Portland Water

from a Portland street while waiting to be hit by a bus
Morning shower

Washing over me warm

Portland’s wettest from rivers

From mountains and sky


Portland’s germs from

A Thousand hands sharing

And traveling Portland’s water

Making its coffee

Which I take in


Breathing Portland’s air

Touching its soil and

Eating its food

Watered by its rains

Food touched

By Portland hands

Washed in Portland’s water


City of Bridges over water

Over streets

City built by its water

Stand under its warmth

Drink in Portland

The Poem Hunter


The Poem Hunter

(when faced with a party at which poems will be read)


How do you find a poem when

Your head hurts and your eyes

Don’t want to read

When the grass needs cutting and

Your husband is due at the airport

When it must be true and worthwhile

And makes delight in people

Who understand that sort

Of thing.


How do you find a poem that

Matches the mood or lack of one

That teaches you what you

Already know about life,

To be true, or maybe you doubt

To be true. And most of

What you read is defying your sense

Of understanding.


Others find them, but you do

Not have the patience because

You have a headache and

The lawn needs mowing. How

Do you find that one special poem when

It’s obvious you feel guilty

About not writing

That poem.


The occasion will come and

Your turn, your poem, will be something

You couldn’t find, although it is

Probably out there somewhere

It’s enough

To make you wonder if

You even like poetry. Because

Sometimes, you don’t.

Goodbye April Poetry Month

Poetry is so mysterious.  I love the collection of quotes about poetry on Addie Zierman’s post today, especially one by Dave Harrrity: “They aren’t silver bullets, tweetable platitudes, divine deliveries, or didactic directives that help you “be a better person.”  If a poem made your world easier, simpler, or more livable, then it’s almost certain that you haven’t read a poem.”

 On the Frustration of Poetry

I danced the dance

fought the fight

did the hard thing and listened to my soul.

And when it was said, I

presented it to him,

that teacher,

that Know-it-all,

that God.

And all he said (though not unkindly) was

“that poem’s not finished

keep writing.”

Shirley Dietz  2013