VIDEO: Poet-in-Residence Raúl Sánchez reads his original poem to City Council


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Burien’s Poet-in-Residence Raúl Sánchez read ‘Bountiful Burien,’ his new, original poem about Burien to the City Council at Monday night’s regular meeting.

Managed by former Burien Arts Association Executive Director Erin Williamson, this effort was part of the city’s 25th anniversary celebration. Raúl received $1,300 plus meals and lodging from an Arts Commission grant, and also hosted a reading and poetry workshop for residents.

His collection of poetry “All Our Brown-Skinned Angels” was nominated for the Washington State Book Award in Poetry. Raúl is a Washington State Associations of Poets board member, a Jack Straw Fellow, judge for the Poetry on Buses, and TEDx participant. An active mentor and teacher, Mr. Sanchez has led numerous writing workshops.

Here’s the video, which includes an introduction by Erin Williamson:

Here’s text of Raúl’s ‘Bountiful Burien‘:

Bountiful Burien
Raúl Sánchez December 3rd, 2018

Wholesome winds blow across the Salish Sea,
the city stands unsullied, while anxious waves
crash against the rocks untamed shore
as seen from Poet’s Nest.

The Lushootseed people knew their natural treasures,
revered and protected the old-growth forest and their
hunting grounds. Along the Duwamish, tended
cranberry bogs in the riparian waters.

Nestled in briny air, old trails and winding roads
spread this city from the magnificent valley
Michael Kelly viewed,
Sunnydale still its name.

Jacob Ambaum hacked the early roads in 1909,
now First Avenue cuts through the city
north to south, like an arrow in flight.
West of the Boulevard, there is a glacial spring

that feeds Burien Lake, pristine—
beyond the shadow of the Needle, glass towers,
loading cranes and jungle to the north
where ferries cruise from Vashon to the mainland.

Olde Burien shows vestiges of the early days
made old by time, we still adore that rusty,
rusty old sign for Tin Shop plumbing supplies
and Hayes Feed Country Store still open for

urban farmers. Ambaum Boulevard,
a testament between modest and affluent homesteads.
Winding roads lead to the shore where luxury homes
watch the sun set across Puget Sound.

In Burien, people speak the language of food
Thailand’s curry, Vietnamese Pho, Oaxacan mole,
Italian meatballs, Tortas Locas, Australian meat pies,
Greek lamb and Nepalese Thukpa soup.

“Go ahead Smarty Pants,
I will see you at 909 for coffee and wine!”

From Three Tree Point to Manhattan
across Five Corners up to Boulevard Park
we revel in Duane’s Garden patch to watch
the colors bloom beneath the Flight Path.

From all points, Shorewood, then south to
Seahurst Park, Burien; this land of dreams,
watches the world fly in and out.
Just west of ninety nine, Burien’s indelible

history shines like sunlight through
the center of Helios Pavilion, it’s green spears
point to Tahoma and The Mother of Waters
waits, while the clouds evaporate.

Seola beach gushes with light, and Seahurst Park
a destination at the very end of Shorewood Drive.
Burien is a place of destiny—
awaiting all with open arms.

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