Year’s End

Year’s End, Sweet Creek

Go up the Sweet Creek Trail on a winter
afternoon. Soon the canyon closes in,
and the trail becomes a catwalk bolted
to the cliff.  
Hanging over the rail,
you can lose yourself in the white roar of falling water–
throwing everything but your body into the rush and run of the river,
turn until dizzy as a twig in a green punch bowl.
Shafts of sunlight get spattered
out by the rain.

Put your pack down.

Your soul pulls toward the water.

Perhaps the dipper birds have hidden it under
the white wing of the stream that veils their home.
You climb higher, watching steelhead leap the falls–
you see them once and will forever search
that particular cascade, forever longing to be like them
diving deep into the green plunge pools.
The year ends on so many sad stories
and yet lost between the canyon walls,
purified by the sound of many waters,
suddenly you understand how it is that

anything could happen to you.

–with inspiration from William Stafford’s poem,
“How to Regain Your Soul” from
The Darkness Around Us Is Deep collection.

The Wave



The Wave: A Poem by Peter Jensen

I was at a family gathering at the Oregon Coast over the weekend. Peter and I were reading and writing quietly when he suddenly said, “May I read you a poem?”

I said, “Just a second!” and turned on the closest piece of technology that would voice record, which happened to be the microphone feature of iMovie.

“Okay, I’m listening!”

I just knew it was going to be a great poem, and it was.

I added some media from our adventures that day to honor his thoughts.

The Dreaming

On Mother’s Day, eight of us went hot air ballooning at dawn up the Willamette River.



Then on Tuesday, I hiked with a friend and a guide up to Cascadia Cave, a 6000 year old rock art and native ceremony site.



This digital poetry story is the result:


Three Spirits

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 11.28.01 AM

I am a great admirer of the poetry of Portland poet Don Hynes. He and I both love the great Pacific Northwest, its coast and forests. In this digital story, Don narrates three poems that make up a wonderful trilogy. You can find out more about him and his poetry, including books for sale, at

To Love What is Close

I received a new poem in my e-mail in-box this morning that I would like to share with you:

In the Olympic old growth





To Love What is Close

By Don Hynes

On March 19, 2014

I found this place
before the winter snows,
green and tender
with the wet smell of life,
the ground soft and open,
speaking in the timeless way.
Resting here, the old wounds healing,
the impulse to go on
quieted beside the river,
limbs like drooping cedars,
ready to let go and touch the earth.
The pass ice is melting,
the way across the mountains
opening for spring
yet I don

Random Autobio

One of the first poems I have my students write is a Random Autobiography–which can be of a life, a love affair–anything, really. This term I wrote a short Random Autobiography of Hawaii and made it into a little video-poem.