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

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 Whatcom 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.

Solstice ceremony near Mount Baker

by Tim Pilgrim

Nooksack River flows by black,
drums intensify in fading light,
inspire bonfire, Earth, air, new life.

We circle the blaze, dance, chant,
summon an unkindness of ravens,
ancient power. I see Spirit Woman

float in from shadows, offer
feathers, berries, salmon strips —
place the oblation in quieted flames.

We add boughs, urge fire, revive.
Sparks gather our prayers, clear pine,
fir, cedar trees. The spatter brightens,

pierces night, floats off east.


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


dancing bones

by Janet Riley

about how much do you have left?
of life that is
leaning on a bone a
twig a wisp a

it doesn’t matter
you do another damned thing

it doesn’t matter

there you
without even realizing


Janet Riley was born and raised in London, UK. After travelling much of the globe in earlier days, she now is content to stay put in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Bookmark the permalink.