2020 Merit Award
By Richard Widerkehr

written the week of the Douglas High School shootings; a bump stock lets a shooter fire dozens of rounds in seconds

Under this streetlight, a possum
lopes by brick houses, its gray-white muzzle
and needle nose low to the street.

Take action, said our rabbi.

Standing by my car,
I wonder who needs a bump stock
for self-defense.

Not right or wrong, needing no carry permit,
the possum skitters into an alley.

The empty street, the streetlight.

An alertness sends out tendrils,
almost part of the dark.

*Copyright 2020 by Richard Widerkehr. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Spring Walk*

April 11, 2021


2020 Merit Award
By Giorgiana Vignali, Grade 6

The morning sun is out
Walking with friends to school
Birds tucked in trees sing
Flowers sprout from sidewalk cracks
Tomatoes and carrots and peas grow
From the yards of old ladies

dogs tied up
bark
bark
bark
as we pass
a little boy waves as we walk by
his face pressed up against the cold glass

the grass glistens with dew
making our shoes and socks wet
up ahead is the school
kids, some yelling and others half asleep
wait at the doors for the bell to ring
another day awaits

*Copyright 2020 by Giorgiana Vignali. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Cats, cats*

April 4, 2021


2020 Walk Award
By Hayley Van Ness, Kindergarten

Cats, cats
I love cats
Cats are mine
I love cats
Cats are stripey.

*Copyright 2020 by Hayley Van Ness. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

Ocean waves*

March 28, 2021


2020 Walk Award
By Katen Van Harmelen, Grade 6

I am standing on the beach of the ocean,
The cool water reaching out
Just barely washing my toes.
The hot sun is warming my back,
The damp sand is cooling my feet,
I feel remarkably calm.
The sparkling waves are calling to me,
But I don’t go.
The water is dancing at my feet,
Daring me to chase them
As they retreat back to the ocean.
Finally,
I can’t help it any longer,
As the waves wash up to taunt me again,
I splash into them.
I chase them all the way until I am knee deep,
And then they start building up,
I run back to shore,
And turn around just as the wave crashes,
And becomes a ripple,
Washing over my feet once more.

*Copyright 2020 by Katen Van Harmelen. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

countdown…

March 23, 2021

A quick reminder to Whatcom County poets:

Submissions to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest close on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, and in-person submissions (delivered to Film is Truth) end a day earlier because the venue is closed on Wednesdays. Read (and follow!) the guidelines and send in your poem!

I Stop In The Woods*

March 21, 2021


2020 Walk Award
By Betty Scott

To watch a parade of mallards
Paddle and quack in circles
Splashing ripples across the surface
Of their home, a muddy pond,

As sunlit Evergreens…beyond…
Stand guard, reflecting themselves
Beneath the pond of brown,
Crowns of pines, topside down,

Reaching deep into the mud below.
I see this with my third eye as guide
To the rift and ride of souls: bonds…
Of love intertwined with joy.

*Copyright 2020 by Betty Scott. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

workshop!

March 19, 2021

Curious about persona poetry? Alexandra Teague will offer a workshop on persona poetry, Beyond the Mask: Possibilities and Pitfalls of Persona, on Saturday, March 27, 2021, 2:00-4:00pm. The class will be held on Zoom. Advance registration is required and all fees benefit the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. See the complete description, instructor bio, and registration information on the Workshops page.


2020 Walk Award
By Kate Miller

I hold the dresser scarf you embroidered
with hands that once embraced me even
as they surrendered me. Roses, stained
blood on crisp white linen, green threads
vining around each flower, such delicate
beauty, this artifact of your life outliving
you even now, as do I, holding on to this
fabric, proof of your existence. I in your
womb once, you in my hands now, the
thorny connection of us pierced through.
First mother, you carry me back, I carry
you forward, faces wet with wanting,
this moment as close as we will ever get.

*Copyright 2020 by Kate Miller. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

My Body Parts*

March 7, 2021


2020 Merit Award
By Fjola Martinez, Grade 1

I have a head
I have a body
On my legs I have some paws to walk
I have a tail on my butt
I have a pair of wings to fly
I am a sphinx-snake!

*Copyright 2020 by Fjola Martinez. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

call for poems

March 1, 2021

The 2021 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is now open for submissions from Whatcom County, Washington, poets of all ages and experience. You can learn more about this year’s judges here and see the complete guidelines and submission details on the 2021 Contest page.

Also, a reminder for student poets: John S Green will offer a free Children’s Poetry Workshop, this Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 11:00am-12:15pm. Participation does not guarantee that your poem will be selected as a winner, but it’s sure to be fun. Advance registration is required.

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