In Motion: Bellingham, Poetry, San Juan Islands, Ted Talks

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Poetry Book: Madrona Grove




After months of editing and nine test copies the book is out!  The dedication reads: To my children who always have a smile, to my writer friends who always have a good word, to the crows who know me and say hello when I walk their wood, to the beams of sunshine that kiss me when no one else is looking, and to my love..."  I must of course also thank you, the visitor to this blog.  With over ten thousand visitors in the two years I have been blogging and posting my poetry, your feedback and encouragement have basically created a writing monster.  Well done!  

As fresh as a hot mocha on a rainy day, the majority of poems in "Madrona Grove" have never before been published!  Be the first to own a slice of the Northwest as seen through the eyes of this poet.  

The book can be easily purchased on line at Village Books (link below) for only $14.95.  Village Books is an independent book store located in the historic district of Fairhaven, 1200 11th Street, Bellingham, WA 98225.  You can also order a book over the phone at: Tel: (360) 671-2626 / (800) 392-BOOK.


Description


Poetry. Shannon P Laws takes us on a stroll through the mind, heart and the mystery of dreams in her debut collection. Her poems, like a fine picnic laid out on a blanket in the shade of her beloved Madrona, reveal treasures that hide in everyday living. This majestic tree, native to her home on San Juan Island, has a skin like bark, alive to the touch. They act as a sentry on her journey through ancient emotions and primal urges that stir within.

About the Author


Shannon P Laws, born and raised just outside of Seattle WA, is a regular at open mics, sharing poems and excerpts from her work of literary fiction. She has been found at such venues as Chuckanut Sandstone Writers, Village Books Open Mic, Poetry Night, Western Washington University’s Erotic Poetry Night and Poets Across Borders in Canada. Shannon is also the host for the popular Village Books Poetry Group, which meets monthly. In addition she is on the radio hosting two music programs, Classic Blues and New Americana, on KMRE 102.3, SPARK Radio, in downtown Bellingham WA.

Product DetailsISBN-10: 0615745458
ISBN-13: 9780615745459
Published: Chickadee Productions, 01/23/2013
Pages: 74


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Poetry: Rest

Deer lay in fields of grass
Bird tucks a beak under wing
Cat sleeps on the porch
while Dog lays dreaming
of hunting them. 
For a moment all rest
a few hours eyes are closed
enjoying slumber of the mind


Monday, January 7, 2013

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





Saturday, January 5, 2013

Star Berries


Oscar Wilde said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”  The day before New Year’s 2013 my eyes are everywhere but the stars.  I feel like I'm in the gutter.  I am one of an estimated two million in the U.S. whose emergency unemployment benefits ended December 29th.  Now, when I was laid off from my job last March, the company gave us an official 30 days notice.  My government, however, gave folks two weeks’ notice, two weeks before Christmas, that the payments may end 12/29/12*.  On New Year Night, millions waited to see what the Congress and Senate would pull out of their ass on the eleventh hour.  It was time for a walk.

I walked down the hill toward the creek, but on this day I yearned for a new adventure.  Turning right I headed for Whatcom Falls, round trip journey is just under four miles.  The wind was light that morning and carried the scent of snow from the foothills twenty miles east.  Overcast clouds, bounce white light around the barren branches in the woods of deciduous trees that hug the walk; the bark black-wet and silent.  Deciduous means “Falling off at maturity”.  I think on this for a while.  Perhaps maturity means accepting the seasonal changes life rotates through our world, even the ugly ones. 

Crows caw at Seagulls as the two families compete for stale bread thrown into the road.  The first hill rises up ahead of me; my mouth opens to take in more air as the legs dig into the incline.  Passing an old white Ford truck, parked on the curb, a waft of “dirty engine” blows across the nose.  I take the history into the lungs and carry it with me across Woburn Street.  The trails trick me as they wind around pass a brook that I could hear, but not see.  Oh you little spell spinner, I think.  

Suddenly I find myself at the foot of a cemetery hill facing 60 or so tombstones.  This cemetery is known for its weeping angels and walking ghosts.  In the mind’s eye the dead are ghosting about enjoying the day; some sitting on their stones, resting, others socializing.  My presence startles them; their heads turn to look at what has stumbled in.  For a moment we stare at each other; the living are among the dead!  Respectfully I bow and greet them a “Good morning” then leave quickly.  Conversations with ghosts only encourage them to follow you.  I have enough ghosts.

Turning around to correct my path I cross over that tricky stream.  Winter's debris has it covered in a blanket of "hush", but water is only silenced by Jack’s frozen finger.  

Cell phone photo of my Snowberry bushes 
Pass a large Cedar, and the black chain link fence that divides the Jewish dead from Christian, there are Snowberry bushes.  Hanging heavy with their poisonous fruit on the thinnest of twigs, they droop over in a random pattern like stars.  The branches so thin, if you squint your eyes just so, the wood disappears and all you see are white dots.  In a local Native tongue the name for these berries translates to “food of the dead”,  How appropriate for these then to row up against the Bayview Cemetery fence. 

Being a child of the Northwest I know not to eat white berries.  The berries do not scare me.  Today, on this day, I see them as stars.  The trail is empty as I stand surrounded by a Snowberry universe.  For a moment I float.  I am an astronaut floating outside my craft.  Floating like a leaf that navigates gently down a river, unaware of its direction or the dangers of rapids.  The leaf floats where the water takes it, the water goes where all water goes, home to the ocean.  I float.  
I float…




Common Snowberry (S. albus) is an important winter food source for quail, pheasant, and grouse, but is considered poisonous to humans. The berries contain the isoquinoline alkaloid chelidonine, as well as other alkaloids. Ingesting the berries causes mild symptoms of vomiting, dizziness, and slight sedation in children. 






Interesting information here regarding NW plants: 

*Under the most recent extension, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, emergency unemployment benefits will expire at the end of 2012. If Congress does not act to extend benefits, more than 2 million Americans will lose federal unemployment insurance just after Christmas with another 900,000 estimated to lose their benefits in the first three months of 2013.