Friday, March 8, 2013

MeetingTheBar: Critique and Craft — Salem, Oregon


Salem, Oregon

Absorb Salem in the morning
     steeping in fresh dawn.
It is lush here where spiders thrive.
     Brittle are they who make homes of dreams
     we don't remember weaving through the night.

Some weeds, thorny and stretched,
deserve their space.
     Bitter vibrant blossoms are their compromise
     for pushing out a landscaped place.

A moment is preserved in this valley
where those delicate float on sugared air
     as Salem mornings serve breakfast
     for the soul,
where the green of the land is foremost caressed
     and we are second blessed.

The life of this town is encapsulated now
so a bigcity person must plot carefully
to save the energy morning brings.
     Nightpulse is offered at a slight pace
     and beehive people who cannot dance through
     sunrise feel smothered.

But the secrets found while walking alone
and shaking fronds with a fern half-human size
bring a crazy peaceful prayer to mind.

A waif could be caught here in morning
     leaving at eve

Written for MeetingTheBar: Critique and Craft ~ Oh, the Places we Live! — at dVerse Poets. Pamela Sayers is our host this week. From her beautiful home in Mexico she asks us to write about the places where we live. My poem is an old one, written in 1977 after I first moved from Nevada to Salem, Oregon (the state capitol).

The original title of this poem was "For a Stop-Over Place," because I did not intend to stay long. Ultimately, however, I lived there for eight years before moving on to Portland and then eventually to my beloved Silverton, Oregon, 15-miles away from Salem. (I do not think I could do justice to Silverton in a poem, at least not today.)

Images of Salem and countryside via: Bing
Image of youth in downtown Salem via: Wikipedia



Victoria said...

Salem is such a beautiful area, as is all of Oregon. We took a car vacation there, thinking of moving from Northern CA but decided on Reno instead. Nice to "visit" again.

flaubert said...

Lydia, I am not familiar with Oregon, but my husband is and he says it is as lovely as you describe here. A very nice write, thanks for linking up for the prompt.


Brian Miller said...

did not realize that is where you are from...i have been there! its been a few years but....very cool...oregon is beautiful country...i was in bend and portland as well...almost got stuck in bend in a snow storm once...

Eusebia Philotes said...

You've given a spiritual feel to this poem, making the land a place you would eagerly choose to live in.

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Lester Kish said...

Cool! I can still remember 1977, I think.

Fireblossom said...

It flips me out coming here, now, cos you are the only other blogger i know who uses the same template that i do!

You are brave, publishing something from 1977! I don't think I'd dare. Mine are not this excellent. In fact, the stuff I wrote at 22 mostly makes me cringe, now! I love the final stanza, especially.

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Lydia said...

Bear with me, Everyone. Am sick and will reply/visit when I can.
I wonder if you all are also having spam eek its way through filters, as I seem to be getting lots of it lately.....

Anonymous said...

Glorious! Sent from Samsung touch laptop at Salem Best Buy.


I did not realize you were from Oregon. I lived in Corvallis off and on over a long period in my life. It is a beautiful state. One place I never got to was Silverton. If I ever get back I will check it out. Interesting poem. -- barbara

susan said...

It is indeed a beautiful place and so well captured by this old poem. Now if only the PNW and New England would secede to become part of Canada I'd be perfectly content.

Hope you feel better by now.

G-Man said...

Some people are conspicuous in their absence.
You are one of those people.
I hope all is well.....G

Fireblossom said...

I'm sorry you are sick! Feel better soon!

Disabling anonymous commenting will get rid of almost all the spam.

Lydia said...

Victoria~ I still get a kick out of knowing that you live in my hometown!

flaubert~ Thank you for such a lovely prompt. I was bedazzled by the description and image of that volcano, and much more in your post.

Brian~ Well, if/when you return to this area we will def have to arrange a meet-up! And I should give you contacts for my family in Bend, should you ever need help in a snowstorm there.

Eusebia~ Your comment was wonderful. I appreciated your first visit to my blog, and look forward to visiting yours.

Lester~ 1977....seems like it was in another century. Wait! It was!

Fireblossom~ Thank you for your kind comments about the old poem, for your get well wishes, too. Know what? I did not realize that I had selected the same template you use until after it was all done and I went to your blog to read a poem. I saw that background (that I had changed for my own blog) and then realized. What a trip.
Thanks for the advice about disabling anonymous comments. I won't do that, because I do get a few from time to time that are recognizable and that delight me. I guess having to delete the other anonymous ones (mostly written in Russian) is worth the trade-off...

Barbara~ Wow, you were that close to Silverton and never visited. That's too bad. Most people simply fall in love with this town. Corvallis is a nice place, my husband's birthplace actually.

susan~ I wish I could grant your wish so that you could be perfectly content!

G-Man~ What a fine friend you really are. Thank you for checking up on me. I am replying to these comments in a sort of dizzy delirium, unable to knock this bug. But I am somewhat better today, so it's uphill from here (and I think your note helped!).



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