Jane*

October 13, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Elliot Stockman, Grade 6

There once was a young girl named Jane,
Who lived in England, and took lots of trains,
She walked on the track,
And with a loud “Thwack!”
She ended up flying to Spain.

In Spain, they all rode on bikes, of course,
But what surprised her was they all spoke in Norse
She wanted a pie,
But she encountered a sigh,
And she ended up eating a horse.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Elliot Stockman. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

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Unable to see far*

October 6, 2019


2019 Walk Award
By Luci Shaw

Unable to see far, I write
what’s near. How snow
responds to footprints and
the garden to a spade.
How my cat’s small lion face
softens under my caress.
How words fall through me
like water, though some
thicken into thoughts
like scars. How the two chairs
on our deck, each a foot deep
in snow, face each other as if
conversing about the weather.
How, today, when I
complained of cold,
my husband covered me
with the old green blanket
and I napped and dreamed
of summer. How this afternoon
one robin, having arrived
early, sits now on the
power line, thinking to himself
this is not so smart.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Luci Shaw. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

. . . . .
Luci Shaw was born in London, England, in 1928. A poet and essayist, since 1986 she has been Writer in Residence at Regent College, Vancouver. Author of over thirty-five books of poetry and creative non-fiction, her writing has appeared in numerous literary and religious journals. In 2013 she received the 10th annual Denise Levertov Award for Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University. Her new collection, Eye of the Beholder, was released by Paraclete Press in 2018. She lives with her husband, John Hoyte, in Bellingham, Washington.

Thirteen*

September 29, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Susan Cohen Raphael

At thirteen
I was put in jail
for running away from home

I remember well
that first night in one small room
with four closed walls
a bare bed
a sink
a mirror
one small high barred window
a door with barred minuscule opening

I remember the sounds of voices
and the sound of free movement in the hall
I remember the lights of the city
the stars in the sky
I remember crying

It was Christmas night
and I was frightened
and I was alone

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Susan Cohen Raphael. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

Sky Goes Flying*

September 22, 2019


2019 Walk Award
By Jaelyn Pitts, age 3

Sky goes flying
Sky goes with them
Sky goes digging
Sky goes flying
Sky goes digging for a bone

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Jaelyn Pitts. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

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.

Raised Goat Forest*

July 7, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Sally Hewitt

Here in the raised goat forest
we’re looking for anything, everything
our grandmother’s lost ring
the youth we left behind
farm animals gone before us
our intact hearts in the prelude
the way water was pure
as we drank from mountain streams
the way our hearts were pure
yours before the wanton women
wanted your money, status, and soul
mine before the brazen betrayal
seesawed toward my bolder instincts
but still, we always viewed
life as a lark, manna from heaven
the fairy tale that led us here
how we laughed at our naiveté
a trail through raised goat forest
led straightward up blackberry hill
to an open field and golden sunshine

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Sally Hewitt. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

. . . . .
Sally Hewitt holds degrees in English literature from the UW and fine arts from WWU, is the next editor of The Rockford Review in 2020, and is the author of Confetti Wind (available at Whatcom County libraries). She’s also the managing editor of Whatcom Watch. Her poems have been published in The Rockford Review, Plainsongs, and Whatcom Watch.

Nestled in the forest near Glacier, listening to the river hum outside my office window, I feel inspired daily and am reminded of growing up on a 60-acre farm in Issaquah, where our home sat high above Issaquah Creek. “Raised Goat Forest” combines my memories of our farm, my love of the natural world here in the Pacific Northwest, and nostalgia for bygone times. It also pays homage to my beloved brother, who was always my closest friend.

