Portland visitor inspired by Poet’s Beach

November 24, 2019

Recently, a Bostonian named Steve Hendrickson visited Portland and took a walk to Poet’s Beach. He was so inspired by the poems written by children that are engraved in stones there that he wrote a short essay and then recorded a music video of one of the poems (by Jordan, 4th grader).


Here’s the essay he wrote followed by Jordan’s poem and the music video Steve created.




By Steve Hendrickson  Boston, MA


This morning after awakening in Portland, I had an unusual compulsion to go for a walk. Mind you, most mornings I wake up to puppy licks and whines, and a strong desire for coffee.

However, this morning, it was like a voice calling me to take a walk, which, candidly, I seldom do in a strange city. My hotel was close to the Willamette River, so I turned toward the river.


There was a bridge in the distance that resembles the bridge built in Boston for "The Big Dig" that took the "Central Artery" underground through downtown Boston. So I walked that way, wanting to take a picture, and wondering "which came first," they look so similar.


Then I noticed this little sign, "Poet's Beach." Who's ever heard of such?


Poet's Beach is a walkway lined by stones, where children's poems have been stenciled/painted on the rocks as you walk down to the beach. Expecting some simplistic, even cheesy kid's poetry, I was pleased, and then amazed, and then deeply moved.


I have heard thousands of sermons, many of them poignant, inspirational and moving, in my life. But here, I experienced "the love of the Universe" (some call it "God," others "Shalom," others "transcendence") through the simple, yet profound, poetry of children.


I am filled with gratitude for the voice that called me, and aware that my life today would be less filled with wonder and awe if I had not listened to that voice.


My prayer for all of you today is that you may experience the call of a voice that touches you, as it did me, today, or any day.