Island Senior: Town Installs Poetry Gardens

Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:35 am by

Poet­ry Gar­den at the Mullis Cen­ter — Peg­gy Sue McRae photo

Island Senior is a reg­u­lar col­umn on the San Juan Update writ­ten by Peg­gy Sue McRae…

Pho­to by Rebec­ca Cook

It’s June and gar­dens on the island are bur­geon­ing with new life. At the Mullis Cen­ter more than foliage and flow­ers has sprung up. Among the green­ery on the east side of the build­ing you will now find poems thanks to the Town of Fri­day Har­bor Arts Commission’s (FHAC) Poet­ry Gar­den project.

The arts com­mis­sion sought poems from San Juan Coun­ty res­i­dents and of the 271 poems sub­mit­ted, poems writ­ten by 20 adults and 10 by stu­dents grades 3 to 12 were select­ed in a blind judg­ing process with the final selec­tions made by Wash­ing­ton State Poet Lau­re­ate Clau­dia Cas­tro Luna.

The select­ed poems were engraved on plaques to be post­ed in town gar­dens locat­ed; at The Mullis Cen­ter 589 Nash Street, San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty The­atre on Sec­ond Street at the inter­sec­tion with Blair Avenue, on Reed Street beside the U.S. Post Office, and at Spring Street Land­ing at the Port of Fri­day Har­bor below Down­rig­gers Restaurant.

If you are walk­ing about town take time to linger over a poem. As the project states, “Poet­ry is a way of see­ing our world through another’s mind.” The Poet­ry Gar­dens “have been cre­at­ed as a way of bring­ing poet­ry into our dai­ly expe­ri­ences.” The poems will remain in these loca­tions for 2 years.

Due to COVID, a cel­e­bra­to­ry unveil­ing is post­poned and a book­let of the select­ed poems will become avail­able lat­er on as well. Mean­while, take a qui­et moment to enjoy some poetry.

Here is a sam­pling of the poetry…

One Less Thing

This morn­ing
a small red dessert bowl
slipped from my hand and
smashed on the mar­ble counter –
a shock of shards, splin­ters of glass.
Free­dom some­times star­tles me.

 ~ Susie Fos­ter Hale

Deer Cross­ing

One deer may mean three
First the doe, then fawn after fawn
We all wait and count

 ~ Janet Dann


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