Low Down in the Blues*

March 20, 2022


2021 Walk Award
by Janette Lyn Rosebrook

A humpback breaches,
exposes the long pale accordion of its belly,
and splashes down.

A companion follows,
barnacle-starred flukes fan and slap
across the surface.

Listen for nocturne and solos,
some so low down in the blues
you cannot hear them.

A silvery calf
arches and spirals around its mother
like a dervish.

With whirling songs
the humpback trio turns and fades
into the depths.

The divers surface,
into the silent coda that follows
the passing of friends.

*Copyright © 2021 by Janette Lyn Rosebrook. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

Poet’s bio:
Janette Rosebrook is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, where she spent long childhood days in the woods, eating salmonberries and redcaps, and muddying up her good shoes in search of frogs. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in 2019 and currently works at Western Washington University. Her work has appeared in Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim, Washington 129, and Solstice: Light and Dark of the Salish Sea.

“I started writing ‘Low Down in the Blues’ during the 2020 Poetry Marathon, an annual event founded by former Bellingham residents, Caitlin and Jacob Jans. I was inspired to finish the poem after good friends shared their incredible underwater photographs of a humpback whale family they encountered during a sailing trip. I was honored to read the poem at a memorial service for one of those friends. It was written in remembrance of my dear friend Bruce.”

Congratulations BTV Bellingham!

September 25, 2021

Congratulations to BTV Bellingham, which earned three national awards on September 23, 2021, for videos featuring Bellingham Public Library and one award for a Public Service Announcement from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.

The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Walk video, featuring Librarian Suzanne Carlson-Prandini and young poet Haley Van Ness, to highlight National Poetry Month in April, won an Award of Distinction in the Library category.

The Library Curbside Service Behind the Scenes video produced in February, also featuring the Van Ness family and the sustained collaboration of Bellingham Public Library staff to keep materials circulating during the COVID-19 pandemic, won two Awards of Honor in the Library and Editing categories.

“The talented staff at BTV and the quality of their content are a true service to Bellingham, keeping our locals informed and raising the profile of our City alongside communities throughout the country,” said Annette Bagley, Head of Community Relations for Bellingham Public Library.

BTV Bellingham is operated by the City of Bellingham to provide information about publicly funded government and educational institutions through high quality video services delivered via the internet and cable television. It can be viewed live 24/7 on the City of Bellingham website, as well as on Comcast Cable TV channels 10 and 321 in greater Bellingham.

Special thanks to BTV and to the Bellingham Public Library for a long tradition of supporting community poetry in Whatcom County!

See also BTV videos of 2021 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winners Margaux Barber, Barbara Bloom, Marie Eaton, David M. Laws, Jory Mickelson, Janette Rosebrook, and Genevieve Whelan, with one more, by Lynn Geri, to come!

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