Event: Poetry Reading

You are invited~

cafezippy june 2015

 

Everett Poetry Night at Café Zippy

6/25/2015, 7:00-10:00 p.m.

2811 Wetmore Ave, Everett, WA

This event kicks off my summer tour.  (More dates to follow) If you’re in the area please consider stopping by for some words and really good soup at the hosting cafe.  Thank you emcee Duane Kirby Jensen.  

Christmas Card 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 
from the 
SPLaws staff
Shannon, Brad, Vin, Chris, and Robert
L-R: Chris Pine, Brad Pitt, Shannon Laws,
Robert Downey Jr, Vin Diesel
Here, at the SPLaws offices, we had a slight change of staff since 2012. Abe retired and Tom, who has been with us since 2011, disappeared into another timeline. Both will be missed dearly and we wish them well. Thankfully Chris Pine has stepped in to fill the shoes of two people, no less.  In addition to being a great dancer, his research skills are out of this world!  He shows great promise in producing extraordinary work for 2014.
When I was growing up, my mom would type up a Christmas letter to friends and family.  A Christmas letter is like the families year in review designed to update distant relatives on the years accomplishments.  In that tradition I have composed a letter about the 2013 highlights for SPLaws, Inc.  It has been another electric year!
Read it, or don’t, perhaps you treat them like fruit cake.  Either way thanks for stopping by and helping to get our visitor numbers pass 30k this year! Please leave a comment, and keep it real for 2014.
Shannon Laws
President
SPLaws, Chickadee Productions
Bellingham, Washington USA

***

SPLaws Christmas LetterThis year I did not find much in the way of PAID jobs, but with the extra time on my hands my volunteer work excelled.  I was paid in love and new life experiences.  If only I could take it to the bank I’d be a millionaire!  Here are some highlights -with photos- from 2013:

BOOK RELEASE

My book on the shelf
at Village Books

In January 2013 I released my first poetry book “Madrona Grove: Poems Written Under the Canopy”, Chickadee Productions, available at Village Books, Bellingham.  The book includes my original poems from 2010-2012.  During these two years I was divorced, reborn in my writing, moved off San Juan Island and was embraced by the city of Bellingham.  The poems are a real document to a personal journey I shall never forget.

my new writers photo

BELLINGHAM HERLAD ARTICLE
In July, MARGARET BIKMAN from the Bellingham Herald interviewed me to promote my book reading.

“Shannon P. Laws was born in Seattle and raised in Federal Way, where, she says, “as a teenager I learned that when a guy from Auburn asks you out on a date, he will most likely pick you up in a stolen car.” 

Jared and I at a joint book
reading event on SJI

In May I traveled with retired actor, novelist and children’s book author Jared McVay for a book reading on San Juan Island, and shared some poems at the Big Rock Garden Party for Mother’s Day.

 
Group photo of guest speakers
at the Tagore Festival
 
September I appeared as a guest speaker at the Tagore Festival in Richmond, British Columbia.  
A yearly event to honor India’s poet 
Rabindranath Tagore, (May 1861- Aug. 1941)  
I will be the waves and you will be a strange shore.
I shall roll on and on and on, and break upon your lap with
laughter. 
“Squabbling Ravens”
VBPG Signature photo
courtesy of SJI artist Dona Reed

HOSTING VBPG
Village Books Poetry Group, 29 members strong, continued to meet bi-monthly at the independent book store in Fairhaven this year. It is a group I enjoy tremendously.  Many of our regulars are folks who are sharing their poetry for the first time. VBPG is a diverse group from many different cultural and professional backgrounds, linked together with our love for words.

Dave at the start of
Downtown Sounds,
beer garden side, of course

DOWNTOWN SOUNDS/KMRE

I am a volunteer DJ at Spark Radio, KMRE 102.3.  The station is an extension of the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention, at 1312 Bay Street, in downtown Bellingham.  Dave the K (The Rockin’ Surfer) and I were the on-air host’s for the cities Downtown Sounds.  The free concert, food, beer garden and street entertainment event is held on Bay Street for five Wednesday evenings in a row, July-August.  Great fun!

