In these Winter Months, we are grateful for Poets, who inspire the world with their words and their observations. Here's a deeper dive into the poets we featured in our Winter Newsletter.
Shelley Kirk-Rudeen, Poet
Late this summer I published two volumes of poetry. Written over the last 20 years, these poems have been a labor of love. They are a way to capture my "practice of presence" in nature and during my travels, and in meeting some of the changes and challenges that life has brought my way. Working on the manuscripts over the spring and summer, I puzzled over ways to share the books with others. Poet Holly Hughes, who helped edit the books, suggested that I choose a local nonprofit to donate the sales proceeds to. GRuB immediately came to mind. GRuB’s work lies at the intersection of many things that matter to me on a personal level—nature, gardening, kids, elders—and the needs of our times—community resilience, food security, conflict resolution, and cultural inclusion. Like my poems, the work that goes on at GRuB is a labor of love. I’ve known about GRuB for a long time, but my first visit was during an herbal medicine program taught by Elise Krohn. A few years later I was present when Elise and a cohort of amazing herbalists and teachers unveiled the Tend, Gather and Grow curriculum. Much of my writing is rooted in the natural world. I hope that when people read my poems, the words offer a way to deepen their own connection to the land and to other people. GRuB’s programs do the same. I am happy that my work can help support this great organization.
Want to get your hands on Shelley’s poetry? Make a donation to GRuB if you’d like a copy of either (or both!) of Shelley’s books, using the “Donor Note to Acknowledge” section to specify which book.
Three Miles up Big Creek Trail
we emerge from shadowed forest to a clearing
with a foot of new snow. We stomp out a flat spot,
make a place to sit. Jeff lights the jetboil.
After two minutes of sputter and roar there’s tea.
Sun melts the storm’s accumulation—a chorus
of drips and drops, lyrics of slough and sigh
as weighted branches release their heavy loads.
Far below, the lake shines like polished pewter.
To the west, sun glances off the newly whitened ridge.
Beyond the mountains’ southern flank,
clouds travel unimpeded from the ocean,
swollen with rain and scudding at a slant.
There’s no need to talk. Savoring tea,
the sun’s warmth on our faces,
we watch the next storm coming
in winter’s long, dark caravan.
When You Ask for Evidence
this is all I can say:
a single raindrop
releases a cloud of pollen
from the pine bough.
The weight of one wasp
is enough to spill dew
from the cabbage leaf.
In the dim of the forest floor,
beetles carry daylight
on their backs.
What I know is that grace
most often comes in small measures:
as worn stone cups
a sacrament of rain
as spiders hang by silken threads
and travel at the mercy of the wind.
Lennée Reid, Poet
I've been a poet, author and activist for many years. I write to heal and process the world around me. I was a volunteer liaison for GRuB and helped build KGP gardens. I served as community garden council president with the Sunrise Community Garden for many years, until it became a city project. I was also a farm docent on the South Sound Green Tour.
Ode to GRuB