February 3, 2016
Congratulations to Stephanie Barbé Hammer, our “Whidbey Writes” featured writer for February. We’re pleased to be able to share her work of poetry, “I experience nature myopically” with you.
The purpose of “Whidbey Writes” is to encourage writers with a Whidbey connection to submit short fiction and poetry for publication in Whidbey Life Magazine, thereby giving our readers an opportunity to enjoy these creative writings. Throughout the past year, Whidbey Writes published monthly selections of short fiction and poetry online. The most popular of these entries was also published in the Fall/Winter 2015 print issue.
We publish the original work of selected winners at the beginning of each month as part of Whidbey Writes. WLM congratulates Stephanie and thanks to volunteer editors Heather Anderson, Mureall Hebert and Chris Spencer, who review submissions on Solstices and Equinoxes and pass on the work they enjoy most to Whidbey Life Magazine for publication online and in print.
This competition, originally created as a collaboration between Whidbey Life Magazine and the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, will now continue as part of the creative writing section of Whidbey Life Magazine. Whidbey Life Magazine extends thanks to the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts for their ongoing support of Whidbey Writes.
I experience nature myopically
By Stephanie Barbé Hammer
We walk me and my dad
Looking for pine cones
To start the fire in the cabin —
I don’t wear my glasses though
They are new to me and sit strangely
On my ears, so when I pick up the thing
That is brown and mottled like a pine cone it
Just feels wrong. Pine cones are brittle and dry
This brown thing is wet and it’s cold so I
Crouch down to investigate with my already
Not very good eyes. A slug. I let go. Stand up.
We walk to the stream and we skip tiny stones
Forget about pine cones. But I personally never
Forget the slime-wondrous feel of that being
That I thought at first was a dead piece of plant.
Stephanie Barbé Hammer’s prose poem chapbook “Sex with Buildings” appeared with Dancing Girl Press in 2012. Her 2014 collection, “How Formal?” is available from Spout Hill Press. Her first novel “The Puppet Turners of Narrow Interior” was published with Urban Farmhouse Press in 2015.
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