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


Hands anticipating
by Marie Eaton

Early each spring, I get the itch.
Hands anticipating dark rich soil
Cool and moist.

Sort the seeds and plot the beds.
Where shall lettuce grow this year?
The carrots or kale?

Sharpen the hori-hori blade
and scrape last year’s grime
off the shovel.

Haul out the hoe and furrow the bed
to lay small, shriveled snap peas
in a circle around the bamboo teepee.

Seeds sleeping now, but soon shoots
will spread their green skirts
and dance in spring sunshine.

Marie Eaton is retired faculty from Fairhaven College at WWU. She has published three volumes of poems – “What Falls Away Is Always,” Following the Line” and “Liquid Moon.”


Hungry for Wireworms?
by Janet Higbee-Robinson

Wireworms rumble
underfoot in Whatcom fields,
eating cultivars.

Wireworms survive
drought, cold and heat, surfacing
in springtime for seeds,

in summer for stems.
Farmers curse them, struggle for
us, pests as well. We

take, not allowing
what belongs here, forcing soils
to give us pleasure

beyond their means. Click
Beetle metamorphosis,
generations still

in these lands. Moles and
birds may consume Wireworms.
Me too. Perhaps I

will dig them up with
my damaged spuds and sauté
or offer local

protein to birds. My-
self, less a pest, harvesting
invasive Wireworms.

Segmented flesh in
my hands, I gaze upon gold,
noodles, legged, alive.

Janet is a grandmother, a retired public school teacher, a pedestrian, a bus user, a bike commuter, and a gardener. She was raised in Bellingham, lived her middle years in a bigger town, was lucky to travel and recently returned to Bellingham.


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.


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