Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 2:44 pm
By Meredith Tillery
Lenae Nofziger, an English professor at Northwest University, is being featured through Poetry on Buses, with her poem, Blossoms on public transit in the Seattle area in late Fall.
Nofziger grew up in Oklahoma and frequently visitedly visited family in Homer, Alaska. The haven that would one day inspire her poem, Blossoms. As a little girl Nofziger loved reading and writing poetry. She became most inspired by the work of Mary Oliver, Jack Gilbert and Li-young Lee due to their “spiritual worldview.” She would later attend Eastern Washington University to earn her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.
After moving to Seattle in 1994, Nofziger was captivated by the words of other poets plastered on the walls of metro buses. Silently she thought to herself, “That is the coolest thing ever. I would totally like to have a poem of mine on the bus.”
While walking through Kirkland over the summer Nofziger came across a full blooming bushel of fireweed; a wild herb with vibrant pink flowers. She was reminded of summers spent surrounded by fireweed at a family camp in Alaska. With the wild fireweed sprouting around her, the camp quickly became like a personal “island.” The blooming flowers from her walk brought a wave of panic. Was summer already ending when it was only June? Luckily there were still many summer days ahead and time to craft a poem based on this sweet old memory.
Although Nofziger is is soon to find out uncertain of which bus or station her poem, Blossoms will be featured, she should hear back very soon. A launch party, free and open to the public, is set for November 10th at the Moore Theatre in Seattle. The website launch for the project opens early November at poetryonbuses.org.
Blossoms by Lenae Nofziger
Summers at fish camp
began with wild roses
and ended with fireweed,
the island ablaze in pink.
Now, here, when I see
those cool flames nodding
on their long green stems,
some still-smoldering ember
of memory blossoms:
maybe it’s time to go home.