Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Poem From Yesterday, April 22

White Fences I took the country road today so I could see what April brought of early spring. Also to pass the farm where the caring lady I've never met, only seen, who always had clothes on her lines unless it rained, who kept board fences a quarter mile along both sides of the road behind which cattle grazed. White painted, parallel boards never damaged or discolored. Several times I'd seen her out, retouching the white paint. But when I passed twice last fall, its neat signs cautioning "Animals Crossing -Take Care" (most often wild turkeys or squirrels not cows), there were no clothes drying nor any cows so I wondered if the lady I never knew had moved or passed away. Today, this early spring day, not only were no clothes drying, board fences were sagging, boards broken, paint peeling. This made it clear why she'd cared for them every year. Now I'll never meet this caring lady I don't know. I hope she doesn't know how badly those sad, sad boards need care — there's hope however, for on one end, a few new unpainted boards, already nailed in place..

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Denial of Native American Relationship

With, I admit, much regret,the following. I feel it only fair and honest to refute any notice appearing on line of Native American relationship. Recent DNA analysis refutes the long held Chute family oral history which indicates my maternal grandfather was a Native American from the southern Maine area. DNA analysis of myself to determine ancestry yields the following results: MY relating the family story which found its way into a review of one of my books -- thus to Goggle etc. Britian 69 % Northern Eurpoe 20 % Scandavian 5% This fits very well with the existing written history of the family. Originaly migrants from Norway/Sweden to northan France, then colonization of Britin with the invasion in 1066. My feeling and interest in the Native Americans my family helped to displace is not reduced. I hope this survives without critical correction. March 3, 2015 June 21 The pre-dawn light of this longest day's a slivering suggestion of what's to come as we stand silent, shadowless, beneath a vast cotton candy overcast. We might as well be deep within some clear tropic bay as we stand by the doorway, eight steps leading down to our un-mown weedy lawn where daisies, tied by unseen stems, to the sodden grass, hold their blossoms, radiant and motionless as coral creatures, waiting for winds to enliven them, bring this sunless world to life. When the first bird wakes may it be your song he sings.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


     I have never bothered to do any organized recording of poems published over the years. Thinking my surviving relatives, or possibly friends, might like some record I have spent a dull onto making a list of all those of which I had a record — probably more than 90 percent of the total. I listed them aby title, with an A or aThe omitted. One discovery was the totally significant fact that I most frequently had poems,the title of which began with an "S" (61). I also found I had never published a "Z" poem ± SO…

      A to Y

Listing poems published so far, the total
as the last is added, seems to be six
hundred and one  alphabetically

by title: initial, "A" or The" omitted,
and I find there is no "Z", no "zed". I
can hardly wait until I write one.

Unfortunately  there are no zebras
in Poland Spring, and in December,
in Maine, "zephyr" doe't fit for wind

over the pond as it sonly frezzrs.

Friday, November 28, 2014


    Selling The Sky

It was a welcome for
the new territorial govenror. A chief
 rose to make a speech. Dr. Smith
took notes. Thirty-three years later
his impression of the speech,
stated with Victorian elegance, appeared
in the Seattle Sunday Star
and reappeared, as history, with some
additions, after another fifty years.

What you see now, phrases and scrapes
on T-shirts and posters, is drawn
with no credit given from a TV script
with Southern Baptist and Environmentalist
revisions — he's been
a Catholic pragmatist.

So, what did Chief Seattle really say?
How can you sell the sky? Well,
you sell what you have, to buy
what you  must. Fictional Indian quotations
bring a better price than real ones.

………….Further research should yield you more detail but this is sufficient to show us we should quote past heroes with care.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

fPerfect Pitch

Perfect Pitch

Sixteen I was. Hitching a ride.
This man come by, a  tuning fork
in his pocket: tapped it, held it
to my ear. I’d know
it anywhere — middle C it was.
Right then I knew
I wanted to do what he did:
tune pianos. I’d never touched one.

