Sammamish Haiku

The first nine of the following twenty poems appeared in the City of Sammamish Ten-Year Comprehensive Plan in 2015, with artwork by Anna Macrae (click to enlarge the image shown here).
Each poem is featured on a separate section divider, as shown here, and is repeated at the top of the following page. After the first nine poems are eleven additional poems about Sammamish, the city where I’ve lived since January of 2003. Five of the following poems (“ghosts,” “a walk in the woods,” “pine lake sunset,” “trail work party,” and “all that’s left”) also appear on “Washington Poetic Routes,” an online poetry project by 2018–2021 Washington State poet laureate Claudia Castro Luna (when you visit the site, click the dot that represents Sammamish, just east of Seattle, where you can also listen to an audio recording of the poems). Sammamish is of Native American origin. According to the Sammamish Heritage Society, the name is “derived from samma, meaning ‘the sound of the blue crane,’ and mish, meaning ‘river.’” Sammamish is a great place to live, and CNN Money magazine agrees, numerous times ranking the city as one of the top-15 places to live in the United States, such as the #9 ranking in 2018, with Forbes magazine ranking Sammamish #1 in its 2012 list of the friendliest towns in the country. And in 2015 Sammamish was the #1 city in the entire country with the highest percentage of households earning $100,000 or more. I’m glad to live here. Enjoy these poems!     +     +

“Your contributions added such a lovely touch, illustrating the beauty of the community that we serve. Thank you for all that you do for us.”
—Kathleen Huckabay, Sammamish Deputy Mayor

                of the Sammamish—
                morning lake mist

                                                                                                                bear sighting—
                                                                                                                an email alert
                                                                                                                makes my phone beep

                blown in the breeze,
                snips of ribbon
                for the new library

                                                                                                                a walk in the woods—
                                                                                                                my children dancing
                                                                                                                atop the big rock

                shadows lengthening
                over the skatepark—
                first leaves of autumn

                                                                                                                home in the pines—
                                                                                                                my neighbor waves
                                                                                                                across the fence

                lingering sun—
                the farmer’s market peppers
                redder and greener

                                                                                                                soap box derby—
                                                                                                                someone’s front wheel
                                                                                                                a little wobbly

                council meeting—
                beads of condensation
                on the glass water jug

                                                                                                                pine lake sunset—
                                                                                                                today was the day
                                                                                                                you asked for my hand

                all that’s left
                of the beaver dam . . .
                the lake named after it

                                                                                                                the Seattle skyline
                                                                                                                distant to the west—
                                                                                                                awaiting fireworks

                trail work party—
                the goats have eaten
                all the underbrush

                                                                                                                farmer’s market—
                                                                                                                just the kids
                                                                                                                listening to the musician

                snow day—
                my kids make angels
                in the neighborhood park

                                                                                                                block party—
                                                                                                                the kids’ lemonade
                                                                                                                is the best ever

                making all the traffic
                hometown fireworks

                                                                                                                road work—
                                                                                                                the commute to Microsoft
                                                                                                                longer today

                concert in the park—
                our kids come home
                with beach balls

                                                                                                                Halloween night—
                                                                                                                a boy says he’s dressed
                                                                                                                as the former mayor