Tuesday, September 22, 2015

summer ending, the poems keep coming

September and still
sails in the distance
working boats, dark islands and
lighter water
crickets on the wind and
everything, flying away

Gary Lawless


The poet as tree

You see her climbing the duck backed hills,
a shallow root system holding her tight to the ground.
Her sapwood darkened with age, face shadowed
in the sun-sifted air, pen a dark-leafed blade.

She picks berries, considers the swaddled islands,
the thick neck of land that pierces the sea.
She holds sway over hollowed shadows,
dead leaves huddled in shade, a confusion

of starflowers and ferns. Beneath her inner bark, deep
in the heartwood, phloem sap moves from sugar source
to sugar sink, thoughts rise, viscous, wild shibboleths,
hybrid words, archaisms, portmanteaus,

reports, glad news, rumors, remembrances
climbing along the pithy transfer tubes,
to nurture the branches, to swell emerging leaves,
She forms a colony, a forest

of poets all branched and blooming,
the wind calling from their coarse
and hooked teeth. Meaning swells.
They drop word seeds on the ground.

Judy Kaber
(after visiting Beech Hill with Kathleen Ellis and a group of poets)


May 12 - In The Mist

A scene from "Wuthering Heights" -
misty barrens,
unseen sparrow singing

Kristen Lindquist

Sunday, August 2, 2015

more writing from the Beech Hill Journal - July 25-Aug 2

(August 2, Public Blueberry Pick)

our dear Lab
now ten years old
comes up the hill in the heat or cold
smiling wild
still steady gait
stops at each turn
torn and wait

the sun is shining warm
and the wind is softly blowing
white triangles cross the ocean blue
when I see the ocean
it makes me feel calm
when I see the flowers
they make me feel green
Beech Hill is peaceful
place to be.

there are poems inside of you
that paper cannot handle -

(but darling there are galaxies inside of you)

if everyone could see
the way the sea blends
into the horizon
that's how you can believe
in forever
I like picking blueberries
and having them burst
into my mouth, a mere
taste of Maine
here on the hill overlooking
the scene of Maine.

a view from Beech Hill
green rolling to the blue sea
Forever Maine

misty morning
foggy thoughts
hot coffee
to clear it up -
floral pants
silver rings
a few of my
favorite things

For some reason every time the blue
berries come I'm an
other year older.
I guess I could break the cycle by
changing my birthday
to some different day -
but how do I know the blueberries
won't find out and change
their birthdays too?

I love the breeze in my hair
the beautiful scenery gave
my breath away
the blueberries looked delicious
and ready to eat
I loved the things at
Beech Hill, on a hot
summer day.

walking in circles
startled by my own footprints
who was I, just then?

Bay water
still as glass
pine trees
wild flowers and
birdsong stillness
all here. all for me.


all day at Pen Bay Hospital
now sky, sea, birdsong

we love the sunsets
and the pretty sky
we don't mind a few bites
we still have a great time.


Misty thoughts
fog the horizon in
my mind

on a clear day
the sea's waves are never-ending
drifting to an unknown shore

Today my winded thoughts
are foggy on the coastline
the wind rustles the pages
of my mind -

turkey vultures
riding thermals
forever ocean
forever blue sky
good bye

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

poetry walk - july 28 -

Beech Hill

turkey vultures slowly spiral
in thermals that rise
from blueberry fields that lie
either side of the gravel road that climbs
up to an old stone shelter that sits
on top of a hill in Maine that looks
over a blue ocean bay and beckons
to pilgrims who eagerly scan
the fields for wildflowers or peer
into copses for glimpses of birds that spin
songs into a morning mist that vanishes
under the hot July sun that will burn
still bright in some pilgrim's winter dream.

Robert Pring


Eating wild blueberries on Beech Hill - Maine -
A true story

An Egyptian Princess from outer space
one day
decided to visit Beech Hill.
She decided she liked blueberries so much
she couldn't quite get her fill.

