DEW reveals silken webs

engulfed in early morning fog

spun in afternoon sunshine,

woven by Celtic Forest Faeries

exhausted from dancing

in the late strawberry moonlight,

Faerie Fantasies filling their dreams.

Sheer delight, breathtaking sight

Early morning discovery

of glistening quilts by the dozens

filling the greening expanse

of carefree dandelion puffs

and deadly black cap mushrooms

emerging on the lawn.

The paradox of life:

Reality or fantasy?





hungry/fully fed,




Rule of Law/chaos


power/sheer helplessness.

We were all energized physically,

exhausted mentally.

What mix of reality or fantasy

will YOU choose,

upon awakening today?

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She sighs and groans,

sounds personified,

raising tall goosebumps

on the strong arms

of her loyal congregation

listening along the riverbanks.

Far below, her companion ebb tide

rushes directly outward

right on predictable schedule

toward the sea.

Licked by the fiery flames of sunrise

her chiseled exposed edges melt,

dripping ever so slowly,

reverting again to a wall of swirling water

powerfully rushing toward the sea.

Do not despair my frigid Queen,

I will return to support and raise you

upward again another day,

whispers her loyal playmate,

Ebb Tide of the

mighty Kennebec River.


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Beyond my bedroom window

a crescent hammock appears

slung under a trillion twinkling stars

appearing like glitter scattered

across a velvety coal black sky,

Saturn and Venus shine

like lanterns on dual nightstands.

The frigid Queen

groans and wails

in the frozen air

above her glassine surface,

undulating, rolling toward the shore,

tall thin shadows create

dark fingers, tucking the

downy fluff of snow

around the fauna

hibernating inside the brush.

I lay snuggled safely inside

my own down cover,

atop the patchwork wool quilt

Gramie sewed with loving

arthritic hands. Wandering mind

of my ten-year-old self

conjures river groans emitting

from the underwater monsters

I will face on the next crossing

of the Kennebec River.

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Fall sunshine bleaches

purple fountain grass to golden

as the first heavy glistening flakes

begin to cover with layers of snow

creating a silky smooth icing,

like ganache frosting

on a wedding cake,

sealing raised organic beds

gone dormant.

Delighted to have the

long-coveted purple fountain grass

planted on a sweaty fall day,

today’s surprise reveals tall

golden mounds covered with snow

like a row of hobbit huts built along

the very edge of the lawn,

providing refuge for hungry birds

seeking safety and shelter

in the quickly passing snow squall.

Crisp, rusty oak leaves

filter down from the highest treetops

resting askew, atop the frosty white covering

until warm sunshine bakes them down,

just below the flat surface of

yesterday’s snowfall where

a blustery wind blows them away,

leaving only an imprint of fall.

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A sprinkling of raindrops taps

against thick layers of copper leaves,

crunchy remnants of last fall,

resting now on the forest floor below,

warming enough to awaken

green shoots of spring hidden beneath.

A sweet choir of avian harmony

echoes through dormant oak branches,

along mossy, ice-encrusted granite banks

of a brisk spring stream,

instinctively seeking

their Queen, the Kennebec River.

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Blood red gauzy fog

filters through fall leaves

lately turned crimson on tall maples

standing at attention,

likewise, old soldiers donned

in crisp red jackets,

between my deck and

the Kennebec riverside.

Chrysanthemums, newly blossomed,

glow as brightly as a bouquet

of shiny copper pennies

nodding toward the warmth

of the rising sun.

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Trillions of stars glimmer across

the vast onyx sky

anticipating the flash of dawn.

Silvery fog begins to ooze along the river

initially laying low, advancing up

through the forest near sturdy roots

of stately ancient oaks.

Wild forest blossoms lift tiny

delicate faces upward

freshening in the morning dew.

Rising higher still, brushy brittle branches

extend, inviting the fogs ever-encroaching

silky scarf, thickening with dew,

creeping higher still, approaching the house.

The sun at last emerges,

barely above the glassine surface

of the Kennebec River,

projecting a silver-grey neon glow

illuminating my bedroom with warmth.

Briefly smothering the forest,

dissipating fog recedes,

quickly swallowed up

by the plump, brilliant face of Old Sol.

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Daylight at last,

visibility of the world

beyond my bedroom glass doors.

In the darkness of night, I awaken

to sounds of sideways driving rain

and howling, wild whipping wind

rattled the vinyl siding of the house.

