2018 World Peace Poets

You’re invited…

 

“You can sign-up to read or sing your words on peace at worldpeacepoets@gmail.com   …We are very excited about this year’s line-up of international readers, but there’s still lots of room. Please send us an e-mail or call me so we can give you a time. I will send out the schedule on October 1, 2016.”  -Carla Shafer

Sign up today!

SeaFeast and Fisherpoets 2018

You’re invited…

SeaFeast Bellingham

So many activities happening this Friday and Saturday.  Visit the official website for the full schedule.  Come out and celebrate the rich fishing history of Bellingham, Washington!

www.bellinghamseafeast.com

I am proud to be a Fisherpoet for my third year.   Currently, I’m scheduled to read on the Honeymoon stage at 8:30 p.m.  Here is the full schedule:

 

FisherPoets-on-Bellingham Bay

Presented by Whatcom Community Foundation and Village Books
Friday, Sept. 21, 6:30-11 p.m.| $5 | Downtown Bellingham

FisherPoet entry button required: $5, available at Village Books through Sept. 19, or on-site at each venue. Space limited; seating first-come, first-served. Buttons not required for children under 12.

Celebrate Bellingham’s maritime sector through FisherPoet music, stories, poetry, artwork, and film at downtown venues  on Friday, Sept. 21:

  • 6:30 – 9 p.m. FisherPoets at Sylvia Center, Lucas Hicks Theatre – New 150-seat theater; refreshments available.
  • 6:30-8:45 p.m. FisherPoets at Sylvia Center, Studio – New 65-seat theater; refreshments available.
  • 6:30-11 p.m. FisherPoets at Boundary Bay Brewing – Brew room turns venue; beers on tap.
  • 7-10:30 FisherPoets at Honey Moon Mead & Cider – Cozy small meadery; food available. Please note that this venue is now 21+.

 

Poem: Arroyo Creek

Arroyo Creek Park, Sept 2018, photo credit, Shannon Laws

Arroyo Creek

by Shannon P. Laws

 

The death berries are still
The holly berries are hidden
The blackberries I grab by the handful
Bunches unprotected by spiders
not yet eaten by robins

Deeper I travel into this old growth grove
Lay my body down at these roots
of Lady Cedar, she accepts it
Forest floor fingers unknit my soul
Gulliver it down to the creek
I let them
take
me

 

 

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Interview: Into The Arts KPNW-DB

Click to listen to the KPNW “Into the Arts” interview
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cvnhN–xZWiaQ5CvrYovce_EhjuOaIgh

After announcing that I was not returning to community radio production this fall, Jeannie Gilbert, station manager of KPNW-DB digital radio, invited me over to her studio to share my swan song.

In 2011 I woke up put a turtleneck on and was like, “I’m a freakin’ mess!” That same month I started volunteering at 102.3 KMRE SPARK Radio, broadcasting community radio out of the Museum of Electrical Invention, hoping community work would straighten me out. I used the moniker “Boosie” to hide from judgmental ex-in-laws, and *boom* history was made. This was the profile photo for my FB radio presence for seven years:

Boosie 2011-2018, RIP

Its 2018 and I must admit my life is better for the experience. Want to know more? Take me out for coffee or drinks and I’ll share all my secrets. Until then, keep it real…

“After seven years of producing radio programs, I have decided to say goodnight to this chapter in my life. Thank you KMRE, KZAX, and KPNW for supporting my work. Thank you all for listening, and a special thank you to the hundreds of guests who have lifted me up and inspired me and my listeners over the years.”
-Shannon Laws, producer/host Chickadee Productions

If you have any questions or want to listen to your favorite program offline please contact Shannon Laws on FB messenger or via her writer’s page.

