Every Friday different opportunities and ideas were presented throughout 2020 from late spring. Enter the "Try Your Hand at Writing Poetry" offering on two consecutive Friday mornings in fall of 2020. The first session was an informal introduction and a challenge to write one poem on an assigned topic to share (optionally) the following week with the group. This opportunity appealed to a surprising number of people and it's been adding participants and meeting over Zoom for one-hour sessions twice a month ever since. We get an assignment each time--and read our poems to each other the following meetup. We aren't expecting to develop into T.S. Elliotts or e.e. cummingses or Mary Olivers. We are doing it for fun, but there has been some beautiful poetry shared by the writers. Terry Busch, a local poet, invents the assignments and gently mentors us. The Zoom sessions are hosted and overseen by the Y. Two weeks ago I rhymed the assignment: "Write about a walk in your neighborhood." I offer it here--for a fun change of pace.
Gratitude While Walking the Sammamish River Trail
My home is on a quiet street.
It's easy enough to walk 'the beat'
but I don't always want to.
So I go beyond the community fence
to better relax, to get less tense
and enjoy the splendid trail view.
As I start down the well-worn path
a racing biker shouts in wrath
at a child who's weaving on her bike.
Her protective mom is yelling out,
demonstrating her parental clout.
"It's her trail, too--go take a hike!"
I smile at them both, then hurry by,
and looking up, see brightening sky
rebuffing supposed scattered showers.
I thank my stars for these lovely walks
and food and shelter and daily talks
with friends and family, some for hours.
My walks along this well-used trail
provide release from Covid jail,
inspiring me to let things go.
Crows are cawing, trees are swaying
unaware what the news is saying.
Maskless Mother Nature needn't know.
Fresh air is mine to breathe and use
but with it comes my lifelong dues
to care intentionally for all.
My personal privilege shields me
from much despairing intensity
that lurks beneath the Covid pall.