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

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.

Let’s try to 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 express permission for first-time publication rights in paper and electronic editions of current or future volumes of Whatcom Watch.

Sea Change

by Timothy Pilgrim

Floe broken free, mere speck now,
bear cubs whine, drift south.
They prowl the ice.
Mom dives in, swims to them —
for quite some time.

Timothy Pilgrim, emeritus associate professor of journalism at Western Washington University, has published over 300 poems. He is author of “Mapping Water” (Flying Trout Press, 2016). His work can be found at timothypilgrim.org.

The Tale of Moby Doll

by J. L. Wright

Black and white terror of the sea
Turned out you were anything but that to me
Renamed Orca from killer whale
After Moby Doll’s horrific tale

They came to East Point to gather one from the wild
Alive after harpoon and bullet taught them just how mild
A gentle youth towed miles north from its pod
Starvation neared as horse meat was offered instead of cod

Death lingered those 87 days
As some finally learned a little about the ways
Of the greatest mammal that abounds
Along the North Pacific coast and sounds

From Moby to Willie the journey comes close to an end
Only a few hundred left on their own to fend
Without hindrance of man — may they live long and free
Great black and white Pandas of the sea

J. L. Wright is a fulltime RVer enjoying learning about the great northwest by exploring Bellingham and the area for an extended stay. J. L. wishes to start conversations about current issues through a poetic voice.

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