Thursday, July 6, 2017

Poetry Friday 7/7/17 Rivers are never ending construction zones

I live on the east coast but my mind and writing attention are still in my recent visit to the Northwest Pacific.

When visiting the Suquamish Museum in Suquamish, WA, I was completely taken with the small but beautiful exhibits...especially the one about the Elwah River. There was a line in the exhibit documentation that I knew immediately was going to be a golden shovel poem as soon as I saw it.....and it became the title too.

Healthy rivers are never ending construction zones

People of clear salt water well know that  healthy
dances with death and lifeRivers
and sea, sky and forest give and partake. The Changer* knows people  are
meant to learn this with fasting, prayer, meditation and ritualNever
was sun to overpower moon. No  ending
forgets its start…a longhouse was red cedar, before  construction.
Each chinook thrived in salt before thrashing current to spawning  zones.

(c) Linda Mitchell

* Changer is the name of God to the First Peoples of Suquamish

"Elwah: A River Reborn." Suquamish Museum - Featured Exhibit. Https://, 28 June 2017. Web. 02 July 2017. 

Hop on over to Beyond Literacy for this week's Poetry Friday round-up with delightful Carol Varsalona. 

Tabatha Yeatts at, The Opposite of Indifference, is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-up on 7/14 which also happens to be National Macaroni & Cheese Day.....she will be playing with that as a theme and we are all invited to cook up something to bring to the party.


  1. Lucky you to spend some time out in the NW! Your golden shovel poem is wonderful! I especially like the lines: "healthy/dances with death and life" and "No ending/forgets its start..." Well done!

  2. I've been in that area with students, a special place, & it seems you were very inspired. Your poem speaks of so much in those few lines, Linda, all the learning that must be! I love the "No ending/forgets its start" too. You've created a poem/memory of your trip!

  3. Nicely done, Linda. I love the way you wove so much information into this poem and wove in the message of the endless cycle of life. Glad you had such a wonderful trip!

  4. I, too, am impressed with your Golden Shovel as a memorable response to a beautiful vacation, Linda. I agree with Molly and Linda that the lines highlighted pop right out. Vacations are refreshing!

  5. I like that you've taught me something of the First People of Suquamish. What a great line to inspire a golden shovel. This is much better than a photo. :-)

  6. How very interesting, Linda! "No ending forgets its start..." I love this. Such a powerful river of words, Linda!

  7. Linda, I love the history and layers you have created and woven into your Golden Shovel poem.
    The dialogue between the "Changer" and the relationship between"fasting, prayer, meditation and ritual," is one we could benefit from trying on, along with the continuum you've created in the closing lines, thanks!

  8. Wow, I've never heard of Suquamish before, but now I want to find and visit it!

  9. "No ending/forgets its start..." Wisdom.

  10. I love the concept of "The Changer." It implies a continuity and an on-going concern that origin stories leave out.

    Quite a thought provoking poem you've written!

  11. So nice to see your Golden Shovel here today! What a great way to keep your visit remembered. You will have to keep it next to some of the pictures you took. It would make a nice scrapbook page for your summer adventures this year!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!