Hillman City Haibun (Walkin’, Lichen)

As I noted in my last haibun post, walks = poetry. If you do not get a poem when walking, you have not walked long enough. Ask Charles Reznikoff, who was well-known for taking walks of 15 to 20 miles.


Moonlit Night

The trees’ shadows lie in black pools on the lawns.

Or Meredith Quartermain who wrote a whole book of poems, Vancouver Walking.


Poet as witness in this time between times, this time of whole-systems transition. The global climate system is wobbling, as is capitalism, while we somehow regard it all as normal. OK, maybe not the massive and repeated snow bombings of Boston and other freakish weather, but you get the idea.

Seward Park 2.10.15

Seward Park 2.10.15

But blessed is the poet who is a 5 minute walk away from organic golden beets and one of the best soy almond lattés in North America. Blessed is the poet who can walk for fifteen minutes from his Seattle home and be in an old growth forest. Blessed is the poet who has two beautiful daughters 20 years and ten months apart, so he could give them his undivided attention during walks like these during each of their childhoods. Blessed is the poet who stops to wonder why a yarmulke would end up in a tree.


Ella (& mossy lichen) in Seward Park, 2.10.15

2.10.15 – I’m not likening her to lichen, but I like that she likes lichen.

2.11.15 – Pigeons circle Lakewood Community Church to avoid the ceramic owl.

20150211_1743362.11.15 – My evening walk reveals a tree’d yarmulke & two spooked blue herons.


Seward Park 2.10.15 2

Seward Park 2.10.15 3

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). www.POPO.cards. He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: https://paulenelson.com/americanprophets/) has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day. www.PaulENelson.com
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4 Responses to Hillman City Haibun (Walkin’, Lichen)

  1. Carol Blackbird Edson says:

    a crack in the city
    where green light shines through!
    she will always remember walking with daddy there…

  2. David says:

    Water voices through uplifted lava rock beside the soft wet trees.

  3. Kevin Miller says:

    enjoyed these, thanks.

  4. Saul Weisberg says:

    Walking. Just, walking. Paddling works too. On a small lake close to home.

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