“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 Marie Eaton

They say the landscape of your childhood
is the landscape of your heart,
the tapestry of home woven from colors and textures
of that remembered horizon.

So, although I have wandered across the planet,
from the red soil clay of Kentucky and Kenya,
mountain ridges in the Himalayas,
and desert scrub of Joshua Tree,
to the turquoise blue of the Great Barrier Reef,

the dusky green of fir and cedar
and red arms of madrone
reaching across a silvered blue bay
signal home to me.

Gazing out a window
at swaths of green wrapping the hillside
as the plane glides past Mount Baker
for the approach to landing,
or out a car window
climbing the pass out of the Skagit Valley
toward Bellingham,
every branch and bough whispers
“Welcome home.”


Marie Eaton taught writing at Fairhaven College at Western Washington University for many years, and now as Professor Emerita is the Community Champion for the Palliative Care Institute at Western Washington University.


Black swirls

by Tim Pilgrim

City fled, along with virus, loss,
I spin compass, re-spin, choose west.
Forest, stream, sinuous, deep,
I camp, rig rod, fish. Cast Gray Ghosts

to the far side, expect no strike.
I begin to breathe, hope
hope revives. Presume zip, nada, zilch,
live frugally, on surprise.

I daydream I die, return not old,
not spent, eager to learn to fish again.
The sun weighs down, light dives maroon
from gold. Dusk swallows tamarack,

cedar, pine. Riffles gone to eddies
swirl to black. I trace path back,
tent, pack, remains of fire,
accept dark coals, revel in the ebb.


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