“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

Do You Enjoy poetrywatch?

Want to see it continue? Then please, send your poems to us and let the Whatcom Watch share them with our readership! Seriously, we really do want your roughly 25-line poems (though length is by no means a deal-breaker; it’s how you use those lines.) featuring or specific to Whatcom County and issues addressed by Whatcom Watch like government, the environment and media. Send your poems to: poetry@whatcomwatch.org and let’s make magic happen.

Artwork by Hilary Cole

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 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 permission for one-time publication rights in the paper and electronic editions.

It’s Just america Now

by Gary Wade

america no longer
deserves a capital “a.”
Abbie Hoffman

It’s just america now,
land of the free
home of the brave
the richest country in the world.

After the closing hour
the homeless and students
dine together
in an alley
around a donut shop dumpster.

Let them eat glazed
or cake.
Gary Wade is a retired research ecologist living in Bellingham since 2005. A refugee from corn and bean fields, he found poetry to be an effective antidote to technical writing. He says an artist must occasionally grab folks by the ears and eyes, slap them across the mind, make them think, and leave an aftertaste.

(Despite Her Will)

by Haley Rollins

Hands like breezy willow wisps
Doubling as chains and whips.
A gentle word
Is no longer heard,
And every motion is a threat.
Child’s play, make-believe lisps
Throwing words like rock chips,
Hands like cold granite table,
Leaving one completely unable
To do but shiver and attempt retreat.

Dancing between truth and lies,
Choking on an unsaid word.
The warp and the weft,
There is nothing left,
But the broken loom and some string.
It’s trembling thighs,
Too many sobs unheard.
It’s fear in the hand,
Eyes full of sand,
And a crushed silver ring.

Haley Rollins is a first-year student at Western Washington University with a biology major.

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