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The Fish Hatchery

Published in The Lake (



Fish Hatchery

My but we were lovely, captives
and all. Each day the witch
would dress us up. She was keeping us
for herself. And we kept to the fish-
hatchery, where shadows stacked
their troubled hieroglyphs. We read
the ripples in water-filled tank
where multitudes of fingerlings
thinned to nearly nothing. Each
day the witch would dress us up, twist
our hair into ringlets, bangs pinched back
with plastic barrettes. Oh, we were lovely
until we held our own, asserting no more
taffeta dresses, no more ringlets,
our arms across our chests in defiance,
my foot booting the cat.

Quincy Poetry Reading

Join us on Saturday May 6 at 4pm for a poetry reading by Lassen County poet Dianna Henning and El Dorado County Poet Laureate Lara Gularte. 

Dianna MacKinnon Henning has taught through California Poets in the Schools, received several California Arts Council grants and taught poetry workshops through the William James Association’s Prison Arts Program, including Folsom Prison. Recent Publications: MacQueen’s QuinterlyArtemis JournalMemoir MagazineThe Adirondack Review; The Plague Papers, edited by Robbi Nester; Pacific PoetryNew American Writing; The Moth, Ireland; Mojave River Reviewthe New Verse News; Sequestrum; VerseVirtual and Naugatuck River Review. Six-time Pushcart nominee. MFA in Writing ’89 from Vermont College, Montpelier, VT. Henning’s fourth poetry book, “Camaraderie of the Marvelous,” published Sept. 2021 through Kelsay Books. (Dianna’s latest nomination for a Pushcart was from the Adirondack Review 2021.) She currently runs the Thompson Peak Writers’ Workshop which has been in operation for twenty-seven years, and she is the founder of the workshop. She participated in “Poetry Out Loud” for Lassen County in California. She currently is working on a new manuscript entitled “Rucksacks for the Leaf Cat.”  Dianna’s says: Poetry is voice celebrating spirit. 

Dianna’s website is:

Lara Gularte is El Dorado County Poet Laureate 2021-2023. Her book of poetry, Fourth World Woman was published by “Finishing Line Press.” Kissing the Bee, her book about her California Portuguese pioneer ancestors was published by “The Bitter Oleander Press,” in 2018. Gularte earned an MFA degree from San Jose State University where she served as a poetry editor for Reed Magazine, and received the Anne Lillis Award for Creative Writing, along with several Phelan Awards. Nominated for some pushcart prizes, find her work in national and international journals and anthologies. She is affiliated with the Cigarros Colloquium: Azoreans Diaspora Writers, at the Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute (PBBI), California State University-Fresno. In 2017 she was a member of a delegation of American poets who participated in the International Festival of Poetry in Havana Cuba. In her quest to give people voice through the written word for free expression and empowerment, she is a teaching artist of creative writing at Mule Creek State Prison, and leads the workshops, Writing Our Words, at the “Cameron Park Library,” and Circle of Women Writers, at the “Wellness Center,” in El Dorado County, California.

The poetry reading will be held at the Plumas Arts Gallery 525 Main St in Quincy. Admission is $3 per person. 

Call with any questions: 530-283-3402

Summons 2022


This is my cutting board. These

are my hands adept at cutting. This

is my chicken whose neck I’ll sever.

My cutting board floods with new 

geographies. I pluck my fingers of blood. Who

knows a woman’s aim when she swings?

The word-hands of the world lay wreaths 

at the serifs of despair. Who says 

it can’t be done? The potted

chicken boils and bubbles,

my poem, with time, rights itself.

This is my cutting board.

These are my hands.  What happens


when it’s over remains,

this indenture to memory. Today, taste of your skin

suffices. Salt enters the bloodstream.

Don’t take me for a mad woman or shrew. 

All day I’ve stirred. Yesterday, the river over-flowed 

as we reclined on groundcover. 

May I? May I, you’d asked. The river answered.

Already, I swoon in recall

of the Yuba, its fluctuance, its greed. He almost


swallowed me with his fame,

but I’m a sound woman and kept in mind:

I will, by sheer will, one day equal or surpass you.

Such belief is how a woman survives the Dominate.

That’s why my rock finally threw its punch.

You only lack character if you want to, said the priest.

Just ask the rock at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

I’ve since learned to enter rock with my breath.

I’ve always been fond of the hard.