Charles Leggett


So dense and swift these clouds, it’s the tanned olive
moon that seems to move;
as if into this wind your life will lean
susceptible to imagery, the inwrought
pull of all these metaphors we live
in. Now look—the mien
even of the drape is fraught

with it: coronas, eyes recoiling off
the ceiling; or a gaff
trickles the storm drain; or a stage’s curtain
murmur passing cars; the blowsy skein
of each second, frozen-framed, a tea leaf
scholium, a garden
in a cartoon hurricane.


“November Storm Break” is reprinted from Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry.


Charles Leggett is a professional actor based in Seattle, WA.  Recent publications include Bottle Rockets, The Centrifugal Eye, and Cirque.  Others include The Lyric and Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry; work is forthcoming in Big Pulp, GlassFire, Constellations and Graze Magazine.  His long poem “Premature Tombeau for John Ashbery” was an e-chapbook in the Barnwood Press “Great Find” series.


Linda Malnack

Double Life of a Still Life


They breathed
once, planetary in their skins, red
ripe, indebted

to the sky, but attracted to earth.
Yellow lanterns
hung by wind, pears over marigolds.

And peaches,
their washes of fuzz hazy in the blue
dish beneath

a reincarnated sun and its pitted
lover, the moon
who looks, ever looks into the white

will be. So this
is what fruit becomes, longitudinal
light, its juice

running, the weighty abuse, a glad
letting go.
Grass’ sweet buffer–romance,

seeds, skinned
knees. All in the time it takes to deal
a blow, a hand

of hard luck: pulp slick in the dirt,
last life of a still
life brown in the orchard, and you

taking what was,
what is, and smearing its sad cider all
over your hands.


“Double Life of a Still Life” is reprinted from Northwest Review.


Linda Malnack has published poems in many journals, including The Amherst Review, the Seattle Review, and Southern Humanities Review. She won the Willow Springs Poetry Award in 2000 and the William Stafford Award (Washington Poets Association) in 1998. Currently, she volunteers as an associate editor for the poetry e-zine, Switched-on Gutenberg.

Jennifer Maier

Haute Couture


Just when you think it can’t be mended,
the April sky,
dingy from over-washing,
gray hem of clouds coming down,
they arrive—
the assiduous tailors,
with their blue smocks,
their scissortails.

Then you step out of winter like a grave
and awkward garment,
happy beyond measure to know
that from this same bolt of blue
they clothed the pharaohs,
an Etruscan woman scaling a fish,
even your elderly neighbors,
sitting together
with their oxygen canisters
at the edge of the lawn,

May slipping softly
down over their shoulders
as in the old stories,
where the blind see,
the beggar walks in robes of gold,
and everyone is saved.


“Haute Couture” is reprinted from Now, Now (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013)


Jennifer Maier is a  professor of  literature and creative writing at Seattle Pacific University and an editor of the arts quarterly IMAGE. Her work has appeared in Poetry, American Poet, Poetry Daily, New Letters, The Writer’s Almanac and elsewhereHer first book, Dark Alphabet (Southern Illinois UP), was named one of the Ten Remarkable Books of 2006 by the Academy of American Poets and was a finalist for both the Washington State Book Award and the 2008 Poets’ Prize.  A second collection, Now, Now, will be published in 2013 by The University of Pittsburgh Press.


Tim McNulty

Willow Withes


My grandfather used willow withes
cut from a backyard shade tree
to tie back his grapevines to their arbors—
leafy rows that bordered
the other crops sewn into his small,
hillside farm.

With a bundle of cut swaths tucked in his belt
he strode the rows like a swashbuckler,
whipping wands and binding unruly growth
into order. Following along
with my armload of cut willow limbs,
I could barely keep up.

I did better with strawberries.
scooching my butt down the dusty rows,
filling my grandmother’s big two-handled colander,
the taste of ripe berries erupting warmly
against my tongue.

Scooching, too, I could thin carrots
with the best of them,
grasping the lacy tops close to the soil
and tugging.
The small, fingerling carrots, rinsed
in the tublike yard sink,
crunched sweetly between my teeth.

Other days I gathered brown eggs
from the cloying henhouse,
or fed the rabbits in their shaded hutches,
or broke the ends off stringbeans
with Noni under the backyard willow,
her apron a brimming green horn-of-plenty.

Or watched plains of tomatoes ripening
on wire-mesh racks,
smoke from the summer kitchen redolent
in the fragrant air.

The green willow withes dried over summer
as the wine grapes thickened and set,
and by September, when all the family gathered
for harvest, their golden coils seemed
an organic part of the vines,

bound like memories, now
with the farm gone, shoring up the bounty
beneath yellowing leaves,
so it can be gathered,
and pressed and tasted.

