The Easter Eggs

You had hidden the easter eggs.
Tiny orbs of sweetness
wrapped in shiny plastic
with silver twinkling at
the edges.
Blue and pink.

You were so delighted when I found them.
We were young again and
you had hidden them just for me.
You clapped your hands and hooted.

That was us then
promises wrapped in fancy paper
hidden and hard to find.

New Book, The Call, Now Available for PreOrder

I'm excited to announce that my new book The Call is now available for preorder. I began working on the idea for The Call during my MFA at Maine Media. It is a book about relationships and connection, how we feel ourselves to be known, or not, as the case may be, with those considered closest to us. The poem is broken up throughout the book and at the end of the book there is a photograph of the artist as a young girl, printed on vellum, that hides the last line of the poem.  
 

Stonington, Deer Isle

Deer Isle holds a special place in my heart. My husband's family, our children's family, come from this rugged outcrop on the coast. Almost an island, once an island, it still feels like one. The people here are quick to assess your character, but once deemed acceptable they'll do anything for you. When I first came here my husband's Uncle, a formidable lobsterman and epic pie baker,  gripped my hand in his huge one and told me:  "You talk funny!", to which I responded "So do you!" He roared with laughter and that was that.  I love these people dearly and so it was such a treat to take Anneli there as part of our Island Project and share with her one of the island's treasures,  The Church of the Morning After.

Night Cat

She smells of the night,
dashing in
fur flying
eyes wild
high on mouse
or some such.

On her paws
she brings the dirt
deep and rich
with secrets
I am not privy to.

I hold her to me
and feel her bones
like twigs in cotton wool
and feel her tiny heart
exploding stars within her.

In daytime she lies languid
vanquished of urgency
She watches me
her sleepy eyes indifferent,
mostly.
 

North Haven

As part of our project around the islands of Penobscot Bay in Maine, I have been writing poems and photographing the islands together with fellow artist and painter Anneli Skaar.

North Haven was our latest adventure. We took the ferry across from Rockland the day after one of the heaviest snowstorms of the season. The ferry ride over there left quite an impression on me. We were one of a few handful of passengers, so different from the summertime. It was bitterly cold on deck and most of the seats were deserted. Just a few lone souls huddled in the bright light and cold wind. 

"The Crossing"

Arms hug across our chests
Like chilly birds we flap
to warm ourselves
against the wind
whipping at our faces.

The ferry groans and shifts
An old lady, she makes her way across
the bay, begrudging and proud
all together.

We sit on benches
watery eyes squinting at the cold.
Like hardy parishioners, 
embattled and determined,
hopeful.

Across the bay
the island sleeps
Waiting out winter's
crisp embrace, 
this haven is of
God's own making.

Still from the cacophony of
summer's voices,  
their lives go on in the
off season.
Connected
yet separate,
tethered by
this crossing
of the sea.

The Island Project

I recently visited Matinicus island with my good friend Anneli Skaar. Anneli is a painter and had approached me about collaborating on a project around the islands of Penobscot Bay here in Maine.

The islands have always been dear to my heart. The first one I ever went to was Matinicus, which I visited many years ago with my uncle where I had the opportunity to visit the house of one of the island's favorite residents - Sue Rankin. Her house is full of curiosities and fascinated me even then, so much so that I have never forgotten it. I was excited at the prospect of returning.

I was intrigued by the prospect of exploring some of these islands when they are not filled with the bustle of summer, but in the quieter times where you can hear you breath in the wind and feel their history in the quiet of a fog-bound winter's day.

My husband's family are from Deer Isle and we have spent every summer there since I've known him. For us it is a home from home and where I count some of my dearest friends. For my children it provides a touchstone for our family, a place of connection and renewal.

Here's a little bit more about The Island Project.

 

Wasp

It is a thing of beauty.
Of paper, finely-wrought.
Woven there
amongst the branches.
Solitary,
yet peopled by industry.

A study in contrasts
it moves me.

I too have sought
my haven in  
fragile places.
Yet we,
it,
hold fast.

of grackles

The grackles were not
made of flesh
and bone.
No feathers, nor
silvered tips.
You could see
through them.
Cackling and snapping
They were made
of wood and
splinters.
I watched them.
Bickering around an
open fire.
Fearsome gossips
Scratching at the dirt
waiting for their
meat.

For Certainty

Not quite fog this
thick and sodden
blanket that
envelops me.

The very temperature of
blood, it comforts me, 
but leaves me
damp with maudlin
melancholy.

These climes are
made for
thought ful ness
and
quiet resolve,
for certainty.

The earth
is oozy underfoot.
Like cake
left out too long,
she has begun to
founder.

And yet, 
she is alive with
feedlings,
emergent and
determined.
Their pace a pulse
to mark the beat
of our dark histories
passing.

Last Night

Last night I dreamt
my teeth fell out.
There they were, 
All in a line.
All
lined
up.
The dentist said:
It was unexpected but,
not unheard of.

Big dinosaur teeth,
like ancient artifacts
set out for
inspection.


December 2015

My Husband Asked me for an Anchor

My husband asked me for an anchor.
What gift is this to ask a wife?
He laughed, but still
persisted.
Where we are now, we begin again.
Through roiling seas
this holds us fast.
Holds us fast
to the bedrock
buried deep
in the waters of our
shared ancestry.

For Penny

I think of you,
my sister lost to me.
I wonder
at your arrival.
What did our mother wear?
Was her hair matted against her brow?
And when she saw you,
did she gather you into her arms?
Could she love you for a moment, 
a singular moment when
she looked to you to breathe, 
to cry?
But there was nothing.
A life cut short too soon.
I cannot ask, for this is not my mourning.
But still I feel it.
A soft keening in the night hours.
She mourns you still
with her unacceptable anguish.
I feel it too, but lesser of course.
For with you, there could be no me
And so in a way I am grateful.

The Fog

At 3am I wake.
A catalog of lists
revolves inside my head
Endless things to do and say
ideas that will
not stop.

But I am weary.
I do not want
false friends.
My body craves
a dreamlessness
that hovers
just outside of reach.

I toss and shift,
eyes open, 
alert, watchful.
I am ready,
but for what?
I sigh, turn again
and start to count.

Sleek as an Otter

Sleek as an otter
your fishy flesh flashes
quick silver in the hot light of noontime.
In the murky dark your skin stands stark against it,
before disappearing once again.

You are
in your element.
Undeniable.
There is no you, no it, no other.
Just light, movement, splash and sinew.
You slip through my fingers.
Just when I thought I had you
you are gone.

Longing to Breathe

Eyes tight shut
deep breath
I pinch my nose.
Now. Now!
I leap.
Legs wide
elbows out.
I am
suspended,
before I fall and fall
and then
water rushes up to meet me. 


I am under.
Sucked into
murky depths of
muddy blackness.
Knees buckle to break my fall,
mud squeezes through my toes,
I push now,
up and up,
I kick and fight for the light.

Sensing the surface I feel
the light on my face,
the water warmer and
my face meets the air.
Oh the air! I gasp.
Exhilaration rips through my chest
and at last I breathe, 
deeply, longingly, I breathe.
Floating now,
water billows about me,
holding me,
I surrender.