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

Do You Enjoy poetrywatch?

Artwork by Hilary Cole

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 such as government, the environment and media. Send your poems to: poetry@whatcomwatch.org and let’s make magic happen.

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 Janet Riley

The spiral willow is done with the hack
and chop of her upper limbs

from which all the birds have flown.

She feels the agony of the cut, her lower limbs flailing

not really knowing what to
do or how to look.

Perhaps by summer’s end
her new leaves will be pulped with the juice
that all

leaves have inside themselves

then the autumn wind will come
to strengthen and bend her branches

like the ankles of teenagers;

that wind from the north having left
noticeable gaps in our souls

so very done with the waiting.


Janet Riley was born and raised in London, UK. After travelling much of the globe in earlier days, she now is content to stay put in the beauty of the PNW.


                                                  The mountain tall

        by Daniel McCann

The mountain tall
with roots beneath
its peak above all
eagles soar
with feet unsure
I climb
I fall
and tremble
I gaze above
again I climb
my strength fails
my hands reach
sight is lost
stones lie silent
soil loose
the mountain calls
my heart faints
burdened still
the mountain stands calling always
I climb and fall again
I sit and gaze at all
and tremble.


Daniel McCann is a poet, writer and truly a Renaissance man who has recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest.

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