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I wrote “Get Out” in the fall of 2017 after Hurricane Harvey, Maria, the Mexico earthquakes, California and Washington fires. I had heard that birds were early warning systems, when I researched I learned how different varieties of bird respond to climate and weather danger. Sadly, this poem is as relevant today as it was a year ago and will be next year.
The bombs sent to high profile Trump critics and democrats reminded me of what it is like to live with a bomb threat. I quickly drafted this poem and was pleased that Poets Reading the News chose to publish it immediately.
Written during the Poets on the Coast retreat where the we were unleashed on the Museum of Northwest Art to write. I was inspired by the late Patty Detzer’s sculpture, Saint Lulu.
I have made so many mistakes, and yet in this poem “Small Act” I tell the story of a friend’s mistake—actually it was a kind gesture, gone awry. Oh the unintended consequences of our actions….
This was a difficult and important poem for me to write. I worked on it for a long time. I have since written a follow on series entited “Afterward”. Thank you to Adam Clay and MR for publishing it with care and honoring it as a finalist.
“In Praise of Pink” was written in minutes driving in my car for my daughter. “ESC.Option.Delete” was a revision project that I thought would never end. It finally did with this grief poem.
This poem was inspired by a single line that a friend said in passing. That line is long since gone and this poem is not tied to anything real, but I love the bite in it.
This is one of the poems that you write just because you need to. And as a mother because you really need to. Then circumstances happen, and you need to raise awareness of the issue.
Nine years after a deadly tsunami slammed into South Eastern Asia, the land and people recovered. In the decades between when I travelled to the Israel side of the Dead Sea and the Jordanian side, wars had been fought and the border had softened. I am fascinated by the resilience that people and nature show over and over again.
The word “cleave” is fantastic—a contronym (or anti-antonym) with contradictory meanings, but it also consumes the word “leave” and leads to “cleaver”. This poem explores the visceral nature of this delicious word.
“Wandering Seeds” started as a reaction to this administration’s attempts to close our borders and ended up looking at globalization through the lens of the morning glory. How there is no way to wall off from the world.
In 1976, I travelled to Budapest, Hungary while it was under Soviet control. I had brought Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago on my trip. It was an illegal book there, so I slipped it to our assigned guide as I could tell he would honor it. “30 Seconds” tells that story of a little dissident act on both our parts. Later that year I met Solzhenitsyn who was a visiting professor at Stanford in a Round Table pizza place near campus. I told him the story. Given his extreme acts of dissidence, I don’t think mine was very impressive to him.