“When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”
— John F. Kennedy

Poetry has a voice in our community, and the Whatcom Watch is adding to its chorus. You all love poetry, right? Well, here you go!

Subject matter is unlimited, but poetry featuring or specific to Whatcom County and issues addressed by Whatcom Watch (government, the environment and media) will likely get first preference.

Let’s try to keep it to around 25 lines; otherwise, we might have to edit your work to fit. Don’t make yourself unprintable! Send poems and your short, two-to-three-sentence bios, as a word document attachment to: poetry@whatcomwatch.org

The deadline is the first day of the month. Please understand that acceptance and final appearance of pieces are subject to space-constraints amd editorial requirements. By submitting, authors give Whatcom Watch express permission for first-time publication rights in paper and electronic editions of current or future volumes of Whatcom Watch.

Boris Schleinkofer, poetrywatch editor


by Bob Markey

Enumclaw’s not too far from one of
your old stomping grounds. Morton, as the
crow flies, is about fifty miles south,
on the other side of
“the great big ice cream cone.”

Folks are flocking to this area.
Certainly one of my reasons for
moving inland is that I could no
longer tolerate the god-awful
stench of the sea out there on the coast!
How is it up in olde
Victoria? Not a
problem? Maybe you all
have gotten used to it
over the years … is that
a possibility?

Bob Markey delivered Whatcom Watch newspapers in Bellingham for over 12 years. Last year he moved to Enumclaw to be near his children.

Twilight, Padden Creek Estuary

by Andrew Shattuck McBride,

Remnants of this day’s light
draw me toward the estuary.

Low tide, and mudflats cradling
the creek glisten. The waxing moon

is already high in the eastern sky,
turning Padden Creek into an arc

of moonlight. Dusk envelops
the east, deepens.

I recite the peace prayer
Que la paz prevalezca en la tierra,

May peace prevail on earth.
I step to the railing, flush

a Great Blue Heron
from its meal-time vigil,

instantly regret that my quest for peace
has disturbed the Heron’s need

for stillness and quiet
in satisfying its hunger.

I interrogate my wishes for peace.
Can I allow my wishes to disturb

other creatures? Can I learn
a less intrusive watchfulness?

I watch the Heron fly north,
marvel at its wingspan, wonder

if it will now return to its nest,
if hunger will now limn this night.

Andrew Shattuck McBride, a writer and freelance editor, compiles Port of Bellingham Commission votes for Whatcom Watch.

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