Underfoot, Shredded Petals
We sheep across winter’s grayscape
to arrive, wool sodden
and mucked, neutered, at spring’s
sludge pond. There’s enough
wet to raise the almost-dead:
blossom from bud, caterpillar from egg,
bee from hexagonal hutch. Drowned
for months, the evergreen roots
have been silently screaming.
What silk scarves are concealed
in tree sleeves?
What disappearing trick
will vanish the memory
of morbid hours? Tucked in our pockets:
needles, black lichens, moss.
In the distance, Mt. Baker
turns its face to the sun.
Come migration season,
even a caged bird
will face its intended
a chorus of swallows.
Overhead, swarms of them
travelling by starlight.
by Dayna Patterson
Dayna is the winner of our March 2018 poetry contest! Her poem will be on display at the Poem Booth through the end of the quarter.
Whisper your truth
To the clouds, shape shifters
Into the owl's read dark hole
by J S Nahani
If Sloths Danced About
If circles were squares,
if peaches were pears,
if the broom stayed home with the moon;
then dreams would be real,
then drab would have zeal,
and death wouldn’t come far too soon.
If bottoms were tops,
if straight downs were round ups,
then snow would be common in June.
If all in were all out,
if sloths danced about,
then sprinkles would be a monsoon.
If earthrise were seen
by a non-human being,
if you played all day in your sleep--
where yawns were bright lights,
and fawns flew like kites,
then we’d all have hug bugs to keep.
If passion were pity,
if country were city,
if chiefs could not utter a peep;
then a scowl would be fun,
snacks impeccably done,
and we’d give away all that we reap.
by John Green
beginning to dawn
blue barely lines the horizon
golden sun nips
the tips of craggy mountain peaks
five old growth firs
four wayfarers stand on a beach
last stand of trees
spines and trunks silhouette black
by Lynn Geri
The long body of the Buick
is brown like a doe. The open
hood reveals inscrutable
innards of iron. Steam
rises from the cavity, the open
stomach of a deer on a hard
November field. Both
Buick and doe can carry
a man through winter.
My father reaches into
that space, his back
bent with effort as if
through haruspex he will
solve the mystery of what
doesn’t work. I can’t tell
him where gears go
wrong, but I know
what stopped the doe.
By Jory Mickelson
Jory is the winner of our fourth poetry contest! You can see his poem on display at the downtown co-op December 1st - end of February!
How good the green air felt against
my skin when I broke from the foundry’s
door, to leave behind the vulcan light
we pounded thin for thirteen hours
until it turned more delicate
than wire, became a tracery of orange
against the skin. How the hammer
echoed in the ear and followed me into
sleep. How loud the body’s metronome.
Below the tic of cooled muscle, eyes
dim in their sockets, the web
of breath remains. The headlamp mind,
released from the body’s tether, drifts toward
soft-edged trees. How similar the road at waking
to the one bound for rest. How the hammer
of the heart swings, as if for hours, in hand.
By Jory Mickelson
Jory's poem is a runner up for our fourth poetry contest. Thank you, Jory, for your submission!
Portrait of My Daughter as a WIC Check
36 oz breakfast cereal, 11 to 36 oz boxes
Her hair has turned
the color of shredded wheat,
dry and streaked
from chlorine and summer.
1 dozen white eggs, small, medium, or large
Her ovaries are tight and green
as young rose hips,
Her fallopian tubes
are pea shoots. She caries
her cloth and plastic daughters
under her shirt or by their hair.
1 juice, 64 oz plastic bottles
Her sweetness, her anger,
the blood of fruit inside clear plastic.
When she runs her cheeks flush,
her hair sticky with sweat.
1 gallon(s) 1% or nonfat milk, any brand
Her body is growing lank. Her face thinner,
but still the shape of a heart. She drinks
from a cup printed with sugar skulls.
By Rachel Mehl
Rachel's poem is a runner up for our fourth poetry contest. Thank you, Rachel, for your submission!
They were constructs of iron
in 5 dimensions
going up to the sky
to places never known
before or since.
On those wonders of imagination,
sociology of space ships
yardarms of piracy
the physics of gravity
and plaster arm casts.
By Gary Wade
Gary's poem is a runner up for our fourth poetry contest. Thank you, Gary, for your submission!
Eulogy for Charlie, a Teacher
Our minds—peaches he scalded in a water-bath
of generous dialogue, slipped off the fuzzy skin,
cut away the sweet flesh of illusion,
cracked open the pit with a hammer of caring,
exposing the bitter kernel of each person’s truth.
We, like Prometheus—were asked to reach into
the fire of what we and the world could be,
as he challenged our complacent spirits
with the ferocity of a meaning-ful life.
His absence—a hurricane wind,
so immense I’m caught in its center, trying
to hang images on the eye’s wall, motionless.
By Lynn Geri
Lynn's poem is a runner up for our fourth poetry contest. Thank you, Lynn, for your submission!
Ode to a Flat Black River Rock
You fit perfectly in my hand.
You ask to be rubbed,
more cat than rock.
Once, by the sea,
the girls and I
gathered a bagful
of your bigger sisters.
We painted pictures on their
obligingly flat sides.
In our old backyard,
two served as
parakeet grave markers.
You ask only to be held, stroked,
She who gazes long and deep
at your matte black face
begins to see
etched white networks,
then clouds of stardust.
Depths within depths,
space between atoms,
a history of the earth’s crust,
a map of the cosmos.
By Sheila Sondik
Sheila is the winner of our third poetry contest! You can see her poem on display at the downtown co-op September 1st - end of November!
Learn more about her work at: