Bill Yake

Poetry, close attention, and the wild — they free us from the mundane.

Bill Yake, Andrews Forest Writing Resident, 2013

Bill Yake, now living among the fir and redcedar forests bordering the Salish Sea, was born, raised, and first educated, where eastern Washington pine forests grade into the remnant black hawthorn swales and eyebrows of the Palouse Hills. His poems have been published in books, magazines, and anthologies serving the environmental and literary communities — from Orion to Wilderness Magazine, from Poetry to Open Spaces Quarterly, from Wild Earth to ISLE. They have also been featured on NPR programs, including Krulwich Wonders, and are collected in This Old Riddle: Cormorants and Rain and Unfurl, Kite, and Veer, both from Radiolarian Press.

Forest Log Work:

To Fungi & Their Hosts – the Intimates

Oh you, the living & damp – the fungi desire to lie with you. Oh you, the expired & seeking exit – the fungi reach out to break you down. Oh you ancient blue-greens – the fungi wish to meld with you flesh to flesh & flourish. Oh honey and barley – the...

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Half the Forest is Night

– for the creatures of old growth   Half the forest is night. Inaudible. Yet for the adapted & adept, starlight and skritches must suffice.   And listening near truffle-flesh, night-lives hear the faint, faint gnawing of subterranean voles, the squirrel...

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Encounters with Forest People

HJ Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon Cascades, November 2014 1. Bob: Emerges in camouflage from the forest and says, "Hope you don't take me for one of those commercial mushroom hunters." 2. Terry: Seven a.m. and it's raining. He's headed across the gravel yard for...

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Encountering the Owl

"...What I came to say was, teach the children about the cycles. The life cycles. All the other cycles. That's what it's all about, and it's all forgot." – For/From Lew, Gary Snyder   Silent and dappled as the forest itself – that placenta, that rich compost,...

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Confronting Tenacious Forests

Attempting to speak accurately of forests   I bump up – again and again -- against the close and closed edges   of my mind -- this cage of attitudes that limits the forest, by turns,   to young and awkward, or elegant with age.   Two friends meet...

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Forest Breakfast

HJ Andrew’s Experimental Forest, 4 Nov. 2013 It will be fall in a Douglas Fir forest – gather chanterelles.   Dry these on the counter overnight & brush clean of fir needles & forest soil.   Chop one clove of garlic, a bit of onion, three large...

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Forests and People

 : A Meandering Long-Term Ecological Reflection on Changing Relationships Between Forests and Human Culture   [Early November, 2013 AD, perhaps 15,000 years after humans arrived in North America] DRAFT Setting: For nine days I am a guest in the H. J. Andrews...

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Science Mind, Literary Mind

 DRAFT  A response to a question posed by Fred Swanson which I interpreted as, “How do the aspects of (my) mind that try to address the world from a scientific perspective mesh or intersect with those that try to create poetry or other word art, those concerned with a...

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Small Mammal Survey Notes

6 Nov. 2013 Andrew’s Forest w/ Tom Manning  [Also a few notes on Spotted Owls from Steve Aikens <ackers? Fjs 113013>.]  DRAFT  Focus of survey is long-term tracking of populations of Spotted Owl prey. Larger traps for Northern Flying Squirrels and Townsend’s...

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