Forgive me if I forget*

January 27, 2022


2021 Walk Award
by Marie Eaton

Forgive me if I forget to return your phone call.
I have been chasing an elusive melody
across guitar strings,
subtle and swift as a hummingbird
darting through my butterfly bush.

Forgive me if I forget to come in from the garden.
I have been lured by ripening red tomatoes
in my greenhouse,
and blueberry bushes, heavy with fruit,
bending boughs to kiss the brown earth.

Forgive me if I forget to unload the dishwasher.
I have been reading poems,
slowly turning pages
reveling in rhyme and a perfect turn of phrase.

Forgive me if I forget to lock the front door.
I have been tempted
by brilliant washes of color across the western sky,
and the firefly wink of stars
as dusk creeps toward night.

I may forget,
but this forgetting is truest remembering.

*Copyright © 2021 by Marie Eaton. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Poet’s bio:
Marie Eaton’s writing has taken many forms — “stories to gather in memories of earlier years, songs to capture images or emotions, laments for our sweet planet, academic research papers, and proposals to inspire us to create a palliative community of excellence.” She taught writing in all these forms at Fairhaven College at Western Washington University for many years, and now as Professor Emerita she is the Community Champion for the Palliative Care Institute at Western Washington University. She loves helping others find the tools and strategies to find their own passions and the voice to express them. Most of Marie’s creative work has been as a songwriter, marrying melody and lyric. With the singing group Motherlode she has produced nine albums, each featuring Marie’s writing.

more poetry to read

January 26, 2022

More titles for your growing list:

What poetry book(s) have you read lately? If you have don’t-miss recommendations, leave a comment!

copyright free

January 25, 2022

As The Public Domain Review reminds us, “Each January 1st is Public Domain Day, where a new crop of works have their copyrights expire and become free to enjoy, share, and reuse for any purpose.”

In the United States, that means works published in 1926, or before, and all pre-1923 sound recordings. (Copyright terms vary from country to country.) So, if you’re inclined to use the words (or sounds) of others in your own poetry (or music, or erasures), you will no longer have to worry about crediting Ernest Hemingway for that quote from The Sun Also Rises, or A.A. Milne for Winnie-the-Pooh, among a great many other materials now copyright-free. (You don’t have to, but you might do so anyway out of professional courtesy.)

If you wouldn’t know where to begin, have a browse through the inspiring Collections at The Public Domain Review. To learn more about copyright law in the U.S., visit the U.S. Copyright Office.

workshop reminder

January 24, 2022

Just a quick reminder that Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest will be offering an online poetry workshop this coming Saturday, January 29, 2022. Enrollment is limited, but there are still a few spots available. The workshop, called “Pulling Poems from the Ends of Our Pens,” will be held 10:00am to Noon on Zoom and a complete description is available on the Workshops page.

Registration is required and all fees benefit the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. TO REGISTER, submit your payment of $30 via Venmo (www.venmo.com/SueC-BoyntonContest ) OR by check (made out to Sue C. Boynton Contest) mailed to PO Box 5442, Bellingham, WA 98227-5442. Please be sure to include your name, email, phone, and the title/date of the workshop(s) you wish to attend. Zoom links will be provided after registration.

Hunchbacks*

January 23, 2022


2021 Walk Award
by David P. Drummond

We launched where
pioneer cabins gathered
long, glass and resin craft
of ancient organic design
Hidden ruby-colored bark
in their alder shoreline stance
Hangs of strobili and catkins
unto a river mirror move
Tar paper flaps, spirit bird
and whistle-call from eagle
Southpaw slough steerage
past woody debris, of flood water

A rest on cedar springboard
grey-blue feather dreads
trench coat trundle
after scale-leg and bare toes
Whisper paddle alerts
his golden-eye, sabre-
beak stare, at ‘yakers
Vanguard sentinel for
shaggy-squawk flock
of Jurassic fly-a-ways
Nooksack nobility flushed
from sleepy longhouse hide

*Copyright © 2021 by David P. Drummond. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Poet’s bio:
David P. Drummond gives attention to insights from Our Universe and shares them in poetry, classes and discussion. You can read him in: Clover, Whatcom Watch, and the Noisy Water and Solstice anthologies. He also enjoys fresh perspectives with open-hearted people via WWU/ALL, WA Department of Ecology, Coastal Forest Merlin Project and beyond. Inspiration for this poem: “Seeking a shared outdoor odyssey, we kayaked the slow-flow of the Nooksack River to its confluence with Bellingham Bay. Here is a ‘slice of my senses’ experiential on our Time-Space Continuum.”

