Let them be Cars*

October 15, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Mason Mills, 9th Grade

Let them be cars,
Always fueled, fixed, loved,
But harnessed to the road.

I’d rather be submarine,
Cruising underwater like a shark,
Exploring the deepest depths of the ocean.

To have shattered theories,
To dive and search,
To be carried among the waves,
Currents moving me all around the world.

I’d rather be unseen,
Unknown by all,
Than to be a shiny new car,
Made in a factory,
Praised by all,
And driven by greedy hands.

If I could be alone, strong and free,
I’d rather be a submarine.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Mason Mills. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

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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.

Princess and Maiden*

October 1, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Ruby Thomas, 4th Grade

Even princess and maiden come together like the wind,
When old Mrs. Locket calls,
“Good morning! Good morning to all.
Well wishes to all of yo!”
Then dog and cat
Hawk and mouse,
Good and bad,
Come together like all is well, like all is well,
While princess and maiden stand hand in hand,
Looking out the window.

. . . . .
Ruby Thomas is in 5th grade at Happy Valley Elementary. She loves animals and has three cats and one dog. This is her first published poem, and she thought it up while looking out the window.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Ruby Thomas. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.


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.

Wonder*

September 10, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Jim Milstead

She looks outside,
     wonders
     when the first green sprouts of spring will appear.
The grey streets are streaked with with rain.
     wonders
if her friends would like to come inside to play

Nearby the white-haired woman, brush in hand,
     faces an empty canvas,
     wonders whether she should join the other marchers
to change the world.

. . . . .
Jim Milstead was “Born in Chicago. Moved to Fresno, CA. Entered the Marine Corps, occupying northern China. Graduated from Fresno State College. Worked at the Linear Accelerator in Livermore, Ca. Entered graduate school, spending 35 years as a biological control researcher at UC Berkeley. Moved to Bellingham in 1992. Now I write.” He is author of the poetry books Collage and Scenario.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Jim Milstead. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

The Perfect Ballerina*

September 3, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Amelia Carr, 11th Grade

A blur of tulle and tutus swiftly swirls
across the slick stage,
She elegantly leaps above the charcoal floor.
Appreciating the quiet audience focused on her dance,
She looks down at her worn down pointe shoes,
Wishing they were still silky and bubblegum pink.
Focusing on holding her arabesque,
She tries to portray the meaning of the dance.

Beveling her foot upright,
She hopes her shoes fully extend on top of the box.
Feeling the heat of the spotlight glow across her chest,
She brushes her arms across the intricate beaded bodice.
Caring that each position is precise,
She knows it’s almost time to exit the stage.

Dancing her heart out,
She fears that she will never be perfect.

. . . . .
Mimi Carr is a student at Squalicum High School. Dancing has been a part of her life for 14 years and she found her inspiration for this poem from her dance teachers and love for ballet. This is her first published poem.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Amelia Carr. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

The Sea*

August 27, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Maddie Patterson, 3rd grade

The sea is like a platter of opalescent
blue shine jewels. It is the biggest treasure.
The blood of the world.

. . . . . .
Maddie Patterson was just finishing third grade when she wrote this poem. This is her very first published poem. She likes to watch her favorite movie, Labyrinth, and draw things from her imagination. She likes to read graphic novels and chapter books.

“I wrote ‘The Sea’ while I was on the bus ride home from school. I saw Lake Whatcom and imagined it as a sea. I wanted to write a poem that described what it looked like.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Maddie Patterson. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

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