Paul Marshall at Chuckanut Sandstone Open Mic

What a thrill to hold this book in my hands!
I first met Paul Marshall at Everett Community College 25 years ago, and we’ve been writing together since we put together a teaching lab around writing in 2009. This past March, he decided to dedicate some time to assembling a book of poems, and he asked me to help. To quote from the back cover:

The poems in Stealing Foundation Stones share the journey of a blue collar, small town, hot-rod loving kid who grew up to go to Vietnam, returned home to the radical turmoil of the 70s, became a psychology professor and an award-winning community college educator, then, after a major loss, rebuilt his life, remarrying and morphing (yet again) into a ukulele-playing grandpa and woodworker and writer. It is a trip you don’t want to miss.

I hardly know what to excerpt here, as I love all these poems. They’re familiar to me as old friends and as welcoming.

Zen Handyman

Cursing saw torn flesh
dripping red blood mars heartwood
my grandfather’s laugh

In these poems, cars rev their engines and bears growl. Blackbirds hoard trinkets the way the poet hoards memories while he lets go of detritus, including old books that (like the bears) growl back: “Their cat haired, dust bunnied pages / fall open as they gasp out their reason to be saved. // I’m a first edition. / I’m an autographed copy.” (“Don’t Leave It for the Children”)

After retiring from the college, Paul and his wife moved to Whidbey Island, and one of his pursuits is to walk the shoreline. This quiet poem makes me feel I’m walking with him:

Post Card Poem to a Friend

Coho and Chinook woke me from a sound sleep last night.
They are returning to the inland sea of our home.
As ever, they sing their spirit songs in time with muscular
undulations in the deep currents of Admiralty Inlet.
Listen. Can you hear them?
Their low murmuring call
imbedded in these post card fibers.

Paul’s book is  available at Amazon. com.  He will be the featured reader this evening, Wednesday, August 12, at Chuckanut Sandstone Open Mic. Here’s the invitation from Carla Shafer, who tells me there is still time for readers to join the open mic. Contact her at . The reading begins at 7 PM (but opens at 6:30-ish) and ends about 8:45-ish. Some hang around and socialize for awhile.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting. 
When: Aug 12, 2020, 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) 
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
It would be lovely to meet you there. Bethany
8 replies
  1. Joann Ashlock
    Joann Ashlock says:

    Hello! Paul,
    Happy belated Birthday! Tried to email you, but it bounced back:(
    Congratulations! great poetry book; I ordered it from Amazon; I had a chance to read three of your poems…. awesome!
    Looking forward to reading the rest.
    If you read this, perhaps, email me your new email address; would really like to email you!
    Joann Ashlock

    • Joann Ashlock
      Joann Ashlock says:

      Happy Belated Birthday! Paul

      Wishing you the best on you Birthday Week; have fun and enjoy:)
      Joann & Steve
      ps When you have time, please email me; I don’t know your email?
      Somehow lost from last year? Interweb stuff


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] for my final entry in the poetry department, there’s my friend Paul Marshall’s wonderful first book, which I helped edit: Stealing Foundation […]

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