At One Time Or Another

Dear Writers,

When poet maestro Luther Allen asked me to bring a children’s poem to the upcoming SpeakEasy 16 event at Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham WA, my  first thought was:

“If only I were a poet.”

But everyone is a poet at one time or another.

It’s in the way they smile . . .

Selah and Hollie

 Or the way they move . . .

Pizza Toss

Or care for the neighborhood . . .

Work team - crop

Cozy up with friends . . .

PJ Party

Build community . . .

Sudden Valley Market

Get into the spirit of the moment . . .

Sam Kaas


Share flavorful food . . .


Read a story . . .

Paper Dreams

Go out and about . . .

Adam Railing

Create a gathering place . . .

Tino's Crew

Entertain and amaze . . .


Help to make the world safe . . .

South Whatcom Fire Authority

Let joy in.

Russ Harlan


  Everyone is a poet now and then.

And so, for a time, am I.


speakeasy-16-othermindSpeakEasy 16: The wonderful people shown in this post agreed to have their pictures taken to help shine a light on SpeakEasy 16: Fresh Minds, New Words, a special event that will present poetry by and for children. The event on Sunday, April 12, at 2 p.m. at Mount Baker Theatre will feature poets ages 5 to 16 reading their original poems along with a supporting cast of adults, including Rena Priest, Jessica Gillis, Lois Holub, Chuck Robinson of Village Books, Kevin Murphy, and Yours Truly, plus special guest Pamela Porter. SpeakEasy 16 is free to the public, with donations accepted to help cover event costs. Bring your child and the child inside you to this magical occasion.

SpeakEasy 16 is offered in celebration of National Poetry Month and in conjunction with Poetry CHaT, a group at Western Washington University assembling a definitive collection of children’s poetry books published since 1960. The SpeakEasy series is produced by Lummi Island poet Luther Allen.


Many thanks to the following for lending their smiles to this post:


sarah-gives-thanks-cover1Sarah Gives Thanks: The delightful children’s book authored by Mike Allegra (and published by Albert Whitman & Co.) seen in these photos tells the story of Sarah Josepha Hale’s quest to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday. Based in New Jersey, Mr. Allegra kindly created and gifted his original art—one of his famed “doodles,” this one of a salamander, who has lately been dubbed “Sully”—to the event to be featured with the poem by Yours Truly that stars, of course, a talking salamander.

You can find “Writer Fellow” Mike Allegra’s captivating art and read his hilarious blog at







XO Laurel Leigh

P.S.: I am an avid reader of the blog Writing Between the Lines by Naomi Baltuck, who tells marvelous stories with engaging text and gorgeous photo art. Naomi, there’s little worry of your work ever being duplicated but forgive me for borrowing a little bit of your format to make this post. I love your amazing photo stories!

Fun Outtakes: People are just so much dang fun. I know about half the people in these photos, and the rest I just walked up, book in hand, and asked if they’d pose for a picture. Jalapeños was hopping, and smiling customers waited while the whole crew quickly jumped into the pic. I’m such a bad photographer that before the dinner rush at Tino’s, Travis used up two rounds of dough before I could get a couple shots that weren’t blurry! I don’t think I’ve ever stood this close to a firetruck before. It was rather awesome and the team was so nice. Props to the hardworking firefighting squads who work so hard to keep us safe. If anyone recognizes the wonderful stiltist or her companions, kindly let me know. I was so delighted to discover her downtown that I forgot to get her name.

SWFA alt1SWFA alt2Jalapenos altRussell Harlan altTravis toss altAcrobat alt

31 thoughts on “At One Time Or Another

    • You are totally making my day, my friend. Yes, it was such a blast watching everyone open Mike’s book and get this cute little grin on their faces. The awesome female firefighter holding the book was reading aloud to her teammates, and when I got done taking pictures one of them kept reading so he could fine out more about the story. They loved that it was the real Thanksgiving story. It was pure fun.

      Welcome home! I hope the trip went great and that you feel that great vacation combo of mentally rested if also physically exhausted. XO

  1. Pingback: Say “Howdy!” to SpeakEasy 16 on April 12! | Dear Writers

    • Hi Mary! It was sooo fun. Sounds like you’ve been having some fun of your own at SWBCI. I will absolutely post about the SpeakEasy 16 event. I can’t wait to see what the kid poets bring to read.

  2. Such a fabulous post and poem, how fun to be part of this! Buying Mike’s book for my niece’s November birthday this year.

    • I love that pick of you and Hollie and Cathy. We had so much fun that afternoon, which makes it even more special. I think your niece will like the book! At least, all the adults I’ve shown it to so far really like it, lol.

    • Thank you, thank you, Susan! It was marvelously fun for me, and in fact everyone in the photos was having fun with it. I missed catching the open mic crowd though. That was my plan but I ended up in the ER instead. Oh well! It’s an imperfect world.

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