Thursday, October 18, 2012


Well, someone reminded me , again, that I have a blog. I've been busy scribbling on the new project, a  MS to combine poems I've written with references to or influenced by Thoreau — combining them with autobiographical entries in prose. To let you know (you faithful few) that I'm still here, here are two poems which have nothing to do with that project. They're just poems recently written or revised. Seasonal: autumn's end a distant hope of spring.

Free Fall

Every snowflake is unique, we're told by
those who can not possibly know — "every"
being an infinite term. But a perfectly
safe contention since error guarantees
results will vary even in repeated measure
of the same, the real shape the average of
repeated mistakes.
But lets leave knit-picks aside
for, on this mid-October, sunless, windless
morning there is as yet no snow, I stand
and watch oak leaves fall. Each leaf, bent, stiff,
in dying, falls uniquely to a common fate —
well, a singular end — and each seems free
to fall its own way: glide, twist, tumble, spiral .
Each pathway of descent, inscribed, would add
another fiber to a random woven screen
to shield us from regrets of the season's
  I turn to science and propose my
hypothesis: that, as no two snowflakes
share the same shape, no two oak leaves ever
follow the same path in falling —  and my excuse
for standing here is testing my hypothesis.
My paper will be titled Free Will Falling.

Maple Syrup Season

"What's worth more — or was it less? — Uncle George
would ask, "a fart in a wind storm, or a
piss hole in the snow?". It's odd what's recalled
when it might be just as well forgotten.

For several days of maple tapping weather
I've stepped outside at dawn. The sun has inched
its way north to clear the notch in the eastern
hills across the frozen pond by dawn which

makes us think of spring despite the snow
piled along the walk where I stand in robe
and slippers near the wood pile. The sun's light
gives only light as I watch the piss hole grow,

remembering today how unaccountably
we recall some silly childhood phrase or joke
like the title of an imaginary book,
The Yellow Stream: the author, I .P. Freely.

What is worth more, the certainty I assign
the sun's slow ascension. the will with which I
act out the ritual of seasons, or the
lemon-custard yellow flowering on snow?

And why just these random, seeming useless
memories? Why indeed, to paraphrase
Thoreau, should these things make up my world
as I stand here, glad the wind's not blowing?


  1. Hello,
    we have been walking silently side by side for quite a while:

    RAYMOND STINEFORD, born in 193^ in Maine. He and his wife teach at Nasson, live in New Hampshire, summer at Monhegan Island. Mr. Stineford is an ordained minister. He has studied at Nasson, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Wisconsin, and Bangor Theological Seminary. His poems have appeared in Perspective, Sparrow, Yankee, and other places, and have been collected in "Pattern and Voice," American Weave Press, .
    ROBERT M. CHUTE, native of Naples, Maine, past president of State Biologists' Association and organizing boycott of Vahlsing Co., Easton, Me. because of its disregard of pollution regulations, describes himself as poet, biologist, father, husband, conserva tionist, rough carpenter, earth man, and chairman biology, Bates College. He is editor and founder of the Small Pond (last five years), has published about 225 poems in small magazines, and Is currently working on series of poster and collage poems to appear soon in Trace, Poetry Northwest, Arts in Society, and Northwest Review.
    RUSSELL BUKER, born in New Hampshire in 1939, lives in his own house in Kennebunkport. Poems of his published last year in the Maine Sunday Telegram inspired a tempest in the letters-to-the editor. One reader called Buker's verse "pearls cast before swine," while another complained his poetry "pancaked out across the page." A lady from Alfred recommended replacing the poetry editor. Buker has worked in a factory bailing shavings, stares into the dusk and gives his two week notice, raises goats and rabbits with his wife Sandra.
    April 29, 1969, Tu««day, 1 to 5 p.m.
    JAMES LEWT30HN, born, Purls, France, thn ion of expatrlot novelist Ludwig Lnwlsohn, educated at Brandela University and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Poems of his have appeared In The Belolt Poetry Journal, Western Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry, and Ramparts. Mr. Lewlsohn teaches at the University of Maine in Portland.

    THEODORE ENSLIN, born in 1926 in Chester, Pennsylvania, has lived in northwestern Maine since 1961. Three collections of his verse are "The Work Proposed," Origin Press, Japan, 1958; "New Sharon's Prospect," Origin (second series) 8, Kyoto, Japan, 1962; and "The Place Where I Am Standing," Elizabeth Press, New Rochell, N. Y., 1964. He's published ten books in all, appeared in many magazines, has numerous irons in the fire, and is associated with the Black Mountain Review people. Mr. Enslin enjoys a spread in Paris Leary and Robert Kelly's controversial anthology, "A Controversy of Poets."
    A. POULIN, JR., born in Lisbon, Maine, in
    193«, attended Saint Francis College, Loyola University, and the University of Iowa. His poetry has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Commonweal, Chicago Review, Choice, Kenyon Review, New American Review and North American Review. Currently a member of the Division of the Humanities at Saint Francis College, Biddeford, Maine, he lives on the coast with his wife and daughter.
    Gorham State College
    (Note. An anthology compiled from the poetry read at this festival will be available at the college bookstore, the library, and in the grove during the festival. In case of rain, readings will be in Russell Auditorium. )


  2. Gorham Poetry Festival