Arson*

July 15, 2018


2018 Walk Award
By Donald Antenen

August, the fire started at the back
then took the awnings and the recesses
the boarded windows now empty and black
no quinceañera and wedding gowns
no girlish excitement of any kind
till today I’d put the fire out of mind
now workers gut the remains of what remains
five men in masks and gloves, hammers and chains
before this job, the praying sort didn’t pray
except at the end that the boss would pay
and pay well before they get deported
or the safety hazards get reported
the red dress in the window was last
to burn but when it did, it burnt quickly.

. . . . .
Donald Antenen lives in Fairhaven with his wife and daughter. He is the founder of Callimachus Books, a home library design company.

“Arson” is about a dress shop in Baltimore, Maryland.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Donald Antenen. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Advertisements


2018 Walk Award
By Tanner Abernathy

I burn cigarettes in a bowl for my father.
I fill my kitchen with the hard smell
that would cling to his shirts and his chin
like lichen on stones.
I like to burn several at once.
I fan a hanky over the bowl
stuff it in my back pocket
wadding the hanky tightly like a white ball of cancer
before I leave the house,
carrying my father with me as I go about my day.

. . . . .
Tanner Abernathy enjoys writing poetry and he sold one for five dollars once, has a degree in Creative Writing from WWU, and is starting a Master of Arts in Teaching program this coming fall. Tanner is a newlywed who enjoys walking with his wife, mentoring middle schoolers, and trying to make the earth a little cleaner and a little more thoughtful.

The idea for “Remembering his One Small Comfort” comes from the very natural question of ‘how do we remember our dead parents?’ “The only strong description I ever received of my mother’s father was his continual smoking of cherry-scented tobacco; since he died while my mother was in Junior High, I often think of how she carried his memory.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Tanner Abernathy. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

Walk Award plaques!

June 26, 2018

Sooner than expected (it’s usually late July), the ten Walk Award poetry plaques for the 2018 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest have been installed in front of the Central branch of the Bellingham Public Library. They will be on display for a year. Take a poetry walk and enjoy some winning poetry from Whatcom County, Washington.

Winners and awards!

May 6, 2018

Bellingham Cruise TerminalCongratulations to the 2018 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winning poets! A total of 224 Whatcom County residents participated in the 13th annual Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, which was judged this year by Richard Widerkehr and Jane Wong. The judges selected the 25 winning poems through a blind process.

The 10 Walk Award winners are six adults — Marie Eaton, Felicia Clemmons, Alandra Barker, Donald Antenen, Tanner Abernathy, and Nancy Canyon — and four students — Madeleine Joyce Patterson, Mason Cash, Izetria Grace-Lind, and Emma McCoy.

The 15 Merit Award winners are eight adults — KJ Vande Bossche, Elizabeth Vignali, Bonnita Lynne, Roger William Gilman, Leslie Wharton, Nora Whitley Abelite, Stephen Palmer, and Barbara L Weed — and seven students — Meagan Gillikin, Jackie Lomas, Jacob Murphy, Ellie Osterloh, Grace Moore, Allie Haugen, and EmmaThario.

The public is invited to honor the winners and to hear the poets read their winning entries at the contest’s awards ceremony, 7:00pm, Thursday, May 17, 2018, at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Aveue in Fairhaven. The event and parking are free. Bellingham poet Kevin Murphy will emcee, and the judges will present award certificates.

A chapbook of poems from this year’s contest will be available for purchase, and all poems entered in this year’s contest will be on display at the ceremony.

Copies of each poem — on placards designed by Angela Boyle, Megan Carroll, Christian Anne Smith, and Kim Wulfestieg — will be displayed for a year inside Whatcom Transportation Authority buses circulating throughout the county. Also, Walk Award poems will be displayed for a year on engraved plaques on the Poetry Walk in front of the downtown Bellingham Public Library — one of a growing number of permanent poetry installations in the United States.

The winning poems and their placards will be posted on this page each Sunday, beginning after the awards ceremony, and linked to the Winners page.

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.

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.

%d bloggers like this: