“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

This time of year

by John M. Hoyte

This time of year,
when darkness comes by stealth,
in a land where twilight blunts desire.
This is the state of mind
where pressing worries kill imagination.
In this country I walk the dog
in winter rain,
as wind rustles fallen leaves
like footsteps.
My habit is of glancing down alleys,
looking for someone long gone.
This is a place of homeless tents,
dripping wet, with mud at entry.
From under the flap
a hungry person’s foot protrudes.
This darkened world:

Even here hope dawns.
One act of kindness,
hot soup and a safety pouch
to keep identity safe,
can rekindle the imagination
and set the world aglow.


John M. Hoyte grew up in China and was interned in a Japanese prison camp as a child during World War ll. He once led a British expedition with an elephant over the Alps in Hannibal’s footsteps. He lives in Bellingham and has written a memoir “Persistence of Light” in English.



by Jerry Dale McDonnell

Messages arrive daily from strangers,
Hale chunks of words that dent the hood
Of my head and scare the horses.
The doves roost in the trees, patiently
Awaiting the daily seeds we scatter.

The strangers ask for money and
Ostensibly our vote for another
Stranger who dislikes another Stranger.
The doves just shake their heads and roll their eyes.

The Steller jays, assured of their share,
feed among the doves, ignoring it all. The dark-eyed
juncos, a small flocky bird, out numbering
jays and doves, are busy, food to gather, chicks to tend.

Hanging up the phone, deleting the call,
The horses prance through the wildflowers,
Tails swishing, manes flowing,
Ears up, neighing to the rising sun.


Jerry Dale McDonnell writes prose, poetry and plays. Following grandkids from Alaska, he lives near Deming. His collection of short stories, “Out There in the Out There,” is available from Cirque Press or Amazon.






Bookmark the permalink.