Monday, February 28, 2011

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

What men cleaved to
Dirt, rock, grass
To build up tall and strong
A house of stone, light, and glass

Waves, in anger
Against man’s incursion
For Poseidon's attack
Intending submersion

A watery grave
Nature intends
Against man’s encroachment
Nature defends

The light house was built
With the best of intention
Industry providing for
Sea vessels’ protection

The light house has
Been named, Terrible Tilly
For the attacking surf logs
Knocking the rock silly

In service long ago
In the year 1881
The fearsome construction
On the rock, was finally done

Rocks and driftwood
Were often thrown
Through the windows of the
House, at four men  all alone

Long time it’s been rumored
That the lighthouse is haunted
Crew after crew stayed
Through decades undaunted

The first surveyor on the
The rock it is said
Turned an ankle and splashed,
Drowned until he was dead

One “keeper” through
Months of isolation
Went mad it is rumored
A mental damnation

Evil spirits did inhabit
So local tribes did purport
Many disastrous endings
That tales did support

The Lupatia did miss
The rock in one fog
Lost on Tillamook head
All hands dead, all but the dog

Many years the rock
Now vacant I read
For years, it has housed
The ashes of the dead

Ken Goree

Seriously, The lighthouse was bought in the 1980s by a company that turned it into a columbarium, a place for ashes of the dead.  The company’s name?  Eternity at Sea.  Early purchasers, of these final resting places, were offered free satellite TV for life.  The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1957.

The lighthouse is a beauty to look at, a mile out to sea.  I’ve been enjoying the storm powered waves exploding up its sides all day.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Taunting the Storm

Taunting the Storm

Missed me again?
Come on Storm
What are you afraid of?

Give it to me
Give me your best shot.
Throw me a lightning bolt
Give me your thunder

Let me feel your power
Strike me with hailstones
Tear at me with your winds
Share your energy

Uhmm, yes
Here it is
The onslaught
The power

The cold and chill that
Digs deep
Freezes bone and blood
Excites the senses

Surf and sand
Roll and churn together
Dig long buried treasures
Scatter gulls inland

Don’t turn aside
Not again, come back
Lay deep your ice and snows

Ken Goree

Since this morning, the storms have skirted around us, in Cannon Beach.  The grey and white veil of storm and snow drifts in, concealing the sea and surf until the last moment.  Then it all turns aside.  I assume it is slightly akin to a woman enduring the bluster, boasts and bragging of a new lover only to find the sad impotent reality that the bravado covers … very disappointing.

Saturday, February 26, 2011



Two pair of feet
On Cannon Beach

Rolling surf
White foam scudding along

Coastal river
Stirred by wind rush

Blowing sand
Eddying around ankles

Hail pounding
On toes and laces

Chill wind creeping
Against ankles and up cuffs.

Snow on sand
Mixes with each step

Footfalls silenced
By the clamor of the sea

Steps carve out
Crescents in the sand

Toes point to tree line as
Storm’s voice thunders

Soles warmed at fireside
At coastal end of day

Ken Goree

Another poem from Cannon Beach, February 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Wind

The Wind

The wind
It growls at me
The pressure
Compresses me

The clouds press in
Gather in total

Fingers tremble
As building shakes,
Around me

Hail tinkles
Tinkles over, and
Over and over,
Will it not end?

Whispers now,
But what do they say
If only.  If only, I could

Whistles now
Through the vents
Under the door
Is it calling me

Bang, creak again?
And again?  What is it?
Is something calling me?
Is something there?

Ken Goree

This poem was written in Cannon Beach, Oregon, on February 23rd 2011.  My daughter, Carly, and I were staying in a beach front room watching as the first push of a winter storm blew in off the ocean.  Waves of blowing snow would crest and break over and over against our windows.  Several times the clear windows would suddenly be hit and covered with a thin white blanket.  Within moments, and a gust of wind would strip the window bare again. 

Though Carly and I are succumbing to the latest cold of 2011, we are still enjoying our stay, runny noses and all. 

It is energizing to experience nature's savage assault on the coast, even if we are experiencing it from a warm room, behind two panes of insulation.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Will Last

What Will Last

Vermiculate lichen patterns
Painting basalt.
Ornate canvas
Centuries in the waiting.

