“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 What- com 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.

Boris Schleinkofer, poetrywatch editor


Just like that…

by Marie Eaton

Just like that, we say
when we really mean
oh, so quickly.
A happening between breaths.
In a nanosecond.

Just like that,
means what was is no longer.
Something changed.

Just like that, the rains came.
Just like that, the birds all lifted and flew away.
Just like that, the clouds broke open and sunlight poured down,
Just like that, the lights went out.
Just like that, you turned a corner and vanished.
Just like that, we were all in lockdown.

Or it might mean without a pause,
no hesitation.

So, I asked and you came,
just like that.


Marie Eaton is retired faculty from Fairhaven College at WWU. Writing daily has offered a life raft in pandemic lockdowns.


Looking Out Onto Bellingham Bay

by Charlie Kyle

From South Hill above the Alaska Ferry Terminal
A light wind across the water and the slant of the evening sun
Makes a sparkling iridescent blue under the cirrocumulus clouds

The Lummi Reservation on the right is a shade of dark blue
Across the expanse water, the islands are shades of blue
Portage, Lummi, Orcas, and faintly far away, Saturna

In a story, “Love Letter” by George Saunders
A grandfather writes a letter to his grandson
About living in a country ruled by a despot like Trump

It’s Saturday evening, 6 p.m., the Alaska Ferry is leaving
All Blues is playing on the radio Baby Please Don’t Go
The Checkerboard Lounge version with The Stones and Muddy Waters

Jeanne and I talk about her friend’s sudden death a year ago
3rd grade teacher, maker of notecards that say things like “As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.” — Mel Brooks

And down below in the garden, a bumble bee is rolling around
Inside a hollyhock flower gathering pollen all over itself
Before flying home to make honey for a long winter


Charlie Kyle is a writer living in Bellingham. He likes to watch moving water.

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