Poem: Ode to Cappy

Ode to Cappy

Another soul slipped through the crack today.
Gone, gone, gone
From this river, he will be,
Never again to trawl the sea.

Last summer he pulled in his last net,
He hauled up his last catch,
And he shucked his last scallop shell.
He never threw the little ones back.

Cappy caught the last fishing boat today, ending the pain
But I suspect if you asked him where he was going
He’d have said,
I’m going straight to hell, cracking a toothless smile.

I remember the last time I saw him
That smile stretched as wide as the sea
Acting like an eccentric fisherman
However, that might be.

Cappy had a soft spot, much like a tender, tiny scallop
The ones he never threw back,
Those were the most precious
He would crow, and of course he would know.

We saw an angel in the clouds today
Not long after Cappy’s name came up in conversation
He’s still hanging on to the life raft you said
Not ready to be set free.

Cappy was of the river and the sea
And they were too, of Cappy
He knew every river inlet intimately
He lived to roam the sea.

I took a picture of that angel cloud
I didn’t know why when.
Not long after I dropped you off, the word came
Light a candle for Tommy, he has passed.

Some folks will say
This river will never be the same without Cappy
I cannot help
But agree.

Poet’s note: This piece was written March 9, 2017 to an old friend who passed quietly away from cancer. Studying a variety of poetic forms in graduate poetry workshop at Salem State University, elegies are one of the many poetic forms we’ve read and some have written for class. I’m working on a series of 8 – 10 poems for my final in my class, as this piece isn’t to be focused in that collection, I wanted to share it here on my blog. I do have another elegy that I do plan to include in my final collection.

Food for Thought: Fear is a Subjective Emotion

Fear is a subjective emotion. We can choose to be ruled by our fear or we can choose to reach beyond our instinctive, individual emotions that drive our fear and look outside of ourselves and all of the things in the world that drive our fears, and see beauty in world.

Everyday the news is subjecting us to the latest stories that fill us with worry, concern, outrage, and fear. Constantly following the news, feeds our fear and plays on the subjective aspects of fear because we a choosing to let our fears control our lives. Not long ago the communication industry was not a 24/7 industry that played so heavily on our psyches.

Step back. Spend less time on social media. Disconnect. Turn off your devices. Free yourself from the outrage machine. Take a break from the news. Get outside. Take a walk. Breathe in the fresh air. Listen to the bird song. Connect with nature. Do anything that is not connected to following the latest news that pummel our senses and leaves us senseless and sometimes riddled with fear.

You can control your fear by replacing it with healthy thoughts and emotions. Be in the moment. Choose happiness over fear.

Namaste

Book Review: Poems in the Manner Of

As a lover of poetry and a graduate student in the English – Writing program at Salem State University, I have not only found Poems in the Manner Of, to be fun and interesting to read; I have also found it useful for my class.

I am currently enrolled in a poetry workshop at SSU, reading some of the poets whose work David Lehman emulates and pays homage to.

A workshop is a great opportunity to explore different styles and be inspired by the works of others to sometimes create a piece based on another poet’s topics, ideas and styles and make it all our own.

Given this, Lehman provides plenty of inspiration as well as insight to the poets, which is invaluable to the student of poetry.

Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Shakespeare, W.B. Yeats, Rilke, William Carlos Williams, Wordsworth, Neruda, Virginia Woolf, W.H. Auden, and Charles Bukowski are among the poets who are featured in Lehman’s Poems in the Manner Of

This is a great volume for poetry lovers, poetry students and people just starting to appreciate the vast world of poetry.

Fine Art Photography Show in Amesbury: Reflections on the River

The Blue Wave Art Gallery and Ovedia in Amesbury, Massachusetts are both featuring my fine art photography in a “reflections” themed body of small works focused on a series of work from summer 2016.

Blue Wave Art Gallery offers a range of cultural events in the North Shore region bringing forward new ideas in art, music and innovation to the town of Amesbury.  Blue Wave proudly exhibits the works of both established and emerging artists, and the gallery space provides a live stage for local musicians. And, finally, we hold art classes and lectures on a regular, monthly basis. Please email Gallery Director, Asia Scudder to purchase any of the works displayed below. 

Ovedia is a lovely chocolaterie and espresso bar located in the heart of historic Amesbury, just around the corner from the Blue Wave Art Gallery.

Reflections on the River captures the timeless essence of the history of wooden boat building in Amesbury, Massachusetts and intersects that history with views of reflections caught in the motion of the waters of the Merrimack River. Continue reading

Food for Thought: The Darkness Must Not Win

I am reminded this morning of this quote from Louise Hay:

“This year is like no other year I have ever lived before.” – Louise L. Hay

There feels as if a great darkness has descended upon us and we are trapped there, penned in, with little route for escape. The darkness will hold us captive unless we find our way out into the light through whatever openings we can find throughout our daily lives.

We are the master’s of our own lives. We make the choices of our own destiny. Let us find the light where we can and rise out of the darkness not giving power to the forces that wish to hold us down. The darkness must not win. Find your empowerment where you can, and let that guide you.
Boats at rest...

Robert Frost: Directive

Directive by Robert Frost [1874-1963]

Back out of all this now too much for us,
Back in a time made simple by the loss
Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off
Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather,
There is a house that is no more a house
Upon a farm that is no more a farm
And in a town that is no more a town.
The road there, if you’ll let a guide direct you
Who only has at heart your getting lost …

… And if you’re lost enough to find yourself
By now, pull in your ladder road behind you
And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me …

… I have kept hidden in the instep arch
Of an old cedar at the waterside
A broken drinking goblet like the Grail
Under a spell so the wrong ones can’t find it,
So can’t get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn’t.
(I stole the goblet from the children’s playhouse.)
Here are your waters and your watering place.
Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.

Robert Frost had a summer home on the Merrimack River in Amesbury, Massachusetts, not far from where this photograph was taken at Lowell’s Boat Shop.