EPIC Poetry Group: Poet’s Corner — Looking to the West, For the Good People of the Village

My Edmonds News is pleased to present the latest installment of its new feature, Poet’s Corner, presented by the Edmonds-based EPIC Poetry Group.

Looking to the West

We are looking to the west—to the old Smith Tower
on the left, to tinted office towers on the right,
to the piers and giant cranes of the Port of Seattle,

to whitecaps on Elliott Bay, to seagulls in flight,
to the Puget Sound, and to the Olympic Mountains range.
Breezes are light; the afternoon sun is bright.

We gather on the courthouse roof to turn the page
on the past. A judge with the matinee-idol look
begins to speak. We are present to witness the change.

Decision point: there is no turning back.
Eyes are brimming wet, but voices are strong.
In this moment, old sorrows fade to black.

Where do we go from here? As the old song
explains, We may lose and we may win,
though we will never be here again.We are looking

to the west as the sun declines to the haze horizon.
Where do we go from here? Will all of us hold,
or will our gathering scatter as we grow old?

David Baldwin

~ ~ ~ ~

For the Good People of the Village

John 2:1-11

The wedding party in Cana was underway!
There was music, dancing, laughter, and strong wine
for the good people of the village. Suddenly, a sign
the wine was running low threatened to ruin the day.
The ancient rabbis say, “Without wine,
there is no joy!” So Jesus told the servants
to fill the stone jars with water, and then
take to the steward this fortuitous fruit of the vine.
The steward tasted it and thanked the giddy groom
for saving the best wine for the very last.
Jesus was a man of the people, and this was his crowd.
For the good people of the village, there was always room
for simple kindness. His love was unsurpassed
for the salt of the earth, as much as love allowed.

David Baldwin

~ ~ ~ ~

Celebrating Peace

1.

Today we gather in this faraway space
to celebrate what never took place.

Under this cloudless sky
the Unknown Soldier did not die.

No one was wounded on this spot.
Nary a soldier fired a shot.

No soldier sang a battle hymn
or killed or died or lost a limb.

On this our distant grassy field,
no corpse was lifted onto a shield.

The world at war is far away;
let peace begin with us today.

2.

Fog is rising from the thawing ground.
Birds are soaring without a sound.

Cedars shimmer in the morning breeze.
Snowy mountains back the trees.

For a world at war, where do we start?
Peace begins in the human heart.

By changing hearts one by one,
changed hearts lower the gun.

Today we promise to work for peace,
changing hearts in the name of peace.

The world at war is far away;
let peace begin with us today.

David Baldwin

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dave Baldwin retired in 2017 from the Walt Disney Company after 40 years as a technical writer and editor. Currently, he is working as a part-time editor for Microsoft. In March 2018, he published a book of lyrics for church anthems. He is collaborating with composer/musician Kerry Lewis of Santa Clara, Calif. Dave lives in Lake Stevens.

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