Woodpecker*

November 4, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Madeleine Joyce Patterson, grade 4

Thump.
Listen, to the soft thump of the expert, knocking on
the inch-thick woody skin, playing a soft rhythm
Thump. Thump.
on the tall old multi-branched drum
Thump.
Dinner awaits in the third spine-striped layer
Thump. Thump.
Peck away, red-cheeked drummer

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Madeleine Joyce Patterson. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

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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.

I am Not a Quiet Girl*

October 21, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Emma McCoy, grade 11

My opinions are not muffled,
my thoughts bubble up like boiling water.
Words practically explode out my mouth
like cherry Pop-Rocks,
fizzing and sparking
among boring cough drops.

I like to hear wave after wave
of clashing cymbals and volatile violins,
the music fuels my auditory audacity,
my vocal velocity intimidates
the dominating narrative, step down,
I get the mic.

If you’re used to a passive audience
don’t fall in love with me,
you’ll hear some killer decibels
and defiant declarations. You’re
not ready for my degree of resonant reverberation
so don’t expect some shallow sound. If you
like your dates on the muted side
don’t fall for me
I am not a quiet girl.

. . . . .
My name is Emma McCoy and I’m a junior at Squalicum High School. I’m 16 years old and have been writing poetry for two years. I have a poem published in the Forest of Words poetry contest, so this is my second published poem.

This poem was inspired by my desire to tell the world I won’t stay quiet, it doesn’t matter if I’m standing up for myself or others, or if I’m declaring my opinion on cakes.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Emma McCoy. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

I leapt*

October 14, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Jacob Murphy, grade 12

Against all odds, I’m here, leapt from
Incoherent haphazardness and desolate parenthood.
Pardoned from hell, set out to breath clean air.
I leapt. Free from motel hopping
With empty bags derived
from Walgreen shopping.
Free from pitching a tent
Momma pressured from rent
And yet I still leapt from my last cent
To bring you flowers
I leapt. From the path forged from fire and wrath,
and one hell of a left hook
To light, love and one hell of a hug
I leapt. Free from the yellow brick road,
free from training wheels
love to the world
Free from chains, dancing as we twirl
Free from sadness, laughing till stomachs curl
I’m free.
I leapt. Free from following orders, break ’em bosses
9 to 5 on the weekends, making their mac sauces
This time around I’ll be in no one’s footsteps
They are stuck in a 10 1/2 size box
My step is endless.
I leapt.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Jacob Murphy. 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.

The Invitation*

September 30, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Ellie Osterloh, grade 9

Oh Death, come in and sit down by my side
Though your elusive white dress may deceive
You’re the Queen of Sorrow, changer of tides,
Not as the masses of people perceive.

I dare your subsequent waves to tempt me
Your presence inspires a fiery rage
Walking the dark road, your white light I see
Some declare you villain, few call you sage.

You riddle me, and know I won’t answer
But I can’t keep myself from wondering
Where’s hope with diagnosis of cancer?
And yet, the confusion is comforting.

I curse you, bless you, and know you will stay
But Death, for now, I send you on your way.

. . . . .
This poem was inspired by the loss of my mother to cancer two years ago.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Ellie Osterloh. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

Langston Titles*

September 2, 2018


2018 Merit Award
By Emma Thario, grade 11

Her voice is like a Juke Box Love Song
Even when she has a Bad Morning
She’s like Daybreak in Alabama
When Sue Wears Red
Her appearance is like a Bouquet of bright red roses
she just wants Acceptance
to feel that her Life is Fine
whenever my Quiet Girl journeys away
The Weary Blues
of the April Rain Song are what I sing
I travel to the Night Funeral in Harlem
Where there’s no Sea Calm
Yet all I can see is my Genius Child
In my Dream Variations
I see her dancing among the stars
That can’t seem to out shine her light

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Emma Thario. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

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