New book features poems by the late Millie Royce

New book features poems by the late Millie Royce

POULSBO — Bob Royce will read from a new book of poems by his late wife, Millie, on April 8 at the Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse, 19003 Front St. NE, Poulsbo.

The monthly poetry reading begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. The evening will also feature poets Jan Prichard-Cohen and Kathy Langhorn.

Royce, 93, served for eight years in the Merchant Marine, became a librarian, and moved with his artist-writer wife, Millie, to Puerto Rico for 27 years. There they sailed, opened an artists’ commune and an art shop. In 1987, they moved back to Seattle, where Bob worked in the public library system for eight years before retiring. Meanwhile, they helped found Si a la Vida to benefit street kids in Nicaragua; the organization is now in its 25th year.

The Royces later moved to Bainbridge Island. In 2007, Millie suffered a recurrence of breast cancer and died two months later. They had been married 55 years. Bob has honored Millie by publishing “For My Waiting Hands,” a book of her poems and artworks with all proceeds after expenses going to Si a la Vida. Graphic design was done by Kathryn Keve, and editing by Nancy Rekow and Beverley West. This year, poems by Millie will appear in Poetry Corners and Ars Poetica.

Prichard-Cohen describes herself this way: “Easily bored, with a two-year attention span, I have spent my life ever-learning new skills, which play partner in my walk through time. The fire of working with clay, encaustics, metals and fabric burns within me. Sailing alone around uninhabited islands, through seas and sounds, I found myself drawn to how words, as well, can express the ineffable, the unknown, the beyond of thought or imagination. And I discovered how words can burn as well.”

Langhorn is a Northwest native, born seven miles from where she currently lives. She’s been a business owner since the age of 22, making her living as a hairstylist. Poetry, painting and gardening have been lifelong interests that provide a creative balance for expression. She has participated in past Poetry Corners events and in Ars Poetica.


(to be read by Bob Royce)

“Egrets Passing”

Brief, silent in their going, swift and light,

white birds ride seaward upon the fringe of night.

Blue-misted folds of mountain far behind,

now sunless, serve

to render clear-defined

these spaced and slender forms.

Near motionless

they float above the fields.

“Nocturne Tropical”

Silently, this ball of flames, the sun,

falls quenched in the purple sea, his fury done.

Now the quick stain of twilight crosses the sky,

graying the silvered shape as you and I

mark the first brightening star beyond one palm.

Night breeze and bird call blend,

and that muted psalm

drifts on the merging dark of their single immensity.

* * *



Willow leaf drifts

down to dew-draped web


crystal beads

in bending threads of grass.

“Waking to Spring”

A slow drizzle pads the roof

as mist folds in on the garden.

The birdbath still cradles a bronze collage

from the Japanese maple overhead.

A pussy willow trembles

With chestnut-backed chickadees

As I hear the doves haunting call then

hollow coo in the Cedar of Lebanon.


That nest

in the fir has fallen

loose with non-use.

Fantasia of fruit gum wrapper

bits of tinsel and red plastic twine

wiry hairs of the horse’s tail

sprung out and around—

prime real estate

for a flying student of feng shui.

* * *



Bees this morning

search out flowers on my dashboard

look for sweetness of foxglove.

Nearby, daisies stretch tall

for sun that never came.

It didn’t keep two Rufous hummingbirds,

dancing through reddened limbs of osier,

from coming together for an inflight embrace

of a piercing millisecond

not missing a beat

as I turn my key.


Across Netarts Bay


surf into a shell.

Whiskey Creek pulls sky & mud

into a field of trapezoids,

while silent heron picks through tidespoils.

At my feet goose tongues clump

among the pickle weed.

Beyond the spit’s end, fog scarfs the headlands,

pushing Cape Meares upward.

The sea returns.

I move back into my skin

& feel the warmth of my faded blue Cowichan.

More in Life

When families in need are among you

Sedgwick Middle School students gather food so everyone can eat at Thanksgiving

Hey kids! Enjoy breakfast with Santa on Saturday

Port Orchard once again will host the Fathoms O’ Fun event

Olalla’s ‘little slice of heaven’

Diminuitive vineyard and winery crushes it for growing audience

Shave and a haircut

Port Orchard barbershop shares a slice of old-school attitude with customers

Solar panels already saving on Manchester Library’s energy bills

New energy system should supply 60% of building’s electrical needs

Crowning achievement for Fathoms float

Fathoms float, royalty court win Sweepstakes at Leavenworth

Mediascape: Network television’s bland decline offset by vibrant streaming offerings

YouTube content, paid streaming services will keep you tuned in

South Kitsap Artists Assn. name juried exhibition winners

Juried exhibition runs through October at Sidney Art Gallery

Check out our special section of the Best of North Kitsap

The results are in. Find out who you have picked as the… Continue reading

Results are in!

‘2021 Readers Choice: Best of South Kitsap’

WSU Extension sponsoring programs at fair, Kitsap Harvest

Extension program also involved with court-ordered garden project