Samples of Bellingham Art Beat and other programs have transferred over to her writer’s website located here: https://shannonplawswriter.com/

Thank you again for your support and stay beautiful Bellingham! ❤️

 

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Poem: Why I Can’t Have Good Things

Why I Can’t Have Good Things

By Shannon P. Laws

I overwatered my plant yesterday
The liquid flooded over my fail proof double-layered system
a concave plastic trivet atop a faded Christmas cookie plate
adopted decades ago at a bake sale from a forgotten charity

It was hot all this week and the dirt gave up its moisture
even in the darkest places
In my hurry to do good, I underestimated the effect
a deluge of water has on exhausted soil

I forgot all those moments that life tried
to teach me to go easy
Perhaps my lips remembered the effect
of a much-needed kiss the way a kiss
moves its way around down to the very tips of me
—and I let it pour
I let it pour and sit
and now warped wood wiggles
in protest over the zeal of a kiss

 

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Poem: Committed

A man experiences writer’s block in The Passion of Creation by Leonid Pasternak

 

Committed

By Shannon P. Laws

 

Glazed eyes search for the right word
It runs from you scared of
what you might do to it

A crowbar works at the hinge
Pats of butter melt under the skin
Bowl of round berries feeds flies
While

the smell of an idea
the breath of a book
hide under the bed

 

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Poem: Words Work

 

Words Work

by Shannon P. Laws

 

Consume whole sentences
into your being by writers
who never flew, can’t be true
Hide in ignorance, uneducated writers
that mass of writers
Eat those words
Dotted on the page
set for the digestive tract
turned for blood

I wallow in my own mind
this clay of form-fitting madness
the sheets are heavy
the pillow a stone
the clock a whip
snaps me to attention

While outside, heard through a window cracked
the freeway, a river of cars, sounds like wind rushing
in the trees, or the waves finding shore—NO
tires on old pavement working the graveyard shift heading home

And then, there it is
as clear as a cloudy night
We are all travelers

 

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Sharing Poetry at Kendall Elementary

Janet Oakley (l) shares some CCC history before Shannon Laws (r) starts her Introduction to Poetry presentation for the 4th-grade class at Kendall Elementary, Kendall, WA March 8, 2018

On March 8th historian and award-winning fiction author, Janet Oakley and I visited Kendall Elementary to share an introduction to poetry and encourage 4th graders to write their own poetry.

This project is inspired by the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps statue dedication.  On June 16, 2018, at the Glacier Ranger Station built by CCC workers, the statue will be dedicated.  Janet Oakley is working with Mike Impero and me to coordinate community events for all ages in celebration of the statue dedication. (Read more about the Corps below)

The CCC boys printed their own newspaper called “The Bulldozer”.  Copies of the paper still exist.  After Janet discovered that the boys wrote many poems for the newspaper, she recruited me to help spur a poetry contest with the local 4th-grade class.  The contest went well.  The Kendall kids are creative!  Select poems are on display at the ranger station and the Kendall Library.  Winners will be read at the dedication ceremony on June 16th.  Kendall is about 10 miles from Glacier and some of the students are direct descendants of CCC workers who stayed in Whatcom Country after the CCC was dissolved.

Yesterday Janet came over to my home and shared some of the Thank You notes from Kendall.  What a warm surprise!  I am so thankful for the experience!  These cards made my day.

“Raise your hand if you’ve written a poem.”
“Dear Ms. Laws and Ms. Oakley, Thank you for teaching poetry. Poetry it can be funny or sad. Mostly I like the rhymes. Still, thank you for coming to our school. Now I really like poetry instead of hating it. Thank you for coming. sincerely Tristian”
“Dear Mrs. Laws, Thank you for the time to write poetry. I have been writing ever since. Thank you for coming.” *wink*

 

Dear Ms. Laws and Ms. Oakley, the slide-show was great and thank you for teaching us poetry. Here is one of the poems I made. Mrs. Grats. Mrs. Grats had sixty rats, each one ate ninety-nine cats. I had a longer one but I forget it. This one isn’t my best when I made it I didn’t have that much time. from Caleb
Dear Ms. Laws and Ms. Oakley, Ms. Laws Thank you for teaching us poetry and spending your time with us. It was fun you having us. Ms. Oakley thank you for teaching us about the boys that made most of the buildings and the statue that is going to be at the ranger station because if you wouldn’t tell me I wouldn’t know, so, thank you.


