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 Guna Moran

A rock can only be made smaller
By beating and hitting
Can never be made larger

The rocks are generally homeless
They lay everywhere

Run over by vehicles
Rock do not get flattened
Passers by stamp on it repeatedly
Not even the epidermis is damaged

Struck by hammer
Rocks turn smaller and tinier
Even after that we term it hard and ruthless

Rock for benevolence
Rocks are immortal-never ageing
Because it can turn itself smaller immediately
(benevolent never die)

Time-winning aesthetic is impossible sans sculpture
In every era the rock sculpture stands best
Still we find it hard to accept
The eternal rock is the ever spreading glory of the mankind

Original in Assamese
Translation: Bibekananda Choudhury

Guna Moran is an assamese poet and critic. His poems are published in various international magazines, journals, webzines and anthologies. He lives in Assam, India. gunagelakey85@gmail.com


Dear Firefighters,

by Betty Scott

When you trample through brush and weeds,
Ash and smoke, fire-quenching water gushing
From stretched-out arms of the fire hose;
When you hold the line, watch over the trunks
And arms of Evergreens, do you see their roots
As outstretched too, aligned and responding,
As you do, to calls of alarm? In the cacophony,
As fires blaze and winds flame the crack and thud

Of falling trees, the wild frenzy, the whip and whoosh,
Do you hear the last-breath gasps from micro-forest Dwellers too?
When you count casualties, the never
Casual-ties-to-the-dead, please count too your sleepless
Nights, your sacrifice, your willingness to tattoo our history
To the growth marks of trees, flags of our humanity.

Betty Scott is a poet, essayist, and short story writer who cherishes the forest, fauna and fungi of Whatcom County. Her book “Central Heating: Poems that Celebrate Love, Loss and Planet Earth” published by Cave Moon Press is available at Village Books.