The Year King’s Sacrifice

Copy of For Love of Orcas

For Love of Orcas is a new anthology of contemporary essays and poetry, dedicated to celebrating the life and lifting up the plight of the Southern Resident orcas in and around the Salish Sea.

It celebrates also the salmon who make up the bulk of the pods’ diet, and who are the inspiration for my contribution.

The Year-King's Sacrifice 

I have this vase
on which the salmon writhe
in wild profusion.
Every line of their carven
carving bodies signals
forward.
So many
the artist barely imaged
the waters they've shoved aside.

The only time
I saw this many living,
they were dying.
Every line of their silver
slivered bodies blurring
to forest.
Lives spent
in giving their own to life,
they gave up -- broken for you.

Broken for all
-- the stench of which is bracing.
Holds us up.
Their wild deaths
our pulsing, wild life.

I’m pretty floored to see my poem right next to a short essay by my favorite Pacific Northwest author, Ana Maria Spagna. And in company with some wonderful work by Jessica Gigot, Iris Graville, Kelly Russell Agodon, Maya Jewell Zeller, and Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford.*

#OfficeMugGame is all about orcas today.

Proceeds from the book support the Sea Doc Society, a science and education org dedicated to the health of marine ecosystems, especially in the Salish Sea.

Many thanks to Andrew Shattuck McBride for creating and editing, and to Jill McCabe Johnson at Wandering Aengus Press for publishing. And to both of you for your care with our work, and your care for our shared and beloved lands and seas.

*And, I’m quite sure, many others I’m still about to discover.

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