Anne Leigh Parrish Writer

Seattle is a city of neighborhoods, and each seems to have a farmers market.  While we don’t live in Ballard (we’re on Queen Anne), we do a lot there – work out at the gym, dine, shop, marvel at how much that particular quarter has changed in the years we’ve made the Northwest our home from being primarily about light industry, fishing, ship building and maintenance to elegant restaurants, a boutique hotel, charming storefronts.

Ballard’s farmers market is among the City’s biggest and busiest.  It’s held every Sunday, all year long.  Of course there are food stands selling locally grown produce and fresh cut flowers.  One can also find cheese, pastries and breads, handcrafted scarves, jewelry, picture frames, ceramics, even local wine.  There are buskers, intelligently spaced far enough apart so that no one’s music drowns out anyone else’s, signature gatherers, dogs on short leashes, people of every age.

It also has an on demand poet.  Seated at a small wooden table with a typewriter is a young man, usually in a hat and vest, offering to write a poem on any subject you like, for whatever price you care to pay.  A couple of Sundays ago I asked him to write an ode to a Pug.  By way of explanation, we have two Pugs, one old, one young, both hilariously funny to live with.  They have their moments of dignity, too, many displays of boldness and a firm sense of their place in the world.

Here’s what my eight dollar donation bought:

pug poem

If the image is a bit hard to read, I’ll transcribe:

“crawlers know

what walkers forget

how the spirit

is full of jest

how the game is always on,

how the hunt is worthy of

the strong.”

William the Poet can be found here.  Check out his Instagram page here.

And drop by the Ballard Farmers Market some Sunday, and get a poem of your own.