Send poems and your short, two- or three-sentence bios as a word document attachment to email@example.com.
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 Chuck Luckmann
Keeping bees can be pornographic—
Virgin queen copulates with twenty guys
Afterwards she works in the dark—
Her pheromones keep the hive humming
Until her ovaries give out.
Each queen, human or bee, has purpose;
Observe my mate of thirty-eight years.
No hive lives for long without them,
Soul mates extraordinaire,
Wave stingers but seldom use them.
Every day a queen bee lays a thousand eggs,
Such a large family on the way—
Most of them hard-working girls
Making bee bread, nectar and pollen,
While drones loaf and dream until winter.
The queen-right hive or home
Purrs happily when you enter
(All happy families are the same);
But should they lose the mother bee,
The colony exhales a frightful scream.
Chuck Luckmann has lived happily in Whatcom County for twenty-eight years, raising a family and keeping a few beehives for honey.
by Janet Riley
he lies powerless
as if the curve of my cheek against
his wing or the brushing of snow from his breast
would save him
he’s just stunned you say
putting your hands together like prayer
as his face turns into sleep
yesterday, flying above us
we must have heard him sing
now cupped in my hands
his head is a fallen weight:
a hinge sprung and those remaining feathers
stuck to the window-glass
in a downy circle
breathing its way to bird-heaven
by the forest path
we carve a hollow for his bones
that will rest in the warm roots of cedars
Janet Riley was born and raised in London, UK. After travelling much of the globe in earlier days, she now is content to stay put in the beauty of the PNW.