Fletcher Street

Fletcher Street

Bear left off the small circle
past the high school and football field.
Watch your speed – they ticket you here.
Ride past the inn with the too tall hedges
and Carol Santora’s house.
She is the pastel artist with two dogs –
Biscuit and Dixie. Dixie has her own blog:
Happy Hound Designs.
Carol paints horses, wildlife and animal art whose spirit speaks
to her through colorful brush strokes and whispers of grace.
Her husband’s collection of classic trucks and cars is parked out front.
There are other artists living nearby – Ronald R. Parry paints
racing sailboats flying their watercolor spinnakers.

And then you arrive at Robin and Marsie’s home – number thirteen –
a shabby old duplex with a porch just six feet from the street.
Plant beds filled with a whimsical collection of flowers and weeds
grow along the front and side beckoning to butterflies, chickadees,
chipmunks and bees to feast and rest.
Robin and Marsie’s cats – Ariella, Luna and Feather love to gaze
at them for hours all the while flicking the tips of their fluffy tails.
The house is greige – a grey beige of peeling paint and classic
New England weather-beaten charm.
The windows are large and long letting in sun and clouds to wash over
rooms that are the warm colors of Santa Fe and the desert southwest.
Artwork spills from the walls to the floor along with trailing potted plants
that move outside until the first frost.
The kitchen brims with their favorite spices, recipes, remedies,
teas, essences and too many smudged cookbooks.
Spirited notes collected over the years are posted on the fridge
along with favorite and faded photos of those near and dear,
here and long-gone, heart-held and mostly smiling.
Their kitchen table is always cluttered with papers and mail,
trinkets and bargains – the small stuff of busy lives.
Bathrooms are scented with soaps of calendula, honey-chamomile
and the reading library by the john invites wanderlust and beauty.
Friends gather on the plump earthy red sofas and are warmed
by a faux fireplace and much laughter.
Up the worn steps are the bedrooms, meditation space and
creative offices slash studio.
More plants and notes-to-self and his/herstory of lives deeply lived.
This is the dilapidated old house in southern Maine on Fletcher Street
that I love best.

On to town, walk past the quiet bank to the library with the fairy garden
and around the corner to the church with the steeple
that chimes hourly built by Paul Revere or so they say.
Headstones in the graveyard lean toward the rolling mounds of earth
and date from the times of sea captains, poets and early soldiers of life.
Main Street on the other hand, is alive on Saturday mornings
with the wares of farmers, crafters and regulars sampling their goods.
Other shops are Cherie’s deli-wine-pastry-vegan-and-not-vegan haven
with a wooden floor and a few small round table and chairs.
A Caprese sandwich on a baguette, hot tea or cider, quinoa muffins
(Robin’s favorite) are served or happily carried-out.
Across the way is the health food store that is whole-wheat scented
and sells local artist cards filled with heart lines and coastline.
To get there the road crosses over the Kennebunk River and waterfalls.
A man once got stuck climbing the rocky bank and had to be rescued.
Roads lead north and south to other charming towns,
but I most love the ones winding east to the sea
past the Wedding Cake House and  Waldo Emerson Inn.
They were built by ancestors of the Transcendentalist writer-poet
Ralph Waldo Emerson and used as part of the underground railroad.
Ghosts, secrets and initialed windows keep company with the guests.
On to the sea – past the grassy marshes
where heron and kingfishers fly and feed is Rocky Beach.
Everyone collects the smooth heart-shaped stones.
They are charcoal-shaded when wet.
You can also find and place triangle-shape stones on top of flat ones
to create your own fleet of wayward sailboats.
Between the breaking waves and horizon is a lighthouse
and real sailboats weaving memories of a bygone era.

It is here that you can stand on the edge of the sea
and breathe in the brine of lobsters and their lore.
It is here where poets and those with the souls of poets come
to beachcomb to collect or toss their pain and joy to the breaking water.

It is here where I left my heart when you passed on.
It is here where I return to feel close to you.
It is here where I leave that part of me that belongs
to all our long slow walks together on the many beaches
and shorelines of our life.
Here is where I choose to be near you.
… and it is here where I choose to let you go.


ag ~ Thanksgiving Sunday ~ 2012


All the sand in Sandy

fury in the storm’s wake a wake

storm surge
left to litter
their marriage certificate

Hurricane Sandy
October blows by

all the sand in Sandy on the streets

October storm
the plows are out
sand instead of snow

in the storm’s wake
learning to do
with less

in the storm’s wake
long-time neighbors’
first meeting

in the storm’s wake
dependency loses
its bite

in the storm’s wake wearing unmatched sox

in the storm’s wake
a rising
to meet the occasion

in the storm’s wake
a rising to meet

ag ~ 2012

Poetic Grace

Poetic Grace

drifts through
the edge of a woodland
collecting jewelweed flowers
that she distills
into a golden ink to write
her favorite words

on colorful leaves 
as they capriciously
float and drift to earth
scattering into poems
that seed into sassafrass trees
and wild ochre grasses

Poetic Grace often meets her old friend 
Garden Grace for quiet conversation
when the setting sun disrobes
and slips into a nearby pond
gathering dusk and day around her
for an intimate rendevous with the saffron moon

it is her intention
to braid the twilight
of sun and moon
dusk and day
words and leaves
into sonnets of poetic grace

ag ~ 2012

The Twelve Days of Hurricane Sandy

On the first day… power, heat and water down – cheerful it’s not worse

On the second day… assessing loss with the neighbors

On the third day… the loud drone of generators and chainsaws

On the fourth day… temperatures drop outside and inside

On the fifth day… tempers flare

On the sixth day… squatting to pee outside – I do my leg bends

On the seventh day… laundry piles up now running low on matching sox

On the eigth day… willing to dance with the devil for a lukewarm shower

On the ninth day… seeing photos of total devastation not too far away

On the tenth day… adjusting to living with less

On the eleventh day… donating can goods and clothes for the newly homeless

On the twelfth day… visualizing daffodils and tulips blooming not too far away

ag ~ 2012

Tender Grace



Tender Grace


softly braids

her long blonde curls

into a french twist

twined with wild violets

for butterflies and hummingbirds

to swirl and follow


every morning she feeds

songbirds from her hand

smiles at all her garden flowers

and while nodding gently to their fairies

she sprinkles star seed

for spiders to weave into their webs


Tender Grace is  forever grateful

to greet the day the same way

a spring bulb opens to sunlight

so very delicate the petals

yet so strong and resilient

the roots and green shoots


To be with her fills your heart

with gentle kindness

and a knowing that deep within

her seaglass blue eyes she sees

each and every living thing

as a reflection of her own very tender grace


“Forever grateful”  to Robin Elizabeth Anasazi  (1952-2012) whose soul and life was in essence that of ~ Tender Grace


ag ~ 2012