In front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Family Respite: Salmon and a Poetry Challenge

These past two weeks I've been in Portland, mostly helping my 88-year old parents.  In the midst of a heatwave that has kept temperatures above 90º for over a week, it has not been easy to keep my spirits up. I know I'm in a situation shared by many others my age, but sometimes that knowledge doesn't help. When I felt like I couldn't take anymore, the heat broke and Oregon's beauty gave me respite when I needed it most.
The other day while walking in my quiet Sellwood neighborhood in southeast Portland, I came across a small section of Chrystal Springs Creek

A part of the Johnson Creek Watershed, a sign called it a salmon resting place. The creek was once channeled through a culvert under an apartment building. The water flowed too quickly for the young salmon who needed to use this waterway. 

Restored in 2012 to its natural state, it is now a lovely piece of wilderness tucked in among houses and lawns.  This bit of natural hope lifted my spirits on a particularly difficult day.

This made my think of my poet comrade Tania Pryputniewicz, also dealing with family issues.  In her blog Feral Mom, Feral Writer, she sent me a poetry challenge while I was in Italy. Now we are trying to continue these challenges, hoping they will help us find our own resting place, to keep poetry flowing despite the day-to-day concerns that seem to bog down our lives.

So, Tania, here is your challenge: write a poem about a resting place.  When you give me yours, I'll respond in turn. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"Old Cars" published in Allegro Poetry Magazine

I'm very excited that my poem "Old Cars" has been published in Allegro Poetry Magazine Issue 5. This online journal is based in the United Kingdom. What an honor to have my work in such an international forum. You have to love this about the internet!

To find my poem, scroll to the bottom of the screen. Mine is the last one before the contributors' biographies. Don't forget to read some of the other wonderful poems along the way.