poetry watch

“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

Boris Schleinkofer, poetrywatch editor

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.

What’s Wrong Here?

by Bob Markey

One of the oldest scams to dupe
consumers runs rampant in the
clothing industry.

Somehow, Ad and PR gamers got
this one going … convinced consumers
that wearing clothes with manufacturers

(oftentimes garish)
oversized logos
would speak well of the
suckers who wear them!
When the clothier
should, in fact, pay those
walking billboards to
do so!


Bob Markey delivered Whatcom Watch newspapers in Bellingham for over 12 years. He has moved to Enumclaw to be near his children.



by Dayna Patterson

I want a dictionary with all the words.
I want a dictionary so big it houses all
the words and parts of words,
phonemes, morphemes, roots and
leaves, their histories. Words in every
language, from Persian to Portuguese.
I want the Internet of words, their flux
and flummox and flume. I want the
words to unfold, unfurl, unravel,
uncrease, release. Whisper sub rosa
their viscera, their mystery. I want the
OED, the Merriam-Webster,
American Heritage, Collegiate,
Urban, Slang. I want the Big Bang of
all those words and what they mean
inside my brain, deep in my cortical
cells, the oldest part. I want the art of
words, want them to multiply like
plankton, so numerous they feed
whale bodies of poems, allow them to
surface, sing, allow me not to repeat
myself when I tell you I love you
dooset daram      eu te amo      I love


Dayna Patterson is an MFA candidate at Western Washington University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in North American Review, REAL and Weave, among others. She is poetry editor for Psaltery & Lyre, and her chapbooks, “Loose Threads” and “Mothering,” are available from Flutter Press. She lives in Bellingham with her husband and two daughters.


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