Words take root in this North Seattle park


SEATTLE – Through the murmurs of water

Come sounds of spoken words

Paint pictures on the breeze

That would be one way of describing the free fortnightly gatherings at Seattle’s Meadowbrook Pond Park.

“It’s the thought and the feeling, word to ear,” said local poet Nicole Renée La Follette.

The park is a poetic setting every day, so what better place for neighbors to come together and share their love of words?

“Poetry to people,” said Christopher Jarmick, poet and owner of Kirkland bookstore, “BookTree”.

Words of wisdom, wonder and fantasy are read aloud to over a dozen grateful listeners gathered here on a peaceful fall afternoon.

“Not Bipper or Skipper, Dimwitty or Slinkie …” Jarmick recites a toungue-twister to the laughter of the crowd.

Raúl Sánchez is a published poet and one of the organizers of these meetings.

“Some ups, some downs …” Sánchez reads in his work.

All eyes are on as he continues: “What a field, what a mythical forest …”

RELATED: A Poet’s Gift to His Lake City Neighborhood

From professionals like Sánchez to amateur poets and admiring spectators, all are welcome.

“When they come here and share what they wrote, it gives you a different perspective of the human being they are,” Sánchez said. “They can share their own work or the poems of other poets they admire.”

Sometimes the readings also serve as group therapy. Mark Mendez clears his throat and begins to read: “The paw prints left by you …”

Mendez recently had to say goodbye to his elderly dog.

“… Life seems calm without you.”

It is a moment of emotion shared between Mendez and his sympathetic listeners.

“You can say things in poetry that you can’t say in normal conversation,” Mendez said, “You can express yourself in really powerful and moving ways.”

“… My heart will always bear the paw prints left by you.”

La Follette has been touched by the plight of immigrants.

“A protector for those without protection …” she reads in her poem.

“Poetry goes beyond color and lessons and it’s a medium that can connect us,” she said.

No matter what you have to say, you can say it here, where thoughts are planted and friendships are developed.

“He is joining us,” said La Follette.

“It’s about bonding and community. Bringing people together in a way that only poetry can do.”

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