About the Civilian Conservation Corps Statue

On June 12, 1933, a group of forty-three men from the Civilian Conservation Corps arrived in Shuksan in the Mount Baker National Forest. A week later they were joined by thirty enrollees from Illinois. By July 12, Company 2915 was at full complement of 200 men. During the summer and fall, the company worked on the construction of truck trails on Hannegan Pass and Twin Lakes, felled snags, and strung telephone lines. On November 2, the company moved to their permanent site on the Mount Baker Highway between Maple Falls and Glacier. Over the years, Company 2915 would build the Douglas Fir and Silver Fir campgrounds, the Glacier Ranger Station, the Austin Warming Hut, fire outlooks and hundreds of roads and trails

This June 16, 2018, nearly eighty-five years after the first group of CCC boys arrived at Camp Glacier, a statue will be erected at the Glacier Ranger Station to honor the Civilian Conservation Corps’ work. Though Mount Baker District is used heavily in winter and summer, few today know the history of the CCCs in our area. This statue will serve to tell their story.

A Little History Lesson

The Civilian Conservation Corps came out of the desperate days of the Great Depression. In 1933, only 30% of the population had jobs, mostly halftime. Banks, farms and businesses failed.  With 25% of all young men ages 16 to 30 unemployed, serious social problems arose. To meet this national crisis, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed the Emergency Conservation Act, soon known as the CCC. FDR was inaugurated on March 3, 1933. He proposed the bill on March 21. Both houses passed it on March 28. FDR signed it March 31.

Whatcom County’s first call for young men to sign up was in mid-April. A qualifying family had to be on the welfare rolls, their son between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five years old. The family received an allotment of twenty-five dollars a month. The enrollee would receive five dollars a month, but they were also fed, given shelter and soon training in a variety of things –from radio, auto mechanics to packing horses and setting up phone lines. Some finished their high school certificate.

The CCC Worker Statue

Sometime in the early 1970s, former CCC boys formed alumni chapters to get together, share their stories and support the preservation of their work in state and national. Today, most of the chapters are closed as members have passed away. The concept of the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC Worker Statue program was developed by the former Chapter #129 of Grayling, Michigan in 1995. Program coordinator Rev. William Fraser had the dream to have a statue in every state. The CCC Legacy, a national non-profit group, took on the task recently and now owns the CCC statue mold.

The Glacier statue will be created from a standard mold, and look just like this one from Montana.

For the past year, author and historian Janet Oakley and Mike Impero, North Fork historian worked to get a CCC worker statue for the Glacier Ranger Station. Oakley grew up on stories of the CCCs and wrote a novel, Tree Soldier, set in the Glacier area. For two years, she was a Washington Humanities speaker, going around the state talking about the CCC’s impact on the state’s treasured parks and soil conservation. Mike Impero has written books about the Glacier area. He has a personal reason for the statue: his father was one of the first CCC boys to serve at Camp Glacier. Last month CCC Legacy signed with the Mount Baker National Forest to allow such a statue. The statue will be the second in Washington State and seventy-second in the nation.

On June 16th at the Glacier Ranger Station built by CCC workers, the statue will be dedicated.  Janet Oakley is working with Mike Impero and local poet Shannon P. Laws to coordinate community events for all ages in celebration of the statue dedication.

A 4th grade Kendall poetry contest in March through April.  Poems will be displayed at the Kendall Library and at the Glacier Station.  On April 28th Janet and Mike will give a presentation at Village Books.  All the events are free and open to the public.  -press release

Event: Encore You Love Me, You Love Me Not

You’re invited…

June 19th, Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

*AT THE HONEYMOON MEAD BAR*

Encore performance! Poet Shannon Laws hosts a Honeymoon poetry OPEN MIC followed by her “You Love Me, You Love Me Not” beat poetry program accompanied by stand up bassist, Greg Sherman. Shannon’s fresh sense of humor and quietly erotic poetry highlights the joys and aggravations of mid-life singlehood in this collection of love and love maybe poems. Sure to make you go “LOL” and “OOoooOoo”, a fun night for all.

If you missed her debut performance of the set in February you got another chance to catch this unique poetry presentation. Books will be on hand to purchase, donations accepted.

“Shannon Laws’ poems are ventures, many journeys of the mind and imagination… They also probe the mysteries of the human condition, posing elemental issues: love and death and loss, the aching solitariness of human experience, the straining for meaning, clarity and confirmation, the yearning for contact and connection, and the guises humans adopt in the consequent interchange.”
—Ron Leatherbarrow, Professor of Literature, Whatcom Community College

 

Don’t’ be a poet and not know it!
Come on down for good food, good words and a warm fun time of love and no love poetry.