Blink by Michael Smith and Laura Young

Photo Credit - Laura Young

Photo Credit – Laura Young

In March 2013, Laura Young, a Nashville, TN, photographer, and Michael G. Smith, a Santa Fe, NM, poet converged at Franz Dolp’s Shotpouch Cabin in the Oregon Coastal Cascade Mountains. Artist residents of the Spring Creek Project (Oregon State University), their goal was to immerse themselves in the historically important logging environment and creatively document perspectives of two artists unfamiliar with the wet Coastal Cascades forested landscape.

They walked the humic forest, waded into the cold creek, crawled under and over rotting logs, and got down on hands and knees in the mud as they tried to creatively capture the environmental forces at play. Growth fueled by death, decomposition and clear-cuts created the living carpet under each step of their journey. At day’s end, ensconced in splendid dark evenings, they discussed what they had seen and experienced. Often poems were composed around photos, and photos composed for poems. This Postcard Poem is one tiny snippet from their two weeks at the Cabin that exemplifies the continual interplay of life and death.


Michael G. Smith lives in Santa Fe, NM. An avid hiker, he is a semi-retired research chemist with expertise in growing crystals that exhibit unusual magnetic properties. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Cider Press Review, the Kerf, New Mexico Poetry Review, Nimrod, the Santa Fe Literary Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, and other journals and anthologies. The Dark is Different in Reverse, a bonbon chapbook, was published by Bitterzoet Press (New Haven, CT) in 2013. No Small Things, a full-length book of poetry, will be published by Tres Chicas Press (Santa Fe, NM) in 2014.

His website is

His Facebook poetry page is

Michael and his Nepali niece Suntali making bark butter for the birds.

Michael and his Nepali niece Suntali making bark butter for the birds.

Michael turning a prayer wheel at the Dalai Lama's temple in Dharamshala, India.

Michael turning a prayer wheel at the Dalai Lama’s temple in Dharamshala, India.


Laura Young, a Fine Artist and Photographer living in Nashville, TN, divides her time between studio work about the role of body ornamentation in personal identity and the  less navel gazing work of capturing the continual transformation of nature’s wild places with photography. She has had numerous solo exhibitions and her work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Art Houston and Richard M. Ross Art Museum. She claims that she spends more time in front of a mirror painting her face than most women and she is the Queen of Selfies.  Her website is You can look her up on and spend 10 seconds looking at her work, then spend hours looking at all the other amazing photographers on this site.

Laura channeling a walrus.

Laura channeling a walrus.

Laura and Methuselah.

Laura and Methuselah.

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