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Poetry Corner: September’s Poet Spotlight


Hello Poetry Lovers!  Whether you like it or not, we seem to be on the downhill of Summer, heading towards the colors of Fall. (My favorite season, actually!)  The leaves on the trees painted in orange, red and yellow, the slight nip on the wind, the chance to take a vacation after the chaos of Summer, the return of the stouts and porters, and fresh hop beers to the breweries.  I’m in!  But enough about Fall!  I want to spotlight one of my fellow Striped Water Poets.  Her name is Cindy Hutchings, and I’ll let her tell you about herself, in her own words:

September’s Poet Spotlight: Cindy Hutchings

I have written poems since I was a child, when I first wrote a poem about turtles to help my brother feel better. I’ve written well over a thousand poems, about family, healing, society and politics, animals and nature. I wrote a collection of poems to a cedar tree! MoonPath Press graciously published these poems in a chapbook called Tree Talk (


After moving to Auburn, I was happy to find two poetry groups in the area. I really enjoyed our writing critique circle with Striped Water Poets, and the Poets on the Ave, and Poets on the Farm events we planned with Northwest Renaissance poets. Marjorie Rommel, NWR President, worked with me to procure grant funding from the City of Auburn for our monthly Poetry Night at the Rainbow Café events. The new friends in these poetry groups helped me to write more, feel encouraged to send poems to publishers, and begin reading my poems in our monthly open mic – a life changing experience for me!

A photo headshot of poet Cindy Hutchings standing by a tree
Courtesy photo: Cindy Hutchings

I have lived in the Pacific Northwest all my life. I grew up in Shoreline and graduated high school in Lake Stevens. When my two children started school, I went back to school! I attended college classes when my kids were in class, and studied homework late into the night after they were tucked in bed. I graduated first from Green River Community College and then from the University of Washington. When in college, I was involved in Native American student associations and helped hold annual Pow Wow social gatherings on campus. My academic program included English, Journalism, Women Studies, and American Indian Studies. I was invited to become a member of Phi Beta Kappa because of these diverse studies.

For me, poems are most often inspired by an impactful event, and my life experiences and education inform my poetry.

I personally had the honor of providing the photos for the aforementioned book, “Tree Talk”, and have gotten to add my two cents in on many a poem of Cindy’s with the Striped Water Poets.  She is incredibly gifted at getting a lot of emotion into as few words as possible, a brevity I wish I had.  One of the nicest poets in Auburn, you should definitely come to hear her read once we are able to meet back up at the Rainbow Cafe the first Monday of the month.


Here are a few of Cindy’s poems for your perusal:

Changing Woman


like the water, like the wave
like the tide, like the bay
like the sound, like the ocean
like the sea


You change



like the water, like the wave
like the tide, like the bay
like the sound, like the ocean
like the sea

I change.


Infilling light
radiant waves, signal
turning tide

and see
heart strings
softly swaying

the song
over the hills
relays the story
of rehoming

and the world
new worlds

the new soil
with your quickening

your name
among the living

take your place
and be at once

First Born Canoe

Tenderly carved, painted
with gentle hands

carried into longhouse
for giveaway

floated above
outstretched fingers

blessed by sacred songs
reverent prayers

raised to dance, circle
over the gathering

an eagle
lifting off

spirited away

the gathering, transported
with   the Gift.

Last updated: 09/7/2021, 11:30AM – photo of Cindy Hutchings update per poet’s request


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