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


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tree Post

I got here late

The only seat available was the one no one wanted
All chairs face the stage, have a view of the author
Performance visible to most, if only through
wagging heads, at the least a peek of a name
decent money was used for admission

MY chair faced square
onto the flat side of a wide, wooden support beam.

There was no view of anything but the beam
There was no reason to place a chair here

My friend asked
"Can you see?  Should we move?"
"No", I lied, "I'm fine."

So, I stared at the beam, for a half hour, then another
began to memorize the grain patterns in the wood
     Someone had stapled something to the beam, many times
     A smash of old blackened gum pressed into a small knot
     smooth sides needed, gum was the answer

I wanted to touch the tree beam
I wanted to touch it, shake the hand of this new friend

Wonder if I ran my hand down against the grain, would a splinter, a quick prick, check for life  If fingers rub sideways, along the side, would each ring show me a ridge, read like a romantic drama written in Braille  This beam, now My beam, an old beam in an old building basement is large enough, with the help of five others to keep three stories erect for eighty-six years.


For two hours I stare at The Beam

My beam, once a tree, played me a story
More interesting than the words happening beyond my sight
by a walker who moves too quickly to grow roots
The sound of which I found easy to ignore,
wind through branches imagined are easy to understand

Rings cut across show as vertical stripes, when industry sawed 
your heart square, changed your shape forever, no one asked permission
Sap and air darken your flesh!
Bark grows no more!

I paid to hear another read
I paid to hear a tree speak

Afterwards the author holds a book signing 
I wait as my friend stands in a long line
purchased book in hand 
I dare not tell the author that I found 
a wooden support beam more interesting that their book

...but I wanted to.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Poem: Rondo

Did I love thee?  I only did desire
To hold thy body unto mine,
And smite it with strange fire
Of kisses burning as a wine,
And catch thy odorous hair, and twine
It through my fingers amorously.
Did I love thee?

Did I love thee? I only did desire
To drink the perfume of thy blood
In vision, and thy senses tire
Seeing them shift from ebb to flood
In consonant sweet interlude,
And if love such a thing not be,
I loved not thee.


George Moore
Feb 1852-Jan 1933
an Irish novelist, short-story writer, poet, 
art critic, memoirist and dramatist of the poems I read at the Chuckanut Sandstone Writer's Theater
monthly open mic, 2/12/2014, held at the Firehouse Cafe, in Fairhaven


Monday, February 3, 2014

Poem: Tongue in Ink

The best poems are not written in ink but by the tongue
Spoken into the air never finding paper
Touched by the mist of breath against your neck
Said in the dark rooms where lovers meet

Not at all recorded nor syllables numbered
But art form just the same
Once activated and released the words are all lost
Left to moments that linger
Holding each other in sweaty embrace
As if the sheets themselves are sentences

~Shannon P Laws