Posted on Leave a comment

Cayote Speaks to Me by Gina Hietpas

Coyote Speaks to Me

by Gina Hietpas

So you want to know this place? Be up at dawn,
when first light brushes the sky beyond the grove
of madrones you call the seven sisters.

Don’t whine. Learn by exposing yourself
to the dark and cold.
I sleep in the blackberry tangle edging the hayfield,
my thorn fortress warmed by southern light.

Every fall, glossy fruit hangs outside my door. Breakfast.
There’s the pioneer orchard, trees gnarled,
apples like knobs, but I tell you – nothing like a feast
of field mice and fallen apples.

It’s a quick lope along the fence to the ravine.
Good mousing by the cedar posts
bunched with grass and ragged leaves.
Listen. The water, eighty feet below,
roars with yesterday’s rain.

Stick with me!
I’ll show you persistence and the art of pounce.
Watch me shrug off disappointment.

In solitude you learn your story.
Only then can you riff on the moon.


I Take My Chances with a Seasonal Man

by Gina Hietpas

There was a time, your green shirt ripe
with herring roe was pungent comfort.

You, gone again for the salmon run.

Me, city bred, newly wed
plunged into cold water living:
prime the pump, lime the privy, sliver kindling.

I polish the cook stove’s blue porcelain door,
such a fine Wedgewood,
tidy the drawers of the kitchen hutch,

first date receipts, errant buttons, string too short to save,
a clutch of mismatched dice.
Shake for luck and roll.

Stuck, I scour the sour whiff of mushrooms,
grey decay crouched in corners.
I must not cower.

Alone. Trim the wicks, light the lamps.
Feed the fire. Listen to coyote chatter.


Riffing on the Moon

by Gina Hietpas

A full moon rides the scruffy sky.
Restless as incoming tide, I wander,
room to room, in raw pursuit of sleep.

Led by mosaic light, I step into the yard
to breathe frost and stars
and expanded space.

A coyote yips an opening chord.
The pack jubilates – howling tremolos,
braided barks, a high descant.

Across the valley another band accepts the challenge,
riffs with alto warbles, solo yelps,
a running keen.

Echoing pitches volley, a call and response
of boundaries and bonds.
As the canticle fades, final alpha barks

dissolve all illusion of aloneness.


IMG_1215Gina Hietpas is a self-taught poet, born and raised in Tacoma, Washington state. Nowadays, she lives outside Sequim, WA, on a small farm with her husband, a few cows and a passel of chickens. Her land is a habitat for elk, deer, coyotes and an occasional bear. It is, for the most part, a peaceful coexistence. The opportunity to be a back-country ranger for several seasons shaped her connection to wilderness. Professionally she was a middle school teacher for twenty five years.  Now that she has retired, she focuses her efforts on writing. She has studied with Kelli Russell Agodon, Alice Derry, Holly Hughes, Susan Rich and Kim Stafford. Hietpas’ work has appeared in Minerva Rising, Tidepools, Spindrift and New Plains Review.

Posted on Leave a comment

We’re Taking Pre-Orders!

That’s right, it’s officially time to pre-order your copy of our two newest poetry books:

What Us Is by Kellie Richardson (Richardson’s debut poetry collection, newly re-published with BCP and sporting a swanky new cover design)

Publication Date: March 1, 2020
Price: $17.00
Pre-order here

What Us Is offers readers a glimpse into the head space of one of Tacoma, Washington’s most respected poets, Kellie Richardson. In her debut poetry collection, Richardson turns herself inside out to let others know they’re not alone.


 Terrain by Gina Hietpas

Publication Date: August 1, 2020
Price: $17.00
Pre-order here

In her debut poetry collection, Terrain, self-taught poet and educator Gina Hietpas offers readers a way to return to the land with care and dignity. Drawing from a deep well of personal observation, connection and participation with the natural world, Hietpas’ poems explore themes of allyship, care, and ultimately, healing. 


Why Pre-Orders Matter

🌵 When community members pre-order a book from an independent bookstore, booksellers are better able to gauge market interest and order accordingly. In turn, this helps small publishers (like us) determine how many books to print before we launch, gain traction with regional audiences, and spur initial book sales.

🌵 Pre-ordering books also helps authors by increasing their odds of making it onto bestseller lists, potentially opening doors for future book contracts, and increasing their rankings on Goodreads and other influential literary sites. All of these are important components for an author’s long-term market success. 

 🌵 Lastly, when community members pre-order books directly from publishers, we’re able to ensure we have enough capital to cover printing costs (one of the biggest expenses of a book’s production costs), and focus on other aspects of publishing (like setting up cool events and readings for you, dear readers). 


With this in mind (along with your burning passion for poetry and art), we hope you’ll consider pre-ordering your books directly from Blue Cactus Press, or with your local, independent bookstore (like King’s Books). Happy reading, friends!

Posted on 1 Comment

New Year, New Book!

Exactly one year ago, Blue Cactus Press opened for business and started working towards publishing our first book. One marvelous year later, we’re back at it again! BCP is celebrating our one year anniversary with a special announcement about our newest, upcoming book by a truly talented author, Samuel Snoek-Brown.

Continue reading New Year, New Book!