Setting the glass down on the
white enamel table,
tartness waking the tongue.


“Willow Withes” will appear in Ascendance, forthcoming this fall from Pleasure Boat Studio.


Tim McNulty is a poet, essayist, and nature writer. He is the author of three poetry collections, Ascendance (Pleasure Boat Studio), In Blue Mountain Dusk (Broken Moon Press), and Pawtracks, (Copper Canyon Press), and eleven books on natural history.  Tim has received the Washington State Book Award and the National Outdoor Book Award.  He lives with his family in the foothills of Washington’s Olympic Mountains, where his is active in wilderness and conservation work.

Kenn Nesbitt

I Didn’t Go Camping
A Funny Summer Poem for Kids

I didn’t go camping.
I didn’t go hiking.
I didn’t go fishing.
I didn’t go biking.

I didn’t go play
on the slides at the park.
I didn’t watch shooting stars
way after dark.

I didn’t play baseball
or soccer outside.
I didn’t go on an
amusement park ride.

I didn’t throw Frisbees.
I didn’t fly kites,
or have any travels,
or see any sights.

I didn’t watch movies
with blockbuster crowds,
or lay on the front lawn
and look at the clouds.

I didn’t go swimming
at pools or beaches,
or visit an orchard
and pick a few peaches.

I didn’t become
a guitarist or drummer,
but, boy, I played plenty
of Minecraft this summer.


Copyright © 2013 Kenn Nesbitt
All Rights Reserved


Kenn Nesbitt was named the Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation in 2013.  He is the author of numerous books of poetry for children, including The Armpit of Doom: Funny Poems for Kids (2013), The Ultimate Top Secret Guide to Taking Over the World (2011), The Tighty-Whitey Spider(2010), Revenge of the Lunch Ladies (2007), Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney (2006), When the Teacher Isn’t Looking: And Other Funny School Poems (2005), and The Aliens Have Landed at Our School! (2001), among others. In addition to writing books, Nesbitt has also written lyrics for the group Eric Herman and the Invisible Band. His lyrics are included on the CDs What a Ride (2007), Snail’s Pace(2007)Snow Day (2006)Monkey Business (2005), and The Kid in the Mirror(2003). Nesbitt’s poems have appeared in hundreds of anthologies, magazines, and textbooks worldwide, and were included on the television show “Jack Hanna’s Wildlife Adventures.” Nesbitt is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. His website, Poetry4kids, is an online “Funny Poetry Playground” that features poems, lessons, games, and poetry-related activities. He currently lives in Spokane, Washington with his wife, children, and pets.

Beth Bentley

Short Trip Back


I wanted to place my foot
once more on the burning sidewalk,
stalled in a Minnesota August,
thinned, pocked and feverish
with adolescence, my disease.
I wanted to suffer those years
when I pottered around the neighborhood,
a homesick explorer held captive
by the natives, worshipped
in outlandish ceremonies, kept celibate,
my untranslatable messages
smuggled out from the interior
by birds; held so long I became
like my captors, simple-minded,
chained to the wheel of food and sleep.

I was so far from my own country
I thought I had made it up:
a temperate place
where even the speech was liquid,
where one’s body was a blessing,
where I could put on thought
like a skin and become whole.


Beth Bentley has taught in the Northwest and elsewhere for over thirty years. Her poetry has been widely published in journals and anthologies, including The Gettysburg Review, the Atlantic, the Nation, the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Poetry, and the Sewanee Review. Bentley’s poetry collections include Little Fires (Cune Press, 1998), The Purely Visible (SeaPen Press, 1980), Philosophical Investigations (SeaPen Press, 1977), Country of Resemblances (Ohio University Press, 1976), Field of Snow (Gemini Press, 1973), and Phone Calls From the Dead (Ohio University Press, 1972). She has been living in Seattle since 1952.  

Lorraine Healy

Ode to the Palouse at Harvest Time

The Palouse, Eastern Washington State


In the beginning the sky
was blue and wheat was yellow,
the clumps of sage were their exhausted green,
and so the farmers said
let the barns be red, and the barns
were red.

Today the wheat is ready, a thread
beyond golden
except a summer storm rages in its mess
of purple clouds and stops the day.

The old Danes and Swedes
are in the Farmers’ Cemetery
where death suits their natural reserve.
Grey slabs for Petersens, Larsens,
for every blessed Hanson.
And here and there, a perfect garland
surrounds a lovely, tiny marble lamb—
splurge for a child of wheat-like hair,
stolen by diphtheria.

