Birds

A Week on Vashon Island

After breakfast

The fog coming across the water

The ferry sounds its horn

The seals sun on the little dock

Set out for them

You could forget where you are

As the sound of waves distract you

And the surf laps against the shore

You could forget that you

Have to go home tomorrow

Back to those routines

Instead of these

And the gull cries

Calling you back to now

“Don’t worry we will be here

When you return”

And the fog keeps rolling

And blurs the seals

On their little rocking dock

I visited the Mukai Farm and Garden remembering and honoring the Japanese community that lived and farmed strawberries here before WWII. They were taken away during the war to internment camps. As I strolled the gardens there was a labyrinth with lanterns hung and intermittent Haiku streaming from pages strung with clothes pins as well. I was inspired to write these poems below.

I.

Immigrants settle

Growing fields of strawberries

Taken and interned

II.

War has many faces

Death and life roll through the land

Tears flow unending

III.

When will we return?

Children speak our unspoken words

Can hearts hope again?

IV.

Some return, rebuild

Life twists and turns with the sun

Trauma stays within

We took several hikes, this one runs along Shingle Mill Creek to Fern Cove.

They clear-cut cedar

Giants turned to roof shingles

The forest still grieves

Categories: beauty, Birds, children, grief and death, Hope, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Raven

Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

Flew to the tip of the garage

Standing there now

In front of us

Outside our window

Your message from the One who loves:

I am here

Standing guard

Leading you

In this work

In this way

Pay attention

Step by step

Look for me

You will find me

When you search

With all your heart

I am for you

I am renewing the earth

And it’s peoples

Don’t be afraid

I am with you

I see you

Even when you

Cannot see me

Look for me

Pay attention

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Even in a Pandemic

Even in a pandemic

You can be kind

You can listen

You can learn

You can watch as the sun sets

Changing the colors of the sky

The light changing in the tree tops

Beauty can still take your breath away

Even in a pandemic

You can remember

You can give thanks

You can listen to the bird song

And wonder at the many voices

You can pray

You can vote

You can change

© Julie Clark 2020

Categories: beauty, Birds, Faith, growth, Poetry, Prayer, Trees | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bird Lessons

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Robins

Everywhere

On the wet grass

On the roof tops

In the air

Plenty of worms

For all

In this rich soil

On this fertile hill

No scarcity mentality

Just take what you need

For you and your family

Leave the rest

For the other birds

Residents and guest

Passing through

No need for hoarding

Or commodifying

These tasty treats

Oh that we would

Study the birds

And the fields 

And the trees

Like our ancestors

Like Jesus

Learn a new way

An ancient way

Leading to 

The path of life

The eagles on Sunday

Circling the waters

Taking turns

Diving for the fish

Over and over

Repeating the pattern

Again and again

The message is clear

Perseverance

Don’t give up.

© 2020 Julie Clark

Categories: Birds, Faith, Hope, Life, Paths, Poetry, Trees | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Yesterday

Yesterday

I checked in with little Julie

You know, my inner child

There she was 

In her little dress

Sticking close to me

Every now and again

She would hold onto

The sides of her dress

And do a little twirl or

A little sashay

Then she would sit down

Again on the step

And keep her eye on me

She likes the quiet

She loves the bird song

She’s a little shy

A little skittish

She knows 

It is not safe out there

Too loud

Too confusing

Too dangerous

She is sticking 

Close to home

Close to me

Where she feels safe

© Julie Clark

Categories: Birds, children, Life, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

More Waiting

When you are waiting

For winter to end

When the darkness

Clings closely to the day

Walk in the gardens available

Look for life signs 

Budding on the tulip trees

See Mother Earth wrap her baby blankets

Around pruned rose bushes 

See the robins congregate

In clusters in the leafless oaks

Perhaps planning 

Spring nesting

Encouraging one another

Keep on keeping on

We need our flocks

This time of year

Find our cozy blankets

Snuggle in and make some plans

Visit the green house and get inspired

With bursts of color

Daffodils and crocus 

Even a banana tree

Find warmth to

Free joy in your heart

© 2020 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Birds, growth, Hope, Life, Photography, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fall Color

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We need this rush

Of fall color and beauty

To fortify us through

The cold dark months

Of winter

 

The little creatures

Are preparing

Some gathering their stores

Some with wings

Taking flight

To warmer lands

Some are growing

Fat and furry

For their long naps

 

Me – I am gathering my yarn

And wood pellets for my stove

Looking forward to long evenings

By the fire

I am hoping my imagination

Will take flight

And I will come up with

Something of use to write

I am in favor of the naps

Though I would prefer

No extra fat or fur

© 2018 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Autumn Poems, beauty, Birds, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raw Material

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I.

We are given the raw materials

Of our lives

As on the First Day

Out of the chaos and void

Life began

 

What will we do with

The darkness and light

Will we separate it into a

Smooth transition of colors

As in a rainbow?

 

It will be anything

But smooth

Full of fits and starts

Smudges and blackouts

As if we can erase

The messes we have made

 

Yet stepping back

With the whole of life

In view

Of the one who falls

And is trampled under foot

Yet rises again

Painfully struggling

Forward

Into the light

Into the Love

That calls each by name

We see

The darkness is part of the canvas

Entwined with the light

Creating patterns and contrasts

Always erupting in colors at the end

The struggle of life emerging

 

If we only focused on

The fire scarred trunk

And did not step back

We would miss

The strength and substance

Of the ancient tree

Still green in all seasons

 

II.

The artist

The gardener

The teacher

The builder

The writer

The dancer

The musician

All participating in

Taking the chaos

And creating something

Useful or

Something just

Beautiful

Adding to the

life that began

When the light

Was separated from the darkness

© 2016 Julie Clark

 

Categories: beauty, Birds, Faith, Life, Love, Poetry, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lifting our eyes

Welcoming the Blues

Lifting our eyes, just in time to see the eagle soaring towards us and then turning away.

Silently above us, searching for fish.

It caught one down the beach and began to break it’s fast.

How many times have I only caught a glimpse?

How many times have I missed it all, head down, worrying some problem in my mind, not present to the moment?

Yet, the eagle is there, as are all the other messengers, whether I see them or not.

But, what joy, when I am expectantly scanning and searching for those messages sent my way.

Today it was an eagle and a seal and an extremely low tide.

It was meeting Michael from DC with his two young boys who reminded me of my grandsons.

It was Debra with her hairless dog making us laugh.

It was Munira, fighting cancer, out for some fresh sea air. We blessed her and prayed for her healing. She said God sent you to me today – the first day of Ramadan.

It was connecting with strangers who become friends, building community in our neighborhood.

Categories: beauty, Birds, Dogs, Faith, God, Life, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Fresh New Day

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A fresh new day arrives

To discover

To explore

To be awake

To be alert

For signs and wonders

 

Will the breeze carry the whisper

Or an eagle soaring above

Will a salmon leap for joy

Or a child laugh with glee

 

Who will bring a message today

I never know

Until I open my eyes and ears

All senses tuned

Waiting

 

Will it be the notes of a song

The wagging tail of a dog

Will it be in a dance with my sweetheart

A kind word from a stranger

 

Will it be a longing in my heart

Pulling me

reminding me

as I examine sacred texts

That I am loved in this world and

my name is known

In another world

Another dimension of pure

Love and light

Piercing through

Here and now

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Birds, Dogs, Faith, God, Love, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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