2 minutes each) on the theme of thankfulness. Suggestions from Carla: “A short narrative poem on a Thanksgiving memory, lyrical or commentary poem on thankfulness related to life today. Start with a repeating line, such as: I am thankful when… It can be humorous or serious, but a poem or a prose poem. Avoid end rhymes.” Use the subject line Thanksgiving poem and send as a pdf or MSword attachment to chuckanutsandstone@gmail.com. The deadline is Noon on Sunday, November 1.

Finally, poets are invited to submit up to three poems in which rain is the theme or a significant metaphor for a Pacific Northwest rain anthology. Poems can be up to 1-1/2 pages long. Readers “will want to read this under an umbrella, in front of a warm fire, or until they feel drenched in the solemn or giddy joy or the overwhelming dreariness of rain.” Use the subject line RAIN POEM 11.15.2015 and send as a pdf or MSword attachment to chuckanutsandstone@gmail.com. The deadline is midnight on Sunday, November 15.

Rain Words*

November 18, 2012

Placard design by Egress Studio
2009 Merit Award
By Angela Belcaster

Rain on the grey of galvanized tin,
rain on the roofs, rain in the basements, moss
rooting into our shoulders the shaded side
toss salt for good luck and look down:
it becomes sea before it hits the ground.

Rain on the cemetery so much
that things long settled shift. Terse rain.
Kryptonite rain, Rain with a half-life
of ten thousand years. Notched rain.
Rain we cannot speak.

The itch of our rain hairshirts; rancorous rain,
we knew, all along, that we have conjured
all       this       rain.

Rain sonata dampened notes, rain on the Pleiades.
Rain in hell, rain nails on barn windows,
rain for dinner again; a cloudburst over our tables.

And just when we think we’ve become it,
And just when we think we know
our watery, weakened hearts, we look down:
Rain,
An entire epistemology in a puddle at our feet.
Untouched amid, still blurry
something new and green is rising.

*Copyright 2009 by Angela Belcaster. This poem is included in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Placard design by Egress Studio.

November in the Northwest*

November 15, 2012

Placard design by Egress Studio
2006 Walk Award
By Jeanne Yeasting

The sky has come unplugged,
the wind rasping like an angry saw.
Four days, the same listless shade of gray.
Who knows how long this storm will last,
the shore dulled with driftwood and rotting
kelp. I weary of these beige walls,
my sheet-strewn bed, these cluttered shelves.
No one to wipe away the mind’s haze,
only the rain, the rain, erasing itself with ease.

*Copyright 2006 by Jeanne Yeasting. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Placard design by Egress Studio.

poem for a day of storms…

October 30, 2012

Placard design by Egress Studio
2009 Merit Award

Wife of a Fisherman*
By Niel Pfundt

Do you see that lady? At the end of the dock
In the dark, in the rain; wind tossing her hair?

Do you see how she paces? One way then the other
Stops to look; stares into night, wet jacket flying?

She is the wife of a fisherman and knows that a night,
One like this, dark and dirty, makes the water mean.

She’s been out there too, she knows the sounds,
The constant motion, water, boat, everything aboard.

In the dark rain-thick air, out on the black water
A dim light appears, fades, disappears, shows again.

In a flying cloud of spray, the faint shadow of a hull
Twists in the sea, defined by red and green sidelights.

Rounds the breakwater as men on deck lower fenders
Call out cheerfully; toss lines up to the dock.

The fisherman’s wife unclasps praying hands
Takes a line, drops the eye neatly over an iron cleat.

*Copyright 2009 by Niel Pfundt. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Placard design by Egress Studio.

November in the Northwest*

November 11, 2011

Placard design by Egress Studio
2006 Walk Award
By Jeanne Yeasting

The sky has come unplugged,
the wind rasping like an angry saw.
Four days, the same listless shade of gray.
Who knows how long this storm will last,
the shore dulled with driftwood and rotting
kelp. I weary of these beige walls,
my sheet-strewn bed, these cluttered shelves.
No one to wipe away the mind’s haze,
only the rain, the rain, erasing itself with ease.

*Copyright 2006 by Jeanne Yeasting. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Placard design by Egress Studio.

Bellingham*

July 23, 2011

2011 Walk Award
By Rachel Mehl

Rachel Mehl - Bellingham - 2011 Walk Award

*Copyright 2011 by Rachel Mehl. Read the poem here: Bellingham. Placard design by Egress Studio.

January View*

June 1, 2011

2011 Merit Award
Linda Conroy - January view - 2011 Merit Award

By Linda Conroy

January View

From my window, naked trees
crossing branches weaving high
dripping rain on dipping bough.

Red and grey and brown and amber.
Blacker bark and lighter limb.
Green cedars hanging silent now

with not a wisp or lick of wind.
Ferns still flourish, fronds spread wide.
Wet brushwood lies on sodden ground

where mud from last year’s leaves
surrounds bare saplings, rising in the air,
but not a bird sings anywhere.

*Copyright 2011 by Linda Conroy. Placard design by Egress Studio.

Bellingham*

May 23, 2011

Rachel Mehl reading her winning poem, Bellingham

2011 Walk Award
By Rachel Mehl

Bellingham

Today I’ll wake up late,
drink too much coffee,
eat leftover shepherd’s pie
with mustard and soy sauce.
I’ll monitor the sump pump
and keep an eye on the chickens
while the rain drowns
bugs and muddies our lawn
seeping through the basement floor,
ankle deep. Adding to the black
mud of last month’s snow melt.
At the top of the hill my ancestors
are buried across from the wrought iron
fence of the Jewish cemetery.
It’s been long enough their bones
have jelled and thickened the lake
my father swam in as a boy,
where we still get our drinking water.
After their wedding my parents
raced up that hill. My father eddied
around headstones past the grey-faced
angel and the woman with two broken arms
who still leans forward like a zombie,
The man I live with shoots zombies on the TV.
If I drink enough wine my liver will turn grey.

*Copyright 2011 by Rachel Mehl. Photo by Karee Wardrop.