The Ones Who Came Before

Tim Anderson
2 min readJul 9, 2021

just when you thought you knew everything!

intelligence, thinking, thoughtful, poetry, creativity,
Photo by Séan Gorman on Unsplash

When I moved to Seattle in 1983, I began writing poetry in earnest. I wrote about everything! All the angst from my divorce, my shortcomings, income challenges, relationships, and the like.

As those topics were fueling my poetic leanings at the time, there was another subject that had caught my eye. It was the art of Keith Powell, a scratchboard/multi-media artist in northeastern Washington State.

I first met Keith while I was working at Ravenhouse Gallery, in Friday Harbor, WA. We became good friends and shared many things, mostly his spiritual thoughts and practices, which were reflected with integrity and compassion in his work.

I became entranced with meanings and the artistic process. Many of his friends were also artists and would drop by his studio to chat.

After my move to Seattle, we contacted each other less-and-less, but I never forgot about him or his art and I began to write about the work he created, from prints and original work of his I collected.

The poems I wrote and those I published in my 1988 chapbook, out of my mind…, were of a controversial subject, that of the wrongs the indigenous peoples of the northwest suffered, but served to reflect a broader population, many of whom are still reeling from injustices done to them many years ago.

At the same time, I was broadening my understanding of my own spirituality and was open to almost any interpretations of it.

The poem I am going to share today came about because of my interaction with children and how I perceived them. I began to see some as if they had been here before. They possessed a sense of presence I still find elusive. Eyes were bright and noticeably clear, and their grasp of language was many years ahead of their birth ages. If you really think about it, I am sure you have been “captured” by their presence but were at a loss as to how to describe your feelings.

Our Children’s Children

The door is opened,
a child is born…
with all the knowledge
of what has happened before.

Our Children’s Children
come to take their place,
to be our guides
throughout time and space.

There is no black,
yellow, red, or white;
no right or wrong,
no reason to fight.

Our Children’s Children
have the key…
with open hearts
they welcome… you and me.

out of my mind… which also has line drawings by Keith
can be found at the link, below.

Tim Anderson Studio



Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson is a writer/artist/photographer. Writer | Photographer | Poet | Follow link to read his posts...