Author: ralphcuellar

Ralph Cuellar lives in Oregon, and loves nature and politics, and is usually in conflict over both. He is a writer and has played around with software and hardware a little too much in his life, so he left that world behind after a little dance.


The following was submitted by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond.

At The End Of The Rainbow

Happiness is something to strive for
When bad things happen and
Thinking there is always a pot
Of gold at the end of the
Rainbow, which comes

From within, when dreams and
Goals merge in our lives
When we least expect,

This happens to those, who wait
And are waiting to be seen
By others, for this emotion
is for all of us to have.



January 20, 2020

There were two options for the prompt at today’s meeting.

  • Prompt#1:  “The Sheriff”, by Adam Sirovatka. It was just published on the website.

The Sheriff

Prague, 1941.

The boy finished reading his favourite book. It was a western novel with a sheriff and bandits, and he loved everything about it.

He looked at his coat with a yellow star on it. “Now I’m the sheriff!” he thought proudly. “Tomorrow, I’ll show it to my classmates.”


  • Prompt#2:  “National Hugging Day” or “I was wrong…”



January 20, 2020 – Due to the The Senior Center being closed for Martin Luther King Day, the Monday morning meeting of Writers in the Grove will be held at the United Church of Christ (UCC), starting at the regular 9am time.

The church is located at 2032 College Way in Forest Grove (corner of College Way and 21st Ave).

We very much appreciate the generosity of the church in letting the group meet there.


January 13, 2020

There were two options for the prompt at today’s meeting.

  • Prompt #1: Excerpt from the book The Golem And The Jinni, by Helene Wecker.
    Consider the attention to detail in the description of this scene.

The rain transformed the city. It washed the filth from the sidewalks and reflected the gas lamps in puddles of clear water. It drummed on the taut awnings, and cascaded from gutters and and overhangs into the near-empty streets. Midnight had long since come and gone, and even those with nowhere to go had taken shelter, in basement dives and the dark corners of tenement hallways.

  • Prompt #2:  Sunrise / Sunset


PROMPT: (1)When Winter Stage Becomes Nature’s Performance (2)CARAMEL/CARMEL

January 6, 2020

There were two options for the prompt at today’s meeting.

  • Prompt #1: The following poem, When Winter Stage Becomes Nature’s Performance, was written by Writers in the Grove member Lowell Greathouse. It was published in the Winter 2020 issue of the Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poems.

When Winter Stage Becomes Nature’s Performance

The curtain descends, as Fall’s Festive Finale completes its months’ long run.
Autumn’s rich drama, in all its splendor, is over.
The last lingering leaf has touched nature’s majestic stage,
and the players,
who just a short time ago were dressed in elegant costumes
of red and yellow, brown and orange vanish from the limelight.

Only the stark barrenness of the theater itself remains.
It is an imposing spectacle in which the props
reveal a theatrical dimension all their own.
The headline cast of sparrows, cranes, and geese,
ducks, bears, and beavers have returned to their dressing rooms,
preparing for performances and production numbers yet to come.

What remains is nature’s landscape —
sparse, dark, cold,
appearing bleak and vacant,
as trees and shrubs cast long shadows upon this earthly grandstand.
The crispness of the evening air
conspires with the silence of the night to add a drama all their own.

Winter has become the play,
full of subtle life and rich beauty, plotlines and scene changes.
It is a new episode in creation’s drama…cast in simplicity.
More poetry than prose
it has a transcendent elegance,
composed of abandoned tree nests and distant stars,
frozen landscapes and glistening snow.

Occasionally, a creature will make a cameo appearance,
seeking sustenance between productions,
while longing for winter to end.
There would be no host for nature’s colorful community of artists without these desolate days.
All the actors depend on this grand dais to display their own eloquence.

Winter is a time of solemn soliloquies.
Only discerning ears and eyes perceive the hidden wonder involved.
The playwright’s hand is at work here too, reminding us that everything has a role to play.
Eventually, a new season will come and reveal anew the ongoing grace of nature’s living drama.


  • Prompt #2:  Caramel / Carmel



December 30, 2019

There were two options for the prompt at today’s meeting.

Prompt #1:  Be it resolved ….

Prompt #2: The following story was written by Writers in the Grove member Ellen Hansen. It is a 50-word story that was recently published on the 50-Word Stories website.

The Path

She walked the labyrinth slowly, absorbing the imagery of both the circle and the spiral. She was careful at the turns, at this turning point in her life. Something loosened inside; then the tears came.

This meandering yet purposeful path spoke both of safety and the dawn of new openness.



The following was submitted by Writers in the Grove member, Lowell R. Greathouse.
It was in response to the prompt: WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT…

Who would have thought?

When he opened his email and read the simple words, “Thank you, and God bless you. Your friend, Glen,” the words froze him in his tracks…stopping time for a moment.
Thanks for what? He hadn’t seen Glen in a long time and really didn’t know him all that well in the first place. What had made enough difference to be remembered all these years later? Or…even be remembered at all?
Was it something that happened in a conversation? Perhaps it had to do with what he had said or left unsaid? It was a real head scratcher.But maybe that’s the whole point of it all. You just never know. Was it what happened in a passing exchange, a look, or simply his presence that mattered? Things are remembered, savored, seen as blessings over time, even when one isn’t at one’s best.
But how do you really ever know? We travel around, passing each other in hallways and stores, along sidewalks and in meeting places, in groups and in conversations…just being ourselves, and we never know when what we say or do or who we are might make a difference to someone. Perhaps an email is just waiting to be sent. Perhaps it’s my turn to write an email to someone that simply says, “Thank you, and God bless you.” Because you just never know.



The following was submitted by Writers in the Grove member, Ralph Cuellar.
It was in response to the prompt:   WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT…

Made It This Far

Who would have thought
we’d make it this far?
After wandering in a wilderness
of our own making
Having cast out both demons and angels
our faith remains unshaken
Running roughshod towards destiny
It’s just another day in infamy
Could we yet go a different way?