Boris Schleinkofer, poetrywatch editor

“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

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.


by David P. Drummond

Billions of sand grain
people, infinitesimal
directions, friction in
facet faces, is the rub
of gritty races we are
forced to run, as non-
runners this can hurt
How do we jump-off
this cyclical nonsense?
Insiders of our sinkhole
the more we struggle
lower down we go
Survival instincts
hold us prisoner
long beyond needs
Lay-back, relax and
float forever more
Buoyed on bird-wings
iridescent vibration
a levitation rescues
what’s left of…”You”

David P. Drummond enjoys scribing for the universe in perceptions inspired within nature, human interaction and cultural interface. He is grateful for world travel opportunities that allow contextual comparison between life forms and our shared challenge of survival.



by Timothy Pilgrim

Arctic wind, autumn-coaxed,
tell ghost trees, release red leaves

chilled gold, let them float.
Northern lights on polar nights

try to pulse stark groves to life.
Nowhere to go, iced by snow,

the poplars creak, sway,
dream of spring, dance in place.

Final blizzard

by Timothy Pilgrim

Last dream swept past
passed away, faith in winter storms

erased. Lost, chance to redact change,
bring tundra, forests back again.

Gone, too, deep rivers, streams,
springs, rainstorms bathing scree,

terminal moraine. I build a cairn —
rocks commodious to wee, jagged

to sky, martyred stones frozen white.
Iced sign for a final blizzard, snow

piling high, burying the saved.
I wake to a glacier marking my grave.

Timothy Pilgrim, emeritus associate professor of journalism at Western Washington University, has published hundreds of poems. He is author of “Mapping Water” (Flying Trout Press, 2016). His work can be found at timothypilgrim.org.

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