Artemis’s Caution

Artemis’s Caution

When you look at a deer

what do you see?

Carrier of ticks? Raider of you garden? Meat for your freezer?

Pest, scourge, rodent with antlers?

When you contemplate a deer,

the only large animal left to roam wild

in our woods, a brilliantly fired creature who bolts off

with lifted white tail, speed like a gazelle, consider

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Jane’s Beautiful Soul

Jane’s Beautiful Soul

to experience the Vineyard’s magical majesty

to see the idiosyncracies of each backyard tree

to look at our Island’s night sky as always new

to talk to her dog, Mac, as though to me and you

in one of Jane’s poems entitled My Trees

she hears “screeching sound of saws on trees”

so roads can be made and houses built

in forest where she and a boy once walked

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Joe Cressy

Joe Cressy

Salty and scholarly

Haltingly clear

What Joe Cressy spoke

You wanted to hear

Scottish and kilted

Malt in his hand

Reciting keenly

So Scots understand

Heeling on Halcyon

Bound for the sky

Cresting and leaning

A tear in his eye

Mary and daughters

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Dandelion Gone to Seed

Dandelion Gone to Seed

A sphere of silvery transparency,

at the top of a silvery stem.

Perfect in its static death.

But the next wind will blow it into seedlings,

will sing every tiny seed of it into a cloud

that drifts to earth,

to make another flower,

in another spring.

— Margaret Freydberg

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Poem: Ferry to Chappaquiddick
Don McLagan

Three cars, three minutes

each time, on time, just

in time, to midnight — metronome

for the separate island

releasing triptych cars which drive

twenty-five on one paved road

and less on dirt washboards

where rhythmed bumps punctuate

as fishermen, construction crews

returning shoppers buck and heave

on sand bunched like bedclothes

on a humid night when unquiet

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Poem: Roots Of Old Trees
Justen Ahren

I found the tendrils of your fingers

wound around mine like prayers

woven into the clothing of prayer.

and fled with you in my arms

along the highway of snakes,

concealing you from streetlights

and stars, from dogs barking in alleys.

Because nothing should speak of this

because no one would believe me—

they’d shut me away

in a room without views—

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Poem (Song): Summer
Dan Waters

(song lyrics)

Every year has only one July.

Careful! It may find a way to pass you by.

Flies come through the door;

Come November, watch it pour.

Summer, don’t you love me any more?

Looking for a wishbone on your plate,

Hoping for the kind of fish that likes your bait;

Working till you’re sore,

Scared of spending winter poor.

Summer, don’t you love me any more?


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Poem: Landscaper in Growing Season
Donald Nitchie

This month’s flower girl stops traffic

in the garden center parking lot

in tight Carhartts and Felco holster,

wiping a smear of soil from her cheek

with clay-encrusted fingers. Where’s she been

all winter? On some exotic playa

down under, collecting seaglass? Or here

all along, holed up in a rental off Oak Lane

with only a wood stove and cable, plotting

meticulous scenarios of perennial displays.

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Poem: When You Are Gone for A.
Jean Kelleher

Who will gather leaves for the children’s craft?

Who will sort the harmless reds from the poison?

Who will fold and unfold the octagonal star?

Who will care less for the flower than for its unfolding?

Who will look at a rock and see a king, a loser, a lost you?

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Poem: Ode to a Politician
Frank Elliott

I love to work a crowd from top to bottom

and as wide as they make em

as long as you’ve got ’em.

I love to work a crowd

that I can swim across—hand

over hand —

an ocean of hands . . .

of all kinds of colors . . .

and a thousand pairs of eyes

and they wink

as they press away

with a sea of smiles

to make room for me!

“hey-how’re you doin’?”

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