underestimated*

December 9, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Allie Haugen, grade 10

i will write words you do not like
i will write words you do not agree with
& i will write the words i am afraid to say aloud

but i am not you.
you see, we do not have the same mind

we must disagree
but i will not be made small.

do not misunderstand,
listen closely

my voice is just as valid as yours
i will not be a duplicated version of you

i do not want to be you.
i want to be me

. . . . .
Allie Haugen has never published or even thought of writing poetry until now. The first poem she wrote won this contest. She currently lives with her parents in the county, cheering for the Meridian Trojans and writing whenever she gets a chance.

“underestimated” was inspired by everything that I have yet to write. Reading Rupi Kaur and R.H. Sin made me realize that poetry did not have to be boring and complicated. Poetry did not have to be like what we read in school. I could write something of my own. This is the beginning of everything to come.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Allie Haugen. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Advertisements

untitled*

November 18, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Nora Whitley Abelite

Clouds of feathers numerous as snowflakes
Cacophony of honks, hums and whirs greet me at twilight
Crowded in gaggles they bed under a frosty moon.

At dawn they wake with breath rising into a misty sky
At dawn my heart thumps to their winged drum
At dawn they fly off to reap, glean and fatten.

Each day of winter, I seek their soaring splendor
Each day of winter, I count their growing numbers
Each day of winter, I wait for their return.

Then one warmer morning they fly away
Into a beckoning sky for their appointment
Thousands of miles north to the tundra,
Leaving the fallow, harrowed fields lonely
With a secret want for tulips.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Nora Whitley Abelite. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

placards on view

November 16, 2018

The beautiful poetry placards that appear on this site every Sunday (following the Sue C. Boynton Contest awards ceremony and continuing through mid-December) can be seen up-close and in-person. The full set of 25 winning poems from 2018, with artwork by Angela Boyle, Megan Carroll, Christian Anne Smith, and Kimberly Wulfestieg, is circulating through the Whatcom County Library System. See them at:

  • Everson and Sumas Libraries (November)
  • South Whatcom Library (December)
  • Lynden Library (January)
  • Ferndale Library and Bookmobile (February)
  • Blaine Library (March)
  • Point Roberts Library (April)

Enjoy!

Langston Titles*

September 2, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Emma Thario, grade 11

Her voice is like a Juke Box Love Song
Even when she has a Bad Morning
She’s like Daybreak in Alabama
When Sue Wears Red
Her appearance is like a Bouquet of bright red roses
she just wants Acceptance
to feel that her Life is Fine
whenever my Quiet Girl journeys away
The Weary Blues
of the April Rain Song are what I sing
I travel to the Night Funeral in Harlem
Where there’s no Sea Calm
Yet all I can see is my Genius Child
In my Dream Variations
I see her dancing among the stars
That can’t seem to out shine her light

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Emma Thario. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.


2018 Walk Award
By Nancy Canyon

Wooden oars slosh     cutting lazy eddies
through narrow channel           low water
turns swampy              orange flicks and
flashes        sunfish circling murky shoal
fins  wag  to  cacophony  of  insect  buzz
green stalks curl and arch      chirp   plop
frog-kick      dive deep under    mirrored
surface reflects cirrus            streaks of
spilled milk above       rippling tea below
stems refract at water break     black lily
roots twist       gold marbled surface laps
red-winged blackbirds trill     dragonflies
flit past grandpa’s green rowboat.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Nancy Canyon. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Cup of Tea*

July 29, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Alandra Barker

She says,
being married is like holding a hot cup of tea
and being worried that you’re going to sneeze.

I think, if marriage is a cup of tea,
I know it’s my favorite kind.
The kind that makes you feel whole and warm
from the inside out after a long, cold day.
But then I think, it’s not the same for everyone;
maybe it’s the resentment that builds
from holding back that sneeze because you don’t want
to get burned. OR MAYBE,
the tea is the only thing that makes you feel better
every time that sneeze starts to irritate your nose,
and the tea is your relief and a sense of security.

It seems to apply to every possibility.
So I guess that makes it the perfect analogy,

but I don’t know which one she meant.

I say,
being married is like thinking you can swim, but realizing
you don’t…
after you’ve jumped in the water.

. . . . .
Alandra Barker is a junior at Western Washington University studying Linguistics with a concentration in Anthropology, who also happens to have a passion for poetry and literature. Alandra likes to spend her free time exploring the parks, trails, and beaches of Bellingham with her wife and dog.

“Cup of Tea” was written as a sort of response to an analogy that her wife used to explain marriage to a coworker. “I just remember her coming home and telling me about this conversation that she had, and I thought about it for days. This poem was written mostly in my head over the course of weeks as a way to process how I felt about it.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Alandra Barker. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.


2018 Merit Award
By Leslie Wharton

Avoiding whirling eddies
recirculating worries
torrents of to-dos
swirling self-doubt
Poem swims.

She rests in calm water
next to fast current
watches for a word
flash of muse
enticing nymph
anything to nibble on.

Hidden in shadows
She maneuvers
beyond logjams
past traumas
political debris.

Poem rises
hardly edited
never spoken
barely noticed.
Concentric circles
ripple outwards.

. . . . .
Leslie Wharton is a caregiver for extraordinary elders, currently a retired philosophy professor. You can find her writing in Phoenix Rising: Stories of Remarkable Women, in the upcoming 2018 Red Wheelbarrow Writers anthology, and chapbooks around Bellingham. She is proud of organizing poets and speakers for Bellingham Women’s Marches.

Leslie caught the poem, Fish Is Plural for Fish, while fishing on the Wynoochee River. Despite the poem’s claims, it was heavily edited with help from a friend, Ann Morris.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Leslie Wharton. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

%d bloggers like this: