New Growth Poetry Exhibit

Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

My poem below was selected, by the Olympic Peninsula Writers through a juried submission, to appear for a year in the PAFAC New Growth outdoors exhibit in the Webster Woods sculpture garden. Following a year, it will be moved with other poems to a number of parks in Port Angeles. It’s very exciting to have been chosen! Below is a photograph of me with the installation on the day of the poetry reading.

Here is a recording of my reading:

Laura E. Garrard reading her poem “I Have to Chase That Squirrel,” June 18, 2022.
I Have to Chase That Squirrel

Start at a run from the door
And accelerate to top lope
Just as I reach the base of the Douglas fir
Even if I’m too late to catch it
My instinct must be served
You laugh and shrug
For me, it’s not just for fun
It’s my essence, my expression
My way to tell the world
What kind of dog I am
So free me to do 
What I want, what I must
Responsibility, according to whom?
My number one purpose right now
Is to chase that squirrel
Even though I’m scared 
I won’t succeed
I must look skyward to see
On which limb the squirrel may be

Laura E. Garrard, Copyright 2022

I took these photographs as spring turned into summer on the “Moments in Time Trail,” Olympic National Park. I feel they tie in nicely with the New Growth theme. (Laura E. Garrard, Copyright 2022.)

I Became a Drop of Water One Day

In celebration of Poetry in Your Pocket Day, during this Poetry Month of April, I recorded myself reciting this poem (in the above video) while kayaking on Crescent Lake.

I became a drop of water one day
I floated from a cloud into a high hillside creek
And flowed downward to join a magnificent turquoise river
The river rushed into an emerald oblong lake
Where I greeted trout and merganser feet
I filled the entire lake as all drops linked together
I felt my body reach from one shore to the other
As well as separate to myself, the original droplet
After I had known fully my lake environ
I streamed out to the bay, then rougher moving sea
Joining currents stronger than me
Carrying me to other shores and other beings
I grew in knowledge, strength, and courage
Finally after a lifespan, I recognized myself again
For the water is me
Fills me
Nourishes me
And heals me
I became a drop of water one day
And through it realized the essence of all creation

By Laura E. Garrard, Copyright 2021
Feb. 5, 2021



[Top and Below Photos all by Laura E. Garrard, Copyright 2021]

“Nature” Art Exhibit in Jackson Hole

My poetry and photography will exhibit in the show “Nature” at the Center for the Arts Theater Gallery and Glenwood Lobby in Jackson Hole, Wyoming: April 19-June 14. My photograph appears on the exhibit book cover as well. For more information, link to the Center for the Arts Event Page. Join me in celebrating one of the included poems, “The Forest.”

The Forest

We smell your freshness
Taste your salt
Until our skin
Lets you in

I am bound by your beauty
To be bolder, truer
Than the sum
Of my tomorrows

By Laura E. Garrard, Copyright 2021
Feb. 5, 2021
9×7″ Print on Wood, “The Forest,” By Laura E. Garrard, Copyright 2021

Top photo and below photos by Laura E. Garrard, Copyright 2021