Dear Willawaw Readers,
It is my honor to introduce to you the paintings of Carol Crump Bryner. I have been a fan for decades and am especially smitten with her subject matter for the journal as it portrays a place I used to call home. Please visit the back page to read more about her.
The poetry in this Winter Issue strikes a couple of resonant notes for me: we are occupying a liminal space between administrations and in reference to the approaching yet protracted end of this pandemic. In a larger sense, this transitional/liminal state can also refer to our relationship with this planet we call home and the imbalances of climate change we are visiting upon it which have reached a tipping point. These are each and all weighty stressors, and out of this “season” the poets have drawn forth what might not be pretty, but which is nonetheless beautiful.
I am heartened to find so many tracings of wild life and in such variety—not just Frank Rossini’s dog or Trina Gaynon’s cat and dog and fellow beasts, but also Linda Bryant’s armadillo and brindled coyote; Doug Van Hooser’s tortoise, possum, and deer; Gary Lark’s chukhar; Ann Farley’s buzzard; and Bruce McRae’s multitude of wild things in “On the Brink.”
Within these pages you will also find an honest measure of the cost these stressors (and others) can extract, physically and mentally. Both Sarah Beddow and Abriana Jette write eloquently of headaches or migraines. DS Molalai and Sarah Lilius address the fragility of the mind, and of relationship.
Michael H. Brownstein and Penelope Hyde Levine bring rain to the page, a staple of our Northwest culture and environment, while John Stanizzi, Amy Miller, and Sarah Beddow draw inspiration from apples, another stock element of the Oregon pantry. May you find comfort in the familiar!
That’s only the half of it, of course. I leave you to discover the rest for yourselves. And a reminder: we are all fragile, and transitions can be damned awkward. So be kind to yourself and be patient. I hope this passel of poems will help to see you through to the light which is even now beginning to grow.
Happy Winter Solstice and all the blessing of the season to you and to those you love.