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

Do You Enjoy poetrywatch?

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 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.



by Thomas Goetzl

STONES and cement
patterned into a wall
cannot keep out the
green that radiates
from the GROWING
life itself can permeate
ironest curtains
as love speaks no language
And knows all
yet while we night
buttered guns
slip into the grasp
of Machines
ordered to translate
love energy into darkness
which will last
until the butter

Tom Goetzl is an emeritus professor of law from the San Francisco Bay Area. A resident of Bellingham since 2000, he continues to speak out on issues of life and death. He believes this poem, written in 1969, remains as relevant today as it was then.


Hale Passage

by Charlie Kyle

From the room where I write this, I can look west toward Sydney B.C.
and see Hale Passage where the sun sets on the fall equinox. There’s
Portage Island in front, then Lummi Island, and in the background the
hills and mountains of Orcas Island. Sometimes there a trace of the sand
bar between Lummi and the north shore of Bellingham Bay.

It’s an overcast October day. The rain clouds are mixing it up with the
wind and water. A large white sheen appears as the sun finds a way
through the clouds to play on the water. And then just as suddenly the
Bay is enveloped in cloud and fog. In another few minutes, the blue
hues of the islands and the far bay shore start to make themselves known
again in this game of hide-n-seek.

Charlie Kyle retired after almost 40 years as a technical writer for companies such as Motorola, Fujifilm Medical Systems, and Microsoft. He recently moved to Bellingham and is enjoying writing stories and poems.