By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet
There is an enchanted place where artists and writers can spend time creating with no interruptions and surrounded by beauty. It is Centrum Center for the Arts, which is the old Fort Ward State Park in Port Townsend, Wash. Perhaps you saw the movie An Officer and a Gentleman, which was filmed there. Here is a poem that came out of that experience.
Queen of the Night
Shrine of clouds, red halo around the moon,
opalescent obelisk enshrouded,
and Venus, just below, like a handmaiden.
Such a lyrical night on Admirality Inlet
where I am carrying a sack full of laundry
and pocketful of quarters,
walking down a path alone here
at Fort Warden, now a park and arts center.
As if this weren’t miracle enough,
as I walk up the path, returning with
clean underwear, sweet smelling and bleached,
three deer nibble grass at my cottage door.
Mother and fawn keep their distance
while the bolder young buck stands, stares,
and steps closer. I whisper and step closer too.
Brown eyes lock under the Queen of Night sky.
The buck twitches his ear, blinks
and tiptoes away. Inky clouds cover
the moon completely and all is shadow
and silhouettes. Venus gets off her knee,
traveling incognito under a cloud front
blowing into the bay. All that remains
is a foghorn, a chilly September breeze,
the vast, dreamy indigo night.
First published in Soundings, then in The Alleluia Tree.
Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet. She received the Lawrence E. Gloyd Community Impact Award at the 2012 Rockford Area Arts Council State of the Arts Awards.
From the Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2013, issue