The afternoon leaches
the rust of rain out of everything,
until the dry stubble
bursts with cricket and grasshopper.
Again the world a spark away
from wildfire, one unconscionable
flick of lightning touching down,
one idiot match flung out
a car window and why
do we call them wild
these fires arsoned by thoughtlessness,
ours, God’s?

Come sunset, an almost solid haze
rattles everything from here to the horizon:
the chemical ghost of weedkiller,
dust from ten thousand fallow fields,
over the silos, over the Quonset huts,
over everyone’s sins.


Lorraine Healy is an Argentinean poet and photographer living on Whidbey Island, Washington. The winner of several national awards, including a Pushcart Prize nomination, she has been published extensively. The author of two published chapbooks, Lorraine is a graduate from the M.F.A in Poetry program at New England College, New Hampshire, as well as from the post-MFA Program at Antioch University Los Angeles. Her first full-length manuscript, The Habit of Buenos Aires (Tebot Bach Press, 2010) won the Patricia Bibby First Book Award. Lorraine’s newest chapbook, Abraham’s Voices, will be out in October from WorldEnoughWriters Press.”

Terry Martin




Orange light quiets the sky.
Color stains trees
into lengthening shade.

Lean back in your chair,
feet bare in tickling grass,
while the sun sinks behind the hill.

Sparrows flit
from limb to limb
in the orchard.

The smell of apples
becoming themselves
can ripen you, too.

Feel the air begin
to cool your shoulders,
kissing your face, blessing it.

Catch the earth’s pulse
through the soles of your feet.
Listen to the dark arrive.

Fill your empty place
with this horizon.
Hold it all lightly,

like that. Just like that.
Sit here, home,
the taste of evening in your mouth.


Terry Martin is the author of The Secret Language of Women (Blue Begonia Press, 2006) and Wishboats, published by Blue Begonia Press in 2000, winner of the Judges’ Choice Award at Bumbershoot Book Fair. Over 200 of Martin’s poems, essays, and articles have appeared in numerous publications. Hiker, river-watcher, and lover of the arts, Terry lives with her family in Yakima, and teaches in the English Department at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. She is the recipient of CWU’s Distinguished Professor Teaching Award, and in 2003 was honored as Washington Professor of the Year by the CASE/Carnegie Foundation–a national teaching award given to recognize extraordinary commitment and contribution to undergraduate education.


John Whalen


The moon was closest as reflected
in the kitchen window where the August
sunset peeled itself from blue to a gray
flashed with embarrassments of pink

that begged the betterment of my mood.
After jotting letters sent next-day air
to Massachusetts, I back-stroked another
hundred laps in the apartment’s small pool.

Summer, that falling glass, that drunk-
and-driving-too-fast friend, was mostly
a suspicion of summer slipping away.
The picnic table held complicated plans in place

while I swam. Missing you— that punked-out
miscreant. That fear of water.



John Whalen’s books include Caliban (Lost Horse Press) and In Honor of the Spigot (Gribble Press), a chapbook. His poems have appeared most recently in Epoch, Ascent, and CutBank. He lives in Spokane.

Ann Spiers

Bunker Trail, Vashon Island


……..New Year’s Eve (8 p.m.)
His body is well dressed
in wool coat and heavy gloves.
His body rides the currents
from the Narrows
north up Colvos Straits,
passes our iced windows
to beach on Dolphin Point.

His body is covered
with care in wool and knit.

……..New Year’s Eve (Midnight)
Sandbags are a mesh of smell,
dormant in stacks of dozens.

Each beach has a load of sand
that migrates back and forth.
We shovel load after load
into bellies of sandbags
in the night and north wind.

Sandbags have a rough stink,
hemp, creosote, and sea mire.

……..New Year (3 a.m.)
For decades, I did this dream,
waking deeper, blacker into its hole.

The cabin splinters, waves work
dark rafters and pilings akimbo,
exposing chairs, children’s bunks.
The fire settles to a fizzle.
Elated to get the task over,

I lean in, pulling our sons
up and up, by the wrists.


“Bunker Trail, Vashon Island” is reprinted from 13th Moon, then Nature of an Island, and is forthcoming in Bunker Trail (Finishing Line Press).


A Washington native, Ann Spiers is the current Vashon Island Poet Laureate. Her recent chapbooks are Bunker Trail (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming), What Rain Does (Egress Studio Press, Bellingham), A Wild Taste (May Day Press, Shelton), and Long Climb into Grace (FootHills Publ., New York). She leads workshops developing poem cycles for chapbooks.