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 Watchpermission for one-time publication rights in the paper and electronic editions.

Upon my arrival

by Tim Pilgrim

I announce to columbine, ajuga,
astilbe, rhodies where I’m from,
tell them I garden, how and what

I’ve grown. To be embraced
within her yard, it is clear
I must pre-apologize to phlox,

anemone, hydrangea, rose.
He before me disliked flowers,
veggies, hated to water, weed.

The peace lilies know this,
so do azalea, chard, daffodil,
peas. I make the rounds, 

bend, listen, talk low to each.
Queen-of-the-prairie bow slightly
when I wish even buttercup well.


Timothy Pilgrim, emeritus associate professor of journalism at Western Washington University. He is author of “Seduced by metaphor: Timothy Pilgrim collected published poems” (Cairn Shadow Press, 2021). His work can be found at timothypilgrim.org.


Passage of Existence: The Apple Tree

        by Elyse Lindahl

I watched the same tree for a month
Every morning outside with my coffee
I wanted to know the passage of time
Other than my computer calendar

I watched the same tree for a month
Its leaves growing greener
And sometimes a particular shade of red
Around the edges

I watched the same tree for a month
I watched its adoring visitors
Hummingbirds and bees
The occasional spider

I watched the same tree for a month
My own passage of time
Resting gently
Upon the becoming of a tree


Elyse Lindahl lives and works in Bellingham, spending most of her free time rock climbing, out on the water, and drinking plenty of coffee.