Good Neighbors*

March 12, 2023

2022 Merit Award
By Linda Conroy

Where the creek trickles to meet the bay,
the tide creeps in, and the muddy sand
and soil mix and flood, a heron views
the scene, balancing on one long leg.
Two red-beaked oystercatchers poking
plankton, wade with common goldeneyes
at water’s edge. A flock of buffleheads
floats slowly past, with coots of course,
and gulls fly overhead. So many seabirds,
every species different from the rest, yet
they’re here together, bustling, busy
colonizing this small stretch of coast,
content together, reveling in quiet lives
finding no necessity to quack or flap.

*Copyright © 2022 by Linda Conroy. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Poet’s bio: Linda Conroy is the self-published author of a poetry collection, Ordinary Signs, and plans to complete another volume shortly. After a long career as a social worker, she now enjoys walking, playing various instruments and singing, as well as creating poems and supporting her friends’ writing endeavors. This poem, “Good Neighbors,” was inspired by watching ducks at the lagoon where Padden Creek enters Bellingham Bay, on a day when so much of the world news was about folk being less than friendly.

Winter Day*

February 16, 2022

2021 Merit Award
by Callum LaPlant, 6th grade

In the winter, all full of white snow
Sets a beautiful Pine Siskin sitting on the snow.
My dog starts barking, I started yelling at my dog,
She keeps barking,
Her tail wagging back and forth.
I grabbed her laser then I pointed it at the ground.
She’s out in a flash
Probably faster than you would know,
Running everywhere the laser goes.
Back and forth.
When she gets distracted.
I grab the camera, by the time I do the Pine Siskin
Was away, in the beautiful white snowy sky.
I look up a little bit more then I see a whole nest
Of Pine Siskins sitting right there

*Copyright © 2021 by Callum LaPlant. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

At the Edge*

February 4, 2022

2021 Merit Award
by Lynn Geri

Dusk moves past the end of a foliage strewn road
That disappears into a woods of leafless trees.
Moon asleep on the bosom of a cloudy sky
Is unaware its light is needed to be ready
For the narrowing of this by and by.

Far into the forest a white bird radiates
Brilliant, but small spokes of flicking
Light, low in the swaying branches.
Dusk has climbed the trees all day dickering
With the rhythm of sun and season.

Moonless screeches, call from the recesses
Deep in the root-mind of the forest’s trees
Whose limbs hold fast this fiery bird
To a sound only an owl would find sweet
Dusk succumbs to the stabbing still of darkness.

*Copyright © 2021 by Lynn Geri. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Poet’s bio:
Lynn Geri did not start reading or writing poems until in her 70s… she is now 82 years old… and feeling at the edge of something. Her career was as a consultant/resource to large businesses and schools, helping people think about thinking.

Lynn has published three books of poetry and five pocket-size Scrollbooks, she calls them… easy to carry. so a poem is always with us. She has published several poems in literary magazines. One poem was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.


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.”

Still Life: Geneva Pond*

January 15, 2022

2021 Merit Award
by Kathleen Byrd

I make my self in the nature preserve
a home to taste names in silence —
Miner’s Lettuce, Stinging Nettle,
Bleeding Heart, and — hear deet, deet
of an unseen Chickadee and tap
tap, tap of a Sap Sucker’s red head.

Geneva is a rename, a claim
of place — of Salmon Berry, Heron, of Owl.
Geneva is a gilded city, a Juniper
Tree, a Euro-myth. The trees here hold secrets
close and still. Thuja Plicata, I roll a
taxonomy of botany on my tongue — Western
Red Cedar — not cedar — after all.

At the edge of the pond, I see —
not see, really — but glimpse
what was there and gone —
the black eyes of a frog on the surface.
I focus to capture a look, a name,
but it’s already gone, letting go
the trace of its being
circling the surface of Geneva pond.

*Copyright © 2021 by Kathleen Byrd. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.


January 7, 2022

2021 Merit Award
by Margaux Barber, 2nd grade

I walk out of the portable
pulling the lunch cart down the noisy ramp
I see a seagull, black-eyed, its feathers beautiful.
I walk into the school
pulling the lunch cart behind me.
I walk out to the schoolyard.
I see the seagull again, the same one black-eyed.
I wonder if I will see it again at recess.
I do not.

*Copyright © 2021 by Margaux Barber. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

Poet’s bio:
“I like to read.” invites you to take a break from everything and just listen as Stephen Nachmanovitch and David Rothenberg perform violin and winds live with the sounds of birds on Thursday, December 17, 2020, at 2:00pm Pacific. The event is free and will stream live on YouTube and on the Facebook page.

poetry in Edison

January 30, 2020

Tiny Edison, Washington (pop. 133 in 2010), home of the world-famous Chicken Parade (February 23, 2020) as well as much impressive art and food, will liven up a winter evening with a Winter Poetry Reading featuring Georgia Johnson, Jory Mickelson, and Jeffrey Morgan. Join them on Thursday, February 6, 2020, at 6:30pm, at i.e. gallery, in the heart of downtown Edison.

Come early to view the birds of winter in nearby fields, the “Birds Eye View” bird invitational art exhibit at Smith & Vallee, and enjoy a meal at one of Edison’s stellar restaurants.

be cool on Vashon

January 23, 2020

The Black Cat Cabaret (at Snapdragon) will host 3 x 3 x 3 on Thursday, January 30, 2020. That shakes out as three poets plus three jazz musicians each reading or performing for three minutes, and in between the readings a three-minute jazz improvisation by the three alternating Some’tet musicians. Or something. Got it?

The poets will be Susan Lynch (Vashon’s Poet Laureate for 2020), Lynn Carrigan, and Catherine Johnson, plus music by Some’tet (Michael Whitmore, Barry Cooper, and Patrick Christie).

Cool, man.

And as long as we’re on Vashon…. Brian Reed will present Birds, Song, and Poetry as part of the Talk on the Rock series on Sunday, January 26, 2020, at 7:00pm, at Vashon Center for the Arts.

before it’s too late

January 30, 2019

If you’ve been meaning to see the white birds of winter, Empty Bowl has some good poetic reasons for making the drive (all dates 2019):

  • Friday February 1, in Edison – Don Kruse, Jessica Gigot, and Georgia Johnson read at i.e. – 6:30pm
  • Sunday, February 3, in Freeland – Clemens Starck reads at Unitarian Universalist Congregation – 10:00am
  • Thursday, February 7, in Port Townsend – Clemens Starck and Finn Wilcox read at Northwind Arts Center – 7:00pm
  • Friday, February 8, in Anacortes – Clemens Starck and Samuel Green read at Pelican Bay Books & Coffeehouse – 7:00pm
  • Tuesday, February 12, in Anacortes – Don Kruse and Lorraine Ferra read at Watermark Books – 6pm
  • Friday, February 22, in Anacortes – Michael Daley and Jeremy Voigt read at Pelican Bay Books & Coffeehouse – 7:00pm

. . . . .

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