So she thought about blueberries
in other forms
she could have on her way back through space:
gelato, blue yogurt, and ice cream -
Oh My!
and a smile then came over her face!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Poetry walk, July 21, Sharif Elmusa

Poetry Walk

As I walked up the path
of Beech Hill Preserve
I kept thinking of the snail of Issa
climbing Mount Fuji,
till a sharp stone warned my left foot
Don't step on me, else you will trip.
As far as the eye could roam the land
was many shades of green
flecked with red and yellow, white and blue,
was countless kinds of trees and shrubs,
pine and oak, spruce and maple,
raspberries, blueberries and honeysuckle;
with their mouths pressed to the ground,
they blossomed and multiplied,
without gadgets, despite the pompous popish names,
Populus grandidentata, Pinus strobus, Quercus prinus.
Lichen is the language of granite,
said the guide.
Only the trunks of trees
seem to grasp this tongue.
This is why I was overjoyed
to hear the whispers of the little wood-lily
I am in full bloom,
therefore I am,
or the fog that crowned our walk
and veiled the lake and mountains
declare, as if it were an oracle
After I lift,
and I lift when I please,
don't think what you SEE
is what you see.
The future stirs where the chipmunk hides
in the secrets it hoards.

Sharif S Elmusa

more writing from the Beech Hill Journal, July 21-24

more poetry from the ongoing journal at the top of Beech Hill

"but how can I not write...when there is a notebook
full of people's thoughts and feelings and
beckoning me to add my own?"


someplace far from home
amidst the endless forest
sun-touched wildflowers
happily-singing cedar waxwings
we found a trail
the one we were looking for

It wasn't too hard to find
but it took some time
the hike up the trail wasn't
too hard to climb
but it took some effort
I wasn't forced to do it
but I had to be willing
to find this special place.

As I crested the hill
the top of the mountain
the only thing on my mind
was a single word
the wildflowers lit by sunlight
the birds warbling their joy
the sea stretching all around
a gentle summer breeze

and all the sudden the world falls away
all thoughts of everything else
that weighed me down before
all gone on the breeze
I only feel the peace,
the rest, the contentment,
and all it took to find this
much-needed peace
was a bit of time
a bit of effort
and a willing heart.
It fills me
completes me
and I call it my very own
a peaceful home away from home.
I just might have to move.

Rachel J - Missouri


wind, stone, flowers, earth
the wind tickles my skin
a small reward for a short climb
the stone provides a strong seat
for my weary bones, shade from
the noon-day sun...
the flowers dazzle my eyes, a
dance of color to keep me awake
The earth gives direction to
my path, leads me to new
views, provides me with meaning


Thou has't thy beauty too
in the bared clouds that bloom
the soft dying day
and touch the stubble fields
with rosey hue -

John Keats


Bumpy lands ahead
greenery here and around
my heart is so full

My first poem

blueberries, ah Blueberries! so delicious
so pure, so quickly eaten.

This is a beautiful spot, with beautiful views
all around. flowers, greenery, fog, water, a soft
breeze, birds tweeting.

the sun, ah the Sun! illuminates everything,
warms everything - sometimes too much -
but not today - as I sit on the stone porch wall
of Beech Nut House on Beech Hill Preserve.

Poetry is not something I usually write
but how can I not write (a poem? prose?)
today, when I am surrounded by beauty
and calm and quiet and there is a notebook
full of people's thoughts and feelings and
beckoning me to add my own?

I hope you always remember this
perfect place. Any time life gets hard
close your eyes, deep breaths, and
visualize being here.
This is a perfect place.

climbing to the top
I really had to pee
it really was the prettiest porta potty
I ever did see


The grass so wonderful and tall
the blueberries so perfect and small
a place of wonder to us all

such a lovely view
and so many pretty fields
but then I look in a direction
I think

Oh How amazing and perfect a place can be
the place where the grass is so tall
the berries so small
a place of wonder to us all


Like life, the beginning
of this road is narrow
and rough, as it progresses it
gets wider and smoother,
surrounded by beautiful
vistas, flowers and the
abundance of sustenance.
this place is something
I will keep in my mind
forever to feel the
Peace of God all around
and in me.


burnt orange lilies
spark against
grass green ice tips
melt against
fat blue teardrops
squeeze against
bitingly white sails
jostle against
the vastness of one tiny ocean


Raspberries are red
blueberries are blue
Missouri's too hot
May I stay here with you?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

more writing from the Beech Hill journal, july 7-21

More writing from the ongoing poetry project, written in the journal at the top of Beech Hill, these pieces from July 7-14

May I possess love and kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy

The sea reminds me of
my time in space
There are so many unknowns.
I am sure we have not
discovered its offerings
and probably never will.
Ocean discovery is exciting.

This is a beautiful place to come
and unwind from your life's
demands and problems -
a place to feel the wind
blowing softly by -
the flowers tall and small
releasing their refreshing scents
the ocean so calm and still
the mountains so tall and green
makes me feel at peace among
this beautiful land
that was created by the best
artist ever,
God bless you all.

