I’m Just A Gal*

December 2, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Megan Gillikin, grade 4

I’m just a gal walking into town,
Don’t really care if people stare.
With my big pink bright purse,
I hold the universe.
With my dark shiny blue coat
I don’t have to gloat.
With my bright yellow boots,
I turn and stare and there I see another me.
I’m just a gal walking in to town.

. . . . .
Hi, my name is Megan Gillikin. I attend Happy Valley Elementary. I love spending time outdoors and with my family. Some of my hobbies are drawing, climbing trees, writing, and swimming.

Inspiration for writing “I’m Just a Gal” came to me when in Texas while driving across country with my mom. We stopped at a gas station and the attendant called me, gal. As I looked about I noticed how people spoke with one another and that many wore cowboy boots. At the time, I had bought a big pink purse to hold a lot of toys so I wouldn’t be bored in the car and I felt I held the Universe.

I’m very happy my poem was selected, I hope you enjoy it.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Megan Gillikin. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

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placards on view

November 16, 2018

The beautiful poetry placards that appear on this site every Sunday (following the Sue C. Boynton Contest awards ceremony and continuing through mid-December) can be seen up-close and in-person. The full set of 25 winning poems from 2018, with artwork by Angela Boyle, Megan Carroll, Christian Anne Smith, and Kimberly Wulfestieg, is circulating through the Whatcom County Library System. See them at:

  • Everson and Sumas Libraries (November)
  • South Whatcom Library (December)
  • Lynden Library (January)
  • Ferndale Library and Bookmobile (February)
  • Blaine Library (March)
  • Point Roberts Library (April)

Enjoy!

Oranges are Orange*

October 28, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Grace Moore, grade 1

Oranges are orange
Blue jeans are blue
Colors are brighter
When I’m with you

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Grace Moore. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

untitled*

October 7, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Izetria Grace-Lind, grade 12

i’ve known rivers,
big and cold and intimidating
yet teeming with life and trust and promise.

i’ve known rivers sparkling with fish scales,
with rubber boots and fly fish castings.
as big brown mother bears protect and feed their young,
tiny white seagulls pick at fish skeleton bone
and roaring boats riding wave and foam skid past,
filled with whooping fisherman.

i’ve known small rivers, with
slick mossy green pebble underneath flowing crystal
so cold to fingertip’s touch and always moving.
small bullhead fish spasm about under rock and shell
and neon seaweed float and tickle over shriveled palm.

i’ve known rivers that seep into the holes in my boots,
whispering stories of the ancestors into my ears
with every watery sweep,
sending my every harried thought downstream,
past reeds towards the sea and into the yellow horizon.

i’ve known all these rivers —
seen them grow, recede, and thrive,
i’ve known those rivers.
and i miss them.

. . . . .
I will be 18 once the poem is read, but am currently 17 and a senior from Bellingham, born in Portland, Oregon, and raised in Kodiak, Alaska. My family moved up here during the summer of 2016 and this will be my second published poem.

The poem is about my life and experience in Alaska as well as my connection to the environment and to my Alaskan Native cultures. It’s based off of a prompt based on the poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes, given by Jourdan Keith during her short two-day residency in my poetry class taught by Amy Cushman at Squalicum High School.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Izetria Grace-Lind. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

Meditations on Love*

September 23, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Marie Eaton

What do I eat when you’re not in love?
Dry stick pasta.
Unsalted vegetables and
ten-day old carrots gone soft in the vege drawer.
No crunch. No bite.

All the lean, mean, cuisine,
standing by the sink with a plate for one.

Stones and sorrow.
Empty eggshells. The bird of love has flown.

I eat the words that closed your door.
I eat crow to say I’m sorry.

What do I eat when I’m not in love?
Solitary salmon at that white-tablecloth restaurant.
A glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Savoring silence and no conversation.

Laughter served with linguine and lemon zest.
Big, boisterous dinners with friends,
filling the heart.

. . . . .
Marie Eaton, a retired faculty member from Fairhaven College, currently directs the Palliative Care Institute at Western Washington University. She also teaches creative non-fiction writing and songwriting at the Northwest Writer’s Weekend. http://www.nwwritersweekend.org

This poem began with a jump-start prompt in a writer’s group “What do I eat when I’m in love?” I had fun turning that prompt inside out.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Marie Eaton. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

Homeless*

September 16, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Stephen Palmer

The car I live in
gray as my futureless life
rain on the windshield.

Green dumpster cardboard
shelters me between downpours
I can’t stop the wind.

Constant daily wait
charging phone on bus stop time
wheelchair in the rain.

Sun is my alarm
campsite my sanctuary
downpour dictates pain.

Lines for soup kitchen
queuing up at the mission
showers at the Y.

Voices surround me
torrent within me surges
melancholy rage.

. . . . .
I was inspired to write “Homeless” because it’s something I know about and I wanted to give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. Having nowhere to go in foul weather, as in Bellingham, is the most miserable existence a person can have when they’re homeless.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Stephen Palmer. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.


2017 Merit Award
By Sheila Nickerson

Yes, they come masked,
she admitted, but she was lonely.
She didn’t smoke or drink.
Why not spend money on raccoons —
that one big bag a week?
All her dogs had died, and her cats.
She could name them, one by one.
She was born in Nazi Germany,
remembered the Gestapo
breaking down her family’s door,
tearing up her childhood things —
there was a music box —
while searching for evidence
that never was.
Her family is gone, now.
There was no one left to call or visit.
When no one came to her door
at Halloween, she fed the candy
to the raccoons. They make her happy,
she said, and every night they’re back.

. . . . .
Sheila Nickerson is an American poet and writer. She served as Poet Laureate of Alaska and was twice awarded the Pushcart Prize. Much of her writing focuses on Alaska, nature, and arctic exploration.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Sheila Nickerson. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

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