ART & POETRY

Autumn 2020
Juan de Fuca painting by Melissa McCanna
Juan de Fuca painting by Melissa McCanna

ART & POETRY

Summer 2020

Going Home, painting by Julia Miller

Coming Home

by Dawn Henthorn

Salmon come home
home to the Elwha.

Bit by bit of rubble
two feet at a time,
the dams were removed,
and the river found its way again.

Gently, with reverence,
salmon are returned
to these ancestral
spawning grounds
by Elwha’s native people.

Home after one hundred years—
88 pebble nests in
the stream bed cleared by
these first mothers’ bodies
the roe given life by
these first fathers.

Now we wait
wait for the small fry
to wiggle free of egg sacs,
grow strong in the shallows
of river’s edge, of eddies,
swim out to the sea
and back again.

Salmon have come home.
Home to the Elwha.

Salt and Spells, painting by Melissa McCanna

Salt and Other Spells

By Sarah Stockton

We were water once
cyclical, transforming
salt and sediment into scales
anadromous/

moving from sea into sweet water
catadromous/
fresh to salt
to spawn/ travelling

in deep sea channels
transitioning/
from silvery blue
to darker, going home

as we, floundering at water’s edge
turn in four directions/
three visions/ seven cycles
scrying into water

(originally published in Luna Luna Magazine, November 2019)

Short Songs for the Spring Peepers

Pseudacris regilla

––By Tim McNulty

 

Most years, it’s the white

           tassels of Indian plum blossoms

turn back winter.

 

But this year, and last,

the songs of the treefrogs.

 

Spring mountain night

bursts awake with a thousand voices.

 

Treefrogs looking for friends.

 

My daughter loves catching them,

hates letting them go.

 

In the darkened cave of her

           cupped hands,

those wide, copper-gold eyes.

 

Sound of a midnight truck

grinding up the mountain road

and the treefrogs fall silent.

 

We wake into absence of their singing,

like stepping off into a ditch.

 

Ice still rimes the pond-edge

and the valley grows white with frost.

 

But the treefrogs are having none of it.

 

After love, the storm

            of our breathing subsides

into a deafening chorus of frogs.

 

Were they there all that time?

 

I tell Caitlin

the sticky pads on their

            tiny white toes

are for hugs.

 

Asleep beneath a warm

            forest-green quilt,

they coax our dreams

 

out into the dark wet hollows.

 

Full moon

           over a late-season fall of snow.

 

A single treefrog

cannot contain himself.

 

Breathing your warmth,

the light hair at the back

of your neck.

 

I know what they’re saying,

the treefrogs.

 

In daylight, they change hue,

meld with whatever shade surrounds them

as easily as a congressman.

 

There’s a flatter, single-note song

for rainy summer days

            after mating season,

 

but no one seems to listen.

Treefrog photo by Adelia Ritchie
Melissa McCanna’s abstract and narrative paintings explore concepts of heritage and the illusory veil between the natural world and our manufactured world. Her inspiration includes the Pacific Northwest, Mexico and contemporary issues.  She uses acrylic paint, paper, photographs and ink. Her studio, Kingston Artist Tree, is in Kingston, WA.  Melissa teaches classes there, and conducts painting events called “Art Flights.”  
Her work can also be viewed at Front Street Gallery in Poulsbo, WA. http://www.melissamccanna.com/
As a child growing up on Kodiak Island in Alaska, Dawn Jarvela Henthorn explored tide pools, climbed trees, rolled around in foot-thick moss, snacked on salmonberries, Nootka rose-hips, seaweeds, and limpets. This playground of beaches, wetlands, cliffs, woods, wildlife, left its indelible mark on her art, writing, and personality. She says, “Until urged by my writer friends it never occurred to me that I could write. In fact, I always stood in awe of those who could.” Her sculptural art in soapstone and clay represent the feelings and movements of these childhood surroundings. Over the years, her poems have been exhibited in Ars Poetica, in Poetry Corners, at BPA, the Bainbridge Island Library, and at Mud Puddle Coffee, along with her photos of the devastation from the 1964 earthquake in Kodiak.
Julia Miller likes nothing better than exploring a quiet forest or scrambling over a rocky beach. Her artwork expresses the delight she finds in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Born and raised in the Seattle area, a University of Washington graduate, the Kitsap peninsula is now the home of her dreams.
Julia began painting after leaving a long stint as a popular natural foods restaurateur. She describes her painting style as “unhampered by formal training” and her work has been called “color poetry.” More examples are posted  on her websites: https://www.juliavmiller.com/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/julimil/
Sarah Stockton is the Editor-in-Chief of River Mouth Review, an online, bi-monthly poetry review. Sarah’s own poems have been published in print and online, including in Glass Poetry, The Shallow Ends, Rise Up Review, Crab Creek Review, Empty Mirror, SWIMM, Psaltery and Lyre, and Earth’s Daughters, among others. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. Workshop participation with the Centrum Writer’s Conference, Blue Light Press, and The Writers’ Workshoppe in Port Townsend, WA, have been a fruitful adjunct to a life-long love affair with poetry.
Tim McNulty is a poet, essayist, and nature writer based in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. He is the author of ten poetry books and eleven books of natural history. Tim has received the Washington State Book Award and the National Outdoor Book Award among other honors.
Tim’s most recent book of poems, Ascendance, is published by Pleasure Boat Studio. His natural history books include Olympic National Park: A Natural History, and Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park. His work has been translated into German, Chinese, and Japanese.
Tim lives with his wife, Mary Morgan, in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains above the Dungeness and Graywolf rivers. A passionate spokesman for the wild, Tim remains active in the Northwest environmental community.

Table of Contents, Issue #9, Autumn 2020

From Swamps and Bogs …

From Swamps and Bogs …

by Sara & Thomas Noland, Autumn 2020 Photos by Thomas Noland except as notedby Sara & Thomas Noland, Summer 2020 Photos by Thomas Noland except as notedWetlands are part of our landscape here in the lowlands near the Salish Sea. Anyone who’s walked around in a...

Carpenter Creek Salt Marsh

Carpenter Creek Salt Marsh

by Melissa Fleming & Terry Pereida, Autumn 2020 Photos by Terry Pereida, except as notedSalt marsh with the main channel running down the middle. Photo by Tom TwiggSalt marsh with the main channel running down the middle. Photo by Tom Twiggby Melissa Fleming &...

The Importance of Wetlands

The Importance of Wetlands

by Josh Wozniak, Autumn 2020 Photographs by John F. Williamsby Josh Wozniak, Summer 2020 Photographs by John F. WilliamsTaking many forms, wetlands are natural features of the landscape that provide crucial functions for both nature and humankind. We benefit directly...

Wetland Basics

Wetland Basics

Frank Stricklin, Autumn 2020 Photos by John F. Williams except as notedThis large wetland in Newberry Hill Heritage Park is listed by the State of Washington as a “wetland of significant conservation value.” It contains many species of aquatic plants, and some...

Blue Carbon

Blue Carbon

by Adelia Ritchie, Autumn 2020Underwater Rainbow, painting by Julia MillerUnderwater Rainbow, painting by Julia Millerby Adelia Ritchie, Summer 2020As you’ll see everywhere else in this issue, a wetland system isn’t just another lovely place for a nature walk. Wetland...

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