Laugh if you want to, Sonny, but
we were dirt poor. In the morning,
five below, no frigging thing
in the house to eat, I’d go out,
dig frozen apples under the snow
with my bare hands. That
was breakfast — and maybe why
I never grew beyond five foot three.

I went into the C.C.C.
up in Bridgeton. That sort of thing
might be good for you, Sonny.
We got overalls, long johns,
shirts, shoes, three meals a day
and all the work we could eat.
God bless Mr. Roosevelt is what I say —
and they had an old piano.

An upright, veneer all peeling off.
One fellow could play some.
I watched inside to see
hammers working, levers, strings.
I knew, damned if I knew how,
it was way out of tune.
When no one was around I’d tap a few
notes out. It hurt me to hear
Working on the road one day
I heard piano music form
this summer camp for girls,
a girl that worked there playing
so the campers could sing. Well, Sir,
I lay my shovel down
and walked right in. Afterward
she played some just for me.

To make a long story short, I married her —
well, not right then. Bought some tuning forks,
been tuning, off and on, fifty years.
Why am I working here, mopping
classroom floors at Seventy?
That’s another story, Sonny.
There’s some things in life

having perfect pitch don’t fix.

Yes, this really happened. The comments from the college janitor are as true as the poetic structure allows. If I wrote short stores not poems what he told me that late lunch afternoon could be a short stories. You can visit the CCC hiking trail up Pleasant Mountin is still a fine hike. Wsst slope of the mountain off route 202 between Bridgton and Fryeburn.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


         Years and Years
How many times have I told you
my interest in pop music paled
when Glenn Miller's plane vanished? 
I don't know why — but it might
have something to do with my first
bike, a blue coaster-brake flyer.

Dec, 1944
Ceiling zero, freezing drizzle,
when a small british plane ferrying 
Glenn Miller to Paris to celebrate 
it's liberation never reached France.
I was seventeen, my brother in
the air force, my sister a WAVE.

Fall, 1941.
Glenn Miller had come to town — well
to Portland, only thirty miles away.
In Windham my bike pedal broke. I
was in the town my family settled.
As he drove me home Father told me
it was in seventeen thirty-eight

Summer, 2014
The only big band I saw was
Les Brown's Band of Renowned at the
Hollywood Canteen."Ignored the Beetles?"
All expressed despair.  But as a 
biologist I knew of God's infinite
and obvious affection for beetles.

  Weighing Moonlight

On the ides of March my moon was full,
of course I'm sure that your moon was too
as my moon rose over Poland Spring Hill,
unrolling a ragged ribbon of reflected light 
across the frozen pond into my window. 
My living room a picture which need not
be taken, framed in memory more precise
than photography that detailes forgettable 
bits and pieces of reality. The next night 
the moon was  hidden by low clouds, most
of the light piled high, leaving me to ask, 
can its mass break through if ii's only sun's 
reflection? Wondering, awake at three, 
if you shared this moon-dream with me.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

If Reborn An Animal...

              If I Were Reborn

I'm puzzling a problem nonexistent, 
beyond my control even if existing. 
If I were to be reborn an other animal, 
which one would I choose? What aspect 
of their life would be most important to me? 
Sexuality keeps shouldering creativity aside.

A song sparrow identified by song
when I can not carry a simple tune or
tell one tone or key, sharp, flat (whatever
they are) from another. We dream of flight.
Not sparrow flutter but raven's soaring. 

A bull with a heifer harlem, tackle 
challenging porn star's fire-hose tools. But 
dominance's not my desire. Hard to know 
how the heifers feel about being herded. I 
want no mutuality demanding ownership.

I chose salmon: land-locked Salmo solar sebago. 
that best swollen streams each spring to spawn, 
sexes sharing body's beauty as sleek for
stroking as a breast or thigh or groin to grace
those blessed waters where I was born.
A choice even now as I view the winter's 
last ice-fishing shed on the frozen pond. 
Salvaged metal panels shine with sunlight in 
contrast to the ice and rutted crusty snow. 
The door, open, invites me in and down into 
the world below. I'll wait for warmer weather.