Otter Log

After otters were extinct

they showed up

as faces in rock formations

or body-shapes diving in logs.


Children drew otters

in schools

and noticed

in river shadows,


always asking why

we lost them

and what was more important

than having them here.


A former fishing boat captain of the Starfisher in Depoe Bay, Oregon, Scott T. Starbuck has been a writer-in-residence at The Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on Cascade Head, an Artsmith Fellow on Orcas Island, and a Friends of William Stafford Scholar at the 2014 "Speak Truth to Power" Fellowship of Reconciliation Seabeck Conference near Hood Canal. His newest poetry chapbook is The Other History or unreported and underreported issues, scenes, and events of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries by Futurecycle Press, and his blog Trees, Fish, and Dreams.