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early morn on an overcast day
it oregoned at Mission Mill.

a slight mist that became a drizzle,
became a heavy sprinkle where observers would

seek shelter under mature trees
became drops forming a stream

stream becoming a silver water race downhill
under walkways and through gears

to western willamette and north to ocean.
oregon. the morning oregoned and I

fled the trees and the now-wet benches,
like ducks, i sought shelter on the banks

someplace apart from others but with a view
an antique porch - one that held personages, parsonages

school children who then farmed the valley
built wool mills and laid out paper;

they didn’t wait the water out, they used it
and kept it flowing – west, north, out

i sat next to may irises on the bank
and watched oregon flow pass, under 13th street

to flow pass university, hospital, city hall, library
in and out of ponds; it wouldn’t stay contained

as it wove woolen blankets and pressed paper
as it cooled children and housed ducks, herons,

observers. I could not stay ashore, I wanted
bare feet to follow it’s rills, slide under commute traffic,

saddle spillways and watching bridges pass overhead
it had already left the forests, left the sky

it was sliding all over the ground, Oregon finding
rivulets and land folds, where it could pool.

i can’t let them bottle it up, pour it into plasticized forms
and ship it away; Oregon should never be contained.

About this poem

Published in Write The Town 2016. Mid-Valley Poets Society.2016. Written on site at Mission Mill, Salem, Oregon about the waters of Oregon.

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Written on May 14, 2016

Submitted by Ariel on September 19, 2021

1:13 min read


Ariel is a full-time Pacific Northwest poet, often participating at Oregon Open Mics events. She has been published in Gold Man Review, AIM, The Widow’s Handbook, and most recently in Terra Incognita, On The Platform Waiting and Free From Monsters. Ariel often collaborates in many Willamette Valley poetry/art projects and is a member of Oregon Poetry Association, Mid-Valley Poets Association, Willamette Writers and Poet. Her website is poetariel.net. more…

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