I have almost always lived on the West Coast; born in the Bay Area and my parents moved my family to Oregon in 1979. As such, I have a very Pacific NW frame of mind. Which translate to its metaphors and images being used liberally in my poems …

Samples below

  • Wet Day in Tillamook
  • Blowout Creek
  • We-chah
  • Celeilo Falls
  • Route Nine (audio available)
  • March 5 (audio available)

 

Wet Day in Tillamook

 
Artic Front came down the
         mountain ranges,
changing weekend plans, too
         cold to be wet.
But the car’s already loaded;
         my family, my boys
long to leave the city,
         to challenge the road.

West we head. West
         and north.
We race the cyclists
         to the coast;
wonder at their stamina,
         their toughness.
We crave our comfort
         the most.

Soon we’re at the motel
         unloading our bags;
through the rain, the hail,
         the storm
but then through a
         fire-lit lobby, carpeted hall . . .
A race for us at last,
         to a room, our towels.
Our goals lay shimmering in
         the room in the back –
the heated pool, the hot tub,
         the steam room.

A mountain range now between
         us and our city home.
Mother Nature did not defeat us.
         for we got soaked as
she had planned;
         but on our terms
soaking in the water watching
         the cold, wet outside the windows,
too wet to worry
         the cold.


Blowout Creek

 
Morning light
floods the tiny meadow,
the elks’ hidden rest.

Verdant ferns and fallen woods
sheltered by the hillside
secret the tell-tale prints away.


“We-chah” is the Cherokee for raccoon. It seemed appropriate as I was talking to a raccoon at Celeilo Falls …

We-Chah

 
… the landscape
         has changed
sublimated & distilled,
         like the cherokee,
yet deep in the land
         the tribal blood still flows.
 
How can they hate us;
         if they look deep,
my grandmother
         looks back at them.


Celeilo Falls

 
Even the white mans’ heart
must cry at Celeilo Village.
 
Long House surrounded
by mobile homes;

only sign of life
starving dog,

next to contaminated water –
“do not drink”.


Route 9

i hover on the edge of my seat
my bag again on my back
my stop is coming

but the light is red
half a block ‘til the doors open
and that mental second hand is loud

a tick tick ticking
don’t be late
need the light to turn.


March 5

today’s the day i anticipated
a personal holiday
the signal of seasons giving way to life
to warming up
to opening up

i warned my son two weeks ago
i started the countdown; not yet march
but deep in my bones, earth waiting to spring forth
daffodils trumpeting its advent
and today the wind excitedly whispered

“enough, ‘thia, it’s been long enough.”

in my hands i feel that low long threep sigh as I gather
that taped resistance then the annual surrender,
the pulling off of thin plastic,
the wadding up, the tossing away.

one room after another, layers off
insulating curtains opened
slat blinds accessible and rolled up,
glass exposed …
naked window, the world

… right there inches away

maybe even, in a moment of glorious sun heat,
a slide open,
blossom scented air
a green breeze
alert cat on a sill

the rooms have taken on a wild light …
we endured. winter has retreated;
it’s breath only a nightly echo
already fading and nine months
until the next needed hibernation.

from my window seat i watch robins feast,  build nests.

 

 

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