Poetry Watch

“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

by Boris Schleinkofer, poetrywatch editor

Poetry has a voice in our community, and the Whatcom Watch is adding to its chorus. You all love poetry, right? Well, here you go!

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.

Let’s try to 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-to-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 express permission for first-time publica­tion rights in paper and electronic editions of current or future volumes of Whatcom Watch.

by Steve Hood

Sing a forlorn, lost
call to the missing
in oceans of oil, acid, plastic.

Die in water’s red clouds,
swim thousands of miles,
across blue worlds

Metaphysical whale,
blow out misty, dive
low into darkness.

Strong men sail, throw
harpoons for millennia,
cut up blubber on ships.

Just a few now remain
of the millions that once
swam in great pods.


Steve Hood is an attorney, poet, and political activist who has lived in Bellingham since about 2003.


Delivering the Fruit
by Heidi Kenyon

I am up to the shoulders
in raspberries, both arms thrust
under the bird netting
like a lab tech under a fume hood,
a vet turning a calf.
The science of nature sings
in serrated leaves,
the globules of each berry round
like the droplets of blood the briers raise
on my bare arms.
A fair trade for tart fruit.
The brambles rustle,
a riff of breeze. There need be no other sound.

I heard that fewer people than ever before
read poetry. I understood this travesty
in the raspberries. Their lives
are too fast. I will hang
my poems up by the thorns
on the canes, write them in
berry juice and in jam,
leave them for the birds
to eat and spiders to tread on.
The slowness in the place
is as worthy a reader as any.


Heidi Kenyon is a freelance copywriter with a BA in English Literature
from the University of Idaho. She lives on a lovely slice of Bellingham with
her husband, three children, and three chickens.