In May I travelled to Snoqualmie to the Black Dog Arts Cafe home of the Black Dog Arts Coalition to dedicate their poetry pole. The sun was out that afternoon for the first time in a while engaging in spectacular fashion the light greens and deep greens on either side of I90. As I climbed up to the pass, leaf, branch and bark seemed to rejoice, as I did, in the lovely spring light.
It could not have been a more perfect day to celebrate the value of words and the importance of community. Inside the Café I read poems and said a few words that the existence of this carefully chosen log, would over time serve as gathering place for thoughts and sentiments lovely and otherwise, thoughts articulated with care and deliberation. After the remarks, those of us who chose poetry over sunshine went outside, sat on the deck and one by one read the poems we’d brought to offer the pole. I include two of the poems down below.
In the meantime, I know of a few other poetry poles in the state: on Vashon Island, in West Seattle and the mother of poetry poles, the one who has inspired others in Selah, WA. This pole is the work of Jim Bodeen, founder of Blue Begonia Press Poetry Pole
“The Pole is energy, She Who Shines For All, from nine kinds of flower, the singlepoetic theme of life and death, the question of what survives after the beloved.”
Poems From Snoqualmie’s Poetry Pole dedication:
there is a charm in verdigris
– Lily Renner
The tune blows hauntingly from my soul
The exhalation of life’s young breath spent
Tender ears hear the beauty of sorrow incarnate
Weaving of melody with heart’s pained yearning and learning.
Each refrain calling
Drawing inner world to sound
Exquisite ache reaching down
The poignant frailty of strength
Knowing – flowing through the simple clay.
Each chorus building
Mightily shaking with grounded emotion
Ebbs like the ocean, mounts a wave
Spirit grows luminous, years and tears
Pushed out in a breath, released to the ears.
-Sheri J. Kennedy
Please let me know if there are poetry poles in your community that I may add them to this blog post.