From Our Writers

SOAR

The following was submitted by Writers in the Grove member, Mary Jane Nordgren.
It was in response to the prompt, A Four Letter Word Containing “R” AND “S”.

SOAR

air transparent, air translucent
but aspects of air we cannot know
cannot see except by inference
when raven swoops over granite peak
into the valley, dipping and lifting
shifting only a feather or two to propel
guiding him on invisible currents
searching twittering gold aspens
carnelian maples
finally alighting near the top
of green sugar pine
he rests a moment
launches with two pumps of spread black wings
dives, swoops low
lifts again, talons empty
spirals high, and higher
circling with only a tilt or so
as, knowing the air like the back of his claw
he soars

 

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EMBRACED HARVEST BAZAAR

Several members of Writers in the Grove will be participating in the Embraced Harvest Bazaar being held at the Old Town Church in Forest Grove on Saturday, September 28.

The WIG table will feature an outstanding selection of original children, poetry and adult books, and even music CDs from our members for sale. There will also be additional books from some local authors.

Embraced Harvest Bazaar
Old Town Church (on 15th between Cedar and Douglas)
2224 15th Avenue
Forest Grove, OR 97116

The event will run from 9am to 4pm, Saturday, Sept. 28.
Harvest+Bazar

 

 

 

TASTE OF CHILDHOOD

The following was submitted by Writers in the Grove member, Mary Jane Nordgren.
It was in response to the prompt, “A taste, a touch, or a smell from childhood“.

taste of childhood

grandma was a lady, precise, particular

her dining room table manner formal

but at her green-patterned, formica kitchen table

sis and I got to dig into root beer floats

and slurp every last quarter-inch of sweet-bubbled foam

 

Good old’ Days

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

Good old’ Days
by Patti Bond

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s was so wonderful for many
different reasons.
Being able to play with neighbors- playing tether ball, tag in the
front yard yelling “you’re it”. Neighborhood kids talking to you
through the window screen while you are cleaning your room.
Going over to girlfriend’s house to talk, while they are busy
cleaning the house.

Getting up early to pick strawberries to
earn money for school clothes.

Then after cleaning up, hopping on my
bike and going to the craft house
and then swimming.
Going to grandma and grandpa’s in Baker
to stay and have fun Oh yea
my brother came along.
The sixties and seventies were so special.
My family and I had so much fun- sure there were
hard times but we all had a great time too.

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NEWS UPDATE

The following was submitted by Writers in the Grove member, Bev Walker.

News Update

5 Jan 2019
A month or so ago I read a piece I’d written, titled “The Artist”, at the weekly meeting of the Senior Center Writers group. It was about my mother’s low opinion of people who take up such an occupation, and my deep desire to do just that. It was prefaced with a sub-heading of, “(Did) Your mother ever spit on a hanky and then wipe your face with it? Yeah, well…,” which met with agreeing laughter.

A few days before, I’d asked the same question of a group of people where I live with the same reaction, and the comment, “They all did that!” Well, this is an update.

The twenty-eighth of Dec, (or so) I woke early and surfing around found a morning news magazine show just ending. The reporter said, “And here’s a final note. Scientists have now verified the discovery of the best stain remover in all the world. You’ll never guess what it is. Your mother’s spit!” That’s right! All those times my mama spit on a hanky and wiped your face with it she was using the best stain remover known to man! All this time I’m thinking ‘Hanky spit! Disease! Bacteria! Germs!’ Turns out it was good for you.

 

FROM QUIET

The following was inspired by the prompt, Quiet, and is by Writers in the Grove member, Anne Stackpole-Cuellar.

From Quiet

Whisper of dividing cells
The branching of capillaries
Rush of vein highways
Ringing of nerve circuitry
A duet of quick and slow
by central drumming hearts
The voices outside the womb
Near and far
Coming into clarity
The cries of change
And calming waves caress
A small but penetrating call
What makes this sound?
It feels like me.

