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.
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