the awful days*

August 11, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Adam McClusky, Grade 11
after Lord Alfred Tennyson

he clasps the crag with crooked hands close to the sun
in the lonely lands far away from everyone’s beef
enjoying the time alone from the people that annoyed
him the most not craving each pestering pitch that
came out during his day and the odd but pitiful
repeated days wondering how they’re going on with
their Day from the selfishness insecure ways with the
weird vibes given off each day crying for one of his
friends to ask him about his day but that won’t change
so he’ll just stay clasped with his crooked hands close
to the sun in the lonely lands not forgetting a bit
but smiling and laughing about those awful
Days.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Adam McClusky. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

. . . . .
i go to Squalicum high school. I play football i also wrestle and went to state for wrestling. I didn’t really like English but now i like it a little more.

i got my inspiration from the guy in the office that no one likes like in the movies. So he just isn’t noticed and just wants people to notice him.

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high school*

July 28, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Karanjot Mann, Grade 12

all the things i do
i remember the times that were twisted,
thrilling, and situations with life turning
after all the kanye west we listened to
i knew you would be a dropout
before you even went to school
the spiraling, sizzling sauces
that juice out of that bacon
all you can think of is the thing
i got 100 situations that i’ve exploited
god i’m tired

all the things i do
puff puff puff,
darn weed
you’re a thief in the night not no chicken
no roll call but you hit me up
at three in the morning
hundred and sixty ALL GONE no insurance
butterfly doors open up through the sky
but there is no one to notice

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Karanjot Mann. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.


2019 Walk Award
By Sandra F. Lucke

The green and black brush stroke
sealed the ceramic vase,
as if the outer glassy layer
could never repeat the real shape.

The outline of light, where your hands
reach to hold the hips of the form.

Your eyes satisfied with whites and blues,
foam and cloud at the beach,
you’ve left a cold pot alone
at the edge of the shelf.

Longing for home you open the door
to find fired clay and a silica smile —
your piece of art flushed pink
because you hold it once more.

The outline of light, where your hands
have held the hips of the form.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Sandra F. Lucke. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

. . . . .
Sandra F. Lucke lives in the Pacific Northwest as artist, poet, and photographer. Graduated from W.W.U. in Fine Arts. “Long Songs” is a hand bound book art of 31 poems located in special collections at WWU’s library. Sandra’s poem “The Voice” was spoken and choreographed for modern dance performances. “Fingers Touching the Wake of Air” was choreographed for a dance film by Julia Machado and shown at the Pickford Theater. Published poems list includes Jeopardy, The History of Jazz in Whatcom Co., World Peace Poems, and Noisy Water.

Beautiful*

June 30, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Gaia Garza, Grade 6

a flower
sitting in a pot
after it was planted
because it was so beautiful
it had to be shown

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Gaia Garza. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

. . . . .
Gaia Garza is a sixth grader at Whatcom Middle School. She likes drawing and animals. She has a hamster named Ponyo who is orange like the other family pets. She is inspired to learn to play piano.

Going*

June 9, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Porter Chesbrough, Grade 6

All
Going everywhere
On the earth
Every day
For there are places to go.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Porter Chesbrough. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

. . . . .
My name is Porter Chesbrough, I am in 6th grade, and I go to Whatcom Middle School. I am 12 years old, and I am an active kid, I like to ski, run, mountain bike, doodle, play soccer, and more. I do not really have much experience in writing poetry.

I wrote this poem for a poetry unit in my 6th grade language arts class. Mr. Owens is a great teacher and inspired me. It is a cinquain poem about people, animals, and other things going everywhere.

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 and also posted on this site (at, alas, a substantially reduced size). The Contest is very fortunate to have artists who continue to do this fine work year after year. We are pleased to introduce them again here for 2019, 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.


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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