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.

Untitled*

July 2, 2017


2017 Walk Award
By Robert Stern

the Trojan horse wants to retire
tired even of his appearances in comics
he wants to gallop down to the seashore
and listen to the waves caress the sands
while dreaming that an ancient ship
will sail by and pick him up
and take him back at the very least
to the memory of his home far away

. . . . .
Robert Stern has been writing poems and aphorisms for over 50 years. He has been published in the Antigonish Review, Blue Unicorn, Konglomerati Press, Massachusetts Review, Poets Gallery, and others. The poem about the Trojan horse was written only a few months ago. To write inspired poetry is to be touched by the marvelous.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Robert Stern. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

Salt Fills My Mouth*

June 25, 2017

Kaylee Davenport
2017 Walk Award
By Kaylee Davenport (6th grade)

Adrenaline bubbles over into laughter,
waves try to drag me down,
my brother’s calls drift away,
thundering ocean is the only sound.

Grey skies and sea,
I am becoming numb,
salt fills my mouth,
but my body still hums.

Horizons are blurring,
my toes dig into the sand,
I can’t hear my thoughts,
I don’t remember the land.

. . . . .
“I am a 6th grader at Fairhaven Middle School and I love to read. I think it is one of the main reasons why I love to write. I wrote my poem about a beach I go to because swimming and water is very relaxing and fun to write about.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Kaylee Davenport. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

In-between Places*

June 11, 2017


2017 Walk Award
By Virginia Ferm Herrick

I keep running into my mom
in halls, elevators, and alleyways.
I’m always glad to see her, but we never really talk.

“I came to see Dr. Seymour,”
she lamented in the elevator one morning.
“I ended up with some guy who didn’t know my situation—”

Then my alarm went off, and she was gone.

Another time, she came down the hall
at the transitional house for women and children
where I was helping paint for the Grand Opening.
We were so happy to see each other.
I gave her a big hug before she hurried on,
her bird-like bones as solid as ever.

Even both alive, we only got to talk
when she was busy
doing dishes, changing her shoes, cooking, gardening.
Stands to reason now she’s dead,
she’s even harder to pin down.

Bumping into her like this helps, but I know why
she wanted Dr. Seymour.

. . . . .
An award-winning journalist for more than a decade, Virginia Ferm Herrick is no stranger to seeing her name in print. Her website, Yes! Virginia, includes samples of her poetry and prose; she also has published in magazines and had a poem selected for inclusion in the 2009 poetry and prose collection, Enlivened by the Mystery. She shares her household with two lordly but affectionate cats, a patient dog, and a husband who loves boats.

“I wrote ‘In-between Places’ based on a dream journal and a subsequent rough draft that sat on my computer for two years. Inspired by the contest announcements in April 2017 and the upcoming anniversary of my mom’s death on May 3, I picked up the amorphous draft and wrote the poem. Only in writing it did I realize: I was the one who wanted ‘Dr. Seymour.’”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Virginia Ferm Herrick. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

Eric Kosarot
2017 Walk Award
By Eric R. Kosarot

Dusk falls on Toad Lake.
I slide over frozen fish and gaze into
ice swollen around dock planks.

A fracture like a lightning bolt
extends its frozen electricity
through unsheltered vaults of ice, wood and sky.

. . . . .
Eric Kosarot has self-published three poetry chapbooks, Cascade Winter, Azure Blue, and Writings in the Sky. He has a degree in Earth Arts Journalism from Fairhaven College. Currently Eric lives with his family in a yurt near Lake Whatcom and teaches music at Cascades Montessori Middle School.

“Slip of the Frozen Note” was inspired by this winter’s freezing temperatures. “I wrote it after visiting the iced-over lake with my mom. Several people, including myself, were exuberantly sliding across the thick ice while bystanders watched from beside a barbecue fire on the shore.”

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Eric R. Kosarot. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

Awards ceremony!

May 11, 2017

Bellingham Cruise TerminalMark your calendar and please plan to join the 2017 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winning poets and their fans for the annual awards ceremony. Held at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal at 7:00pm next Thursday, May 18, 2017, this once again promises to be a heart-warming, celebratory event. Admission is free. Kevin Murphy will emcee. The winning poets will read their poems, a chapbook of the 2017 winning poems will be available for purchase and all of this year’s submitted poems will be on display along with samples of the beautiful poetry placards that will be placed in Whatcom Transportation Authority buses later this summer.

See the list of winners and watch for the winning poems in this space each Sunday over the coming months.

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