“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.

Of the Sea

by Jacob Hartsoch

Say it in all caps.
That you were wet and walloped.

That before you spoke for your people
you pulled nets black at dusk,
salt and blood on your hands.

Somewhere it happened, the camas
still moist in the meadow. Sharp knives
and northern lights were not enough.

Coal seams ran, dirty and dark.

Old men stopped standing on towers,
went upriver to empty cabins,
played dusty book charades.

We cannot outlast each other, you said.

And so they came. Six-man boats
pulled hard down the strait, as birds
burst from silt then circled back,

one wing high to the wind

Jacob Hartsoch lives in Bellingham and is currently excited about wind, water and reducing his family’s carbon footprint.



by Bob Markey

Communicable conversation has become yet
another dying art since machines took over.
Aside from TV commercials, among the
most frequently heard common phrases are
the following:
Operators are currently busy with other calls
… please stand by … your call is important to
us … the following extensions are available:
Company Chief Executive Officer, press one
… (22 extensions are then listed by their
Bob Markey delivered Whatcom Watch newspapers in Bellingham for over 12 years.


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