I wanted to write
about the sea
but instead jotted
down things about
you and me.

Beyond Beech Hill

Schooners sailed past
the life they knew
was before them
and Penobscot Bay welcomed them

She rested against a stone pillar
and professed her desire to stay
but we both knew it couldn't be
for adults don't live fairy tales.

But as the sun retreated
and the blueberries strained
for its final attention
we kissed, long and tender,
and we knew our love
would last, beyond Beech Hill.

the ocean - many creatures
in it , the boats sail
upon its surface, and islands
all spread out, the ocean
that's beautiful, the ocean that's
near me.

I see blue
blue skies
blue eyes
and when i'm lucky
blueberry pies
therefore I cannot deny
my favorite color
to view, reminds
me of you and
the sea where
you can find me

Even in the haze the wood lilies glow
towhees trill
three sailboats make their way
up the bay
for a moment
I am alone on the hill
berries ripen around me

there once was a girl named Molly
she was joyous, happy, so jolly -
Miss Molly had a friend named Kate
their friendship was a glorious fate
one day atop Beech Hill
as they both sat and
enjoyed the still
they sat awhile until
they had their fill
then down the road they went
enjoying the time they had spent
twas their appetites they needed to tame
so they ventured off to "Long Grain"

blueberries - tiny, sweet, low, round
sod-roofed stone house
ocean, islands, lake
breeze, sun,
memories past and present

we chat and laugh and nibble our way
up the hill
like so many times before
and before and before

and, as always, at the top, a quiet comes.
in it I am grateful for all of it
like before
and before and before

Coastal Breeze

The cool coast breeze with
the warm sunny sun absorbing
itself on my peeling skin
the green grass with the
peaceful water sitting like
a blanket on a baby. Birds
chirping all around my tender
ears with my long blonde
hair in my face and facing
north near the water. I miss
my dog back home and
got here in my large black
flipflops and a skull top.
Too bad there is no hammock
here - if so I would be here
for hours and hours.


folks who know Maine
the sea, the coast,
the green hills, the morning
birds calling

quiet, humble people
clean, kind town
sailboats, dinghies,
lobster traps

fresh mountain air
back roads bike rides

Beech Hill House

Beech Hill House saved me.
in my youth I was lost
in my little yellow house on Old Rockland Street
I'd read in a tree and think
"who am I?"
I'd bike trying to find it.
I'd read trying to find it.
In all my endeavors I was lost.
From my binoculars I found Beech Hill House.
I made the trek. I walked up.
I saw the world around me.
It was here I found my purpose -
I found that no matter how lonely I feel
there is a great world around me
to make me feel at home.

It's time to make a little poem
asking people not to litter -
No Sir, No'm
we walked up here enjoying much beauty
only to find broken bottles and trash
so we do our duty
keeping the world tidy
is what we do
when it comes to taking care
how about you?

endless summer days
waves crashing against jagged rocks
warm sun
gentle water
fish as colorful as a rainbow
fresh smells

what can you see at the top of Beech Hill?
I can see a sailboat and I can see grass
I see a blueberry
What do you see at the top of Beech Hill?

Beech Hill, hill of Happiness
forget my cares
yay spaciousness

I see it
I love it
the boats
the waves
the ocean
the ocean

walking up the mountain
I see the flowers
I love them
They are pretty.

morning fog a
dense salt cloud
wood lily a bright
light from the lower worlds


water's green
ocean swells
I love how the crabs
dive into the ocean
the dogs swim
the seagulls fly
and the swallowtails land
really silently
you try to catch them
but they are too fast for you
swell up tent
fishes catch
go home, you've met your match
fishes swimming in the water
the fishes know you're in the ocean

a glacial urge to move
to rest here, in the sun,
fog, rain and wind.

blueberries on the bush
wood lily on a stem
meadow on a hill
all of nature in my heart

foggy with a sweet smell
I struggle to come up with words
as I desire to take it all in

100 % perfect day, gentle breeze
blueberries in my tummy
see more sails than motors
wild flowers of every color
calls of crows and meadowlarks
friend on cell phone - a signal even here -

blueberries are blue
wood lilies are orange
(this poem is sad
because nothing rhymes with orange)

shimmering sea
majestic mountain
whispering woods
fantasys flowers
blue-est blueberries
stony path
bitter breeze
splendid summer

I saw a frog.
I saw a lot of birch trees.


