Colluvium*

November 19, 2017


2017 Walk Award
By Dee Dee Chapman

Don’t call it a landslide.

Call it a cascade, if you must name it.

The fracture won’t stand there forever.
It spins itself smooth of you.

The detritus’ rich nutrients,
despite frost action and soil creep.

How does that charismatic rhizome
find holes to take hold in, mold its roots ’round?

We’re not supposed to be balloons, but colluviums.
Waste, land-filled, wistful for landscapes.

If only we knew how to fall upon the mountain
instead of pretending we’re sure-footed.

I bet it would feel like flying long enough to believe
we’re more than pebbles that leapt.

I bet it would feel intentional
like blood flow after tourniquet’s release.

. . . . .
Dee Dee Chapman received her BA in Creative Writing at Western Washington University in Spring of 2016. She has been published in From Bellingham With Love, The Noisy Water Review and Jeopardy Magazine. In September 2014 she self-published her first chapbook, Colluvium. Bellingham has been her home for eight years, the longest she’s stayed in one place. She is a cinephile and her favorite animal is the prehistoric Megalodon shark.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Dee Dee Chapman. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

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2017 Merit Award
By Roger William Gilman

Some of my brothers are broad-backed low-set men
unlike the other who stands like me tall and scrawny
vulnerable to the wickedness of weather.

We’re ducks and herons standing by the great lake
fists jammed to pockets shoulders hunched, soldiers
against fierce wind, five hundred miles away from home

longing, preparing for hard flying, drunk with desire,
between moonlit clouds and the shine off the Snake — as
it turns west through the Tetons toward the prairies

of Idaho, rivers-on through rolling sage of the Palouse
into Columbia Basin where it stretches tongue out mouth
past a broken line of island teeth to taste the Pacific —

the shine showing us the way home.

It’s the shoulders we have in common . . . as we stand
along the lake in the snapping wind . . . crafting silences
more articulate than ever . . . getting ready to leave

for home . . . the distance in our heads.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Roger William Gilman. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Rabbits with Wings*

September 17, 2017


2017 Walk Award
By Amelia O’Connell, 8th Grade

Rabbits with wings flying up through the sky,
Catching the carrots that fall from the trees,
Deep in the forest live rabbits that fly.

Sometimes the rabbits will eat a fruit pie,
Carrots get boring after a while,
Rabbits with wings flying up through the sky.

When you hike through the forest a rabbit hops by,
Hiding its wings as it hops past your feet,
Deep in the forest live rabbits that fly.

Regular rabbits eventually die,
Magical rabbits live long happy lives,
Rabbits with wings flying up through the sky.

You may think, when that little rabbit hops by,
That it lives in burrows deep under the ground, but
Deep in the forest live rabbits that fly.

Someday, if you’re on a hike, you should try
Looking for rabbit nests up in the trees,
Rabbits with wings flying up in the sky,
Deep in the forest live rabbits that fly.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Amelia O’Connell. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Possession*

July 30, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Marlene Chasson

Tall, gaunt, sharp shouldered
She stood there on the porch.
Her face mirrored her years
And her hands made it plain
That those years had not been easy.
They gripped the porch railing
Once freshly painted
It was old and chipped
Like the house itself.
But it was her house now
And she would tend it like a child
There was plenty of time
With him gone.

. . . . .
At age 85, I am one of the oldest poets in the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest. As an amateur poet I have been writing poetry since I was in grade school. Over the years, a number of my poems have been published in a poetry anthologies, school and college newsletters, and a some contests. My husband and I moved to Bellingham four years ago from Raleigh, North Carolina. Before I retired I was a teacher and social worker and from 1989 until 2001 I served as the executive director of a state advocacy organization for older adults in long term care.

The poem “Possession” was written about my father’s stepmother. She raised my father and three of his brothers and was also the caretaker for his father when he became sick in his later years.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2016 by Marlene Chasson. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Early Hike with Dog*

June 18, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By David M. Laws

The day hides beneath the horizon
as we wind our way up an unkempt trail.
Possum pushes her taut terrier body ahead,
analyzing aromas of previous passers-by,
quick peek for most but full appraisal
of others. Birds brag of territorial control,
and proclaim to potential mates dual
dreams of domesticity and reproduction.
Errant branches pull at me, sometimes
a caress, sometimes a chastisement.
This is no longer a trail, they contend,
but the fragrance of freshly rain-drenched
forest infuses me with vigor, bringing
new life to my fatigued feet. Arise! Arise!
Move forward! the world seems to call.
One last fallen tree to negotiate, Possum
under, me over, and we burst out of forest
to the summit. Sun rises over Mount Baker,
sets it ablaze, painting frozen glaciers into
fiery lava, red-gold in the new morning.

. . . . .
David M. Laws is a gardener, musician, husband, father, writer, hiker and former musical instrument repair technician who practices all of the above in Bellingham. He graduated from Western Washington University in 2005, at age 58, with a degree in English — Creative Writing Emphasis.

“My poem ‘Early Hike with Dog’ was inspired by a number of hikes I’ve taken with Possum, the Glorious Little Girl Terrier who has lived with us for four years now. Her determination has pushed me through what seemed to be impassable obstacles on numerous forgotten trails, and occasionally rewarded me with something like what the poem describes — a scene of beauty and wonder.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by David M. Laws. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

29 February*

October 2, 2016

29 February - Tallie Jones
2016 Walk Award
By Tallie Jones

March first there were always daffodils on your table
Golden beacons on the lace cloth,
forthright, purposeful, and sure,
even when you could no longer drive to buy them.
In honor of St. David’s Day, you said,
Patron Saint of Wales
Okay, said I. We left it at that.

Today, clearing space around the bulbs and the lupine,
kids circling, phone delivering sharp voices,
I invoked your cardinal rules —
Pretty is as pretty does!
There are no ugly people, only ugly behaviors!
We don’t hate in this house!
Love is needed most when it’s hardest to love —
strong and sure, strangely confident, for me.

Later, lying quiet and unguarded in the dark,
I could feel you near my raw heart,
your memory and your lessons close.
In the morning I set daffodils on the table,
hugged the teapot in your honor and looked up St. David
Known as a great teacher and for his last words:
Gwnewch y pethau bychain
“Do the little things.”

. . . . .
**Copyright 2016 by Tallie Jones. Broadside illustration by Megan Carroll.

Mapping the World*

August 21, 2016

Mapping the World - Joe Nolting
2016 Merit Award
By Joe Nolting

I held your newborn body, felt the sudden
tug of your tiny heart on mine. Questions took root
as your dark eyes probed the universe. I had no answers
for these silent queries but drew a map of the world
above your crib so that you might find your way, travel
unburdened, never be lost. I shaded the landscape of
family and friends gold. Drew love’s gentle contours —
shapes of a head and heart and hand.
Traced routes skirting the debris field of loss.
As you grew older my map became frayed,
landmarks faded, known places vanished like smoke.
Soon you drew your own map of the world.
The countries were shaped like monsters and bore
terrifying names. Safe passageways had been erased.
Every crossing harbored new hazards. You read your map
as a blind man and journeyed in the darkness through
newly drawn continents of fear. For years you stumbled
across this troubled land, dropped a breadcrumb trail,
unraveled an endless ball of twine, whispered inchoate
prayers to keep from getting lost. Slowly, step-by-step
you found all that you needed to build a compass —
one whose needle floated on a tiny sea of courage
and always pointed to your heart. You tore up your map.
Now you knew the way and all the place
names sounded like love.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2016 by Joe Nolting. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

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