Poem for Jack

am please to publish this poem to Jack, who is 5 years old. Meet, Dale Champlin, poet, artist, friend and grandmother of two clearly beloved grandchildren.

When This Pandemic is Over

I will hug you silly!
I will wrap you in my arms
and give you thousands of kisses.

When this is over—
You will be the first person
I choose to hug.

We will go to the park.
We will go to the grocery store.
We will go to the toy store.

We will go to the zoo.

I will stay overnight for a sleepover.
We will pull the blankets over our heads
and whisper secrets to each other
in the dark.

The next morning
I will scramble some eggs for you,

I’ll even let you crack them
and stir them. When they’re cooked
I’ll feed them to you one bite at a time.
When this pandemic is over
I will stick to you like glue.

After your bath
I will wrap you up in a giant towel
and carry you like a king in a throne.

All morning we will sit on the sofa
and watch your favorite movies on TV.
We will cuddle together.
I will be your mama butterfly
and you will be my baby butterfly.

When it’s time for lunch
you can eat all the chips you want
those chips doused with cheese.

Then we’ll go to the park
and you can show me how high
you can climb, how you can balance
on a log and how you
don’t fall into the brook.

Dale Champlin
9:04 am April 13, 2020

Readers Write

Mary Lansing, is exploring her file drawers finding poems waiting to see the light of day. Mary is retired from teaching English and her Family Therapy practice–thanks Mary

The Wayward Poem

After I have gazed for an hour out the window at the sunshine,
After I have vacuumed the keyboard, put away drudging desk clutter,
After I have listened to the clock chime three, then chastised myself
for lingering on this chair when my bladder is full,
Then, and only then does Writing A Poem begin to have meaning.

Poems create us. Defining in their words, they illuminate our lives.
They settle into our everyday minds as a blossoming bush
alters the landscape.
They nestle in a new space in the memory, pushing away dull thoughts,
Finding comfort where they can be remembered,
Repeated, rejoiced.

Mary Lansing 2/2015

On the Way Out

She left town when he left her.
One step up from station platform to train car.
Her heart hurt her.
She turned for a final glance at what she might miss.

The vacant main street still slept ‘neath dim lights.
She wouldn’t miss that.
The flickering neon on The Mint Bar sign reminded her
To shiver at his “just one more”: She wouldn’t miss that.

A stray, scrawny dog, tail tucked under his rear
Scurried past the depot door. In him, she saw herself.
She would not miss the scarcity of warmth and support
She had expected from this man.

It would take a while to see how fortunate
She was to be slipping out of town
This gray, sad morning.
The cur with his haunted eyes told her that.

Mary Lansing 3/1



Lois Isbell, who strikes me as someone who always thinks before she speaks, can spill natural beans of poetry all over the place. After several request for a reader writing she made two things clear, 1) “I don’t write.” and 2), “I am not a poet.” However, She bravely acquiesced with her view of Adversaries. Thank you, Lois.


I’m not sure why people seem to be at odds with our fellow creatures but whenever I hear a story about urban animals, it is adversarial: them against us! When birds fly into the engine of airplanes, we talk about “bird strikes” as if birds intentionally band together to attack unsuspecting planes. When coyotes are seen roaming suburbia people fear for domestic pets and want them removed.

Columbia River Seals pose a problem for fisher people. Seals eat fish and don’t have options. We, as omnivores, enjoy fish but can find other foods. Is it fare to kill Seals because they disrupt commerce and/or recreation?

Skirmishes between humans and other species are reported as if creatures are assaulting humans intentionally; birds are terrorists trying to bring down planes; coyotes, predators, taking our beloved pets; seals, ripping the food right out of our mouths.

The conundrum of who is entitled to what in the world put us up against all other species. How we can get along with them if we see them as unworthy of life.

Peace among our species depends on peace among all species.

Lois Isbell 2/17/20

Comment: Martin Berka
…Many forms of peace seem to spring from the ambivalence of distance, each side respecting some boundary. Humans see no boundary except where something pushes back; getting along (with us) may be a luxury (that they can rarely afford).