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.


A Heron

by David Czuba

If you’re about to describe nature, you better
hold off writing, or take a picture.
Listen, it would be better if you didn’t write at all.
And if you think binoculars bring you closer, look;
the heron lowers the loop of its neck.
It doesn’t want to be stared at,
doesn’t care for you to know its shape or gender, where
one color of feather ends or begins, what it means
to lift off, not softly, but like a haystack
rising up as if to the loft, but instead, keep going.
It does not want to be captured, held, fed
to the hungry ghost of man, for nature is not a creature
whose guts are best eviscerated, the body seen up close,
stuffed on display in a case.
The heron and all the rest do not need
to be made models or mockery of from welds and rusting plates
as hollow as lawn ornaments.
They flee from your attempts to be trite,
fly from the camera, away from the page.
Nature has a limit and we should all know
when we’ve exceeded it.

David Czuba wrote poetry more frequently years ago and was about to write a book on the poetry scene in Western New York before meeting the love of his life. They moved to Washington in 2004 and he now teaches office administration at the Job Corps in Sedro-Woolley. He resides in Alger and can be reached at czubad@gmail.com.


Secure as Mt. Baker

by C.J. Prince

a federation of promises
misunderstood twisted
fallen lies, only bile remains

counting counting adding
then subtracting
reduction by electorate

colouring without a rainbow
a change hard one
two they me you

the responsibility of
the vote the exhale of relief
an epiphany of possibility

C.J. Prince writes and votes in Whatcom County. She collected acorns in kindergarten, still is fascinated by the possibility of an oak.

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