April is Poetry Month

In our continuing April is Poetry Month series, the San Juan Update is sharing poems from local poets every Friday this month. Today is the 2nd Friday and today we have Tara MacMahon, with her poem “With”, and Susie Hale, with “Boundaries’:

Nancy Spaulding photo


Daisies twirling on the meadow,      

the race with Paul, we always win!

                       one   three   five  

he loves me   he loves me   he always loves me.

Tara MacMahon

* * *

Malaspina Strait – Mixed media drawing by Sherry Smith Bell



have chosen the row of pines

above the Yacht Club docks.

Sixty juvenile birds

fish all day in the Straights of Juan de Fuca

seeking shelter bays with light fish.

Five thirty or so they come

to roost in the trees,

staining the rocks below

white and fishy.

Their black necks question marks—

gurgle and grunting drains that

flush into open air.

These Cormorants find refuge here—

show no signs of moving North,

forcing the question of boundary.

We take swift action to protect

what we believe is ours.

A noisy air horn blast

at incoming birds,


Swift, they roll and dive away,

reconvene on the water

behind a trawler stretching to the

length of her mooring.

They retreat until a scout flies

to test the line again.

Another blast—

a shiver of wings through the water

break on the shore below.

We cannot stop this wave

of water or of birds.

We have no heart to shoot!                                                                             

No heart to end this invasive punctuation by

changing the question marks to periods.

So, in the end, we simply—

changed the only rules we could,

the boundaries of our thinking

and let them have their way.

Susie Foster Hale
Originally published in the Soundings Review
Spring/Summer 2012 issue

Posted on April 12, 2019 at 5:48 am by

Categories: Arts
One comment:

One comment...

  1. So true, thanks for the trip down memory lane. JC

    Comment by Jan Champlin on April 12, 2019 at 10:51 am

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