Poet’s Perspective

January 22, 2022

If you are a Pacific Northwest Puget Sound area writer, the city of Edmonds, Washington, invites you to submit up to two original short poems to be displayed in temporary outdoor poetry installations at two city locations. Poet’s Perspective is open to adult and youth poets. There is no fee to submit, though there are length and formatting restrictions. Entries are due February 24, 2022.

untitled*

January 19, 2022


2021 Walk Award
by Ty Colson, 1st grade

Mama…made me son
I love how she handles things
Wishing upon stars

*Copyright © 2021 by Ty Colson. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

Poet’s bio:
Ty is in first grade, doing school from home and on the road this year, and looks forward to returning to Alderwood Elementary in the fall. He loves art, food, jokes, Lego, and riding his trick scooter. He is currently traveling through the Wild West with his family, collecting stickers to put on his helmet.

Lately, Ty has been creating haiku poems with his mom, Ally, as a way to connect and wind down at bedtime. “My mom is very special to me, and this poem is for her.” This is his first published poem. And, yes, Ally’s heart has indeed melted.

light it up

January 18, 2022

If the season’s gloom seems to have gotten the better of you, perhaps a little infusion of Language is a Virus is just what the doctor ordered. A rollicking collection of games, gizmos, generators, prompts, exercises, tips, experiments, quotes, manifestos, and how-to articles, Language is a Virus is free, fun, and sure to shake things up a bit. Not all of your efforts will necessarily be worthy of submission, but you never know what might spark inspiration or put a glimmer in your gloom.

goodbye, Windfall, alas

January 17, 2022

Since 2002, Windfall: A Journal of Poetry of Place has been a vital print journal emphasizing “poetry which captures the spirit of place as part of the essence of the poem,” with particular focus on the Pacific Northwest. Based in Portland, Oregon, and edited by Bill Siverly and Michael McDowell, Windfall has just announced that the Spring 2022 issue will be its last.

The reasons for stopping are manifold. Some are structural in the nature of little literary magazines. Printing prices go up, and so do postage rates. We have never broken even on any issue in twenty years. Now
the costs have risen above our capacity to absorb them.

Our revenue has also dropped. We have done our best to keep the price of the journal low to keep it accessible. Our subscriber list remains stable but is not growing. COVID also sank a knife into Windfall by eliminating in-person readings and the sales they generated at Broadway Books, as well as most sales at Powell’s and Annie Bloom’s.

We are grateful to Broadway Books, a critical supporter of Windfall over the past fifteen years. Sally McPherson and Kim Bissell appreciated the power of the local in our in-person readings in their welcoming venue. Thanks also to Karin Anna, whose Looking Glass Bookstore featured numerous Windfall readings until its closure in 2011. Thanks to poet Curtis Manley for promoting Windfall in Seattle area bookstores. Special thanks to Sharon Bronzan for providing cover artwork for every issue over the past twenty years. And thanks to all our contributors, subscribers, and other readers.

Windfall has done what we set out to do. We hoped that Windfall could provide a venue for poets to deploy the kind of attention to place that could nudge ecological awareness along. Poetry of place now has the kind of resonance we had hoped for. The poems submitted to and published by Windfall have grown clearly more aware in this regard.

Most unfortunate is the extinction of the print literary magazine. Closing Windfall deprives many poets of a print venue, especially after Hubbub too has closed. But twenty years seems sufficient commitment for the Windfall editors. We have agreed that Windfall could not continue absent the way we have worked as an editorial team. Mandelstam said the people need poetry. They also need some Pegasus to carry it to them. Maybe you.

Submissions to the final issue of Windfall are open until February 1, 2022. Send a poem, and send a word of gratitude for this enduring literary journal.

Filmmaker Nora Jacobson is now setting up screenings of “Ruth Stone’s Vast Library of the Female Mind,” her feature-length documentary about the poetry and life of Ruth Stone.

…the film, 12 years in the making, combines verité footage of Ruth at different times of her life, reciting poetry and talking about how she writes, intertwined with lively and heartfelt observations of people who knew her. These include award-winning poets Sharon Olds, Toi Derricotte, Major Jackson, Chard DeNiord, and Edward Hirsch, as well as those who knew her best — her daughters and grandchildren. The film is enhanced with animation by granddaughter Bianca Stone, an accomplished poet and artist, and rare archival 16mm footage by Sidney Wolinsky of Ruth entertaining students and reciting poetry.

Read an interview with Nora Jacobson here, and more about the filmmaker and her other projects here.

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