“Removal of the English Elms”

In an earlier post (The English Elms – Bloedel Reserve) I wrote a poem about how I felt when I said goodbye to a pair of beautiful old English Elms at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island.  On that beautiful fall day while walking through the Japanese Garden, the poem began in my thoughts with the line, everything takes its leaving.

Most of my poems start as lines of words that suddenly pop into my head, often while walking.  I write them down as soon as I get home and let the line lead me to where the poem wants to go.

This poem led me beyond the loss of the Elms, to the river of loss that runs through everything.  To tributaries full of  landscapes, people, animals, and our attachments to them, then back to its very source, a shared history of losses we unknowingly carry with us.

I shared this poem in John Willson’s poetry class on Bainbridge Island, made some revisions, then submitted it to Clover, A Literary Rag.  Clover is a wonderful publication produced by Mary Gillilan in Bellingham, Washington.

At the beginning of May, I received word that “Removal of the English Elms” would be published in June. This is my second poem with Clover.  I am honored to be included with all the wonderful writers whose works grace its pages.

In poetry,


Picture 2

Theodore Roethke Tribute


I will be playing the part of Joan Swift in this tribute to Theodore Roethke.  This performance and reading is the brainchild of Sandra Kleven, Editor of Cirque, a literary journal.   The “real” students of Roethke will be in attendance, along with Jeff Vande Zande who wrote “American Poet, A Novel”, which I highly recommend.

I walk the trails at the Bloedel Reserve on a regular basis when I am home.    On each visit I pass through the Japanese Garden, where I always stop and pay respect to a poet I did not know.  I marvel at the mystery of how even after death we intersect in the lives of others.

If you get a chance, stop by and say hi to all the poets who have, in their own way been touched by Roethke.

In Poetry,