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.

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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. 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.

Game Point*

July 17, 2016

Game Point - Sydney Glover
2016 Walk Award
By Sydney Glover (9th grade)

Anxious, focus
on the ball. One mistake
can end it all. No time to
think, just react. The final
play, the final act. “You’ve got
this” teammates cheer. Whistle
sounds, serve is near. Screeching
soles on wooden floors, players
yelling “mine” and “yours.” Sweaty
skin hits smooth leather,
eager players work together.
Teamwork wins
the game.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2016 by Sydney Glover. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

Architecture Stolen from Animals - Carla Conforto
By Carla Conforto
2016 Merit Award

I spy on birds with binoculars, but I want
their nests, to unwind the mess:
brittle leaves, dried branches, cracked mud,
peel away their trash built homes;
the objects, the plastic, rips of ribbon, newspaper,
straw wrappers, the shiny
metals. For every Bird a nest.

What I make you wouldn’t want. But the delicate
homes of honey bees, the expansive
wasp nest, the condominium living of wispy
cardboard; the layers are persuasive:
a circle to curl into. I pick pocket
purple blue abandoned mussel shells five times.
The translucent skin from a snake: Finding
is the first Act
. And then? All the debris
I wrap myself in.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2016 by Carla Conforto. Broadside illustration by Kim Wulfestieg

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