Poet: Susan Erickson, who worked as a paralegal, moved from the Seattle area to Bellingham in 1994.
Poetry then: Erickson had dabbled in poetry, but thought more seriously about writing a mystery novel. She took a correspondence course through Western Washington University in the hope of becoming a more focused writer, but the only one available was a poetry class. She liked the class, enrolled in a class at WWU and began attending poetry workshops. "I was starting to get very much hooked into the whole thing," she says.
Poetry now: Erickson sometimes reads at local poetry events. She has one chapbook, "The Art of Departure," and her poems have appeared in several anthologies, including "To Have and to Hold," "Bless the Day," "Animal Blessings" and "Bedside Prayers."
CREDO FOR AUGUST
I believe in the summer drunk scent
of blackberries ripening in the sun;
in zinnias and dahlias, in the languid sigh
of a screen door closing. I believe in the community
of birds: the democracy of goldfinches
taking turns at the thistle feeder, that Steller's jays
are justified in their cocky display
of blueness, and crows are reincarnated hype men
selling a line I've bought more than once in my life.
I believe, too, in weeds. Wish I could handle rejection
like the horsetails in the rock garden that come back
and back again no matter what. I believe
that root beer floats restore well-being,
that making a dozen deviled eggs
builds character, that corn-on-the-cob
should be served with butter and salt -
forget the corn holder gizmos.
Every city, I believe, should have a bell
that can be heard for blocks, libraries
with or without lions guarding the steps,
and sidewalks wide enough for café tables
with or without umbrellas.
I believe in talking to my body, giving it thanks
and encouragement. And, for dispensing comfort,
I'm not beyond a bit of baby talk.
I believe in revenge as a creative exercise
usually not to be acted upon. I still believe
that receiving is as blessed as giving.
But most of all, I believe in the evolution
of an ordinary August day with you.
Reach DEAN KAHN at email@example.com or call 715-2291.