Jon Winter and I at SPARK

NEW AMERICANA
The 13 radio programs I produced in 2013 “New Americana” developed a large following.  Brent, the station manager, has approved it for a full season, 26 shows, in 2014.  I co-host the show with the museum’s co-founder, Jonathan Winter, a real gem of Bellingham and a pleasure to work with.  The talk/music show brings in a local guest, usually a musician, who shares the top five songs that have influenced their life. You can hear the 2013 podcast of the show here:

Casey Sulkin, retired DJ and
jazz club owner, I co-hosted
with Casey on his jazz show
“The Swing Shift” for a
few months

Bellingham’s Fast Five, or BFF, rotating features on KMRE, debuted this summer.  I created the concept to provide more attention to our New Americana guest by producing a five minute musical promo.  Local musician and well loved hamster, Bert Monroe, worked with me as voice talent on these informative features.

POETIC MOMENTS
This is an end of the year project for me.  There are so many wonderful poets in Bellingham.  I want to share them with the world! Poetic Moments are short features, under 2 minutes in length, that started to rotate on KMRE 102.3 in December.  My goal was to record 60 poems.  Over 25 poets came out to donate their words, and 93 poems were recorded!  More poems will be added in February, 2014.  Catch a taste of these amazing poets here:



FAIRHAVEN ART BLOCK
In September Carla and I, representing the Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater, had the privilege of working with the Bellingham Repertory Dance group, the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, and Lucia Douglas Art Gallery on a group project. We organized the street festival Fairhaven Art Block party, or FAB.   This event was designed to share the artist community of Fairhaven with it’s residences.  Folks were encouraged to walk from the art gallery to the Firehouse, just a block over, along a path littered with poets reading live poetry for any passersby.  Music and dance intermingled with the guests.  It will return for 2014.

Poets for Peace l/r Carla, Betty,
C.J. and good friend Denise


November worked with three local poets to organize and launch the first POETS FOR PEACE Read-In Write-On International poetry event, held in Bellingham’s South Hill neighborhood. Poets from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. shared poems about peace from 2-8:30 p.m., ’till the last poet spoke. The event was a great success! Plans for another in 2014 is in the works.

What a fun year.  My mom asked me a few months ago, over coffee of course, how I got into poetry.  It was hard for me to answer her at the time, had to think about it a bit.  I love writing short stories, blogging and working on my novels. However, poetry, I find, is much like gardening. When I use to have dirt to dig in, I would flower garden.  A few hours a week, or month depending on the year, of work produced immediate gratification = a clean and beautiful yard.  Poetry is quick work, one or two pages, and once edited and polished, gives me a great deal of satisfaction, like freshly cut tulips in a crystal vase on my kitchen table.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”
~Helen Keller 
***
Wars on Kinkade series by
Jeff Bennett

Poetry: Evening Walk

EVENING WALK
In an evening walk
I’ll calculate my next move
Coordinate my conversations
Consider the risks
Conceive inspiration
An evening walk will
Tidy my head
Warm my heart
Make my nose run
Red scarf flies like a flag
Of freedom and life
Wrapped around me
Coiled across my mouth
That’s speaking only fog
Under the street lights
I travel across time
The sidewalk is my path
Street signs guide me
The alleyway home
Lights the runway
Motion detection working
At every gate
In MOTION I am
Night walking

*a favorite poem from 2012

***

Poetry: Leaf Tattoo

LEAF TATTOO
Can you feel it
In my city
The changing air
as wind folds in 
 fall’s cool weather.
Orange leaves land on
the sidewalks of Holly Street.
No worms to dance them back to soil.
Cement laden, laid upon 
the roadside in random patterns
leave a tattoo, imprint to the stone.
Five pointed star, a Tree Hand 
pressed by feet and rain
bleed the orange ink for all to see. 
By winter the marks wash away
By spring a bright green baby waves
at us from its mothers arm
born back into our memory.

