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

Artwork by Hilary Cole

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.

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.


About Time

by Nancy Grayum

It was time.
The tide was rising
The moon was new
We’d left the clock unwound.

Watching, listening, curious
We paused, waited
Stepped gently across
Pools and logs and
Cascades of fresh life.

In circles time
came round
A moon here
A planet
there, a shadow
A blush.

The distance
bending our vision
Shorelines shimmering in waves
Cycles changing in rhythm.

We closed our eyes
Stillness expanded
Suspending the passage of time.

Nancy Grayum spends reflective moments amidst rain-blessed forests and along the salty shores of Northwest Washington state, usually seeking the right path, or some divergence. She can be reached at nggrayum@gmail.com.


Lament for Lepidoptera

by Karolyn Renard

Jewel of the Pleistocene
Flowers on hinges, flutteringly impossible
A vanishing gift of beauty.

To the mad Emperor of materialism,
With the sweet and brilliant Siren of reductionism on his arm,
The butterflies are collateral damage.

We watch, helpless and bewitched,
Under a glamour spell
In a gilded cage of emptiness.

Karolyn Renard is a Bellingham resident.