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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 Sharon Robinson

What is it that remains
When dreams fade like fog
And expectations melt like snow
Leaving Hope to sit alone with nowhere to go?

Why then does that Countenance come closer
In its Otherness reaching out
For the intimacy of an embrace
As we finally feel understood?

The Countenance that lives beyond power
Which shines meanings into our Will
And fills our thoughts with gentle grace
Unadorned by our clamoring feelings.

An entity trusted somehow in an elemental way
As fundamental as an atom
And just as unseen
But dressed in full reality to clothe mere naked concepts.

Not a feeling, nor thought nor sensation,
More like a smile that lights up a landscape,
Transcendent to understanding
But kind to being.

Can we still find our place
In our obliterated worlds?
Will our souls dig into deeper depths
Or the Bodhi tree reveal a way?

Must we sit and wait
Still making room for
the angels sure to come?
If yes, then a refuge becomes a beginning

Sharon Robinson is a local poet who says she loves being surprised by beauty in unexpected places. This is often in Native American space for her.


View Point

by David P. Drummond

Suicide Chuckanut outcrop
hard rock prominence
points east at Twin Sisters
and snowy mantled Komo
Kulshan across evergreen
patchwork quilt
Hemlock top shadows
with kinglet dancer
insect-curtsie, cross-grain
Curious, ginger-foot, chipmunk
carouses high above Cedar Lake
Distant drivers race inter-state
and Raven wonders, as do I
why the couple said, “He’s
not meditating, we can
talk and walk to the edge”
Little did they know
It’s the “other side” of
silence we seek
“kroaks” my brother
in black

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.