Island Senior: Town Installs Poetry Gardens
Island Senior is a regular column on the San Juan Update written by Peggy Sue McRae…
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
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
One deer may mean three
First the doe, then fawn after fawn
We all wait and count
~ Janet Dann