ferlinghetti’s people

When I was around 19 or 20 I walked out of a Lawrence Ferlinghetti reading and wrote this poem. I have mellowed with age. A bit.

ferlinghetti’s people
there’s Christ in the back row, third seat
and the nodding mother of long tresses
to whom all is truth, and truth is all

swirling blossoms anoint foreheads
toes sticking from sandals, painted, dirty
beads from Indian Joe’s Frontier Village
pot in the pocket, makes them proud

and kaleidoscope minds seek
love and self out of hate
self and hate out of love
hate and love out of self

fingers snap, with eyes closed, chins up, arms stretched —
feeling, believing, seeing, knowing
This Beat Poet Who Is Cool, Man
and has the answers with the reputation
and when this cool, the “new,” the war, and Johnson are over
will they become the solid, stolid citizens whom they now decry?
having hearts of writhing puckered penguins
minds of flashing vocabulary (equals nada)
tongues of computered clay and

souls of mashed bananas
in a soppy smog gutter
three days old.

— Luther Allen

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SpeakEasy 16!

SpeakEasy 16: Fresh Minds New Words

Please join us at the Mount Baker Theatre Encore Room for SpeakEasy 16: Fresh Minds New Words on Sunday, April 12, 2015.

Each SpeakEasy reading takes a different approach to poetry and this one is no exception. Produced in conjunction with Poetry CHaT, a group at Western Washington University assembling a definitive collection of children’s poetry books published since 1960, SpeakEasy 16 features poems by and for children.

The SpeakEasy featured guest poet is Pamela Porter, author of the internationally acclaimed novel in verse, The Crazy Man, which won a dozen awards, including the Governor General’s Award. Joining Pam will be more than two dozen kids and adults reading their own poems or their favorites. Poets/readers include: Anya Rick, Charlotte Hasbrouck, Chuck Robinson, Cicely Bergsma, Daniel Garcia, Durban McCarty, Elisha Foster, Emily Welsh, Eric Carr, Ethan Croston, Finnigan Cooper, Grace Hooper, Grace Hughes, Jessica Gillis, Kaya Sherwood-Bally, Kaylee Croston, Kevin Murphy, Klara Schwarz, Laurel Leigh, Lois Holub, Lucy Guerra, Marielle Selig, Pamela Porter, Rena Priest, Rowan McConnell, Sarah Wallace, Savanna Wolverton, Serenity McAlister, Skip Williams, Solstice Black and Thomas Boyle.

The reading is free and starts at 2:00pm.

In addition, Pamela Porter will give a free talk the day before, Saturday, April 11, at 4:00pm, at Village Books. She will talk about writing a children’s novel in verse and about her writing process and she will read from The Crazy Man (and possibly other works). More here.

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new-boiled clouds wash clean
cold nose-stinging wet trickles
road all greasy mud

old boards turn dark brown
knots curl black and dead pith crumbs
pines stab, glistening

my old hat worn grey
with turkey beard and two holes
smells like a wet dog


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poetry and peace

World Peace Poets Awards

Luther Allen will be among the awardees on Saturday, February 28, 2015, when World Peace Poets honors poets and peacemakers from both sides of the border at a reading and awards ceremony. The celebration, at the Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham, includes readings by the awardees, who are being honored for their leadership in the poetry community. The event is free.

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SpeakEasy 15 poems posted

SpeakEasy 15 banner

Following last weekend’s successful SpeakEasy 15, we had a number of requests for copies of the poems. They are now posted on the SpeakEasy 15 page. Enjoy!

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January 16*

white cat photo by dawgama

the cats
— hopefully just darwin’s soldiers —
neatly place
mouse and mole cadavers
stiff carcasses of birds
on the steps

as if gifts

*Copyright 2010 by Luther Allen. This poem appears in The View from Lummi Island.
. . . . .

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SpeakEasy 15

Poems and Prayers for the New Year

SpeakEasy 15: Poems and Prayers for the New Year will give voice to the hopes, beseechments and visions — both personal and global — of a select group of regional poets. Founded in 2009 and produced in Bellingham by Luther Allen, each SpeakEasy addresses a unique perspective or theme presented through written and spoken words.

Please join us: Sunday, January 18, 2015 ~ 7:00pm ~ in the Encore Room at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial Street, Bellingham, Washington
Free (donations appreciated)

SpeakEasy 15 poets/readers include: Angela Belcaster | Betty Scott | Caitlin Thomson Carol McMillan | Carolyn McCarthy | Charles Luckmann | CJ Prince | David Drummond
David Laws | Diane Cordrey | Harvey Schwartz | Jim Milstead | Jim Schmotzer
Joe Nolting | J.I. Kleinberg | Kari Galbraith | Kate Miller | Lane Morgan
Mo Dole | Lois Holub | Luther Allen | Malcolm Kenyon | Margot Lewis | Mary Gillilan
Nancy Canyon | Nancy Pagh | Paul Fisher | Peter Messinger | Phyllis Boernke
Steve Hood | Susan J. Erickson | Tim Pilgrim

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