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

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 Timothy Pilgrim

Lost love’s the Nooksack, winter,
barely flows, she says then goes.

My fuchsia future lies ahead,
signals loss around the bend —

somewhere beyond pause, yield,
stop, hold breath. More like ice, crack,

splash. Even campfires succumb
to snow, a branch load, fade

from bright to glow. Become
embers, give off scarlet warning

heat must go. Like sun hung
in still sky, low in the west, I cling

to red, desperate not to plunge
over night’s black edge

Timothy Pilgrim, emeritus associate professor of journalism at Western Washington University, has published hundreds of poems. He is author of “Mapping Water” (Flying Trout Press, 2016). His work can be found at timothypilgrim.org.

One  Approach
(People, Life and The Mountain)

by David Drummond

Is never enough, to be
accepted on summit circle
You can be friendly
to all, and still get slapped.
Silly me, Thinking
Give Good, to Get Good
“Not Always,” says Life
Go home now. Return if
and only, You are Ready
Morning sun on new snow
avalanches lushes away
Sneak by full moonlight
and Aurora Ascend
skewered by cherry shooter
Listen to slithering rope
snake, praying to ancient
ice avenue, below our
cramponed, boot feet
Tahoma knows your
heart’s intention
Snaps her wind whip
across your indolent back
Bakes the brow and neck
of late risers. Plan
prepare, train all you
want. But, never think
idly, you will achieve
a climax moment
with only one


David P. Drummond is a wildlife biologist, naturalist-educator who loves being in nature, where the poignant experiences of life often inspire him to surreal expressions.