Monday, June 22, 2015

beech hill poem in progress

Beech Hill poem
a collaborative poem being written over the next 6 weeks
in the journal at Beech Nut, at the top of Beech Hill
Please walk up and add to the poem -

"What happens to you when you write the world down, when you say it out loud? How does the world change when the word is made?"
Robert Kelly

summer solstice - june 21, 2015

rain, then wind -
the longest day of the year
fog, and then
all those islands


june 23
sun before rain
hills before cloud
(most birds are nesting)

yellowthroat alley

the towhees are singing.


misty walk, scent of roses
in the air. In the
company of two cheerful
souls on my 21st birthday.
The foggy blanket on this
drizzly day transports our hearts
and minds to the lovely land
of our ancestors, in the bayland
of Ireland
Erin go bragh


I haven't been to this place
since last year
the place is still the same
as beautiful as ever
the wind whispers softly
over the ocean
and the rolling green hills -
wherever, this place feels
like home

Beech Hill - a good place to fall in love -

a place I clear my
thoughts and heal
my heart

sailboats passing by
spirits are high
there is a bird's nest
somewhere west

chasing butterflies, jumping off rocks,
admiring boats and islands
this is our family hike
and even with the whining of a 4 year old
we are at peace.

halfway down the
I hear my steps

time moves fast everywhere
but here, in this moment, it seemed
to stand still

almost perfect place to be
sun, clouds & breeze, no
bugs, perfect wildflowers

to the east or the west
one hardly knows the best

yet those that invest
ensure the rest

in awe of the moon, always

Believing, for the moment,
in no truths higher
than cricket chirp,
rose bloom,
cold wind prickles
on bare skin.

we are tired
but refreshed
so many teens, so few cellphones
Awake and Full

in the ongoing motion
of stress and of time
the peace of the valleys
and the water so kind
the flower is plentiful
and the children at play
time seems to stop here
every day


july 2 full moon

this hilltop where
beautiful things happen
every day
the birds as witness
the winds as witness
the moon, as witness

Before me
how the mind opens
flattens, calms:
the sea, blue haze
islands of the imagination

Behind me, serious blue hills
sun setting, silver wisps
waiting for the moon

awaiting a full moon to rise
sensations for our ears and eyes
fiddle played, poems read aloud
full moon hides behind a cloud

waiting for the moon to rise,
Turn around!
a whole archipelago of clouds -
pink water? islands?
Now - all gone. Just the
dark hills, limpid sky,
small birds singing good night.

sky, stone, wood, water
roses fill the fairy ring
green grass, birdsong, joy

this simple place of beauty
opens souls
bringing forth humans'
hushed voices
wind, stones, meadow, sea

beautiful land
beautiful sea and sky
we must keep it clean
work hard - we can try

whispering warm breezes
clear dark blue ocean
sailboats everywhere
thanks for saving this
beautiful place

at my favorite place in the Mid-Coast
with my favorite person
not a breeze. crested the hill from
shadow to rising sun. Does not get better
in any church. Thank you God.

family coming, food to cook, especially
lobsters to boil - babies to look
after, family to "monitor"
life goes on, gleefully - I am
ready - this place is where it begins.

on the eve
of our granddaughter's birthday
we are honored to be
perched on a mountain
gazing at a horizon
over the water
peppered with islands, flowers,
open fields and birdsong
we remember the continuity
of life, and are grateful

escape won't happen
it's not supposed to -
we ride this hill
as the world spins
beneath our feet
then spin off into space
as the dervish turns
ever turns
even barren and dry -

may this place be
a drag on time
and a weight
unto my feet.

we listen to the fullness of birdsong

morning haze obscures
the far distant shores
leaves island edges softened
against the warming sky.

I look west to a windmill
east to two lobster boats
south to the flat, reflective Chickawaukie -
the birds raise their song
in gladness that touches
us all

moves across
the hill like
wind blowing

His impulse is to name the names -
North Haven, Vinalhaven, Isle au Haut
to analyze the construction
to analyze, to understand
there is a faithfulness in naming
I will be here long enough to
learn your name...
and a distancing, as if I could
ever understand you.
The path lies between knowing
and being willing to
not know.

"All the experience thrifty bees demand
such are the themes of my song"
Virgil - The Georgics

soft wind whispers warm
Hills, Haze, Ocean, blue-green life
Home to myself here.