Birds to Stars
We must protect them, the two birds.
Must pocket the one stone,
or toss it back, underhand,
into an ocean, the river, a stream.
We can decide swiftly, trust in our
power to revise the ancient idiom,
understand the sway of suggestion,
strength of words.
It’s time for a new edict.
No more killing two birds with one stone.
Let’s catch two stars with one reach.
Simply this: Two stars, one reach.
by JS Nahani
JS Nahani is the winner of our second quarter poetry contest. Congratulations!
Seasons shift, one to the next
shadows dance with bright skies
someone’s theory about the passing
of something small, the second hand
its steady tick tick tick
and already, we’ve moved on.
by JS Nahani
JS Nahani's poem Mid-day Sunday is an honorable mention in our second quarter poetry contest.
Bashō in Bellingham
*Bashō was a 17th century Japanese haiku master
straddle twig nests
whiff of skunk cabbage
at the Farmer’s Market
teeth stained blue
tumbling fall creek
fishermen line its banks
salmon leap for the moon
damp winter winds
locals advise, wear layers,
a fleece jacket from REI
By Susan Erickson
Susan's poem is a runner up for our second quarter poetry contest. Congratulations Susan!
Underfoot, Shredded Petals
We sheep across winter’s grayscape
to arrive, wool sodden
and mucked, neutered, at spring’s
sludge pond. There’s enough
wet to raise the almost-dead:
blossom from bud, caterpillar from egg,
bee from hexagonal hutch. Drowned
for months, the evergreen roots
have been silently screaming.
What silk scarves are concealed
in tree sleeves?
What disappearing trick
will vanish the memory
of morbid hours? Tucked in our pockets:
needles, black lichens, moss.
In the distance, Mt. Baker
turns its face to the sun.
Come migration season,
even a caged bird
will face its intended
a chorus of swallows.
Overhead, swarms of them
travelling by starlight.
by Dayna Patterson
Dayna is the winner of our March 2018 poetry contest! Her poem will be on display at the Poem Booth through the end of the quarter.
Whisper your truth
To the clouds, shape shifters
Into the owl's ready dark hole
by J S Nahani
If Sloths Danced About
If circles were squares,
if peaches were pears,
if the broom stayed home with the moon;
then dreams would be real,
then drab would have zeal,
and death wouldn’t come far too soon.
If bottoms were tops,
if straight downs were round ups,
then snow would be common in June.
If all in were all out,
if sloths danced about,
then sprinkles would be a monsoon.
If earthrise were seen
by a non-human being,
if you played all day in your sleep--
where yawns were bright lights,
and fawns flew like kites,
then we’d all have hug bugs to keep.
If passion were pity,
if country were city,
if chiefs could not utter a peep;
then a scowl would be fun,
snacks impeccably done,
and we’d give away all that we reap.
by John Green
beginning to dawn
blue barely lines the horizon
golden sun nips
the tips of craggy mountain peaks
five old growth firs
four wayfarers stand on a beach
last stand of trees
spines and trunks silhouette black
by Lynn Geri
The long body of the Buick
is brown like a doe. The open
hood reveals inscrutable
innards of iron. Steam
rises from the cavity, the open
stomach of a deer on a hard
November field. Both
Buick and doe can carry
a man through winter.
My father reaches into
that space, his back
bent with effort as if
through haruspex he will
solve the mystery of what
doesn’t work. I can’t tell
him where gears go
wrong, but I know
what stopped the doe.
By Jory Mickelson
Jory is the winner of our fourth poetry contest! You can see his poem on display at the downtown co-op December 1st - end of February!
How good the green air felt against
my skin when I broke from the foundry’s
door, to leave behind the vulcan light
we pounded thin for thirteen hours
until it turned more delicate
than wire, became a tracery of orange
against the skin. How the hammer
echoed in the ear and followed me into
sleep. How loud the body’s metronome.
Below the tic of cooled muscle, eyes
dim in their sockets, the web
of breath remains. The headlamp mind,
released from the body’s tether, drifts toward
soft-edged trees. How similar the road at waking
to the one bound for rest. How the hammer
of the heart swings, as if for hours, in hand.
By Jory Mickelson
Jory's poem is a runner up for our fourth poetry contest. Thank you, Jory, for your submission!
Portrait of My Daughter as a WIC Check
36 oz breakfast cereal, 11 to 36 oz boxes
Her hair has turned
the color of shredded wheat,
dry and streaked
from chlorine and summer.
1 dozen white eggs, small, medium, or large
Her ovaries are tight and green
as young rose hips,
Her fallopian tubes
are pea shoots. She caries
her cloth and plastic daughters
under her shirt or by their hair.
1 juice, 64 oz plastic bottles
Her sweetness, her anger,
the blood of fruit inside clear plastic.
When she runs her cheeks flush,
her hair sticky with sweat.
1 gallon(s) 1% or nonfat milk, any brand
Her body is growing lank. Her face thinner,
but still the shape of a heart. She drinks
from a cup printed with sugar skulls.
By Rachel Mehl
Rachel's poem is a runner up for our fourth poetry contest. Thank you, Rachel, for your submission!