Chalky code
Mere hours old
J. G. + B. C.
What will last?

Stone will always
Outlast flesh.
It has always been,
But not so of love.

Ken Goree

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

When I Kiss You

When I Kiss You

When I kiss you,
Sometimes I peek.
But most often,
I use my other senses.

I taste the delicate
Clear water that
Slips from yours lips,
To moisten mine.

I hear the light
Intake of your breath,
As my hand pulls you
Closer to me.

I smell the scent that
is yours and yours alone,
As it fills the space that
We are sharing together.

I feel the skin of your
Cheek, your jaw, your neck,
Then the light silky threads
as my fingers slide into your hair.

Ken Goree

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

If I Lost My Sight

If I Lost My Sight

If I lost my sight
I’d still know you
By your scent preceding you into the room
By the way you make breathing the air better

If I lost my sight
I’d still know you
By your soft touch on the flesh of my hand
By the way you make feeling the world better

If I lost my sight
I’d still know you
By your sound as you travel with light fluid motion  
By the way your movement stirs music in the air, you make it better

If I lost my sight
I’d still know you
By your delicate flavor as I taste your lips
By the way I breathe in the spice of your lips, and it is better

If I lost my sight
I’d still know you
By your image in my mind
By the way your vision makes my imaginings better

Ken Goree

Monday, February 21, 2011



Silver and white
Cool, Crystalline blanket
Smoothes flaws under its chill layer

Ken Goree

I figured I should keep writing the wintry poems, while it is still wintry.  I’m sure there are plenty of soggy poems on the way, as the temperatures warm up.

Sunday, February 20, 2011



Shuddering flesh
Coverings pulled closer
In protective reflex
To ward off the unseen

Waking to find stark light
Silver threads trace
Fingers across the window
Etching ghostly fern patterns

Opened window brings
Diamond crystal pinpoints
Dusted on earth and stone
Crept high on trunk and limb

A sharp intake of breath
Calm welcoming smile
At  the pleasurable bite
And cold pinch of cheek

White light pops from
Finger to nose of best friend
As hand is outstretched
In morning welcome

Praising mornings bleak chill
All the while, underneath
Its beautiful, lifeless shroud
Spring ponders awaking

Ken Goree

When I woke this morning, I shivered.  A cold snake of winter air had crept in my open window and found, where my covers had slipped away, a patch of exposed flesh which it could bite.  Hmmm, may try to work that last bit into a future poem.  The pond that I see out my back window is shrinking, as the winter rains have done.  I don't think I've seen the last of either yet, this year.  For now though, the muddy shoreline grows as the pond on which "my" ducks frolic diminishes.  

This was the first morning I noticed the ice crystals having formed on my window.  By the time I was finishing this poem, and realizing a picture of this frozen fern would be wonderful to add to the blog, it had sublimated away into the dry morning air.

Saturday, February 19, 2011



When I was a small man
 I wanted to be a Cowboy
My first time ridin’ I got “throwed”
But I got back up, oh boy!

My second time out
I drew an old nag
Slow and lazy
Just wanted feed bag.

I stayed behind, because of her way
Slow and plodding she took the trail
The trail boss raised a stick at her
Eyes round, nostrils flaring, a flick of her tail.

When her speed - increase didn’t
That cowboy man put stick to hide
My grip I didn’t lose
Through all of that terrible ride.

When I was a teen, a ranger I was
A woodsy state horse park, no less
The way my fortune had run
Should have got a priest, me to bless.

Was a girl of good standing
With perfume that to this day lingers
In my suave brown uniform chatting
Her horse tried to bite off my fingers

Stomped and they chewed me
In those many horses’ cruel way
Kicked and they threw me
Still I’ll be a cowboy someday

Ken Goree

Friday, February 18, 2011

Aquarium Field Trip

Aquarium Field Trip

Tuesday we went on a field trip
When arriving, from the bus, I did skip

We went to see the aquarium
I spent time in a happy delirium

The tide pool I found fantastic
Some creatures were really elastic

You can imagine my frustration
At not getting to see a mutation

Though you can’t imagine my true elation
When I was allowed to touch a crustacean

There was a tank that held an octopus
Apart from his buddy so they wouldn’t fuss

The sea cucumber’s really a nut
When startled he spits out his gut

The moon snail gave me a chill
Kills its prey with a tongue like a drill

I got a good look at an anemone
Wanted to pull my finger away from me

By the end of the trip we were tired
But for poetry I got inspired

There were so many creatures to see
A fraction of what are in the sea.

Ken Goree

I'll probably add to this one some time in the future.  There was so much to see there that this poem seems like it is much too short.  The kids and the adults had a great time, and the docents who chatted with our children did a wonderful job.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011



I’ve had enough of sand castles
A more permanent foundation for me
Mortared with heart, vision, time
This castle will not crumble into the sea

Together, our hands will build
I’ll not, in solitary, construct your prison
Each chamber and vista we together
Will envision, plan, shape, in unison

Our castle will not crumble into the sea.

Ken Goree

I was listening to Jimmy Hendrix on the drive to work today, and Castles Made of Sand came on.  I like the imagery, but couldn’t get myself in the mood to accept that everything decays, falls apart, or ends.  Plus, I’m on the romantic poem kick, so this works a little better.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Years Ahead

The Years Ahead

“Why didn’t we meet
years ago,” she said.
“A beautiful love we are building,
We’ve many  sweet years ahead.”

If we had met
On a long ago day,
Would we have known each other?
Seen the magic? Who could say?

The growing we did
In our years before,
Made us the people we are these days.
We couldn’t have known what was in store.

The days before and
The lessons we learned - -
The pains, the joys and persistent work,
The right to a perfect love, we’ve earned.

Don’t think of any
Years that we missed
Time in my life has only become
Important since the day we first kissed

“Why didn’t we meet
years ago,” she said.
“A beautiful love we are building,
We’ve many  sweet years ahead.”

Ken Goree

Hmmm, this seems like another one that clunks off my tongue, rather than soar away on the wings of a song bird.  I hope the message was able to limp away from the poetic disaster that it was catching a ride with.  Kind of like an innocent, virginal 16-year-old girl that limps safely away from her drunken, idiot, boyfriend who rolled the car off the freeway while avoiding a pink elephant.  She’s still sweet and innocent, even if she had been riding in the wrong vehicle.  I guess I’m responsible for both of them, in this scenario, aren’t I?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Planning Ahead

Planning Ahead

In my yard today, I tucked
In for their continued sleep
Two sweet little apple trees
Still in their deep winter slumber.

When they wake I hope
They are not too shocked
By their new bed.  I worked
Hard to smooth out the lumps.

I mixed them a comfortable
Mattress of rich, fluffy loam and
Refreshing compost then wrapped
Them under a warm blanket of mulch.

Ken Goree

I called this poem Planning Ahead, for a couple of reasons.  

First, I have a personal gardening philosophy.  A garden should be attractive.  I believe my neighbors agree and are probably pretty excited that I have started to finally move in that direction.  A garden should smell good, though I'm willing to flex on that for a a couple weeks in the off-season when the new compost comes in.  A garden should be, as much as possible, edible.  This all takes a bit of planning.  

Second, I have been planning for a while which type of apple tree I wanted.  For those of you who have seen my front yard, you know that it is quite small.  Because of that, small was definitely going to be part of the  plan.  I settled on the mini-dwarf apple tree which at full height is between six and eight feet tall.  This is the size that will allow me to plant next to the driveway, on the skinny side.  Then while I was looking at trees at Flower World one day, I say that they had mini-dwarf trees in the Honeycrisp variety.  The decision was made at that point.  I bought it a few days ago, but hadn't planted it, wanting to research the best technique.  I new it would need a pollinator, but figured all of the apple and crab apple trees in the neighborhood would take care of that.  Then during my reading I found that having one within 20 feet is often necessary.  So this morning, back to Flower World to pick up a buddy for tree number one.  The second one is the Liberty variety.  

