2018 Merit Award
By Roger William Gilman

I have never in my life
given orders to the morning
or sent the dawn to its post
Told it to grasp earth by its tail
and shake the shining out of it.

I have never in my life
seen a star’s dark socket
or met the janitors of shadows
Visited the place where snow is stored
or made water hard as stone.

And I’ve never in my life
hacked a path for thunder
or tilted the flasks of heaven
To melt dry clods to mud:
I’ve never conjured weather.

Yet at the point of a pen
I’ll demand of my ink
a passion/ pulse/ and power/
To make you laugh and sing
as if skies weren’t always grey.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Roger William Gilman. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

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If you ask*

November 25, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Jackie Lomas, grade 12

If you ask me
I’ll tell you about the life in the hood,
To kneel beside you and watch you die
I’ll tell about trees and how my life is a fallen leaf
I am evil without a heart.
I’ll tell you about an argument that made me alone
A cold war, blood red mornings and a love no one knows,
You ask me I’ll tell about poor man’s vow to silence,
a girl’s broken heart that led to her brothers grave I’ll tell
you about a child’s scar that never fades seventeen-year-
old boys’ father never returns from work a baby born not
knowing whether to go left or right
we are all connected by our hearts and souls,
So, if you ask me I’ll tell you about life
And it ends.
If you ask me I’ll tell you about a family broken home
I’ll tell you about the dark times in my Mind
If you ask I’ll tell you about a friend who died,
about a girl who got bullied and committed suicide
If you ask I’ll tell you about the abandoned child
If you ask I’ll tell you about the girl who got raped
If you ask I’ll tell you about the mother who ran away.
If you ask me I’ll tell you.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Jackie Lomas. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

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!

untitled*

November 11, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Bonnita Lynne

It is more difficult
to maintain perspective
in a city.

In the rural Southwest
are the mesas
with the footpaths of The Old Ones
worn in the rock;

and when I see them
and touch them
I remember

that this two weeks
and these months
are not the only thing
that is.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Bonnita Lynne. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

The Perfect Cover*

September 9, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Felicia Clemmons

Cover your head,
so no one touches your hair.

Cover your body,
don’t tempt anyone.

Cover your skin,
so they don’t know you’re not white.
Wouldn’t want another tragic accident.

Cover your tears,
with a smile.

Cover your sadness,
with no eye contact.
Because then, they’d see it.

Cover yourself completely.
Become invisible.
Clothe yourself in darkness.
Become smaller, less intimidating.
There, now you’re perfect.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Felicia Clemmons. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Hologram*

August 26, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Mason Cash, grade 3

Projected image
A cool hallucination
Seen but not solid

. . . . .
My name is Mason and I am 8 years old. I go to Beach Elementary on Lummi Island and this is my first published poem.

I came up with the poem, Hologram, by flipping through a dictionary and randomly picking a page. I decided the word I chose would be the title of my poem. I then thought of the characteristics of a hologram and used those to write my haiku.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Mason Cash. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Arson*

July 15, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Donald Antenen

August, the fire started at the back
then took the awnings and the recesses
the boarded windows now empty and black
no quinceañera and wedding gowns
no girlish excitement of any kind
till today I’d put the fire out of mind
now workers gut the remains of what remains
five men in masks and gloves, hammers and chains
before this job, the praying sort didn’t pray
except at the end that the boss would pay
and pay well before they get deported
or the safety hazards get reported
the red dress in the window was last
to burn but when it did, it burnt quickly.

. . . . .
Donald Antenen lives in Fairhaven with his wife and daughter. He is the founder of Callimachus Books, a home library design company.

“Arson” is about a dress shop in Baltimore, Maryland.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Donald Antenen. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

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