Poetry: River Ink

 
 
River Ink
Went to the river looking for a poem
I found my familiar trail
Winding woods that hug the bank
Whatcom Creek in August
Bushes high and
Full of berries,
Birds and spider’s webs.
Grass sways underwater
Moving in sync with the river
This what peace looks like,
Melted into movement
Tree branch dips over the drink
Desiring more of plenty
Is water from the root not good enough
Do you cool your leaves in the noon sun
Down by the edge there’s a place to sit
Two dead trees have slumped across
I dip a stick into the stream
Like pen into ink
To write my name on the
sun bleached wood.
The sun grabs my letters
Throws them in the air
Birds ride the upward current
Did I just disappear?
This poem and others by Shannon P Laws
are available in a paperback book
Madrona Grove: Poems Written Under the Canopy
published by Chickadee Productions
***

Poetry: Table Lamp












Table Lamp


Lamp with beads
around the edge,
decorations designed 
to reflect light,
accent the bulbs 
efforts.
heavy brass base
keeps the stand from 
falling.  fabric leaks 
out just enough
rays to comfort the 
room.
warm glow bounces 
off your cheek as 
we talk.  steam from 
a tea cup mists the
vision.
     This is a gentle memory

Poetry: Love Lock

I
I have a poem
I will not throw away
by accident
or on purpose:
The morning light
cuts through the trees
waking the birds
to their song
Leaves stretch
for the sun,
fish jump at
the dragonfly,
deer’s in the meadow
nuzzle at the grass
II
How far will you
go for love
Before you accept it
must you test it?
Before you cradle it
must you birth it?
Before you kiss it
must you grasp it?
Mind to mind
Arms in arms
Lips to lips
Love:
Agreement
Contentment
Accomplishment
Over mind
Over body
Over life
~

Poetry: Apple Tree Orphan

“And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade. 
And the boy loved the tree… and the tree was happy.” 
The Giving Tree by Shel Shilverstein


Apple Tree Orphan
Among the green majestic towers
Beneath the canopy looking for sun
A young tree grows
Discarded by its owner
Thrown from the pot
Considered waste and unfruitful
The parents of the forest
shed and share
their bark bits
until the tiny tree’s roots grow
The rain brings nourishment
The animals’ fertilizer
The worms’ compost
Slowly the tree grows
Slowly the flower buds emerge
Slowly the fruit is exposed
Years pass
A hungry mind walks by
Thirsty for fruit
Ready for fruit
The tree once discarded
Has become nourishment for another
Thanks to the ways of the forest
Yet its forest family is confused
We take care of our own
Little tree, why must you
Give up your fruit to anyone?
The tree thinks on this
“I am a fruit tree standing among firs
Your fruit is pine cones, mine apples.
If you knew how tasty they are
You would not wonder why
The fruit lover desires apples not cones”
Little tree, you grow food
That you have no mouth for.
You will never bite into your own apple.
Why would you grow?
Why would you thirst for sun?
Why would you bring forth fruit,
Just to have another eat it?
“My food is in the soil.
My warmth is from the sun.
My joy comes from another’s satisfied smile
At my job well done.”

Yarn Bombing in Germany

Poetry: Green

Green
Oh, to be the type of green
that stays green through the frost,
when the ground is white and
branches are heavy with Winter’s weight
Brown, red, orange,
the colors of fall
most greens do fade
retracting in the cold air
Freezing, or the warm summers sun
to be green in all seasons,
fresh to the touch
ever holding the color of LIFE!


Book: Two Poems Pub Here!

Through the Eyes of Islanders
The Beauty of the San Juan Islands
By The San Juan Islands Photographic Journal Second Edition

It is an honor to have my poetry amongst the work of so many wonderful island photographers.  -S.P. Laws

“This beautiful eBook is filled with images by San Juan Islanders. Curated by famed National Geographic photographer David Hiser, Director at Anderson Ranch, Andrea Wallace and acclaimed photographer George Stranahan. Winners are Natasha Ryder, Rod Magner, Bob Phalen and Martin Taylor. This unique book offers a view of life and vistas in the San Juan Islands as only the people who live here can convey.” 
-Alex Huppenthal

Makes an unique holiday present
Click to view photos!