“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.
Please 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- or three-sentence bios as a word document attachment to firstname.lastname@example.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 Sally Hewitt
He met me in a sandstorm
the double helix hovered
while we watched for
a total eclipse of the sun
gritty teeth smiling wryly
and who’s to know what is real
and what is fantasy
the moon standing still
spilling shadows across our eyes.
We panicked to imagine
the moon surely stuck in stasis
us on the dark side
never again to see the light
not in our lifetimes, not at all
and how would we survive
we who live for the brightness
for flowers bathed in sun
for illumination of our minds —
and then the moon recapitulated.
Sally Hewitt edited Whatcom Watch for nine years and is the author of Confetti Wind (RWG Press, 2016), available through the Whatcom County Library System.
Early Hike with Dog
by David M. Laws
The day hides beneath the horizon
as we wind our way up an unkempt trail.
Possum pushes her taut terrier body ahead,
analyzing aromas of previous passers-by,
quick peek for most but full appraisal
of others. Birds brag of territorial control,
and proclaim to potential mates dual
dreams of domesticity and reproduction.
Errant branches pull at me, sometimes
a caress, sometimes a chastisement.
This is no longer a trail, they contend,
but the fragrance of freshly rain-drenched
forest infuses me with vigor, bringing
new life to my fatigued feet. Arise! Arise!
Move forward! the world seems to call.
One last fallen tree to negotiate, Possum
under, me over, and we burst out of forest
to the summit. Sun rises over Mount Baker,
sets it ablaze, painting frozen glaciers into
fiery lava, red-gold in the new morning.
David M. Laws is a writer, gardener, hiker, model railroader, musician, and former musical instrument repair technician who has won two Sue C. Boynton Poetry Walk awards and one merit award (for “Early Hike with Dog”). He lives in Bellingham with the love of his life, Judith, and Possum, the glorious little girl terrier.