Archives for posts with tag: Seattle

by Ricki Mandeville

Home is the city where it always rains,
soundtrack of rain like a cool, jazzy riff,
a moody place where twilight comes early,
steals through the trees, the clasp of wet branches
that sway against the gray angora sky
while lights in buildings go on one by one.
Where people never leave the house without
a raincoat, and umbrellas pop open
like multi-colored wings coming to life
on puddled sidewalks in the heart of town.

I smile at men with pale indoor faces,
who speak in low tones in bars and cafes,
but walk back to my tiny loft alone,
the drizzle beading seed pearls in my hair,
turning torrential, soaking my wool coat,
feeding me lines I whisper to myself
to the ragged meter of the downpour
as I dash home, run dripping to my desk,
scrawl words on paper before I forget,
soak the worn carpet and never notice.

Some nights when rain bangs loud as kettle drums
I crank Miles Davis up to drown it out.
Or Joni Mitchell. Pour some chardonnay.
Turn off the lights, draw the curtains aside,
stand there, let lightning flash and do not move
from the window as rain tattoos my cheeks
with narrow streaks that roll like dingy tears.
And I think of you then, at the instant
my shadow jumps to life against the wall:
its solitary tango, empty arms.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This was a wonderful prompt. It had me writing about Seattle within five minutes. I noticed right away that most of my lines were naturally emerging in ten syllables. So I gave myself an assignment to write three stanzas of ten lines each, with every line decasyllabic. I love losing myself in the intense focus of such discipline.

IMAGE: “Lightning in Seattle” by Quynh Ton. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ricki Mandeville’s poems have appeared in Comstock Review, San Pedro River Review, Stone Highway Review, Texas Poetry Calendar 2014 & 15, Penumbra, and other publications. She is a cofounder and consulting editor of Moon Tide Press and the author of A Thin Strand of Lights (Moon Tide Press). A speaker for various literary events, she lives near the ocean in Huntington Beach, California.

by Raúl Sánchez

I live in a place above the lake
in the middle of two mountain ranges
the Cascades to the East the Olympics to the West
Seattle flanked by Elliott Bay and Lake Union

Tourists favorite landmark
and Chief Seattle’s fountain
Space needle pointing to the blue sky
the historic Pike Place Market
where flying fish are found.

Pleasure to walk the narrow alleys
gold diggers and sailors once walked
on the way to their ships to Alaska

Driving across draw bridges
we reach the rocky beaches
before the tall sails sail through

Short ferry ride takes me to
the San Juan Islands
Vashon, Bainbridge, Orcas, Lopez
where on a clear day
the majesty of Mount Rainier
stands closer to the heavens

pristine rivers and streams
where salmon swims
and the Swinomish natives
catch them at opening season
to cook them on cedar wooden planks

offering to the land
the wind, the sun, the rain
Oh, the rain!
natural cleanser that washes away
the grim and grime of the streets
and sidewalks

The Pacific Northwest
where the seasons shine and hide
in the winter months.
Where rain falls, oh blessed rain.
Green mountain trails, tall firs, pine and cedar
Snow mountain peaks jagged edges
at the brake of sun,
white powder clouds canvas
where birds fly south to warmer places.
On rainy days I clean the moss off my shoes
fling the slugs off my porch!

I live in a place surrounded by verdant forests
permeated by fresh air
and quiet streams
while we walk the hidden trails
in our old shoes.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I tried to gather images of the place I live, the natural beauty, the weather, natural resources, tourist attractions, and other known and unknown highlights about the place. Although we have a vast mix of ethnic diversities, I did not include that topic since I just wanted to expose the outside rather than the inside and its people.

IMAGE: “Emerald City” by Benjamin Yeager. Prints available at

Open Books 2012

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Raúl Sánchez‘s recent work has appeared in the 2014 Jack Straw Writers Anthology, the Raven Chronicles, Clover, Ghost Town Poetry, Randomly Accessed Poetics, Redmond Association of Spokenword Poetry, Standing Still, Lowriting, The Smoking Poet, Snow Monkey, La Bloga, and other online and print journals.

CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by David Pascal, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints for sale at


For a real-life farmers market poetry vendor, check out this feature at (article and video) about Meredith Clark, a Seattle-area author who writes poems for customers on the spot — for free on a manual typewriter. (Photo of Meredith Clark by Zachary D. Lyons, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)


by Meredith Clark

Garlic, too, works
through the weather,
builds roots that way,
grows taller, never falters.
It, too, shows up
with earth in its skin,
braids tightly together
the land and those
who live it. Both
leave bright traces,
some sharp, clean taste
on all the hands
they touch. Both make
from the inside out
their own new scape.

“For Arlene” was commissioned by Ballard Farmers Market from Meredith Clark of the Poem Store in loving memory of Arlene Dabrusca of Anselmo Farms.