Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

Make Visible: Memories

The Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, seen from th...

The Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, seen from the southeast side of the bridge. This is a 7×1 panoramic stich. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Make Visible:  Memories


Poetry is about remembering, remembering a moment in time.  Like a photograph, a poem preserves moments that can never be experienced again, at least not in the same way.  This helps the writer as much or more than the reader.  There may be moments you want to remember, not just with a photograph.  Of course, we don’t have photos for all of the important events of our lives.

Task:  Write a poem about a city or town that figures prominently in the story of your life.

Try it!

I wrote this poem for a Powell’s poetry contest.  I guess they were looking for something more avant-garde because it didn’t win.  Here’s my memory of Portland, OR:

Memories of Portland


At OMSI we learned about the space race

Watched metal balls drop, spin and disappear

And entered a giant red heart

Leaving it, heartbeats ringing in our ears

Excited by it all.


We always ended up at the Oyster Bar

Suspicious of anything with a shell

Crustacean or mollusk

I settled on clam chowder and crackers

While my family feasted on gifts from the sea.


Only in later years

Did I enjoy the simplicity of the Japanese Gardens

Observing a perfectly reenacted tea ceremony

From a distance, while the rain fell

Boulders as islands, surrounded by seas of white rock.


In my college days I could appreciate

That land mass, Powell’s, full of books

More than I could ever read in a lifetime

Losing myself in the Gold Room

Taking home a stack of books a foot high.


© Anne Westlund



“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director



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2 thoughts on “Make Visible: Memories

  1. on said:

    Anne, what a wonderful way for people to remember events past. I wish we had written down who was in the picture and where and what was happening. We have several old-timey photos of family members but we never wrote it down when Mom told us all that when we we little. I loved your poems about your environments.

  2. Anne Westlund on said:

    Thanks, Lin!

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