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. Each poem is featured on a separate section divider, as in the “Introduction image shown here, and is repeated at the top of the document’s 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). In addition, many of these poems are featured in my Hilltop Haiku public poetry installation along Sammamish streets.

“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.’” See also a history of Sammamish on History Link. 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! See also the videos and map below. + +

“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