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


Back To The Barre

by Betty Scott

She returns once again to the ballet barre
For lighting, music, costuming and theme
And for the underbelly that feeds
Technique and precision,
Until well-practiced
In discipline,
Her sentence becomes
An outstretched arm and leg,

Fingers poised, toes pointed,
Eyes focused and head erect.
For how else do words
Carry the weight of the world?
Where else do writers
Belong, if not on their toes?

Betty Scott is a poet, essayist, and short story writer who cherishes the forest, fauna and fungi of Whatcom County.
She has published three volumes of poems.  Back to the Barre” is in her second collection: “Poems in Search of Forgotten Dreams.”


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 matterwhether
you do another damned thing

it doesn’t matter

there you
without even realizing

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


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 attached 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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