Monday, December 17, 2012

Dise Road by Wesley Dunn

Dise Road
By: Wesley Dunn

When the sun goes down
In wintertime
And the soft sunset has vanished

Darkness doesn't fall right away
Light lingers
Silver and light blue

In a frigid mist, the dirt road glows
the crescent moon is sheltered
in a softly shining ring


the crippled stalks in the battered-down corn fields
punctuated by softly crackling power lines

the slowly turning turbines
with the little blinking red lights

the hood of the truck that comes flying by
scattering a wake of loose dirt and gravel

the steam of exhalation
from the runner as he heads back home

everything shines.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Determination by Pauline Cruz


I am determined to prove them so wrong
My home is not just some mundane, bland place
It is more, so much more, than what they face
We are not part of the average throng
I will not make this extremely long
But I won’t let them make it commonplace
Home is grander than any seacoast space
Lest we all forget what makes Cape Ann strong

Determination drives me to my goal
I must help conserve my home’s uniqueness
With fiery resolve, I film Cape Ann
Every green island, beach, and sun-baked shoal
I quite solemnly refuse to digress
From showing the world what makes my home stand

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Me, by Nicole Bauke

I am Nicole,
        the most beautiful witch in the universe.
i see something beautiful around me always;
        The sunrise and
         the glistening sea.
i hear the night's whispers
        when all is quiet.
i want to escape
        Into my world
                and forget everything for a while.
I am flying
        far into the night sky
                and no one can stop me
                         as I look upon the world.
                                 My world.

I pretend i am me,
        before thoughts and definition.
i understand when i watch
        not when i speak
I wonder.

i reach for the world, the sky,
         Your hands.

i worry that i will do wrong,
        and disappoint the people counting on me
i cry
       in the night
              when no one is around
                       to hear me.
I am only human
        like everyone else.

i say nothing
        as i watch the world run by me.
i dream of times far from now,
        i dream of the unreasonable
        i dream of the irrational.
i try. i try to try.
       My efforts soar alongside me
i hope
i can
                                                    I am who I make myself to be.

Friday, October 26, 2012

High School Writing Group at the Gloucester Writers Center



prose, poetry, and pizza
high school writing group
(not in the high school)
(just past Espresso and Richdale)
Mondays at 5:30
Bring what you read.
Bring what you write.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Acrobats and Elephants by Brian Finlay

I can remember a time,
The grass waving hellos at the passing clouds
And the songs of pristine nature playing melodies musicians didn't dare to imprison

The waves would lap gently against my feet, buried in the sand
            Never riled nor enraged
            They rolled onto and over each other
            Like the acrobats at the circus
                        The one where you got to ride the elephant
                        And feed it peanuts as it hugged you tight

The simple things were simpler.

Now I only remember the present
The constant fear of the unknown
            That presses sharply against the mind
The grief and mourning each day
            That weighs too heavy, a burden on my heart
But the most frightening;

Do the clouds ever say hello back?
And are the waves still elephants?

Monday, October 15, 2012

My View vs. Their View by Pauline Cruz

My home has been made famous by artists
But filmmakers show the most in my home
Whether the scenery was the boldest
Or they saw a story within its dome

But they only capture my home in all
Of its bland superficiality
Ignoring the traits that make it stand tall
And making it very unnoteworthy

With my camcorder in hand, I explore
With the adventure calling out to me
Excitedly, I step out of the door
And see my unique home on the blue sea

Determined to prevent this tragedy
I film it in its true identity

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Mist by Sarah Rose

The mist shivers over the glassy water,
Isolated memories painted in each droplet;
Tiny snapshots of a full and nearly distant life.
The moments surrounded, consumed, engulfed,
Dripping with suspense and un-shattered silence,
Too still to touch.
Even so, the air clicked,
Ringing with the camera's echo long past,
Reaching out to grab me with the hands of a clock.
Above the geese shout,
In ecstasy or grief,
Ever tracing a path they're bound never to see.
An ambiguous arrow in the chilled autumn air,
Points south for redemption,
South to troubles,
South to struggles,
A strength grown in the tears.
Elsewhere is---
Anywhere is---
Nowhere is better than here.
Stare down through the crystals,
Move forward in time,
Memories may sparkle,
In darkness they shine;
With light's sweet approach,
They'll soon fade to behind.
Next to the fears,
The sadness,
The years,
The past's welcome escape,
All trickle's away,
In the present's delight.
In dawn's open hand I stand by the lake,
The geese overhead fly on without fail,
I traveled the past,
The pain and pride line memory's long trail,
Leaving not but the face in the glass,
Brimming with fate's grace.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Life's Music by Sarah Rose

