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


                                        In the Woods I Meet My Muse 

                                                         by Betty Scott

Alaska-Blue-Eyed-Wolf-Dog bounds at danger speed,
Barks, holds me, muzzle against belly, gray-white fur
Aroused, all muscle, nerves, large sky-blue eyes.
I back up. She growls, a striking muse with a song
Of mournfulness, arresting, sad blue eyes, birthrights
To be recognized. She, collarless as ferns, birds,
Sugar maples, trees of pine, part wolf in shadowed light,
Part dog: part anger, fear, love and dare.

She marks her territory. I mistake her warning and pass by.
She charges. I shout. She darts, spares my blue-blood
Veins, barks:  “All species belong to Earth’s tapestry.”
She bounds for home beside the bark of trees, leaving me
To wonder: “Aren’t we all nature-trapped, our birthrights,
Destinies, a reckoning of trees, bees, seeds growing free?”

Betty Scott is a poet, essayist, and short story writer who cherishes the forest, fauna and fungi of Whatcom County. Her book “Central Heating: Poems that Celebrate Love, Loss and Planet Earth” published by Cave Moon Press is available at Village Books.



                                                       by David Czuba

The morning brings one
down from sleep, to the waking ritual
of opening a bin to scoop pebbly, gravelly food and pour
the dog’s ration
tinkling into a bowl on the floor.  I pour
out the old water, and fill from the tap with new.

Yesterday, a bird flew
as is its habit, to the window.  He tapped too,
or she, to remind us with this tactic, that
the feeder is empty.
So routine, she/he grabs the screen
in the same spot for pause between taps.

I filled the feeder – all stale, dusty
seeds, walnut, corn kernels – the package
says Chickadees love it.

The two of us have our tea
in the usual spaces our minds reserve for us,
when we hear tapping and see the chickadee
flying from the feeder to the window, we believe
in its way of thanking, of expressing this joy
of being.

David Czuba wrote poetry more frequently years ago and was about to write a book on the poetry scene in Western New York before meeting the love of his life. They moved to Washington in 2004 and he now teaches office administration at the Job Corps in Sedro-Woolley. He resides in Alger and can be reached at czubad@gmail.com.

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