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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Poetry Posts

Posted by Rick | March 24th, 2008 | Filed under Environmental Change, Personal Reflection, Positive Change


Walking through my neighborhood, I came across a wooden post near the sidewalk with a small case at its top. Inside the box frame, there was a poem called “Bird Watching,” available to anyone who might be walking by. I was impressed with the work, especially a part that asked what the point is of bird watching:

What is the point
of spending precious time
and hard-earned dollars
to wander the globe, only to learn
that someone has gobbled up
the nesting ground,
or filled the marsh,
or paved the meadow,
or poisoned the pond,
or clear-cut the forest,
or built a boundary wall
at the river’s edge?

The answer starts at the middle of the poem:

The point is to know we can follow
the tune of the bird of our childhood,
find the common among the common
and to know the rare will still be there.

…And finishes with the stanza:

The point is
…to identify what you find
in the spotting scope,
even when your naked eye
didn’t know it was there;
…to turn a camera toward it all;
…to show our children
and our children’s children;
…to let them hear it,
…to let them feel it,

That is the point!

The poem had no attribution, but the date at the bottom was just a few weeks earlier. I couldn’t resist turning my own camera to the post to record what I had discovered, then continued on my way. On the next corner, I was surprised to find another post holding another poem near the sidewalk. Inside the box was a photocopy of “Hug-O-War” from none other than Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. It made me think that these two neighbors had created a tangible version of a blog, for people who aren’t glued to computers all day. I made me hope that this trend in landscaping would continue for many blocks to come, turning the front yards in my neighborhood into outdoor salons and art galleries.

5 Responses to “Poetry Posts”

  • March 25, 2008 at 7:23 am | lawless says

    Refreshing. What a cool concept.

    Both posts look the same. Is it a community effort or just like-minded neighbors sharing their DIY aesthetic?

  • March 25, 2008 at 8:17 am | Daniel says

    Thanks Rick. I needed that little touch of loveliness this morning.

  • March 25, 2008 at 10:06 am | Rick says

    My guess is that they are like-minded neighbors. If you look closely in the photos, you can see that the posts are only a house or two apart. I got the impression that one wrote the poem him/herself (“Birdwatching”) and the other just wanted to share a favorite piece. One post has “Poetry Post” written on it, and the other doesn’t. I really should knock on the door and get the full story!

    Thanks for the comments!

  • March 27, 2008 at 12:29 pm | Matty says

    You must live in Overlook?

    I walk by a post filled with poetry quite often….right off Willamette, near to Adidas. It changes you know, from time to time. Always insightful and thought provoking.

    By the way, I want to work for you!

  • March 28, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Rick says

    I live in Hollywood and the posts are in Beaumont… Nice to see this is happening in other pdx hoods!

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