Each of the 25 winning poems in the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is illustrated with flair and care by one of four artists. The resulting placards are displayed in Whatcom Transportation Authority buses for a full year and also posted on this site (at, alas, a substantially reduced size). The Contest is very fortunate to have artists who continue to do this fine work year after year. We are pleased to introduce them again here for 2019, in their own words:

Angela Boyle
As a cartoonist and natural science illustrator, I like to blend my passions together into both nonfiction and science fiction comics. My focus is the natural world: the plants and animals we can see and interact with, or at least potentially interact with. It is not surprising that I focus on nature. I have always been surrounded by animals. Two weeks before I was born, my parents’ borzoi, Domino, birthed a litter. They were so busy raising me, they never really got around to selling the puppies as intended. Then with my brother coming along, we all moved out to the country. They bought a house (it came with a cow!) and quickly filled the land with horses, a pony, chickens, turkeys, and other animals. Even without the added domestic animals, I was playing with frogs and raising the tadpoles from our pond. And I was drawing and writing and reading. And I am still drawing, writing, and reading. I draw comics, which you can get on Storeenvy, and paint nature, which you can get on mugs and pillows from Society 6. And I am reading/researching Maria Sibylla Merian and the late 1600s in preparation for a graphic novel biography. You can follow my research on Patreon. I have a sci-fi comic on tumblr and an autobio comic on tumblr. My general social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram) is angelabcomics, and my personal website is angelaboyle.flyingdodostudio.com, which has links to everything, including many more comics. I am also a freelance editor, illustrator, and designer: publication.flyingdodostudio.com. Photo Copyright Abe Olson.

Megan Carroll
I once told my husband that making art was not an option, it was a need. I have to make art, I have to use my hands. I believe in craftsmanship. I research every single one of my ideas, draw several sketches, collect images, words and doodles. I throw out several ideas and save what I think are the very best ones. As an artist I collaborate with those around me, seeking feedback and critique. My illustrations have a minimalist style that leans heavily on mark making. I love strong lines that create a visual impact using simple repetitive shapes. I would describe myself as a mixed media artist as my current works are digital, surface and pattern design, illustration, fabric, and clay. I received my BFA from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC, and I have made my home in Bellingham for the last 6 years. You can buy my prints, including the ones inspired by the poems in this contest, on Society6, or my handmade goods at Scrappy Carp Living on Etsy.

Christian Anne Smith
I like to tell stories with art. I love garish and fantastical characters. I enjoy human beings and my art explores stories of human emotion as well as my passion for costumes, colors, textures, and intriguing environments. Growing up on the coast of Maine, I was surrounded by stories and images of the region’s folklore. Seilkies, Mermaids, Ghosts, and Pirates were all believably real entities to me. My childhood fascination with monsters and supernatural beings continues and influences the way I choose to portray people. I also have a need to express with my art. I become inspired, and have worked hard to train myself to go into a sort of a trance that allows what’s inside to come out. It’s only later that I can look with any objectivity on something that I’ve created and perhaps get a glimpse of what I was feeling or thinking. It is akin to the way one might analyze a dream. I may start a painting or puppet with a certain image in mind, but I allow the original image to change or even get completely painted over whenever I start to see new things. I am often quite confused about how I am feeling until after I paint, draw, or build things and the truth comes to the surface. This is the way I best communicate with myself. In this way I suppose nearly all my paintings are also portraits of my life. Thank you for your interest in my work. I hope that the world I have created sparks your own imagination and provokes many hours of daydream in the years to come.

Kimberly Wulfestieg
is a paper cutting, rainbow loving, poetry flowing mother and teacher. Originally from Northern California, she made her way to Bellingham seven years ago and never passes a mountain, lake, flower, or tree, without a deep breath and an appreciation for its beauty. A self-taught artist, she has always been enamored with the color and texture of paper and collage. She employs a wide array of colored papers, scissors, scalpels, knives, and glue, and uses them in conjunction with details and patience. She runs the Natural Learning Center in Bellingham and loves to share her joy of art and words with the children she works with. Also known as K. Wulfe, more of her work can be seen on Facebook at K. Wulfe and followed on Instagram @kimwulfy.

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