Water by Salmon*

August 18, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Phelps McIlvaine
After Emily Dickinson’s “WATER IS TAUGHT BY THIRST”

As life is taught by death,
and the Sun by Space,
So, Clouds are taught by Land
and Rains by Place.

As Mountains are taught by Plains,
and Rivers by Lakes,
So, Trees are taught by Soils,
And Elements by their Weight.

As Deserts are taught by Shores,
and Ocean Waves by Wind,
So, Depth is taught by height,
and Tides by Celestial Spin.

As Sound is taught by Silence,
and Insight by Reason,
So, humans are taught by Water
and Water, by Salmon.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Phelps McIlvaine. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

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the awful days*

August 11, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Adam McClusky, Grade 11
after Lord Alfred Tennyson

he clasps the crag with crooked hands close to the sun
in the lonely lands far away from everyone’s beef
enjoying the time alone from the people that annoyed
him the most not craving each pestering pitch that
came out during his day and the odd but pitiful
repeated days wondering how they’re going on with
their Day from the selfishness insecure ways with the
weird vibes given off each day crying for one of his
friends to ask him about his day but that won’t change
so he’ll just stay clasped with his crooked hands close
to the sun in the lonely lands not forgetting a bit
but smiling and laughing about those awful
Days.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Adam McClusky. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

. . . . .
i go to Squalicum high school. I play football i also wrestle and went to state for wrestling. I didn’t really like English but now i like it a little more.

i got my inspiration from the guy in the office that no one likes like in the movies. So he just isn’t noticed and just wants people to notice him.

Statement of purpose*

August 4, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Carlos Martinez

Because my skin becomes a part of the sky
when the sun begins to go down and is gone

halfway beneath the horizon, and the moon
when it appears becomes my one eye looking,

I allow myself to shiver when wind blows,
that shivering a vibration that makes no sound

and allows me to vanish into darkening hues.
Because I disappear, I am not to be feared

though I remain in the darkness, assuming
the guise of a shroud or a sheet. I prefer

to say that I become bed linen, a cover, a blanket,
a quilt covered by a duvet, heavy but not,

washed both by the coming of day and its going,
made worn by their washing, that leaves an aroma

that comforts and allows sleep to come, for sleep
to become deep and for something like movies

to rise from anyone’s darkness within.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Carlos Martinez. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

high school*

July 28, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Karanjot Mann, Grade 12

all the things i do
i remember the times that were twisted,
thrilling, and situations with life turning
after all the kanye west we listened to
i knew you would be a dropout
before you even went to school
the spiraling, sizzling sauces
that juice out of that bacon
all you can think of is the thing
i got 100 situations that i’ve exploited
god i’m tired

all the things i do
puff puff puff,
darn weed
you’re a thief in the night not no chicken
no roll call but you hit me up
at three in the morning
hundred and sixty ALL GONE no insurance
butterfly doors open up through the sky
but there is no one to notice

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Karanjot Mann. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

placards on view

July 26, 2019

The beautiful illustrated placards of the 2019 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winning poems will be on display in the Whatcom County Library System over the coming months. Drop in to your local library to see the complete set of Walk Award and Merit Award placards. Here’s the schedule:

  • July 2019 – Deming Library
  • August 2019 – North Fork Library
  • September 2019 – Everson and Sumas Libraries
  • October 2019 – South Whatcom Library
  • November 2019 – Island Library
  • December 2019 – Ferndale Library and the Bookmobile
  • January 2020 – Lynden Library
  • February 2020 – Blaine Library
  • March 2020 – Point Roberts Library

The placards will also be displayed inside Whatcom Transportation Authority buses throughout the county.


2019 Walk Award
By Sandra F. Lucke

The green and black brush stroke
sealed the ceramic vase,
as if the outer glassy layer
could never repeat the real shape.

The outline of light, where your hands
reach to hold the hips of the form.

Your eyes satisfied with whites and blues,
foam and cloud at the beach,
you’ve left a cold pot alone
at the edge of the shelf.

Longing for home you open the door
to find fired clay and a silica smile —
your piece of art flushed pink
because you hold it once more.

The outline of light, where your hands
have held the hips of the form.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Sandra F. Lucke. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

. . . . .
Sandra F. Lucke lives in the Pacific Northwest as artist, poet, and photographer. Graduated from W.W.U. in Fine Arts. “Long Songs” is a hand bound book art of 31 poems located in special collections at WWU’s library. Sandra’s poem “The Voice” was spoken and choreographed for modern dance performances. “Fingers Touching the Wake of Air” was choreographed for a dance film by Julia Machado and shown at the Pickford Theater. Published poems list includes Jeopardy, The History of Jazz in Whatcom Co., World Peace Poems, and Noisy Water.

The Clown*

July 14, 2019


2019 Walk Award
By Gavin James Karney, Grade 6

A cheerful clown
bouncing and dancing,
in a small circus.
Late at night.
Noticing he is a horror.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Gavin James Karney. Broadside illustrated Christian Anne Smith.

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