Spring 2020

A Plastic Future Is Not Fantastic

by Mahathi Mangipudi


Photo by John F. Williams




Small Things

by Janet Knox

We gift them tiny plastic things

to sit on a shelf or play and break

to signify like or caring or thinking of you

then toss in landfills or storage units or

wash wide oceans in tiny plastic wishes

we remind ourselves to not make

everything into metaphor that meaning

can be thin not layered in geology

that intelligent life will not sully its nest

that excess can cease that we underestimate

what we are capable of.

Plastic Invasion

by Nancy Taylor

As a child I played with Lincoln Logs
and ABC blocks made of wood.
Thirty years later my son played
with plastic toys gifted by his Godmother
who worked for Mattel.
Another forty years go by and my city
demands garbage be in plastic bags.

Scanning my pantry—
Saran Wrap, Teflon pans, plastic-lined cans,
Tupperware storing pasta.

Out my window—
bird baths and their feeders, pots growing herbs,
grill’s handle and knobs.

In my bathroom—
razors, lotion bottles, hair brush, Aleve container,
eye drops, plastic wraps toilet paper.

In my bedroom—
clothes on plastic hangers
stitched in nylon, lycra, acrylic, and polyester

which all shed fibers that launder down drain
into water we drink and fish we eat.

Now that I’ve shared my plastic shame
I’ll suggest some things to do:
buy clothes made of cotton, hemp, linen or wool;
buy bar soap and bar shampoo;
eschew chewing gum; take a box
to restaurants for left-overs;
download Beat The Microbead app
to scan barcodes on soaps and cosmetics;

hang your water bottle by keys at your door.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pixabay
Photo by John F. Williams
Mahathi Mangipudi is a junior at Interlake High School. She is a social activist, avid debater, and an environmental enthusiast. She represented the United States at the 2018 International Earth Science Olympiad in Thailand, where she earned a bronze and silver medals. She is pushing for local change towards a more sustainable community through the creation of the first Student Climate Action Plan.
Photo by Jim Fagiolo
Janet Norman Knox
Seven-time Pushcart nominee and finalist for the Discovery/The Nation Award, Janet Norman Knox‘s poems have appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, 5 AM, Crab Creek Review, Rhino, Bellingham Review, Fourth River, Diner, Seattle Review, Adirondack Review, and Diagram. Her play, 9 Gs and the Red Telephone, appeared in Feminist Studies. She received the Ruskin Poetry Prize (Red Hen Press) and the Los Angeles Review nominated her for Best New Poets. Her chapbook, Eastlake Cleaners when Quality & Price Count [a romance], received the Concrete Wolf Editor’s Award. http://www.rattle.com/ereviews/knoxeastlake.htm Janet collaborates with artists Anne Beffel (Jack Straw Foundation and Duwamish Revealed Grants) and Vaughn Bell (4Culture and Duwamish Revealed Grants) in public art. Janet is an entrepreneur and Environmental Geochemist, her company turning 33.
Nancy Taylor is a retired nurse practitioner who has dabbled in poetry for the past decade.  Her interests are gardening, walking through forests and petting her two fluffy, mostly white Havanese dogs.  She loves dogs so much she wrote a poetry book, Can We Keep Him, to benefit Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education (KARE).  

Table of Contents, Issue #7, Spring 2020

Prêt-à-Porter Plastics

Prêt-à-Porter Plastics

by Deb Rudnick, Spring 2020 Photos by John F. Williams except as notedby Deb Rudnick, Spring 2020 Photos by John F. Williams except as noted   A bubble wrap bridal gown. Patio umbrella fabric cargo pants. A dress of VHS tape and electric cords. A grocery bag tutu....

Plastics & Our Salish Sea

Plastics & Our Salish Sea

by Alison Ahlgrim, Spring 2020Photo by John F. WilliamsPhoto by John F. Williamsby Alison Ahlgrim, Spring 2020  Take a walk along a beach anywhere along the Salish Sea, and you are likely to see all kinds of plastic waste – bottle caps, bags, toys, Styrofoam, bottles,...

Art and Plastics

Art and Plastics

by Karen Hackenberg, Spring 2020Painting by Karen HackenbergPainting by Karen Hackenbergby Karen Hackenberg, Spring 2020  Between Scylla and Charybdis, oil on linen, 28"x35", 2019, by Karen Hackenberg.My painting Between Scylla and Charybdis, can be seen as a metaphor...



by Julie Masura, Spring 2020Photo by Julie MasuraPhoto by Julie Masuraby Julie Masura, Spring 2020  “What do you know about plastics?" "Absolutely nothing.” This was the beginning of microplastics research at the University of Washington Tacoma’s Center for Urban...



"SCHROADTRIP": A PARLEY FOR THE OCEANS INITIATIVEby Nick Schippers (with Hans Schippers), Spring 2020 Growing up surfing on Washington’s remote and rugged coastlines, my brothers and I learned early on just how important our waters are. As avid surfers and watermen,...

Kingdom of Plastics

Kingdom of Plastics

by Julie Jeanell Leung, Spring 2020Photo of Schel Chelb estuary by John F. WilliamsPhoto of Schel Chelb estuary by John F. Williamsby Julie Jeanell Leung, Spring 2020  Standing on the beach at the Schel Chelb Estuary, three days after the winter solstice in 2012, I...

Addressing the Plastic Problem

Addressing the Plastic Problem

by Heather Trim, Spring 2020Photo by John F. WilliamsPhoto by John F. Williamsby Heather Trim, Spring 2020  Plastic waste is an issue for Washingtonians because we are a coastal state, and we have remaining endangered species who are potentially being impacted by...

A New Hope for Plastics

A New Hope for Plastics

by Adelia Ritchie, Spring 2020Photo by John F. WilliamsPhoto by John F, Williamsby Adelia Ritchie, Spring 2020  If you’ve ever had to clear out those pesky cobwebs from every corner of your house, you know how ubiquitous and stubbornly persistent our house spiders can...




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