poetry watch

“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

Boris Schleinkofer, poetrywatch editor

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 and 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.


by Rodolph Rowe

Jesus said to them,
“Come and have breakfast.”
John 21:12

The first family union
is a beach picnic around a charcoal fire,
the fast for God broken
with this most ordinary of provisions,
fish on toast, embodying a miracle
almost too large to haul onto dry land.

Imagine Peter. Unsteadily standing
brushing at sand
offering a shy, formal inquiry
as to the whereabouts of a bit of fig jam,
hoping to sweeten this first
eighth-day morning with laughter.

What sumptuous grace
this is, the simplest of meals,
rising up through
cell and sinew,
spoiling plans the body
is always making for death.

Rodolph Rowe is a 2016 Sue Boynton Poetry Prize winner. His poetry and essays have appeared in The Christian Century, The Potomac Review, Lucid Stone, Interlace, and Whatcom Writes. Rody currently lives in Bellingham.


Human Nature’s Politics

by Clayton Medeiros

Since human time began
Conservatives and liberals
Have been at odds
Who sat where in the cave
Whether or not the fire god is
Acting in history protecting believers
Who gets the biggest portion of the hunt
The hunter who made the kill
Sacrifices to the fire god
Conservatives said no hunting
On the fire god’s birthday
Liberals said hunt when there’s game
Conservatives wanted a chief
To be in charge of things
Hunting lands should be assigned
Only the chief could talk to the fire god
Liberals wanted equal opportunity
With the hunt shared by everyone
Conservatives wanted the tribe’s
Leaders to be inherited by blood
Liberals wanted tribal decisions
To be made with everyone involved
And so it goes so it goes

Clayton Medeiros is a poet, collage artist and photographer who lives in Bellingham.

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