David Jenkins expands the vocabulary in entry #10


Thanks for your patience.  I am way behind posting the stories that carrier pigeons are delivering to the Towers that are A Word with You Press, here in the soon-be-frozen Northwest.  I have about as many in the hamper as I have already posted and will start catching up now.


David Jenkins is a frequent flier here, always with a unique perspective to our contests.  We are asking in this contest to include in your story a reference to an article of clothing that has some significance to you. (here are the parameters: https://awordwithyoupress.com/2018/11/24/our-new-contest-high-heeled-sneakers/  

David perceives a blanket of fog as something worn, wrapped all around him, and who are we to dispute such a metaphor?

Here is is entry:


by David Jenkins


A Chimikum Valley blanket of fog

envelops me.  Cows graze,

sheep sleep, organic farms

grow,  pigs snort.


Silent beaver ancestors wait.

Come back to this valley.


Salish Sea calm under the

Puyallup. Bring back the

cedar qui’lbid.


Jagged Shuksun Mountain

and the Yamakiasham Yaina

range sparkle under a new

snow sunrise.


Tahoma, floating pink in

a fiery sun on a sea of cotton.

Heat and violence  below

the ice.


At fifteen, Adam, cooking ramen

in a steam cave on the summit.

I’m proud of my fearless son,

carrying the blood of our ancestral



Makah, Duwamish,  S’Klallam,

and Chimikum ancestors walk

this land in silence. Heed their

words of caution: Respect this



Tetacus, Sealth, Chetzemoka

and Kulkakhan. They, their

descendants and ancestors

will remain if you destroy

yourselves and your children.


This land, our Mother, care

for and love her. She will



Aka David Jenkins


Notes on tribal languages:

Chimikum: places named  Chimacum

for the “extinct” (not really)

Chimikum tribe.


Salish Sea: formerly Puget Sound

Puyallup: A ferry boat, town and tribe.

Qui’lbid: canoe

Yamakiasham yaina: The Cascade Range

Tahoma: Mt Rainier

Tetacus: Chief Tatoosh

Sealth: Chief Seattle


“For 500 generations they flourished until newcomers came… much was lost; much was devalued, but much was also hidden away in the hearts of the dispossessed…

…Their voices insist upon a hearing and the cumulative wisdom of their long residence in this land offers rich insights to those willing to listen. The challenge now is to find a way to make knowledge of the ancient traditions, the experience of change and the living reality accessible and available…”

~ excerpt from Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest: An Introduction by David M. Buerge


2 thoughts on “David Jenkins expands the vocabulary in entry #10

  1. Tiffany V says:

    I love the flow of your poetry. It weaves the images without taking away from the words. You can enjoy both what you’ve written, and the images you allow the reader to conjure. The translations only add another layer (as someone who speaks multiple languages and makes them up as well, I am humbled by your good words).

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