Poetry: Walking Up Holly

The Maritime Heritage Park Fountain
and the Whatcom Museum
as seen from W. Holly Street
Sidewalk Desert
Walking up Holly Street
Life is alive with the living
Low tide wakes the senses
as mid-day traffic races by
Walk uphill towards Bay Street
Pass three homeless ones who 
wander camel-less like wise kings
searching for The Star
Man with a stroke-limp hobbles by
passing me on the right nods a hello
He fights each step for control
Warm smile in his eyes brings water to mine
A pink knit hat lays on the park lawn
No head wants to claim it theirs
too hot for anything knitted today
Farther up four coats lay out
on the curb like an offering of gortex.
Perhaps a Samaritan placed them
there early before work

Tea House Oasis
I walk in the sunshine
I walk in the wind
I walk when it’s green
I stop when it’s red
Inside the cafe I sip green tea
from a cup with no handles
at a table for six,
occupied by three
Warm tea on a warm day
I am comforted by the branches
moving in the wind outside
blown by Earth’s cool breath


This week I had a family emergency in Eastern Washington that required my attention. I went. It was stressful. Must admit, the thought to not go and avoid the drama all together was entertained, but soon pushed to the side by my sense of obligation.

Some of the ways I relieve stress is to drink plenty of water, go to bed early and take walks. Looking around my temporary landscape I searched for a good route to walk; a nice place to clear my head. There was a large flat field nearby that seemed four laps around it might equal a mile, so off I went. Weather was mild and the desert wind felt good on my face. The sunshine made me feel euphoric, if only for a moment. It was most welcomed during this dark Northwest winter.

Signs of Spring were everywhere: the pussy willows plump and furry preempting pink flowers, large pine cones hung heavy on limbs, birds chirped songs of courtship, and the last of Fall’s leaves blew by me, dry, soon to be soil.

Then I saw it- flat grass pressed in the shape of a small group of deer. “They picked the perfect spot to rest” I thought, “This view is beautiful!” A deer family lay here together, together for warmth and protection. I was here in Eastern Washington with my family for the same reasons. A primal urge fell over me to return to the ranch, ending my walk a lap early.

Later that day two of my family members joined me on my circuit, together, walking and talking. When I walked by the place where the deer slept I felt confident that just “being there” for them, with my family, was the best thing I could of done.

Poetry: Blue Orange Green

Groves of madrona trees
Set up against the blue sky
Amongst other northwest evergreens
Moss dripping from your branches
Sways in the breeze

The orange bark peeling down your arms
Shinning green leaves
Open, basking in the sun
Blue, orange, green

Palo Verde tree giving shade
Placed in this orange desert by giants
Blue sky means no rain today in the southwest
Branches reach out like an umbrella
Dust Devils dance with joy

Green bark smooth and knotty
Needle shaped leaves move like
Ladies fanning themselves cool
Blue, orange, green