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!

Advertisements

Woodpecker*

November 4, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Madeleine Joyce Patterson, grade 4

Thump.
Listen, to the soft thump of the expert, knocking on
the inch-thick woody skin, playing a soft rhythm
Thump. Thump.
on the tall old multi-branched drum
Thump.
Dinner awaits in the third spine-striped layer
Thump. Thump.
Peck away, red-cheeked drummer

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Madeleine Joyce Patterson. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

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.

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.

On Mornings Like This*

August 19, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By KJ Vande Bossche

On mornings like this
when pieces
of the sky
are still missing,
I leave you
warm in bed
under sheets
soft as old t-shirts
to look for them.

. . . . .
KJ Vande Bossche (Van-duh Bush-shay) is a wife, mother, writer, teacher, cat-owner and motorcycle rider who lives and works in Bellingham. KJ graduated from WWU decades ago with a degree in English and plays with words on a daily basis.

“On Mornings Like This” was written early on a winter’s morning while sitting quiet and alone on the couch watching the sun come up and sipping that first cup of coffee. Previously published work can be accessed at kjvandebossche.com

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by KJ Vande Bossche. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

The Blue Whale*

August 5, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Elizabeth Vignali

I was lamplight when night fell. I was speared
and flensed, minced and melted.

I was notched from upper jaw to tail fluke
with your insufficient rulers.

I was lather and varnish, fabric and rope.
I was corset, collar, whip and toy.

You brought home my rorqual heart.
Displayed my boat-large parchment

skull in dusty museums.
You drove cars beneath my arched ribs.

But you could not catch my decibel moan,
my hymn to the silver path.

I am barnacle coven and seaweed plantation.
I am a salt-slapped planet to a thousand

open-mouthed moons. We sing louder than your
engines. We sing despite the sonar shroud.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Elizabeth Vignali. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.


2018 Walk Award
By Tanner Abernathy

I burn cigarettes in a bowl for my father.
I fill my kitchen with the hard smell
that would cling to his shirts and his chin
like lichen on stones.
I like to burn several at once.
I fan a hanky over the bowl
stuff it in my back pocket
wadding the hanky tightly like a white ball of cancer
before I leave the house,
carrying my father with me as I go about my day.

. . . . .
Tanner Abernathy enjoys writing poetry and he sold one for five dollars once, has a degree in Creative Writing from WWU, and is starting a Master of Arts in Teaching program this coming fall. Tanner is a newlywed who enjoys walking with his wife, mentoring middle schoolers, and trying to make the earth a little cleaner and a little more thoughtful.

The idea for “Remembering his One Small Comfort” comes from the very natural question of ‘how do we remember our dead parents?’ “The only strong description I ever received of my mother’s father was his continual smoking of cherry-scented tobacco; since he died while my mother was in Junior High, I often think of how she carried his memory.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Tanner Abernathy. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

%d bloggers like this: