No matter the journey. No matter other roads taken. No matter you misplaced the map of your life behind a wheel of grief. No matter you took a multitude of detours.
Because as you look out the plane window, you understand the agency of this place. How it has been etched in your mind over decades of slow accrual through streams you have fished, forests you have hiked, mountains you have climbed, lakes you have swam in, oceans you have sailed.
And how like its great river that flows to the sea, it also flows through you, and you call it by name—home.
I am honored to have my poem “Pub Tour in the Wicklow Mountains” published by Tales From The Forest. This poem found the perfect home back in Ireland where it all began.
May you all have adventures, may you find magic in the chance encounter, may you sit with strangers and know the words to songs they sing, may you have moments where the predictable gets tossed out the car window and you inhale the mystery of dark hills filled with secrets.
While sitting at a picnic table eating an apple and cheese I was staring North at the beauty of Mt. St. Helens in the Cascade Mountain Range. I felt grateful I had the good luck to be born and raised in the Pacific Northwest.
I was also marveling at my younger self who had climbed this very mountain 30 years earlier shortly after it had blown its top.
How had I done it? Now it seemed like an almost impossible task. And yet, I did it the same way I write a poem, word by word, line by line, stanza by stanza, step by step until you reach a destination and know you have finally arrived.
And then, like after writing a poem, you look around and see the world through new eyes.
Often a poem helps me remember what I don’t want to forget or to be grateful for the ordinary moments where connection is made or sometimes, to truly see something for the first time.
And so while looking at a beautiful mountain, thinking this is enough, I turn and see a halo around the sun. A sight I never remember having seen in my lifetime. And suddenly, there it is—all your longing hanging in the sky, waiting for you to feed its hunger.
The poet invites us to share in her pursuit of identity; to witness the dramatization of the daily events of his/her experience so closely resembling our own; to be haunted by the imagery of her dreams or the flowing stream of his consciousness; to eavesdrop on relationships with friends and lovers; to absorb the shock of her deep seated fears.
I always admire poets who paint a vivid, compelling picture of a setting or situation that seems, on its surface, to be “about” one thing– but through the smallest inflections and details, suggests something deeper. Carey Taylor is one of these poets, and her new collection The Lure of Impermanenceis full of poems like this.
In “Pomology,” we have only one line to anchor us in the unmentioned story– “morphine drips”– while the rest of the poem gives us a tender portrait of the speaker’s father’s passionate knowledge of a certain kind of apple. He is telling the nurse, in detail, about the apples’ “low disease susceptibility,/ how they are foolproof really,/ reliable, well balanced,/ and sweet,” while his wife lies in a hospital bed. He has just asked the nurse “how long before his wife can go home,” and the unanswered question hangs in the space between the…
I am delighted to be sharing a reading venue with poets Meredith Clark and Lynne Ellis for this event. We will be reading on Saturday, April 6th from 5:00 – 5:45 PM, at Dick and Jane’s Spot in downtown Ellensburg, Washington.
If you are interested in hearing poems about the passage of time, impermanence and memory, come on down and say hi. I’d love to see you.
The fourth annual Inland Poetry Prowl is coming up and you really, really should participate. On Saturday, April 6, 2019, poetry will take over downtown Ellensburg, Washington (with additional programming on Friday night and Sunday morning). In (mostly) 45-minute sessions throughout the day and evening, galleries, stores, cafes, pubs, and other venues will host free […]
If you are in the Bellingham area this Saturday, I invite you to come and listen to Washington State Poet Laureate, Claudia Castro Luna and 22 other poets explore the question: What is it, then, between us?: Poetry & Democracy.
The Poetry Coalition, an alliance of more than 20 independent poetry organizations across the United States, will devote March 2019 to exploring the theme “What Is It, Then, Between Us?: Poetry & Democracy” in a series of programs in eleven cities that will reach an anticipated audience of more than 250,000 individuals nationwide.
One of the first people I met when I moved to Bainbridge Island almost seven years ago (how did that happen?) was writer Cathy Warner. I listened to her read from her recently published book of poetry called Burnt Offerings at the library, we read together at a variety of Kitsap county venues, and I took a writing class from her. We both were starting new lives in a new place when we met, and though we have both moved to other places since that time, we have not lost touch.
It takes time to build a poetry tribe and I am happy to include Cathy in mine. Cathy has written her second book of poetry and I am honored to share my thoughts about her most recent collection.
Cathy Warner’s newest collection of poetry, Home By Another Road,takes us down the highway of reflection and, whether she is the driver or the passenger, it is a journey that asks all the big questions. Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going? What is home?
Warner uses every map she has available to answer these questions, and while on this journey we are fortunate to have an honest narrator at the wheel. While navigating the complicated territory of family, faith, forgiveness, regret, and redemption, Warner clearly understands we all must pay the toll master for the right of passage we call a life, where you cannot know, you never could, what might become/of you or anything you have ever loved.
Warner has the rare insight to acknowledge all the sadness and grief that is buckled up beside her on this trip, while never forgetting to look in the rear view mirror where joy sits patiently in the back seat, waiting for her to take up her pen in order to remember: the world is kind/sometimes the bars are set wide/and sometimes the twilight sky/ is tinged with love poems.
I am grateful for the places this poet takes us, and how she steers us into the green-/throated past/memory grown thick/as jungle weed arriving in the end/broken/but not before/we offer/(I hope)/our little morsel/to this world/a meal/a melody/a bouquet/a poem.