voices from the cascadia bioregion

she assumed

by ann batchelor hursey

that once she lived near tides, she wouldn’t need the sound of peepers.  
How odd that hiking talus made her crave the open field. Orca dove 
off shore, while farther east, fireflies swam through wintergreen. 
Beneath sassafras her son formed bowls from river mud, skipped shale 
across the shallows. She imagined twelve months of her favorite season 
would be enough. Northwest summers, a map of Aprils blooming.  
Spring comes early here. It helps her forgive the icicle’s absence. 
Is it the blue of the Steller’s jay or the cardinal’s red that she loves best? 
She asks the holly to help her conjure Ohio’s magenta blossoms—
                                    the staghorn sumac’s velvet spike.


“She Assumed” first appeared in Penduline Literary Magazine.


    lunar epilogue with cat

    by ann batchelor hursey


    Moon slips out of her shawl of clouds
    full and bright as night meets the sea—
    (Last night’s eclipse pulled-in the crowds.)
    In morning’s dark, the beaches are empty.

    Full and bright as night meets the sea—
    From an upstairs window, she tracks its descent.
    Just before dawn, the beaches are empty.
    Dickens purrs on her lap his orange tabby patience.

    She watches the moon make its descent;
    dissolving its face in a thickened horizon.
    Dickens kneads her lap in luminous patience,
    with a Cheshire grin that’s for certain.

    Whose eyes disappear in a thick-gray horizon
    (Eclipses always pull-in the crowds.)
    like some lunar cat grin, fades into curtains—
    slips out-of-view, in a sea of clouds.


    Sylvia Beach Hotel, Newport, Oregon


      statement of place: ann batchelor hursey

      I moved to Seattle in 1979 and have lived in many neighborhoods east and west of Interstate 5, north and south of the Lake Washington Ship Canal—eventually settling north of the city in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. Born and raised in landlocked Ohio—albeit, in love with Lake Erie—I’ve always yearned to be closer to mountains and oceans. Is it fair to say I love both bioregions, but call Cascadia home? I’ve worked as a teacher, arts activist, poet, writer and mother/wife. Currently, I volunteer at The Fabric of Life Fair Trade Boutique in Edmonds, Washington.