I am Not a Quiet Girl*

October 21, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Emma McCoy, grade 11

My opinions are not muffled,
my thoughts bubble up like boiling water.
Words practically explode out my mouth
like cherry Pop-Rocks,
fizzing and sparking
among boring cough drops.

I like to hear wave after wave
of clashing cymbals and volatile violins,
the music fuels my auditory audacity,
my vocal velocity intimidates
the dominating narrative, step down,
I get the mic.

If you’re used to a passive audience
don’t fall in love with me,
you’ll hear some killer decibels
and defiant declarations. You’re
not ready for my degree of resonant reverberation
so don’t expect some shallow sound. If you
like your dates on the muted side
don’t fall for me
I am not a quiet girl.

. . . . .
My name is Emma McCoy and I’m a junior at Squalicum High School. I’m 16 years old and have been writing poetry for two years. I have a poem published in the Forest of Words poetry contest, so this is my second published poem.

This poem was inspired by my desire to tell the world I won’t stay quiet, it doesn’t matter if I’m standing up for myself or others, or if I’m declaring my opinion on cakes.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Emma McCoy. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

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Saturday workshops!

October 17, 2018


 
 
In case you haven’t yet signed up, there are still a few spaces available in the two poetry workshops that will be offered this Saturday, October 20, 2018, in downtown Bellingham.

From 10:00am to Noon, Jory Mickelson (top left) will present Spectacular, Wild, Precarious! The workshop will use Yellowstone National Park as lens and inspiration, “as metaphor and structure to reinvigorate and let a little wildness in to our writing.”

From 1:00 to 3:00pm, Laura Read and Maya Jewell Zeller (middle and lower left, respectively) will present The American Character & The Personal Pronoun, a workshop that “will help you generate writing that explores your own individual lives as artifacts of our current national landscape.”

The workshops will be held upstairs at Mindport, 210 W Holly Street, Bellingham, Washington. Registration is required and all fees benefit the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest: $30 for one workshop or $50 for both workshops offered the same day, paid by check or cash at the workshop.

Register (soon!) by sending an email to boyntonpoetrycontest@hotmail.com indicating the workshop(s) you wish to take and including your name and a phone number. Please bring writing materials.

See the full workshop descriptions and instructor bios (as well as information about the two November workshops) on the Workshops page.

I leapt*

October 14, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Jacob Murphy, grade 12

Against all odds, I’m here, leapt from
Incoherent haphazardness and desolate parenthood.
Pardoned from hell, set out to breath clean air.
I leapt. Free from motel hopping
With empty bags derived
from Walgreen shopping.
Free from pitching a tent
Momma pressured from rent
And yet I still leapt from my last cent
To bring you flowers
I leapt. From the path forged from fire and wrath,
and one hell of a left hook
To light, love and one hell of a hug
I leapt. Free from the yellow brick road,
free from training wheels
love to the world
Free from chains, dancing as we twirl
Free from sadness, laughing till stomachs curl
I’m free.
I leapt. Free from following orders, break ’em bosses
9 to 5 on the weekends, making their mac sauces
This time around I’ll be in no one’s footsteps
They are stuck in a 10 1/2 size box
My step is endless.
I leapt.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Jacob Murphy. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

untitled*

October 7, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Izetria Grace-Lind, grade 12

i’ve known rivers,
big and cold and intimidating
yet teeming with life and trust and promise.

i’ve known rivers sparkling with fish scales,
with rubber boots and fly fish castings.
as big brown mother bears protect and feed their young,
tiny white seagulls pick at fish skeleton bone
and roaring boats riding wave and foam skid past,
filled with whooping fisherman.

i’ve known small rivers, with
slick mossy green pebble underneath flowing crystal
so cold to fingertip’s touch and always moving.
small bullhead fish spasm about under rock and shell
and neon seaweed float and tickle over shriveled palm.

i’ve known rivers that seep into the holes in my boots,
whispering stories of the ancestors into my ears
with every watery sweep,
sending my every harried thought downstream,
past reeds towards the sea and into the yellow horizon.

i’ve known all these rivers —
seen them grow, recede, and thrive,
i’ve known those rivers.
and i miss them.

. . . . .
I will be 18 once the poem is read, but am currently 17 and a senior from Bellingham, born in Portland, Oregon, and raised in Kodiak, Alaska. My family moved up here during the summer of 2016 and this will be my second published poem.

The poem is about my life and experience in Alaska as well as my connection to the environment and to my Alaskan Native cultures. It’s based off of a prompt based on the poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes, given by Jourdan Keith during her short two-day residency in my poetry class taught by Amy Cushman at Squalicum High School.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Izetria Grace-Lind. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

The Invitation*

September 30, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Ellie Osterloh, grade 9

Oh Death, come in and sit down by my side
Though your elusive white dress may deceive
You’re the Queen of Sorrow, changer of tides,
Not as the masses of people perceive.

I dare your subsequent waves to tempt me
Your presence inspires a fiery rage
Walking the dark road, your white light I see
Some declare you villain, few call you sage.

You riddle me, and know I won’t answer
But I can’t keep myself from wondering
Where’s hope with diagnosis of cancer?
And yet, the confusion is comforting.

I curse you, bless you, and know you will stay
But Death, for now, I send you on your way.

. . . . .
This poem was inspired by the loss of my mother to cancer two years ago.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Ellie Osterloh. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

Meditations on Love*

September 23, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Marie Eaton

What do I eat when you’re not in love?
Dry stick pasta.
Unsalted vegetables and
ten-day old carrots gone soft in the vege drawer.
No crunch. No bite.

All the lean, mean, cuisine,
standing by the sink with a plate for one.

Stones and sorrow.
Empty eggshells. The bird of love has flown.

I eat the words that closed your door.
I eat crow to say I’m sorry.

What do I eat when I’m not in love?
Solitary salmon at that white-tablecloth restaurant.
A glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Savoring silence and no conversation.

Laughter served with linguine and lemon zest.
Big, boisterous dinners with friends,
filling the heart.

. . . . .
Marie Eaton, a retired faculty member from Fairhaven College, currently directs the Palliative Care Institute at Western Washington University. She also teaches creative non-fiction writing and songwriting at the Northwest Writer’s Weekend. http://www.nwwritersweekend.org

This poem began with a jump-start prompt in a writer’s group “What do I eat when I’m in love?” I had fun turning that prompt inside out.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Marie Eaton. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

Homeless*

September 16, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Stephen Palmer

The car I live in
gray as my futureless life
rain on the windshield.

Green dumpster cardboard
shelters me between downpours
I can’t stop the wind.

Constant daily wait
charging phone on bus stop time
wheelchair in the rain.

Sun is my alarm
campsite my sanctuary
downpour dictates pain.

Lines for soup kitchen
queuing up at the mission
showers at the Y.

Voices surround me
torrent within me surges
melancholy rage.

. . . . .
I was inspired to write “Homeless” because it’s something I know about and I wanted to give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. Having nowhere to go in foul weather, as in Bellingham, is the most miserable existence a person can have when they’re homeless.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Stephen Palmer. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

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