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.)

Resilient & Creative National Juried Art Exhibit – Port Angeles Fine Art Center

I am proud to announce that my multimedia figurative painting “Flowing Through Impermanence” has been selected to appear in the Resilient & Creative Art Exhibit at the Port Angeles Fine Art Center, Aug. 13-Sept. 26, 2021.

14×18″ Acrylic, Pencil and Ink on Canvas, Custom Framed in 2″ White Oak – $600

Here is the link to the show’s virtual tour: https://www.pafac.org/rc2021.html

This is the the poem that inspired my piece:

The Walk

Tall, striking 
New pink sneakers
Countenance of a tree
She glances at me
Actually, looks directly
I see her full expression
And feel myself weeks ago
Scared, strong, in fear, clear, near tears
The unknown has hit
The big leveler
The death inviter
The life challenger
Out of her experience
Out of her control
Swing set emotion
Up to down to up
Turning up the compost
Bringing up the rot
Mixing rich earth
With decomposing parts
She walks with dignity
With desperation
Because she knows
That her present and future
Are in constant question
And she's trying to flow
But not give in
Life is too precious
And the trick is
Not wanting it too badly
There's the rotting rub
How to survive
Remain oneself
Be the gracious woman
You've learned to be
Without handing your life, body and soul
Over to those
Who have no idea what makes you full
I smile to her
For I'm in it too
Just a different side of the walk
Looking across I'm now able to see
My own feelings reflected
And put two and two together
For myself, perhaps for her
And I hope my simple smile
Provides a calm kindness
The truest type of assistance
No overstepping, no talking, no giving
Having been there myself
Now walking not just for me

By Laura E. Garrard, Copyright 2021
Dec. 5, 2020
Photo by Evie Shaffer on Pexels.com

All photographs above by Laura E. Garrard, Copyright 2021