Earthlings*

January 31, 2021


2020 Merit Award
By Steve Hood

Panda bears of the sea, killer whales
like to eat seals that eat fish that eat plankton.

Orcas like to jump into the air like majestic
reminders of the beauty of nature.

Blue skies, clouds, San Juan Islands
mark the world whales can only glimpse

before they return to their cold, liquid
home in the vast ocean at the dawn

of a new day on Earth as the watery globe
turns slowly in outer space.

*Copyright 2020 by Steve Hood. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.


For Terry
2020 Merit Award
By Joshua Hilderbrand

The day you died I woke up at 530 am. Brushed my teeth
in a metal shipping container with no windows.
The day you died I got ready. Uniform/Boots/LBV/Kevlar.
I wore both plates, front and back.
The day you died we loaded the truck
full of letters/packages/cookies
from home, whisky smuggled in teddy bears, art supplies.
The day you died we were delayed by a suicide bomber.
This was the first time, that day,
I would think about my own death.
The day you died we drove our route.
RPG’s/roadside bombs/ small arms/mortars.
A few of the packages flew into the road.
The day you died we killed 13 people.
My knees knocked while in the box formation.
The day you died it was still dark in Spokane. In Iraq,
the sun was working over my face.
The day you died you tried to hold on until sunrise.
Maybe you thought the pills would be slower.
Maybe I didn’t let go in time.
I didn’t know you needed the morning
pinks and blues. I just needed to see through the smoke
long enough to get back into the truck and drive home.
My knees wouldn’t stop knocking.

*Copyright 2020 by Josh Hilderbrand. Broadside illustrated Kim Wulfestieg.

Outside*

January 3, 2021


2020 Merit Award
By Cristian Gonzalez, Kindergarten

I am playing outside with my brother.
A rainbow,
A sun.

*Copyright 2020 by Cristian Gonzalez. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

Silence*

December 13, 2020


2020 Walk Award
By Chloe Nahani Braunstein, Grade 2

On the pillow in my ear
I can hear my heartbeat.

Silence, for me, is when
I look up at the sky
clouds like big white stars
moving slowly across the wind.

Silence for me is when
the sea has no waves,
birds are not chirping,
dogs lose their bark,

and all humans grow quiet.
Silence means a lot to me.

*Copyright 2020 by Chloe Nahani Braunstein. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

On Becoming Rootless*

December 6, 2020


2020 Merit Award
By Barbara Bloom

Even in winds that shake the house,
the Western red cedar and Douglas fir
stand firm, only their upper trunks swaying
like the masts of ships in a strong swell,
and though the branches whip in the turbulent air,
the trees are solidly rooted, as I have to say
I am not, each breeze tossing me aside
as if, like the dandelion seeds children blow on
to send their wishes into the world, I had become
insubstantial, nothing to anchor me to the earth.

*Copyright 2020 by Barbara Bloom. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

I leapt*

October 14, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Jacob Murphy, grade 12

Against all odds, I’m here, leapt from
Incoherent haphazardness and desolate parenthood.
Pardoned from hell, set out to breath clean air.
I leapt. Free from motel hopping
With empty bags derived
from Walgreen shopping.
Free from pitching a tent
Momma pressured from rent
And yet I still leapt from my last cent
To bring you flowers
I leapt. From the path forged from fire and wrath,
and one hell of a left hook
To light, love and one hell of a hug
I leapt. Free from the yellow brick road,
free from training wheels
love to the world
Free from chains, dancing as we twirl
Free from sadness, laughing till stomachs curl
I’m free.
I leapt. Free from following orders, break ’em bosses
9 to 5 on the weekends, making their mac sauces
This time around I’ll be in no one’s footsteps
They are stuck in a 10 1/2 size box
My step is endless.
I leapt.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Jacob Murphy. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

meet the artists

May 12, 2018

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.

We introduce the four artists here, 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.

Used To Be*

August 13, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Gary Wade

Used to be
there in that field
a barn half ruined
but still it stood in beauty.

It’s gone now,
shadows of its foundation
erased by plows.

Vacant now, that field,
from it only
a ragged cloud of
blackbirds wheeling, rising.

. . . . .
Gary Wade has been a Bellinghamster since 2005. He is fascinated by farm barns and has photographed many of them. His poem “Used To Be” was inspired by a barn he drove past for many years, then one recent autumn it was gone. There was nothing there but blackbirds gleaning a cornfield.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Gary Wade. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg .


2017 Walk Award
By Richard Widerkehr

Yesterday, the water tossed me on the reef,
jarring my back, scraping my right wrist.

Don’t fall out of the ocean, says Linda.
I line up a break in the coral

with the fifth thatched shed.
Lying on my back, held by waves,

sea held by blue sky, sky held by the earth,
and the universe — it’s held by what?

*

I’m standing in the green shallows.
Whomp. Something hits the water

hard like prop wash. Wings thrash.
A brown pelican’s next to me.

The thing has a bill, big as a thigh bone,
that opens and closes.

. . . . .
“In the last five years, I’ve submitted and published widely. I like to sing and play music at a bar called the Green Frog. I used to be a teacher and a case manager with the mentally ill. I’m retired now. My Boynton poem was written at a resort called Akumal in Mexico and worked on later back in B’ham. My third book of poems, In The Presence Of Absence, will come out from MoonPath Press this fall.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Richard Widerkehr. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

The Spelling Bee*

October 16, 2016

The Spelling Bee by Marlene Chasson
2016 Walk Award
By Marlene Chasson

I walk down the hall to her room.
She is in her chair, eyes closed, hands folded,
her afghan across her knees.
But she is not really there.
She is back in her sixth grade classroom
standing in front of the blackboard
waiting for her teacher to pronounce the next word.
She spells c-a-t-e-g-o-r-i-c-a-l-l-y correctly
and is almost back to her seat
when I say, “Hello there, how are you today?”
She slowly opens her eyes, remembers where she is
And tries not to show her disappointment
when she sees me standing there
with a vase of flowers in my hand.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2016 by Marlene Chasson. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

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