New Book!!!

Dear Friends:

My new book of poetry is almost here! Learning to Love a Western SkyAmelia_Ettinger_Learning_to_Love_A_Westrn_Sky (1).jpg will be available from Airlie Press. To Pre-order my new  book from Airlie Press  go to


I just wanted to share this lovely video from the late Oregon Poet Laureate, Peter Sears. His project, Expanding Voices, has a message that is so vital now.


Quarentine Poem

It has been like a million years since I have posted on this site for you. That is about to change. I also feel I have been in quarantine for a million years. But it feels okay, not lonely, just contemplative. Here is a poem about living in quarantine at Ruckle Road:

Ruckle Road Quarantine

My street is always deserted, that’s nothing new

what is empty is my table; too early for flowers

too dangerous for friends.


Yet, my kitchen, this sanctuary where I linger

to find my flavor of quiet-solitude brims

with the aroma of yeast and honey.


I turn the sticky dough and it clings to my fingers

warm and familiar, so much like the skin

of the grandkids, I long to touch.


Soon my kitchen will brim with English muffins

that I will freeze for a time where flowers

bloom and wine will flow again in company








Sometimes poems are just for kicks

I like to play with words and words into verses and verses into poems. Who doesn’t? Sometimes a poem is important and moves the moral narrative forward to a better place. These are the poems I love to read and find. But sometimes I like to write poems just for kicks. So here is a poem that is not an important poem, nor a particularly good poem. But I hope it makes you smile. This poem is dedicated to my friend, or to you,  on a day whose ‘wasband’ gave her an unacceptable word assault. (You know who you are).


The disgruntled wife

His words spewed from his mouth

like an angry cartoon.

She could see them hitting his carpet

capunk! capunk,! anvils on his floor.

she did the only sensible

thing to do at times like these

she collapsed his mandibles

then squeezed his eyeballs into one

an insufficient cyclops

organs tissues then cells

turned to a marbled ball of blood

and skin    she crawled onto those spaces

his molecules and atoms next

collapsed with no space

their galactic distances condensed

without their air       he was so small

smaller than a mote of dust

satisfied the disgruntled wife

began to clean HER  house

but she could not see him

so she hoovered him by accident

his ugly words no longer

on Her carpet.





The end of June and water skippers

These long days are an invitation to sit by a pond and contemplate nature. In my pond there is a city on legs, and here is a poem on those thoughts.



Rings upon rings


as if a torrent of rain

wants to drown this pond.


—Get close and see.


These ripples, not of rain,

but water skippers!


A city on legs

balanced on the skin of water.


In a game, or maybe a war,

of meet and retreat.


The smaller ones race

for a brief connection,


in a second secrets are shared

new circles inflate, shimmer


and fracture the calm

of a cloudy day


distort the mirror of trees

a vibration of braches


making the summer dance,

this is the hallucinogenic power


of waking on water.









Pensamientos en el día de los padres

I have been thinking a lot about my father lately. Maybe is because of Father’s Day, maybe because of the transient nature of our existence in this short-lived planet. Regardless of the reason, reading Sandeep Jauhar’s book ‘Heart A History,’ inspired this new poem. I hope you will enjoy it.

The organ as a heart


I want to see the depths

of my father’s heart,

the confusion

of failed arteries,

the atrophy

of muscle

from a life filled

with the spoils of regret.


I know it is just a pump,

no ‘virtue spirits’ there,


still, I struggle

to hold on to Galen’s view,

and pretend to know my father cared for me

in the caverns of those now-empty chambers.

I want to walk in its darkness

hold the softness of those walls,

to find its sentiments,

as flawed as the man that carried it.



Today: Ancestral Voices



Eulogy for Marge

My Mother-In-Law, Marge Ettinger passed on May 23. I would like to share with you a villanelle I wrote to celebrate this remarkable woman I had the honor to call Mom.

Eulogy for Marge Ettinger

May 23, 2019


She lived for the love of wild things,

penstemon on a hillside along the Deschutes,

but even boulders tumble from erosion.


Blue-violet against rust in the high dessert

made her quiver for joy,

she lived for the love of wild things.


The sound of bees in the cuddle of the hive,

light and shade deep in the Metolius,

but even boulders tumble from erosion.


On horseback across the Warm Springs,

invited to the sacrament of flowers,

she lived for the love of wild things.


Layers of lava and the sight of pollen,

fissures in rocks and stamens,

but even boulders tumble from erosion.


Her eyes in the sky searching for pelicans,

the song of every bird and every feather,

she lived for the love of wild things,

but even boulders tumble from erosion.




AWP conference in Portland, Oregon

What an amazing experience! It was interesting, confusing, and exhausting.

Airlie Press presentation at Devi’s Den was wonderful. Thank you all new and former editors from Airlie Press, it was a night of poetry and camaraderie.



WOW!! Let’s get going again!!

I haven’t been here for way too long. But we are starting a new year and a new emphasis on growth. Today I want to invite you to visit this lovely magazine. I know you will enjoy the art and poetry.