What Water Says
Leafless aspens groom
the iced breeze, while below
a brook descends the mountain
with its musical story, remembering
the serenity of sky, and lightning’s clear passion.
Water knows what is far will be near.
Water says choose that which closes distance,
choose touch. When snow falls
and a green mystery is carried
by all that moves,
By Jim Bertolino
Jim is the winner of our second poetry contest! You can see his poem on display at the downtown co-op until the end of August!
Learn more about his work at:
Our headlamps glare.
The tires rasp sand,
my reveries give rise to ghosts
that chase us as we move
over dry earth thirsting for rain.
In their wake, the soft touch
of his hand, the fragile closeness
that we share, make darker visions
easier to bear.
Then we are at the water's edge.
Mist swirls, and stark coyote voices ripple
the furry surface of the dark,
stipple sharp echoes
forth and back over the lake.
His shotgun rests in the quiet nest
of his sunburned arm, assuring me
there is nothing here to bring me harm.
My father's hands are burred
with callus and his words
fall far and few
between, as if they were
ashamed of being heard.
We sit still in silent connection:
he on his quest, I with my questions.
The pithy fog begins
to swirl, and from the west,
dipping and soaring, whirling
flocks of greenwinged teal
wheel over us in restless flight,
and at the first faint streak of early light,
his blue eyes glare along
the glinting barrel out where
the air is shattered by his will.
I feel their cry
begin to tumble
from the sky.
By Jim Milstead
Jim's poem is a runner up for our second poetry contest. Thank you, Jim for your submission!
Shiny luster of blackberries softens
in late summer. The tips of each clump
are first to lose the tight tummy of youth
and surrender to middle aged softness.
We're buddies. They can't
wait to fall into my fingers.
I gorge in an audacious
orgy that is replenished
with sun that seems endless.
But in dark years, late summer clouds
are a funeral procession that solemnly
marches across the sky.
Battered berries skip purple plumpness
and shrivel into a vestige that I can't eat.
They are cold and devoid of jubilance.
But in the best we have an intertwined union.
I lust for clumps just out of reach, stretch on my toes.
Ignore sharp biting thorns as if we are one.
Don't notice red etch-a-sketches being drawn
on my arms and legs. Feast in purple plentitude.
By Harvey Schwartz
Harvey is a runner up in our second poetry contest - thank you, Harvey, for your submission!
Your Love Is That Good
You water me so good,
I don't even think about dying.
You pour color into my heart,
goes down easy and sweet.
You must be some kind of
strong enough to carry
that watering can up here
to keep my roots cool.
You water me so good,
sometimes I just want to cry.
Your love is that strong.
By Rick Hermann
Rick is a runner up for our second poetry contest - thank you, Rick, for your submission!
If I could brew a personal fragrance
of this morning's air,
my perfume would speak
to the part of my memory
which recollects towhee at the birdfeeder
and sweet pine sisken song.
Scent memory of grass
full of bluebells, tete a tetes, and clover.
The smell of garden spade,
tomato leaf and butter lettuce.
A whiff of family
loading dog, canoe and picnic
into their panel wagon.
Cologne of clucking hens
announcing the arrival of warm, brown eggs.
Sweet smell of pink and ivory fruit trees
dressed in their bridal best.
Neighbor scent pushing strollers,
greeting one another with smiling nods.
If I could blend a perfume
of this morning's air,
I would never be alone.
By Kathleen McKeever
Kathleen is our winner of the first poem booth poetry contest...stop by the poem booth between March 1st and April 25th to see her poem! Congratulations, Kathleen!
on your willingness
to still yourself
to tune your attention
and allow these syllables,
fricatives and sonorants,
to wild through you, flutter
on a migration path
Or to music.
Or the moon’s silver surface.
You’ve no idea,
where these words
down which library aisle,
or asylum hall.
on your bravery,
for stepping into this poem
booth, this street-side sanctuary,
this sky-blue room,
this quiet corner
By Dayna Patterson
Dayna is our runner up for the first poem booth poetry contest. Congratulations, Dayna! You can read more about her work at: www.psalteryandlyre.org.
Listen to yourself
Wrap me in your joke
I have read the map
I have heard the footprints
I have tasted the snowfall
It is not as far as you may think
It is much farther than we will know
22 stones have dropped on the trail
I only counted 17
In the noise springs forth
the solitude that I await
By Diana Swan
Diana's poem received an honorable mention in our first poem booth poetry contest - congratulations, Diana!
Overseas Call to the Riverbank
Turtle, I am calling you through the sky
because I miss your dirt-dull back
and brackish gaze, the slimy weeds
you eat and the oak tea you drink--
your slow river and mine, sage Painted.
Tell me how you gauge the sky you see:
how is my vault and refuge, have you laid
new generations in my native mud,
are you warm enough to move, do you think
the future holds ripe cherries and bright wings?
By Sarah Brownsberger
Sarah's poem received an honorable mention in our first poem booth poetry contest - congratulations, Sarah!
Residents of Whatcom County are invited to submit a poem to be displayed in the future Poem Booth at the downtown Bellingham Co-op. Runner up poems will be posted on our blog.
Poem Submission Guidelines
Please note: We will only consider poems that are submitted according to these guidelines.
Deadline: May 19, 2017, by midnight
Submit poems to email@example.com
Poem Format: one page maximum per poem, 12 point font, sent as a Word, PDF or Note attachment via email
Please do not write your name or other recognizable information on your attached poem!
Please do not submit your poems to individual jury members.
Please use our firstname.lastname@example.org address.
No computer? Submit your typed poem with a title and no other identifying information + 1 cover page with the title of the poem, your name, phone and email address. Mail to Poem Booth, c/o Christen Mattix, 1133 Railroad Ave. #218
Runner-up poems will be posted on our blog at email@example.com.
The winning poem will be announced on June 1, 2017.
Thank you to all of our supports...we really feel the love of the community on every step of this project and it is so inspiring! If you missed out on the campaign and still wish to donate you can still do so HERE. Funds will go to supporting the poets and artists who will be collaborating with us on this project.
Check out our kickstarter video here: