A Day at the Lake*

May 21, 2011

Alysa Gallant reads her winning poem, A Day at the Lake

2011 Walk Award
By Alysa Gallant, 6th grade

A Day at the Lake

I dangle
My bare legs
Into the warm lake water
Sitting on the soft wooden dock
I watch
A small baby duck
Swiftly swim after its mother
Forming ripples in the still water
I dive
Into the dark blue lake
The soft warm water
Brushes my skin as I swim
I reach
For a blue beach towel
To dry my wet body
And warm myself in the sun
Watching the clouds drift across the sky
I squint
Into the bright sun
Peeking out from behind a cloud
Warming the lively world around me.
I stretch and quietly yawn
Curling into my towel
The sun warms me
As I daydream

*Copyright 2011 by Alysa Gallant. Photo by Nancy Canyon.


May 20, 2011

Nina Djukic reading her Walk Award poem, Sinking

2011 Walk Award
By Nina Djukic, 9th grade


I imagine you,
Penciling in dreams in your neat, delicate
Handwriting, scribbling thoughts in
Loops of ideas, each word a landscape,
Lovelier than the last.
I imagine my keyboard,
Same letters with their labels blurred
From hammering, smoothing your name
Into electronic ink over, and over again
Backspace sunken, distorted,
An Atlantis of lost words,
Drowned by insecurity, weighted down by fear.
I imagine this notebook,
Filled with my tender thoughts,
My tentative memories,
And a world full of its carbon copies;
Her sadness spattering its pages
Like dark blood,
His confusion spilling
Over the faint blue lines
A bound sheaf of papers
That are sick and dusty and
Hopeful and bright,
Less featherlike with each
Strike of a graphite blade.

*Copyright 2011 by Nina Djukic. Photo by Karee Wardrop.

Poor Me*

May 19, 2011

Dakota Carson reading her 2011 winning poem, Poor Me

2011 Walk Award
by Dakota Carson, 4th grade

Poor Me

I want everything
Oh, selfish me
But I don’t have anything
I am as poor as can be

*Copyright 2011 by Dakota Carson. Photo by Nancy Canyon.

In the Blast Zone*

May 18, 2011

placard design by Egress Studio

2009 Merit Award

In the Blast Zone
(Mount St. Helens, 28 years after)

By Kai Bretherton

And if you go, try walking in the pumice
one step forward, two steps back
catastrophe and rebirth on Loowit
her beauty changed forever?
not so fast, pearly everlasting.

“The mountain is a window
on the moment of creation.”

And the mistake:
thinking the destruction
will be followed by
a long slow restoration

No, a process of
sudden change and renewal
not returning to what was,
not diminishing
but enlarging

And after all who was Helen?
fiery saint,
master gardener.

*Copyright 2011 by Kai Bretherton. Posted May 18, 2011 — 31 years after. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Placard design by Egress Studio.

Your Blue Shirt*

May 17, 2011

Richard Blake reading Your Blue Shirt

2011 Walk Award
By Richard Blake
Your Blue Shirt

is like a slice of sky
neatly enclosing
only to you

cloudless optimist

the way you could say
calm blue ocean
into the face of maelstroms
into the teeth of shattering glass

only the brightness
of its blueness
was wild enough to ride
the bucking belly of your laughter

when I imagine
that you’re still here, its vibrant hue
can saturate the wounded darkness

my own kind of blueness
that closed over
me when the world
closed over you

*Copyright 2011 by Richard M. Blake. Photo by Karee Wardrop.

One of the poetry walks mentioned on our Poetry Walk page (click on Poetry Walk, above) is a student-maintained set of poetry posts at Santa Fe Community College. Instructor/mentor Miriam Sagan has posted a new set of photos here. Have a look!

awards ceremony 12 May 2011We’re uploading photos from the awards ceremony and will start posting this year’s winning poems very soon. Stay tuned!
Photo by Karee Wardrop.


May 14, 2011

Thank You!
It takes a lot of time, energy, money and people to put together a poetry contest. The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s event.

Our special gratitude to this year’s corporate and individual donors: WECU; The Boynton Family; Jennifer Bullis; Drake Family Fund of the Whatcom Community Foundation; Arlene Feld; Luther Allen; Paula Brown; Nancy Canyon; Cheryl Crooks; Denise duMaurier; Susan J. Erickson & George Lindeman; Jo Ann Heydron & Warren Miller; Christine Kendall & Jack Kienast; J.I. Kleinberg; Alicia & Walt Kochan; Judith & David Laws; Suzanne, Tim & Rachel Lucy; Maria McLeod; Peggie Merlin; Marla & Steve Morrow; Pam Muehlhausen; Lynda Olsen; Naomi Rudo & Greg Stern; Darilyn Sigel & Dan Liden; and Sheila Sondik & Paul Sarvasy.

Additional thanks to Lana Hechtman Ayers; Jim Bertolino; BTV10 and Dal Neitzel; Bellingham Cruise Terminal; Bellingham Public Library; Birchwood Garden Club; Jennifer Bullis; Ciao Thyme; Community Food Co-op; Copies Now; Egress Studio; Katie Humes; Maria McLeod; Mindport Exhibits; Kevin Murphy; Stan Tag; Village Books; Jeremy Voigt; Karee Wardrop; Devan Wardrop-Saxton; Whatcom County Library System; Whatcom Poetry Series; Whatcom Transportation Authority; Woods Coffee; and teachers, students and poets throughout Whatcom County.

Thanks in particular to our tireless contest committee: Luther Allen (chair), Nancy Canyon, Susan J. Erickson, Christine Kendall, J.I. Kleinberg, Tim Lucy, Joan Packer, Colleen Schwartz and Sheila Sondik.

under and above*

May 13, 2011

By Luther Allen
2007 Walk Award

placard design by Egress Studio

     under, in the ground:

                    turgid roots and worming worms
                    swimming and swirling
                    in the slow damp current
                    of the depthless earth

     and above, exposed:

                    the tidal creep of blackberry
                    the surf of thimbleberry blossoms
                    the sharp spray of scotch broom
                    spitting droplets of rufus hummingbird
                                                            far into the sky

*Copyright 2007 by Luther Allen. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book! Placard design by Egress Studio.
This poem also appears in The View from Lummi Island with the title “May 13.”

May 12, 2011Please join the winners of the 2011 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest as they read their winning poems at the contest awards ceremony. Meet the poets, meet the judges, buy a chapbook of winning poems ($5) and celebrate poetry in Whatcom County. Tonight, Thursday, May 12, 2011 ~ 7:00pm ~ Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Avenue in Fairhaven ~ free event, free parking ~ see you there!