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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Winter Witch*

October 29, 2017


2017 Walk Award
By Mariah Brown-Pounds

I have a craving for crocuses.
I have a deep down belly ache
for little green bud nubbins on the indian plum,
for fuzzy nettle noggins that poke up in muddy meadows.
I have an urge for the urgency of bursting bulbs,
for pink flashes of salmonberry in the shadows,
for apple blossom rain on my nose,
the surprised bee who surprises me.
Fluorescent forsythia why have you forsaken me?

Someday when there are flowers again
I will make a potion
of all the green plants that I can find.
I will pull them up by the roots:
boil them in spring water
with sky blue robin eggs, bumble
bees, and the song of frogs
with salt and pepper to taste.
I will distill every last detail of Spring
into a delicious broth
to tide me through the winter months.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Mariah Brown-Pounds. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

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.

plaques on view!

August 25, 2017

Plaques displaying the ten Walk Award poems from the 2017 Sue Boynton Poetry Contest are now on view in front of the Bellingham Public Library (Central Avenue between Grand and Commercial in downtown Bellingham). They will remain there until replaced by the 2018 winners. Stop by and read some poetry!

Migration Season*

August 20, 2017


2017 Walk Award
By J.R. Lara

This is the room I was born in.
All red terra cotta tiles and green light
from the vinca-twined mountainside.
So close
you can reach your hand through the window
lay it to this cliffwall flat
like you are saying stop or hello or I surrender.

. . . . .
J.R. Lara is an environmental journalist and an MFA candidate at Western Washington University. She was a contributing writer for Green Fire: A History of Huxley College (2011), and is Nonfiction Editor at Bellingham Review and Poetry Editor at Psaltery & Lyre. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in River Teeth, Hippocampus, Eastern Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She lives with a handsome composer and a dashing poodle in the Sunnyland neighborhood.

About “Migration Season”: The room in this poem is real, and could be found, if you knew what to look for, in a century-old house near a covered bridge and a mulberry tree in the foothills of the Delaware River Valley.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by J.R. Lara. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson .

Abuela*

August 6, 2017


2017 Walk Award
By Julio Enriquez, 12th Grade

Who drinks tea in the morning
And reads the Bible each afternoon,
Who is short as a Mini Cooper
And has hair white as snow.
Prays to God in the morning and at night,
Thanking Him for another day of life.

Who is genuine care,
From Te Amo and I miss you.
Who doesn’t care if her clothes don’t match,
Or the shape of her hair in the morning.
Who tells stories twice, distracted easily
by the view out the window.
Who likes to eat sweets as a little snack,
When told she isn’t allowed.
Takes advantage of non-guaranteed days.

Who wears her lavender purple gown,
As she kisses me goodnight.
Who always walks with one foot forward,
leaving a trail of old perfume and love.

Who waited for us on that brown plush couch
When we came home from school.

. . . . .
This is Julio’s debut as a writer. He attends Squalicum High School and will be graduating this June and become part of the class of 2017. This fall he plans to attend the University of Washington to pursue a business major. Although this is Julio’s first time having his writing published, he is a published artist, too, with his 2nd grade drawing of a turtle on the back of one of the WTA buses. Friends and family are very important to him, and he wants to thank everyone for all their support from the past years that helped him be where he is today.

“I wrote ‘Abuela’ in my creative writing class one afternoon. I was inspired to write this poem because I wanted to do something to honor my Grandma. She unfortunately passed away about 2 years ago but she will forever be in my heart. I hope my poem can mean something special for everyone that reads it, just like it is for me.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Julio Enriquez. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.


2017 Walk Award
By Richard Widerkehr

Yesterday, the water tossed me on the reef,
jarring my back, scraping my right wrist.

Don’t fall out of the ocean, says Linda.
I line up a break in the coral

with the fifth thatched shed.
Lying on my back, held by waves,

sea held by blue sky, sky held by the earth,
and the universe — it’s held by what?

*

I’m standing in the green shallows.
Whomp. Something hits the water

hard like prop wash. Wings thrash.
A brown pelican’s next to me.

The thing has a bill, big as a thigh bone,
that opens and closes.

. . . . .
“In the last five years, I’ve submitted and published widely. I like to sing and play music at a bar called the Green Frog. I used to be a teacher and a case manager with the mentally ill. I’m retired now. My Boynton poem was written at a resort called Akumal in Mexico and worked on later back in B’ham. My third book of poems, In The Presence Of Absence, will come out from MoonPath Press this fall.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Richard Widerkehr. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

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