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

Do You Enjoy poetrywatch?

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 like government, the environment and media. Send your poems to: poetry@whatcomwatch.org and let’s make magic happen.

Poetry has a voice in our community, and the Whatcom Watch is adding to its chorus. You all love poetry, right? Well, here you go!

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.

Escaping Day

by John S. Green

As sun escapes day, evening
gently lays its cool blanket
over land’s warm, weary skin.

Tiny gnats swirl in the dank
dusk. Gulls and crows retrace
their roving paths back home.

The subdued bay continues
to soak daylight in, like a humble
housecat drowsing on a sill.

Too absorbed to turn the page
or sharpen my pencil, I scrawl
along the notebook’s margins.

John S. Green was born in Europe, lived in Turkey, Italy, and Belgium before moving to the United States at age 13. Today, he is a happy, humorous house-husband, enjoying the picturesque Pacific Northwest with camera, notepad, and pencil in pocket.


Kayaking at Birch Bay

by Adria Libolt

Struggling over barnacled rocks
through tangled seaweed,
to reach water’s tide out and
soft sand far below, I paddled out
quarter mile from shore.
Sun plays on surface ripples,
quiet drew its arms around me
stilled voices, stayed sounds of shore.

I scissor through these salt waters
see clear to sea’s bottom
where vivid orange Dungeness scurry fast
crawling with purpose, claw for prey
water drips from my lazy oars
this purple underworld steals
the will to row back.

Adria Libolt has been a teacher and worked in a literacy council but for most of her career was a deputy warden in prisons. Her book about that experience was published in 2012 (Wipf & Stock). Her master’s degree is in education. Some of her writing is related to justice and mercy. Writing poetry is considerably different.