Hipp, hipp, hurra!

A statue of Leif Erikson graces Shilshole Bay in Seattle

A statue in our city stands
in honor of the past.
It seems to stand a bit more tall today.
This son of Erik (Leif by name)
recalls my heritage
as well as those whose kin came from Norway.

The Viking spirit prompted those
to seek a better life.
Courageously (with strength) they persevered.
Though homesick, they embraced their dreams
of making a new start.
These Nordic pilgrims challenged what they feared.

Hipp, hipp, hurra!

On this Syttende Mai (17th of May) I’m honoring the legacy of my grandfather (Gunder Birkeland) and his brothers who left Norway for America, settling in the Seattle area beginning in 1902.

A Needle in the Sky

This month the Space Needle celebrates its 60th anniversary

The very week that I turned ten
Seattle had a fair.
And they’d invite the whole wide world to come.
A needle in the sky stood tall.
A monorail sped by.
A forest of amusement rides was fun!

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans came.
And Elvis showed up, too.
That sixth-month party gave Seattle cred.
The city that Bill Boeing built
had finally come of age.
Just look at who has followed in his stead.

St. Arbucks, Eddie Bauer,
Microsoft and Amazon.
There’s Nordstrom, Costco and there’s REI.
Expedia and T-Mobile.
There’s Zillow and PACCAR
and don’t forget Big Fish with dreams to fry.

And now six decades later
from that Needle in the sky
we have a view of that for which we wait:
A world where everyone can “breathe,”
where cops deserve respect.
A world devoid of homelessness and hate.

A world that’s litter-free and green.
A world where truth stands tall.
Where love’s the lyric of the song we sing.
A world where peace can have a chance
and cancer’s finally cured.
A world where Jesus Christ is hailed as King!