First snows reignite childhood awe, yet make us anxious about our vulnerabilities to slick roads, iced walks. I woke Saturday morning to see my skylight coated with white that fell sometime Friday night and made some photographs to accompany my poem Frost.
etches dead leaf edge
knifes afternoon light
numbs my neck feet
Wednesday afternoon’s interview with Perry Woodfin at our online public radio station, WhidbeyAIR about my upcoming chapbook, Collateral Damage, from Finishing Line Press challenged and intrigued me. We explored questions about post traumatic stress and drone warfare. Perry expanded my definition of the damage trauma can inflict, and engineer Gwen Samuelson updated me on our shared D.C. hometown.
I didn’t know much about WhidbeyAIR before. I kept looking for it on my radio dial until I realized, “Duh — it’s only online.” Organized by Langley artists in the late 1980s, it aims to connect creativity on our island with the world. An all-volunteer staff keeps it up and running.
My interview with Perry will air Saturday, the 19th at 10pm, Sunday the 20th at 2pm. Otherwise, just link to WhidbeyAIR and click “Listen” to hear streaming content.
My muse returned after moving to Whidbey Island in 2002. Actually, she grabbed me and shook me by the throat. The shape of the land here in Puget Sound, the colors of water and sky, the night calls of barred owl and coyote worked their way into my writing.
Summer reading in my hammock strung between red cedar and hemlock offered lots of room for verse. One of my favorites from this period is
Souvenirs late summer in my hammock spells serenity
one whiff of cloud in a robin’s egg sky
an anemic breeze barely lifting
cedar and hemlock boughs canopied above me
in the distance a scoldy, staccato ch-ch-ch-ch
signals Steller jays are back
those black-hooded bad boys
flaunting cobalt breasts
white butterflies lilt on the wind
flirting with dandelion heads
that survived the mowing
savoring the headiness of new cut grass
thistle down joins the dance
interspersed by spent alder leaves
drizzling down, a counterpoint
to the rain of hemlock needles
that I find in my hairbrush later
Okay — a little saccharine, I grant you. But I still like it…