Olympia Parks Photography & Poetry Competition

Photographs and Poetry were selected by a jury to represent the wide range of experiences that can be enjoyed by the community in City parks. Entries had to be inspired by City of Olympia Parks and Trails. The project had two purposes, to enhance diversity within the City's public art collection by offering opportunities for photographers and poets; and to extend the life of those visual and written images by keeping them in the public view through exhibition.

Photography

Artist: Laurie Barnoski

Park: Percival Landing

Location: The Olympia Center

Artist: Steven Golding

Park: Watershed

Location: The Olympia Center

Artist: Steven Golding

Park: Watershed

Location: The Olympia Center

Artist: Mary Bishopp

Park: Yauger

Location: The Olympia Center

Artist: Carolyn D. Hoffman

Park: Priest Point

Location: The Olympia Center

Artist: Carolyn D. Hoffman

Park: Watershed

Location: The Olympia Center

Artist: Sally Reichlin

Park: Friendly Grove

Location: The Olympia Center

Artist: Karen Greene

Park: Yashiro Japanese Garden

Location: The Olympia Center

Artist: Deb Langhans

Park: Trillium

Location: The Olympia Center

Artist: Deb Langhans

Park: Priest Point

Location: The Olympia Center


Poetry


Yauger Park

While straddling an open bench,
She saws through
A handful of popcorn, kernels
Falling from her mouth like
Wood chips.

Utterly amazed at her child
Clinging to a bucking
Pink hippo-
Potamus fasted to a
Fat, creaking

Coil spring.

Garfield Nature Trail

On my wanders through
My neighborhood
I discover
A short cut
Of trees
Berries
Bushes
Birds
And creeks
Yet another
Piece of peace
Placed in between
Black tar streets
And people's houses
And my house
Has a short cut trail
That I can take
As long as I want to
Walk home

Percival Landing

If a heart had bones and fingers,
it would write down secrets
in minute bird marks.
Look into this heart,
see how little is left.
Worn down to silver and threads.
Only hieroglyphics in a lost language;
speaking of old photographs
and afternoons in the park,
remain intact.

Percival Landing

On summer days they tug companions
through fairs and festivals, testing
their paws between the wheels of
strollers and wheelchairs.

They pad over splinters, gravel,
to shady lawn where
the pesticide is lightest,
for a sip of wading pool.

They squat on their haunches
almost past the mustard spot.
They eat what spilled.

They urge us off the sidewalk
outside of Bread & Roses or the Sally Ann
sporting worn bandana collars,
guarding a hatful of change

as if the coins were pups,
or sustenance,
or tail lights leading home.

Priest Point Park

At sunrise, just as a lone cyclist shuttles over its clean arc,
weaving the eastside gardens to the western wading pool,
the water trails to Ellis Cove.

As yet no prankster tires
scar the median, in an awful press
to go nowhere, faster.

Twice daily, some of us bisect the park,
en route to lives greened over
by the hands of maple, fir boughs, cedar.
Some cheerful city gardener
carpeted impatiens about the signposts,
spirited as the trade beads
old timers used to find here.

Oblate Fathers offered gifts, salt-water blue,
to the Nisqually, Squaxin, the Snoqualmie.
None of the church picnics,
the family reunions announced on paper plates,
none of the clandestine lovers obliterate their ghosts,
shadows in the sword ferns.

East Bay Waterfront

The ocean stretches a tentacle
of Puget Sound down to my town,
pinches Olympia by its tip.

On a map, Budd Bay is a crab claw;
the East Bay is its lesser digit.
Dredged and filled, skinned by logs,
capped by asphalt, the East Bay used
to be an estuary where
the sea pulled at Moxlie Creek.

Now, Moxlie washes underneath
the east side through a culvert.
Its mouth shows as an "o" at low tide.

Low tide exposes piling bases
clustered with mussels;
rows of posts spike the mud flats.
Chunks of parking lot, shoes,
and oyster shells with gaskets
gone are slicked by silt.

Flood tide cuts the stilts to stumps.
Most birds retreat. A hundred gulls
complain from the warehouse roof.
Water laps at dandelions.
A Styrofoam clamshell bobs,
trapped by a blackberry bush.

Breeze-rattled wavelets
intersect. Rippling reflections
rise and fall. Sometimes, clouds
fall to shreds. Sun presses
through, opens to blue, bounces
the surface, and spreads my vision.

Priest Point Park

I want to walk between trees,
because today the mystery overwhelms me.

If I cannot know why life,
at least let me sense how
root clutches earth
while branch propels to sky.

If I cannot find reason,
at least let the worn breath
which spills from me
feed green purpose.

I do not know what it is to be human.
Make me cedar.
I do not know what it is to be.
Make me fir.

Madison Scenic Park

walk in from the top
secret entrance between houses
Capitol pokes up
from the tree'd city below

commons connect neighbors
swaths through blackberries
barefoot at Madison
on an incline

ghosts of past Processions
play hooky, run bases
birds with varied vocabulary
call across the green

wind down the path
as fog rolls over Black Hills
park on a vertical
Madison, barefoot