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 head and roll their eyes.

The Steller’s 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.


climate judas

by Dustin Micheletti

a gull accused me the other evening

pondering the sunset upon bay together
crimson sweating into blackened teal ruffles
she snagged my eye with a quiet rage

waters labeled suffocated on the maps
but we didn’t need maps to see the split many millions
little lifeless calcified homes hearths cold
or smell the multitudes rotting
our beaks affronted by our audacity

the gull waved its head and its small red dot bled
casting gore splattered onto warehouses perched
as if one last attempt at clotting
the hurt machines milling about
i want to tell her we don’t deny our guilt

my very breath a toxin giving away the lie
instead I look her in the eye smiling all teeth
then turned my back knowing

seven generations will never be enough


Dustin Micheletti and poetry have been casting flirtatious glances at each other for decades. He is an avid friend to nature, a sometimes artist and author, and a dedicated family man.



“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

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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

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