The Hocking Hills Festival of Poetry


Laurie Kirkpatrick


Laurie Kirkpatrick makes her debut as a public poet at the Hocking Hills Poetry Festival.

After her early poems were printed in numerous Oberlin College publications, she took a brief hiatus to get a little more life under her belt.   She has been gathering material for thirty years in the San Francisco Bay area as a clinical psychologist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Walnut Creek, a wife, a mother of two daughters, a hiker, a quilter, an aerobics junkie, a piano player, a friend, and a perpetual asker of questions.  

Writing poetry offers Laurie the refreshing balance to a career in which the fruit of her labors is invisible and keeps walking out the door when ripe.  Poetry is also a crowbar to keep her heart open, a flashlight aimed at god, beauty and wonder, and an opportunity to hammer and nail together all those amazing words, approximating truth as best she can.


Things I Have Made


Two woven baskets,

A tree stripped of its bark with hand tools,

The blue wool skirt which had to be remade by a seamstress

        and which I never wore because my mother chose the scratchy fabric,

Intimate conversation with strangers,

Phone calls to influence elections,

A mess of several love relationships,

The permanent knot in my lower left back,

My motherís eulogy,

Monster plants,

A home,

Disembodied leaps from the high dive,

A chemistry concoction over which I convinced my little sister to stand vigil

          lest the house explode,

Superstitious gestures begging god for favors,

Countless walks to the top of the same hill,

Two female infants: a semi-cooperative venture,


A fingerpainting in blood,

Kisses so ardent and tender they constituted a sacrament,

Halloween costumes for Cyndi Lauper and Madonna,

A letter of gratitude to my father,

A hospital for the goldfish,

The magic concordance with the moon and trees in a wooded clearing

          which caused a strange cat to jump into my arms,

Poems which stood like thrown pots on their own surprising, little legs,

A fool of myself, throwing the naked party where nobody got naked but me,

A mola for a wedding present, a Chinese coins quilt for a death present,

The circle of safety in which my insomniac husband can sleep,

In proper perspective, very little difference,

But a great cup of coffee,

and Music.