Early this year a friend named Mick organized a poetry reading series in a local art center. This building in Oregon City was once a Carnegie Library donated to Oregon City as were similar buildings donated to smaller towns around the nation by the Carnegie Foundation.
The library moved years ago due to lack of space. A local group interested in the arts took the space over for a year, a grant from the city, and organized a number of activities to utilize the space. Mick talked them into Friday night poetry readings for the spring.
Mick invited me to help, and to read at the first session. The following three poems were part of my program that evening.
It Rains In Oregon
Rain rain rain rain rain rain rain
Oregon January day, not much to fill it.
My heart is damp, growing old.
Ah where are you, oh where are you?
In the sun in the dry in the warm.
Where am I? I am here, oh yes,
Still here, growing cold.
It's Always Something
The small folk are in charge of where things are
In my house. I don't understand the rules.
Where my keys rest, on what surface they should be
Goes according to them, not according to me.
I really try to get along. I really mean this. No, really.
Today I rejoice with wide eyes. Today I found my keys
Right where my best thinking said they would be.
(Now I hope the small folk haven't moved away
In protest of some willful violation of mine-
Perhaps instead I find my keys seemingly unmoved
Where they are through some act of mine they approve.)
The simple blessing of found keys, you would think
Enough, but I was still late for work. Road gremlins.
My windshield is newly cracked in the lower right corner.
My Heart Will Know
Do I like lemon cucumber? Do I? This is Rodney's
Question for me tonight as I last minute trim the unruly
Clematis on the trellis that guards my open door.
There is jasmine there too, and in my heart the spring
Memory of the blooming duel of beauty and perfume
Dances with his question of me. He offers me food.
While I fill the bin with trimmings that go in the morning
To the mulching place the city offers for my shed greens
I think on a neighbor who is kind. Rodney is kind to me.
We settle, Rodney and I on tomatoes. In the gardens
He tends there are armies of tomatoes and I know
I find kindred in the ripening of these fine red soldiers.
I shall eat a squad or two and my soul will fill and my belly will
Fill as well. I am told there is tonic in tomatoes. Oh yes.
And my heart, oh my heart will know I've been invited home.