A lot of planning, isn't it?  I also had to plan the supplies; compost, bone meal (didn't think that would sound right in the poem) and fertilizer.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Out of a Crowd

Out of a Crowd

Heart feels warm, full, clear
My eyes closed, you can enter
Senses recognize

Ken Goree

I called this poem Out of a Crowd, as in “picking someone out of a crowd,” to try to explain how a person’s senses become heightened when they have found that special someone that they have “chemistry” with. 

So often, I find that, I am not satisfied with my poems.  There is so much more I would want to say, or I wish I had said it better.  At least with the haiku, saying it better is my only worry … I have to be satisfied with the length.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Flowers from a Child

Flowers from a Child

I looked up a day ago
To see a sheepish grin
A student that I’ve come to love
Brought a pot and tulips within

A little girl with eyes so bright
Her arms outstretched to me
The flowers all wrapped in red
Shiny wrapping I did see

The flowers’ lives are short we know
Their beauty fades in time
But I will save three lasting bulbs
In that garden of mine

Don’t fret their fade my darling
Girl, I do swear  it’s true
“Each year when they spring forth again
Sweetie, I’ll think of You.”

Ken Goree

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Picture of My Princess

My Daughter

I thought it was the time to share
A picture of my daughter
She's, of course, a beauty always
But 'specially by the water.

Ken Goree

Friday, February 11, 2011


You have
Always been mature
Beyond your young years.

Musical gifts
Have been a
Humbling source of pride.

Well of
Depth, you share
Your whole world vision.

Recognize your
Kind and compassionate
Actions in the community.

Have learned
To question and
And see universal  truth.

A friend
Needs a friend
You always come through.

Will always
Behold you through
Creation’s most golden lens.

Ken Goree

I always feel I have fallen short when writing poems about the people I love, in my life.  I hope they know there is much more to say; that my love goes deeper than the words I write; that I could do all of their gifts justice and express my feelings more clearly.

My son is an amazing human being, and I am looking forward to watching all of the wonderful things he will accomplish in his lifetime ... though for now, I'd like to see him recycle all of those pop cans that are stacking up in his room.  

Thursday, February 10, 2011



bitter cold,
Yet, sun filled
Day is satisfying like
The complementary taste of
Sweet  and Sour
Chicken and

Ken Goree

Yesterday morning, after the freezing fog had lifted, and the black silhouette of the Cascade Mountains against the Tahitian orange sunrise had faded, I noticed a spine-shivering balance.  Brisk, chilled air which jarred goose-bumps awake and stood hairs on end met in a fine momentary balance with the eye squinting light of a clear winter day's sun.  Its good nature coaxed hair and goose-flesh to warm and smooth away remnants of the early chill.  

I found this balance extremely satisfying, and wanted to find something to equate it with.  Though a moment of experience in the wonders of life and natural sensation is not quite the same as "Eating out," it was the comparison that came to mind.

A great place to experience sweet and sour chicken, or pork, is a restaurant called Thai Ho, in Kenmore Washington.  Also, time and time again they have been written up for the amazing quality of their noodles, which they make fresh on the premises.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Poems Come

Poems Come

Poems come

On the edge of sleep
On the borders of waking

In the fiery light of the dawn
In the fading embers of dusk

Beneath cottony clouds dotting a juicy blue sky
Beneath greasy black soil of oil poisoned bogs

Amongst the shuffle and bustle of life
Amongst the solemn stillness of mourners

Within the open, innocent heart of first love
Within the evil, bitter and twisted mind

Above the scented heads of infants
Above the frail heads of elders

From the moment of creation
From the dying of the light

Near the goose bumped flesh of fear
Near the spine-tingling shiver of epiphany

Through the delicate fragrance of flowers
Through nostril flaring stretch of decay

Against the rough, hard, cold edge of stone
Against the smooth, warm curve of a lover

Poems come

Ken Goree

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Boatful of Memories

Boatful of Memories

Early morning shore
Waves a lapping
Found my spot
After hours of mapping

In the distance
Coyotes yapping
At water’s edge
Duck wings a flapping

On the boat’s side
The waves are slapping
First fish caught
Child’s hands are clapping

To internal tune
My toes are tapping
My smile grows
Finger snapping

After long hours
My son is napping
The noon-day sun
My strength is sapping

Productive trip
Time to be scrapping
To the trailer
The boat I’m strapping

A perfect day
In my memory trapping
Better than Christmas
It needs no wrapping

Ken Goree

Monday, February 7, 2011



Our girl is Andi
Aptly named Andromeda
Leads Orion ‘round.

