Slice of Life Story Challenge: 24 of 31

Poetry Workshop with Paulann Petersen

Today was a fabulous day. Fourteen people gathered to spend the day writing with Oregon’s Poet Laureate, Paulann Petersen. Paulann led us in a series of writing “springboards.” Don’t you love that phrase, to spring and propel you into something?

She provided great noun lists and mentor poems.


We had opportunity to write four poems: of outdated things, color, discovering a surprise at an young age, and inviting the dead to speak. 
Here’s the one about discovering a surprise at a young age:

Field Biology Observation Plot

Take a walk
down five steps
onto the cobblestone path.
Head toward the northeast
corner of campus.
A mini-forest-
Doug fir giraffe necks sway
and vine maples display
leaf necklaces.
look for a break
between the brackens
discover the animal trail,
missed in a blink.
Make your frame small
as hydrophyllum squishes
under your feet
until you find the rotting log
among every shade of spring
the chartreuse of skunk cabbage
pull out your notebook, your pen
chiree, chiree
turn your head
Tsck, tsck, tsck
look up
in the penumbra
of afternoon light.
A small, meticulous nest
lined with lichen moss
a minature handbag
two tiny white eggs
the rufous dive bombs
time to go
but not before
picking up
a discarded letter.

It was a fabulous day of writing.

More SOLSC slices found HERE

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3 Responses to Slice of Life Story Challenge: 24 of 31

  1. I am envious – sounds like a great day. I love classes and workshops that feel my soul and help me grow.

  2. I love that term “springboard” for poetry inspiration.
    And thanks for sharing your poem.

  3. Dana says:

    Wow – I am jealous and happy for you that you had such a great workshop. I am amazed that you created such a detailed poem in that one workshop (plus other poems). You took something that was a memory and make it appear so clear today.

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