Autumn at Owen Beach by Carl “Papa” Palmer

owen beach 1 voxstar

Autumn at Owen Beach
by Carl “Papa” Palmer

Tacoma Washington rains
a foggy mist I breathe
in cadence
with soft whispers
of Puget Sound surf
heard front row center
sitting on this sand-locked log
all to myself at Owen Beach.

Seeking similes for birds
behaving like birds
as I float a morning prayer
toward the Tahlequah ferry
crossing for Vashon Island
from Point Defiance Park
sailing the horizon between
gray water and gray sky.

First published in Quill and Parchment, Nov 2019.

PHOTO: Owen Beach, Point Defiance Park, Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington, with ferries and Cascade Range in the background. The logs on the beach are driftwood from logging operations in the area. Photo © Voxstar, All Rights Reserved.


NOTE: Tacoma is located on Washington’s Puget Sound, 32 miles southwest of Seattle. In the 2010 census, the population was recorded as 191,704. Tacoma adopted its name after the nearby Mount Rainier, originally called Takhoma or Tahoma. Commencement Bay serves the Port of Tacoma, a center of international trade on the Pacific Coast and Washington’s largest port. Since the 1990s, downtown Tacoma has undergone a revitalization effort, with the state’s highest density of art and history museums and a restored urban waterfront. Named one of the most livable areas in the United States, in 2006 Tacoma was listed as one of the “most walkable” cities in the country.

Map by

Washington tacoma david gn licensed

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The Puget Sound of Western Washington State offers so many places to visit COVID-free without your mask, but keep it in your pocket anyway, in case someone else is escaping stay-at-home, too. Next time you’re in town give us a visit. Owen Beach is in Point Defiance Park, Tacoma Washington. Until then, be safe—wear a mask.

PHOTO: Tacoma, Washington, waterfront at dusk, with Mount Ranier in the background. Photo by Davidgn, used by permission.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Virginia, lives in University Place, Washington. He is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), enjoying life as “Papa” to his grand descendants and being a Franciscan Hospice volunteer.  Papa’s Motto: Long Weekends Forever!

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