Princess and Maiden*

October 1, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Ruby Thomas, 4th Grade

Even princess and maiden come together like the wind,
When old Mrs. Locket calls,
“Good morning! Good morning to all.
Well wishes to all of yo!”
Then dog and cat
Hawk and mouse,
Good and bad,
Come together like all is well, like all is well,
While princess and maiden stand hand in hand,
Looking out the window.

. . . . .
Ruby Thomas is in 5th grade at Happy Valley Elementary. She loves animals and has three cats and one dog. This is her first published poem, and she thought it up while looking out the window.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Ruby Thomas. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

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Wonder*

September 10, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Jim Milstead

She looks outside,
     wonders
     when the first green sprouts of spring will appear.
The grey streets are streaked with with rain.
     wonders
if her friends would like to come inside to play

Nearby the white-haired woman, brush in hand,
     faces an empty canvas,
     wonders whether she should join the other marchers
to change the world.

. . . . .
Jim Milstead was “Born in Chicago. Moved to Fresno, CA. Entered the Marine Corps, occupying northern China. Graduated from Fresno State College. Worked at the Linear Accelerator in Livermore, Ca. Entered graduate school, spending 35 years as a biological control researcher at UC Berkeley. Moved to Bellingham in 1992. Now I write.” He is author of the poetry books Collage and Scenario.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Jim Milstead. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

Abuela*

August 6, 2017


2017 Walk Award
By Julio Enriquez, 12th Grade

Who drinks tea in the morning
And reads the Bible each afternoon,
Who is short as a Mini Cooper
And has hair white as snow.
Prays to God in the morning and at night,
Thanking Him for another day of life.

Who is genuine care,
From Te Amo and I miss you.
Who doesn’t care if her clothes don’t match,
Or the shape of her hair in the morning.
Who tells stories twice, distracted easily
by the view out the window.
Who likes to eat sweets as a little snack,
When told she isn’t allowed.
Takes advantage of non-guaranteed days.

Who wears her lavender purple gown,
As she kisses me goodnight.
Who always walks with one foot forward,
leaving a trail of old perfume and love.

Who waited for us on that brown plush couch
When we came home from school.

. . . . .
This is Julio’s debut as a writer. He attends Squalicum High School and will be graduating this June and become part of the class of 2017. This fall he plans to attend the University of Washington to pursue a business major. Although this is Julio’s first time having his writing published, he is a published artist, too, with his 2nd grade drawing of a turtle on the back of one of the WTA buses. Friends and family are very important to him, and he wants to thank everyone for all their support from the past years that helped him be where he is today.

“I wrote ‘Abuela’ in my creative writing class one afternoon. I was inspired to write this poem because I wanted to do something to honor my Grandma. She unfortunately passed away about 2 years ago but she will forever be in my heart. I hope my poem can mean something special for everyone that reads it, just like it is for me.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Julio Enriquez. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

What Salmon Know*

July 9, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Judy Bishop

In autumn, fierce salmon know it is time
to leave the vast, deep oceans and begin the upward
journey through narrow, shallow rivers
back to the spawning beds of their birth.

In winter, fearless women knew it was time
to leave the safety of home and begin the upward
journey through prejudice and bigotry
back to the warm womb of human rights.

Facing predators and log jams
over rushing dams and fisher nets,
red-skinned salmon with torn flesh
battle for graveled streams.

Facing discrimination and fear,
over years of rising up and speaking out,
ubiquitous seas of woven pink hats
marched for peace and love.

“What more will it take?” the women cried.
The ancient, fierce, and wise salmon know.
“Nothing less than everything you have.”

. . . . .
Although Judy Bishop taught English and Creative Writing for years, she is newly published, having won a Merit Award for the Sue C. Boynton Contest for the past two years. She has a Doctorate degree in Education Administration from the University of Washington. In her retirement, she enjoys hiking and gardening. Judy is an active member of the Whatcom Art Guild and sells her photographs and beaded jewelry at the Art Market in Fairhaven.

“My inspiration for ‘What Salmon Know’ came from my participation in the Women’s March this past January. I was so impressed by the energy of the myriad women, men, and children standing up for women’s and human rights. Much of my poetry is inspired by Nature, so the comparison between the march and migrating salmon seemed natural. It occurred to me that we can learn much from the natural world if we take the time to observe and listen.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Judy Bishop. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

Shadow and Light*

September 25, 2016

Shadow and Light -  Susan Chase-Foster
2016 Walk Award
By Susan Chase-Foster

On the anniversary of your death
I amble along our trail
above the bay where even in rain
we poked stones with our sticks
until one speckled specimen
indistinguishable
from the galaxies of granite
you collected in your lifetime
called to you
and you sniffed its earthiness
touched its coolness to your lips
dropped it into your pocket.

Today sun casts my shadow
upon our trail and flickers
light through bordering cedars
like a cèilidh of Irish angels darting
and dancing and singing and stirring
up such wild wisps of wind
that in the confusion I trip over
the golden heartstone
you’ve embedded
in the earth for me
hold it to my ear
hear it beating.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2016 by Susan Chase-Foster. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

Rain*

September 11, 2016

Rain -  Rick Hermann
2016 Merit Award
By Rick Hermann

On the sidewalk outside the food coop, gray red-footed
pigeons dip their beaks, picking up crumbs from
gluten-free muffins with the speed and efficiency of
a good typist. Discarded cellophane wrappers
scratch along the sidewalk in the dry wind.
The pigeons stride to their next morsel, heads bobbing
back and forth on short necks, expressions dim, poker-

faced. They remind me of the barnyard hens I tended
for Grandpa, Mom’s dad, back in Minnesota. After we
moved west, near Seattle, Grandpa held on a few more
indifferent years, but my mom was reborn, re-spirited.
I remember how she used to feed wildlife outside
our home: raccoons, deer, feral cats, pintail ducks,
great blue herons, even eagles. A decade before her
death, she began to pray for rain during

long dry spells. “The animals suffer,” she would say.
Like St. Francis, she often carried a small bird
in her open palm. She prayed, waited, and rejoiced
when the deluge began. I miss her strength, her
loving ministrations to the earth, her belief
that was deeper than superstition. I miss her in this
moment as I hear distant waters gathering, see pigeons
eating crumbs on another warm, cloudless day.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2016 by Rick Hermann. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

Lake of the Isles*

August 7, 2016

Lake of the Isles - Sylvia Tag
2016 Walk Award
By Sylvia Tag

My father teaches me how to dig up
earthworms and a proper j-stroke.
He’s wearing flannel not pinstripes,
sipping water not gin, and it is
just us

heading out early in a sleepy, red canoe
to catch sunfish and crappies. Waves
knock on aluminum sides as we
cast, spin, plunk, reel.

Slitting bellies and scooping out guts,
we prepare the catch. Soon, breakfast
sizzles and crisps in a little butter.
I didn’t know you were preparing me for life.
Did you?

. . . . .
*Copyright 2016 by Sylvia Tag. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

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