Life's Music

A whisp of words,
A tinkling of notes,
The soul's sweet voice raised on high.
The harmonious trails of silence ring in our ears,
And intonations built on emotions
Reproduce their origins in passers-by.
The bottles of screams roll down cheeks,
Smiles squeak and bounce to pull past teeth,
We wiggle and sway,
To the rhythm of our hearts' familiar grace.
The peace of sorrow,
The heights of joy,
A burst of pure life,
No flat sound do we hear.
The colors of sunrise,
The trickling of rain,
A vitality so near,
A pounding in sync.
We vibrate within our shells,
Creating melodies of our own,
Adding to the waves we receive,
And building our song.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Her Wedding Day by Olivia Davis

It’s been 12 years now
since you left me
to face this life alone.
Why did you have to leave?

We were only forty.
To some, forty is old.
But to us our life was spread out,
the possibilities endless.

It was ours for the taking.
Or so I thought.
I didn’t know you were in trouble.
If you were, I would have helped.

You should have known that.
You should have known I would have done
anything and everything for you.
And that’s the honest truth.

I could have helped you get the money
and then you could still be alive.
You could be sitting right next to me,
watching our daughter walk down the aisle.

They say the spirits of loved ones
are always with us.
But I didn’t feel anything
the day you got shot.

I didn’t feel you
when I identified your body.
I didn’t feel your presence at your funeral.
What kind of a husband leaves his wife?

I didn’t even feel you
during our daughters’ high school
and college graduations.
What kind of a father leaves his children?

People think I’m crying
because I’m happy my oldest daughter
is getting married to the man of her dreams.
But the real reason I’m crying

is because I’m thinking about our wedding day
and how happy we both were,
and how much you resembled
the man of my dreams.

You don’t even visit my dreams anymore.
Only once did you visit my dreams.
We were sitting across from each other
in an empty white-walled and white-carpeted room.

You said, “I love you.”
I tried to say it back.
I really did, but the words
wouldn’t come out.

Did you leave me because
I couldn’t say “I love you too”?
What kind of a man
leaves the woman he loves?

What kind of a mother am I
that I am not even happy for my daughter?
I’m too jealous of her.
The man she loves is still love.

Monday, August 13, 2012

All of Us with Roman Bones, On Roman Wheels by Lucas Olson

Most days, I leave the house in search of history,
Trying to trace the blood of aeons.
On some days, I go to Greece.
But I do not go home.

I go to Greece's
marble pantheons and epics
But all I do is walk on cobblestones,
worn with absence and
heavied with the empty frames of chariots.
Greece is always melting,
and I watch as myths unravel.

As the minotaur flies from the labyrinth.
As Icarus sinks.
As Prometheus cools his tired eyes
and gorges himself on haggis.
As Hades spouts burning nonsense from whispery caves.[48]

Because the Empire always steals the stories,
forecloses the temples,
and brings the marble home with them.
All they leave behind are embered ruins.
But even as the fires lick the clouds and consume the bronze mythology,
like a tomb for unknown crimes,
it is not Hell.
Hell is Roman.
Hell is Roman like the rest of us.[49]

All us diverse and tan-faced Romans,
stringing up our history in museums.
The museums are carpeted with time and place,
because all of us Romans want to move.
We want to move in as few steps as possible.

I am a Roman like the rest of you.
I do not want to take small steps.
I want to move as the Romani.[50]

They dance across countries and cultures
under powerlines and suspension bridges.

They have never concerned themselves with the hurricanes whipped up
by the flapping of monarchs.

Brick for brick we all weigh the same.
We all bleed the same clay,
All us Romans.
The same clay we kick up as we pass over
All the same dust ends up
caked on to windows and mirrors.
Or stuck in between the cracks in our bootprints
as we bare ourselves upon our shoulders,
carry our crosses in backpacks,
and wear our history on our ring fingers.

We walk always with our flaws and our pasts,
and as children of the Empire we have many of both.
We have nearly as many futures as histories.
All of them, cobbled or layered in pavement,
winding out in a dusty cobweb from a central point.

And though all our roads may lead there,
I do not go to Rome.[51]

Monday, July 30, 2012

Eight in My First Theatrical Viewing by Pauline Cruz

Excitedly, I enter the theater, querkened by the odors of popcorn and other confections.

Eagerly, I patiently wait for the film to begin, quivering in pure anticipation.

Eventually, the film begins; the quaint, aquatic pictures captivate me with colors.

Enraptured, I watch the quizzical, beautiful film of Finding Nemo intently.

Estranged from reality, I became immersed with the film’s quality.

Extravagant, the film drew me into a quixotic stupor.

Extremely hilarious, I laughed, quaking with utter amusement.

Extraordinary plot, I remained quiet, listening intently.

Enchanted, all my qualms were forgotten.

Executive director from Cape Ann

Extra fact quite pleasing

Extensive quarter connection

Ever quotable


Monday, July 16, 2012

A Poem Series by Madeline MacDougal


I denied


self (strangely enough they were your words)
So sensible, so prudent, so witty
But I only ever was

Piling your awkwardly pitched, pitching syllables was never more difficult,
For the sudden, soft, swiftly spoken syntactically perfect words that were at once
Common plus insignificant--and they were magnificent to hear and so carefully created
But perpetrators of deception that snuck past my shock, circumvented my horror
And I-could-have-stated(But I spoke) only slightly less forward and this made my
Answer a soothing thick envelope (manila and glue) with inside it--
my venom
by accident

The best way to sleep
Is turn around every time
You know what you see

Every time I seem to be what I could,
I realize, that's what would make it possible
(What it is I'm not sure, but I think of it all of the time)
Never mind what I say--I can speak only nonsense

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hartley Sestina by Madeline MacDougal

Cessation of the harbor cacophony here on the hilltop makes the silence a rhythm
The island's unceasing crisp tock in a lusty old metronome's persistence in town wears a circular life
Here the wind and the distance but quiets a gaggle, the muffled shore choruses sung by the winging white gulls
While this inland at hilltop, though sturdy, is buffeted, from mainland the spring wind still coming the island is swept
As still rolling in turbulent west winds, the pine boughs bend supply in sappiness, and, root-bound, on the hilltop are stuck
And Townhall's clocktower construction ensnares and obscures in lattices, green canvas--the clock is illegibly green

High flying, the view of below is a scene of the vast rounded contours in green
Looking earthward, the tiny speck islander people, so well timed, in traffic over Blynman the bridge keep in rhythm
But the island's dark center, the hills, in the forest, the wind-wavered trees and rocks in their own time seem stuck
See, it's silent, it's barren, it's carven from blue rocks so crudely, with piney bark clinging there, waiting on life
As if winter could not touch where the sands and the stones clicking slimily, happily in the waves, where the saltwaves have
Interrupting those silently waiting old hills in the air is a secret declared only by gulls

Screaming at it and over the rock strewn, deserted old place is the truth from the gulls
Who have seen flying over that inland that towers so tiredly above in its foliage land-tones of green
A man--just the one man--hobbling away from society, sketching and painting the landscapes with his brush that were swept
And the painter had claimed that these paintings of Dogtown depicted a place and its quietly musical rhythm
His paintings seemed so unlike it, while catching the sprites and their smiles and bringing the singing of menhirs to life
The rocks given flesh seemed to dance and to smile unlike in the inland where heavily placed they were stuck

In their lush dancing shapes, painted rocks made the wavering shoreline comparably stuck
Stolen, fossilized life from the dolmens and drumlins excited the flying and gliding loud voice of the gulls
Incessantly prattling they chatter, the birds, of the secret well hidden 'til now--that the ghost town has life
In the acres once desolate found by an artist are seen amidst rocks to be mountains of miles of green
Cliffs, crying edifices, swamps, chirruping bogs, pine groves, and buzzing, overgrown fields all in rhythm
So isolate, quietly, still keeping time without painfully, as the shore town, in time's influence punctually swept

The island perimeter, looping land circuit, with time is elliptically swept
And with the swirling, and flinging, and time-flying pull of the tide would have snatched it away from the land where it stuck
Would be flung from the continent into the sea by the speeding monotonous day-ages old rhythm
Leaving behind--this fantastically runaway island--in its wake in the sky the still, forever flying gulls
And spin Charybdically endlessly, strange aquatic counterpart of the sun in the sea as it floated its course in wet green
All this but pinning, a rock at its center, ensnaring in place, hidden in pines, is Dogtown's life

Forever apart yet essentially partaking of one local identity is Dogtown buzzing with life
Simply self reliant and defined as its own is the breath of the woods that, in Nor' East winds, to the harbor is swept
Where the ocean in moodiness angrily outbreaks breathing Dogtown's defiant woods air in the sea mist so green
So the tantrumy sea tangles people and boats and in its tides--but forever land's solid while to granite it's stuck
And in noticing this just one painter turned inland and sketched in the rocks and the brush and was seen by the seagulls
Those hurried and tidal and turbulent shores and his Dogtown, desserted, half-wild woods live in rhythm

What the painter had painted in seasonal swatches in west wind was writhing with the rhythm of life
And the noisy old gulls with the turns and the herons and sparrows enliven the air their wings have swept
Once stuck in the mud on the paths in the hills in Dogtown, the painter's rainboots had trudged where the foliage flows green

Photograph by Madeleine MacDougal