sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

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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Comments on: "Make Visible: Memories" (2)

  1. 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 said:

    Thanks, Lin!

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