Ken Goree

I figured it was time to give Andi a poem.  She really is a sweetie ... at times.  When I got her, I was told she was part dachsund, part chihuahua.  At the time it seemed possible, but she is still getting bigger.  Andi is not very well behaved around company, I know, my fault.  

Sunday, February 6, 2011



One of my very favorites is
The Narwhal of the North
Oh so shy and secretive
He rarely does come forth.

Lonely days and silent nights
He spends below the surface
Beneath the polar crust
Enjoying his silent place.

Sailor, in this mythic beast
He certainly believes
One long tusk a hole it pokes
That is how he breathes.

The tusk it really is a tooth
It’s grown so hard and long
Don’t stand above him on the ice or,
You’ll  get skewered on this prong.

Ken Goree

I really do intend to add to this poem down the road, but I was headed out to my friend's birthday party.  It is another one of her 29th birthdays.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Another note about ...

I intend to redo today's Haystack rock poem. I like the way it turned out, but I want to stretch out the background, and add in a little shading to make it look more like the coast.

No, I know, it doesn't match the exact shape of the monolith itself, but I think it represents it fairly well.

Haystack Rock

I am looking forward to a few marvelous days in Cannon Beach later this month.  I was dwelling on it quite a bit today, and got home needing to put something into text.

Friday, February 4, 2011



Warm and bundled
Children enter
“Let’s do some learning,
Front and center.”

In the classroom
Toasty warm
Within these walls
Safe from harm.

Shirts and pants
Were clean and dry
Shoes and socks all soggy
I know why.

Slush, ankle deep
What not to choose
Shorts and t-shirts and,
Please no tennis shoes.

Cast aside those shoes and socks
I looked upon with fear and loathing
Before the library, yes all, let’s
Find a place to dry that clothing

When to the room I did return
The time was not much later
A vicious smell my nose assaulted
Do not put socks on the radiator.

Ken Goree

I would assume the scenario is semi-obvious.  We had a snowy, wet and soggy day.  I know that it was a Wednesday, because that is our library day.  The kids came in from lunch recess soaked and dripping.  My general rule is that if it doesn't cause a problem for anyone's learning ... why not.  Several dripping wet socks were draped over chairs, and a few over my easel.  When the students headed for library I noticed quite a few socks were left behind.  What I didn't notice was that someone had come up with the brilliant idea of putting their socks on the radiator/heater.  

After dropping the kids off in the library, I spent time in the office making copies, checking my mail and chatting with colleagues.  By the time I returned to the room, the smell of stinky, sweaty socks was so thick I felt like I was swimming through globs of the stuff to reach the offending articles of clothing.  I placed them outside, in the freezing cold air.

That was in November, and now in February on days when the room temperature climbs too high, the "ghosts of stinky socks past" return to torment us once again.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Poem for You

A Poem for You

No coin carries more value
Than the sun shining in your hair
No jewel sparkles more precious
Than the twinkle in your eye
No treasure more priceless
Than the moments I’ve spent with you
No perfume more intoxicating than
The scent of you I’ve breathed in.

Ken Goree

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Orion Haiku


Orion’s firm stance
Wrapped around completely with
Nature’s earthy quilt

Ken Goree

This is a haiku dedicated to my buddy, Orion. The picture was taken on Halloween day, 2009, when Orion was two months and three days old. We were at the Tolt-MacDonald Park, in Carnation, Wa. He got scared by the reflections in puddles that day, and wouldn't willingly get near water again until June.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I know this poem looks different in several ways. The reason for it not matching the previous posts is that I had to import it as a picture, instead of text. I did this because, as a diamonte, the poem should have a diamond shape, and I wasn't able to figure out how to use a "centering" command on it, in the blog.

Another thing about this poem is a definite feeling of contempt for modern man. I actually don't feels this was ... not completely ... but I was on a roll, writing the poem and this is how it presented itself to me.

Have a beautiful evening/morning?.