Cats, cats*

April 4, 2021


2020 Walk Award
By Hayley Van Ness, Kindergarten

Cats, cats
I love cats
Cats are mine
I love cats
Cats are stripey.

*Copyright 2020 by Hayley Van Ness. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

Ocean waves*

March 28, 2021


2020 Walk Award
By Katen Van Harmelen, Grade 6

I am standing on the beach of the ocean,
The cool water reaching out
Just barely washing my toes.
The hot sun is warming my back,
The damp sand is cooling my feet,
I feel remarkably calm.
The sparkling waves are calling to me,
But I don’t go.
The water is dancing at my feet,
Daring me to chase them
As they retreat back to the ocean.
Finally,
I can’t help it any longer,
As the waves wash up to taunt me again,
I splash into them.
I chase them all the way until I am knee deep,
And then they start building up,
I run back to shore,
And turn around just as the wave crashes,
And becomes a ripple,
Washing over my feet once more.

*Copyright 2020 by Katen Van Harmelen. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

I Stop In The Woods*

March 21, 2021


2020 Walk Award
By Betty Scott

To watch a parade of mallards
Paddle and quack in circles
Splashing ripples across the surface
Of their home, a muddy pond,

As sunlit Evergreens…beyond…
Stand guard, reflecting themselves
Beneath the pond of brown,
Crowns of pines, topside down,

Reaching deep into the mud below.
I see this with my third eye as guide
To the rift and ride of souls: bonds…
Of love intertwined with joy.

*Copyright 2020 by Betty Scott. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.


2020 Walk Award
By Kate Miller

I hold the dresser scarf you embroidered
with hands that once embraced me even
as they surrendered me. Roses, stained
blood on crisp white linen, green threads
vining around each flower, such delicate
beauty, this artifact of your life outliving
you even now, as do I, holding on to this
fabric, proof of your existence. I in your
womb once, you in my hands now, the
thorny connection of us pierced through.
First mother, you carry me back, I carry
you forward, faces wet with wanting,
this moment as close as we will ever get.

*Copyright 2020 by Kate Miller. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

Underwater*

February 28, 2021


2020 Walk Award
By Qwill Madrone, Grade 6

Alone.
The middle of the ocean.
Wide and scary.
The calm blue surrounds me.
My iridescent tail flashes and circles underwater.
I have nothing to worry about.
I dive under
The silence presses in on me.
I fill my lungs with the salty water of the sea.
Breath in, breath out.
The water evaporates in me
Leaving me with air.
A school of fish dart around me
Little silver bullets.
I use my tail to propel myself
Forward into the water.
I hold my hand out
The silky water flowing around my arm.
A bale of turtles glide under me
Their fins send water towards me
A small underwater current.
The ocean is alive.
And deep.
And blue.

*Copyright 2020 by Qwill Madrone. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

The Bear*

January 17, 2021


2020 Walk Award
By Suzanne Harris

If grief is an animal, make it a bear
hibernating cold and hard
in the back-cave of your heart.
In the restlessness of spring,
groggy, hungry, it will rise without warning
gnawing its pain straight through.
There will be no escape
for the soft pulsing of your heart
torn and bled by that bear’s sharp incisors.

Grief, the sinner’s corsage —
unresolved guilt, moments which cut like a knife, then
bleed the loss across frozen expanses of forward-time
dancing with shadows from the past.
Memories sharp like razors slice your disbelief
to emptiness, sullen and alone.
The wind, such cool relief, blows
atoms of your loss across the frozen plain.

Some day you will rise above that bed of sorrow,
the sky so blue and bright
all you can see is white, miracle of sun light.
That bear, sated in the warmth
will sit amongst ripe berries on high hills,
at peace, at one, at last.

*Copyright 2020 by Suzanne Harris. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Northwest Rivers*

December 20, 2020


2020 Walk Award
By Eugene S. Fairbanks

Skykomish, Stehekin, Snoqualmie,
Wynoochee, Palouse, Okanogan,
Queets, Klickitat, Kootenai, Nooksack,
Sauk, Skookumchuck, Quillayute, Skagit —

Gather moisture in the mountains,
mingle rain with summer snowmelt;
fed by streams that trickle downward,
cold and clear, the waters chatter.

Cascade down through twisting canyons,
scour massive granite boulders,
plunge themselves from rocky ledges,
leap and roar like raging beasts.

Wend their way past peaks and ridges,
tumble through the wooded foothills,
ply vast stands of fir and hemlock —
nourish wetlands at their margins.

Drain broad fertile inland valleys,
spread high water over lowlands,
seek out bays and estuaries,
cycle rainfall to the ocean.

*Copyright 2020 by Eugene S. Fairbanks. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Silence*

December 13, 2020


2020 Walk Award
By Chloe Nahani Braunstein, Grade 2

On the pillow in my ear
I can hear my heartbeat.

Silence, for me, is when
I look up at the sky
clouds like big white stars
moving slowly across the wind.

Silence for me is when
the sea has no waves,
birds are not chirping,
dogs lose their bark,

and all humans grow quiet.
Silence means a lot to me.

*Copyright 2020 by Chloe Nahani Braunstein. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

Toia mai te waka*

November 22, 2020


2020 Walk Award
By Robert Beck

Dig deep
Plant your paddle
Let its roots run long
There is power to be had
When the connection is strong
Through time
Through space
Through water, wood and grip,
Through salt stained breath caressing your lips
Dig deep
Plant your paddle
As you pull your canoe
Can you feel the power
As now the ocean pulls you

*Copyright 2020 by Robert Beck. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Window*

November 8, 2020


2020 Walk Award
By Margaux Barber, Grade 1

I look out the window it’s cold and stormy
I remember the sunny days in May
but now it’s cold in the air like the ocean
I ask mom if I can call Anarah
to come over to look at the rain outside
she says that it will be in a hour
so I wait for an hour.
Finally, she comes.
We put on our raincoats and rain boots
and go out in the rain
as fast as mice running away from a cat.

*Copyright 2020 by Margaux Barber. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

– – – – –
NOTE: Beginning with today’s post, a Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest 2020 winning poem will be posted each Sunday and then linked on the Winners page. Congratulations to all the poets, and huge thanks to the artists who illustrated the placards. Enjoy!

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