Cinquain Sequence: Alaska • Neal Whitman

the Mendenhall
fragrant fluffy clover
milky white “love-me-love-me-nots”

the stars grow pale
clocks were set back one hour
our ship slides into Ketchikan
on time

black slate
Haida raven
one abalone eye
her pendant against a white blouse

deeply carved poles
stand with living cedars
a story as sharp as a knife

ice floes
instead of clouds
we each see what we see
a duck or is that a mushroom?

floats on a lake
a golf course sits on it
local rule is to let the bears
play through


Neal Whitman lives in Pacific Grove, California,
with his wife, Elaine. Both volunteer for poet
Robinson Jeffers Tor House in Carmel and for the
Hospice of the Central Coast. Neal writes to be
heard: in recital, he combines his poetry with
Elaine's Native American flute. He also writes
to be read and has over 300 Western form and
400 Japanese form poems in publication.