"Riding Out the Recession in Portland" ~ The Oregonian

Blast from the past, #TBT: I used to write for The Oregonian's Editorial pages fairly regularly. Here's one from the heart of the Great Recession, from 2009. Excerpt:

It made sense during the last decade or so to hype our desirable qualities and squeeze 'em for dollars. Economic growth, creative class population increase and cultural expansion raised our spirits, our rents and our international profile as a city to watch.

But let's get real.

Our state's creative life, attention to the environment and love of fabulous espresso drinks predate the boom by decades. If you didn't grow up here in the 1970s and '80s, let me tell ya: Oregon experienced a long run of lean, hungry times. We didn't start bands in basements, write poetry in oddball cafes and recycle fanatically in order to get rich. We knew that to become conventionally successful, we'd have to get the heck out of here.

Many of us left to explore bigger cities, but many of us came back home. Wealth and conventional measures of success, it turned out, weren't the motivating factors in our lives.

Read it all at oregonlive.com.


"The Moon", a very interesting online magazine.

The Moon differentiates itself from thousands of blogs and online literary journals with intriguing, thoughtful themes such as "Beyond Words: Healing Communication" and "The Quantum Issue." Each theme is supported by interviews, essays, poetry, and fiction selected with a distinctive curatorial, editorial eye. 

I'm therefore pleased to have my poem "And we" published in the "Conscious Partnership" theme issue. Check it out at moonmagazine.org.

Sign o' the Times

Recently, a woman in the small Oregon town where I live wrote a letter to our local newspaper, The Nugget. In her letter, she noted that some local folks have been putting up "In Our America..." American flag signs, and this seemed to make her nervous. It made her want to buy a gun.

My response, printed as a "guest column" in The Nugget, seemed to strike a chord. Several locals wrote to the paper, praising it. When I posted a...

Read More