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Sam Hamill: Of Cascadia (text and video)


Of Cascadia

I came here nearly forty years ago,
broke and half broken, having chosen
the mud, the dirt road, alder pollen and
a hundred avenues of gray across the sky
to be my teachers and my muses.
I chose a temple made of words and made a vow.

I scratched a life in hardpan. If I cried
for mercy or cried out in delight,
it was because I was a man choosing
carefully his way and his words, growing
as slowly as the trunks of cedars
in the sunlit garden.

Let the ferns and the moss remember
all that I have lost or loved, for I carry
no regrets, no ambition to live it
all again. I can’t make it better
than it’s been or will be again
as the seasons turn and an old man’s heart

turns nostalgic as he sips his wine alone.
I have lived in Cascadia, no paradise
nor any hell, but both at once and made,
as Elytis said, of the same material.
A poor poet, I studied war and love.
But Cascadia is what I’m of.

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the video.

Copyright 2016 Sam Hamill. From Habitation: Collected Poems by Sam Hamill published by Lost Horse Press. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Video produced by Ian Boyden.


Sam Hamill (1943-2018)

2 comments on “Sam Hamill: Of Cascadia (text and video)

  1. johnlawsonpoet
    April 17, 2018

    Reblogged this on Site Title and commented:
    Another strong voice silent now. How quickly it goes.


  2. Daniel Burston
    April 17, 2018

    I am no poet, but this is an extremely moving and thought provoking piece.

    Thanks to Sam Hamill.

    Daniel Burston

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on April 17, 2018 by in Environmentalism, Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged , , , .

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