 

The Music Of This Land (I Love This Parade!)

The following is by Writers in the Grove member Bev Walker.

From the hands and hearts of wanderers
Comes the music of a land without equal
It’s a new song, heard everywhere
A song heard especially this day
  Led by a spinning, silver and gold array

Strangers to each other they come
To dance, to sing, and light up the stars
In one great symphony of sound
With the world in its singing hand.
  Best of all is a marching band.

Bagpipes with Scots, European violins
Meet crying Oriental strings,
And the tattoo of Spanish castanets,
Join a flute hand carved of bamboo.
  Crowds cheer, flags twirl, ribbons too.

There’s deep drums of an African soul
The stomp of an Irish jig
Hear the Plainsong of quiet ones
And even a Didgeridoo is there
  In this singingest celebration of the year.

Whistles, spoons and guitar
Horns of seashell and brass
The rhythmic beat of a Tom Tom
And a child with a blade of grass.
  Sing across this land in a marching mass.

Astride horse, a cowboy way out west
Echo’s yodeling song of the Alps
In the city a Russian ballerina smiles
At a boy spinning the sidewalk to rap.
  Flowers float and wave to jingle and tap

There’s bongo, gong and cymbal
And the quiet of a Gregorian chant
Even the roaring Rock and Roller,
Who once rocked to a lullabies cant.
  Joins this from everywhere parade.

You’d think in this mish mash of sound
Harmony’s an impossible thing
But it’s there in this rousing, bouncing, band
In their songs raised to the sky
  In this symphony of the fourth of July.

Amazing Sky

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

When I look out my window
I see clouds racing by.
Where do they go?
Are the clouds circling the globe or
simply relocating themselves?
In the early morning there is a patch of blue sky,
bringing me a sense of hope
that it will be a nice day.
Five minutes later, I see dark, gloomy clouds.
How can clouds change so quickly?
Giving me the false hope
it will be a nice day.
At moment’s notice there is a terrific downpour,
or a jaw-dropping snowstorm of ten inches or more.
What an amazing thing sky!

A Justification for Writers

The following is by Writers in the Grove member Gretchen Keefer, and is based upon the prompt, “Writing in another’s skin.”

Recently a writer colleague commented on her experience describing her novel to an agent. As she listed the difficulties her black heroine faced, the agent stopped her and asked, “Have you had a black person read this?” (For “read” see “approve”.) Apparently this agent felt a white woman could not write about a black woman. Can she?

Whatever my characters may look like physically, one or another of them is expressing my point of view, my opinions, and my philosophy. That is what I know and that is why I am writing. There is something that needs to be said and I feel prompted to say it, however I can.

Most of my characters are women, of course. I haven’t assigned them a color or ethnicity (except maybe in fantasy stories). It helps that my stories are short and often the events depicted are more important that any physical description of the characters. I think actors of any ethnicity could portray my characters.

I admit I do not know about prejudice or abuse first hand. I have never personally lived through a fire, earthquake or other natural disaster that destroys all my worldly possessions. I haven’t had an amputation or been raped. Does that mean I cannot write about these types of experiences? There is a wealth of information available to provide background color while focusing on resilience, forgiveness, redemption, family unity, courage and love.

In my collage literature classes we were taught that “great” or “good” literature that stood the test of time was written around universal themes – themes that appealed to a majority of people across cultures. That is why these pieces are still read and studied long after the authors are dead. Shakespeare borrowed many stories from the Italian Renaissance, yet his plays are translated and performed around the world. So what if Olivier played Othello in black makeup? Were there any classical black actors in Britain in the 1950’s? Denzel Washington, a black actor, played the (Italian) duke in a recent film version of As You Like It, with no comments about looking different from the other actors.

The play (or other story) is the thing to capture the mind (paraphrasing Hamlet). The story is what counts, not what color the characters may be.

So I say to my colleague, and to all writers, “You go girl!”

Write what you need to write, however it works out.