2021 Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge
A selection of entries
Classic Gorge view from Portland Women's Forum Viewpoint. (photographer: Steve Carples)

In celebration of National Poetry Month and International Haiku Poetry Day on April 17, Friends of the Columbia Gorge announced its second annual Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge!

Recently, the video version of Amanda Gorman's popular "Earthrise" poem got people around the nation talking in response to her challenge:

We relish the view;
We witness its round green and brilliant blue,
Which inspires us to ask deeply, wholly:
What can we do?


In the spirit of Gorman’s words, for this year's Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge we again asked the public to submit haikus illustrating what they love about the Gorge (the views, the communities, waterfalls, etc.), as well as haikus about why it's important to protect, preserve, and steward the Gorge for future generations (i.e. What can we all do?).

By bringing treasured landscapes to life in our minds and reminding ourselves of what we love most about them, we can escape, inspire, and unite. Last year's Spring Gorge Haiku challenge was a huge hit, and we wanted to once again help provide a way for the public to stay connected with each other and nature at a time when many are still physically distancing.

Friends 2021 Gorge Haiku Challenge: Some of Our Favorites

Seed whips through the Gorge
Being carried by wind’s wings
Landing deep in soil

Updated April 22, 2021 : Corrected by author to read "soil" not "native soil"

(Amani Wise)

River flowing home
from the mountains to the sea;
the river is me...

(Bob Michael)

Tiny Lupine plants
Thrive where blackberry once grew
Thanks to volunteers

(Alice Weaver)

Trees reaching upwards
Soft sunlight filtering down
Forest cathedral

(Jennifer O'Donnell)

Free Columbia
Learn her name simply spoken
Nch’i-Wàna, home

(Barbara Hersey)

Spring wildflowers at Mayer State Park. (photographer: Julie Sarnowski)

I am so dirty
After I fell down the trail
But it was worth it

(Jenny Hansson, KOIN News)

Where else need I go.
Lose myself and find myself,
In the ancient Gorge.

(Denis Markian Wichar)

River rushing through.
Can that force be resisted.
Salmon know the way.

(Denis Markian Wichar)

Mist shrouds stone towers
Doug firs drip tears to nourish
Gorgeous wonderland

(Lisa Hansen)

Blue river flowing
Scenic views of majesty
Hiking trails abound

(Mary Dicianno)

River full and wide
Trembling voice of waterfall
Peace of mountainside.

(Mary Jo Tyler)

Multnomah Falls (photo: Friends' archive)

Velvety green hills
Yellow faces, purple spires
Meadowlarks singing

(Sharon Ross)

Balsam root yellow
dusts my pant legs and boots
on Mosier Plateau.

(J. Jay Abramson)

I miss you old friend
and your exquisite view
geologic time

(Rebecca Erickson)

 Above swaying grass
Lizard bathes on Cliffside rock
Watching osprey fish.

(Jo Crisp)

Friends of the Columbia Gorge is a conservation organization with over 6,000 members dedicated to protecting, preserving, and stewarding the Gorge for future generations For more information about our 2020 Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge or for additional information on Friends community engagement efforts and potential partnership opportunities please contact Friends Community Engagement Specialist Natasha Stone: natasha@gorgefriends.org.