Poem up at Eclectica

Mt St Helena_Sleeping Elephant

My “sleeping elephant,” Mt. Saint Helena (Sonoma County, CA), in whose mesmerizing shadow I grew up…

My poem, “Elephantine,” has been included with a fine array of poems in Eclectica magazine’s October/November 2019 issue’s Word Poem Challenge feature. The task was to compose a poem containing the words paper, indigo, brew, and cruise. Thank you editor Evan Richards for selecting this piece.

8 thoughts on “Poem up at Eclectica

  1. I love this – you’ve honored Mother Earth’s inner stirrings beautifully. News coverage of the 1980 eruption made a HUGE impression on my son (6 yrs old then) and one of our treasured memories as a family (me, son, younger daughter) was walking on Mt. St. Helens in 1992. We were on a drive through reopened areas and stopped. My son ran uphill a ways and returned with his entire body covered in ash. He must’ve hugged the mountain! We were all awe-struck by the emerging trees, the recovery beginning. Thank you for bringing these memories into focus, taking me back.

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    • I love that my childhood elephant (St. Helena) stirred your memories of St. Helens’ 1980 kaboom, and that you got to set foot on that wondrous place as new life was emerging! I remember there being ash in the sky and settling all over in Northern California for weeks (I was 9 years old), and also that KFC was giving away vials of ash if you ordered a bucket of chicken! It was weird to see a natural cataclysm be made into a commodity just like that…

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      • What my son would give (then and still) to have a vial of 1980 ash! We lived in South Florida in 1980, about as far away as could be within the US. Up to then, local area was all he knew – overnight his horizons expanded; he grew up noticeably. Defining event. [I have a cat figurine made of that ash, purchased on my ’92 trip.]

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  2. Congratulations, Stephanie.
    Looking up Mt. Saint Helena and learning about its multiple peaks also took me on a tangent, reading about Fort Ross. Very informative, thank you. I knew about Russia’s presence in California, but not the particulars, especially that it actually was not a true expansion from Alaska – and also how late in the game it occurred.
    Oops, sorry about that diversion! But back to Mt. Saint Helena. Your line “heaves her shoulders” is perfect for the mountains multiple peaks. And the rest – the wine country, “evergreen hide,” the “dormant brew” capped by “basalt and rhyolite,” all surveyed by a “black vulture” – underscores the impermanence of something so permanent.

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    • Wow, Ken, thanks so much! Your feedback means a great deal to me! Ah, yes, I vaguely remember visiting Fort Ross as a young child! The thing I remember the most was standing at the edge of a nearby precipice that cascaded downward toward the ocean, and that there were tons of goats (feral, I think) on the hillside below and I was aching to pet them! I must’ve been about 8 or 9 years old. I didn’t have the first clue about the Russian presence in California — and the fact that the 100 mile long river that flowed through the countryside where I lived was called the RUSSIAN RIVER was totally lost on me! I’d thought the name had something to do with how it was a “rushin'” river, particularly when it would flood in the winter…

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