Thunderous foundation-shaking thuds,

branches cracking, wailing, moaning

as mighty trees fell. Earthy roots exposed,

acorns hitting glass like popcorn,

leaves suddenly shredded into chips

plastering tight against window panes.

A matrix of “spider web” branches

covers the ground, acorn “victims,”

caught beneath. Cavernous

holes in the earth

where trees once grew,

now peeled back

like earth-scabs

revealing tangled and matted roots.

Dawn arrives, there is stillness

in the air at last,

raging turbulence quieted,

Mother Nature in mourning

for the loss of her precious trees,

stately children of her forest

on the Kennebec.

Generators hummed through the night

in landlocked neighborhoods

where chainsaws make wood chips

of mighty trees during daylight hours.

Hunters scour the once-thick forest,

tripping over downed branches

and dangling roots

ripped from the earth.

Deer, moose and small animals

begin to sniff the wind

searching for new

and safer hiding spots.

Hunter orange mingles

with thick layers of yellow, orange,

red and chocolate brown leaves,

blown from their tethers

off strong tree branches

in the micro-bursts that blew

from one town across the Kennebec

to another.

Autumn scene photo by T. BLEN PARKER
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Crews arrived through early river fog by ferry,

decades after tender green shoots burst forth

below the old stonewalls. Gathered many

years ago by industrious squirrels, acorns

and pine cones grew, spared from the flames

that charred Swan Island in 1750.

In 2018, a weary late afternoon crew of

brush monkeys gathers on the resting side

of an all-morning island swamp out.

Sating thirst, they swiped salty brows, swatted

handfuls of black flies, deer flies,

and ravenous, hardy marine mosquitoes.

Dozens of deer ticks hopped on to celebrate

by biting bare flesh.

Bullbuck Bob bellers instructions to his

skidroad crew,

“power up the bulldozers, cut out those cat roads,

time is money!”

In the wake of the CTL harvester, Clem

the clambunk operator waits

to drag out full tree-length logs.

Halloween storm 2017 left swaths of blown down

trees from the Dresden side of the Kennebec River

across Swan Island, over Merrymeeting Bay

onto Richmond and Bowdoinham shores.

Dozens of cold decks piled and waiting their turn

to float over the Kennebec on a tug-powered barge,

transporting neatly balanced logs on double

trailers, to be hauled over the curvy, hilly

roads of Maine; final destinations:

wood products manufactories,


lumber yards,

firewood dealers,

and paper mills.

Witnessing a caravan of 18-wheelers hauling

massive full logs, once healthy trees, I ponder:

what events they witnessed,

what stormy or drought weather withstood,

what challenges endured, before

the fateful storm that ripped their sturdy roots

from centuries-long life on the historic island.

If only to hold a thick slice,

able to count the rings

revealing hidden stories

of just a single once-stately

Swan Island tree!

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Responding to a cool drizzle,

a sage quintet of pale, slender,

proud birches stand arrow-straight,

exposing raw under-layers

of younger, virgin skin.

Silky fog rises

from a blanket of downy flakes

fallen deep at their feet.

Temperatures plummet,

creating a satiny sheen,

the sparkly illumination

of five sisterlings,

like the spotlight focused

on debutantes

at their coming-out party.

Will they go unnoticed?

Who will hesitate in passing

for just this moment,

exploring endless possibilities,

breathing slowly, observing,

evolving, appreciating the mystery

of these regal ladies?

Spring produces fresh green leaves

the ladies will wear as stylish hats,

until the fall, when green turns to

yellow and ombre,

like the fur and bright feathers

adorning bystanders

who walk wooded paths

through the forest.

The artist senses

the perfect time to reveal

his heart on canvas, typically

when it becomes so palpable

he can no longer harbor or

contain it within.

The author is unable

to resist passionately describing

the priceless art, sharing with

even those without sight,

or those incapable of perceiving

what she sees with her heart.

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2018-07-21 05.26.58.jpg

Spring snow melts,

thick-soled winter boots

and ice-crusted mittens drip

in front of a roaring woodstove.

Muddy wheel ruts dry, cracking

in the warm sunshine.

Swarms of blackflies arrive

in tandem with tree frogs who

begin to sing in stereo at dusk.

Gardens planted early

promise bushels of produce,

defying an inevitable late frost

predicting a short summer

growing season in Maine.

Summer arrives to sit at

picnic tables at backyard BBQ’s,

well-attended Downeast Lobster-Paluzzas,

trips northward “upta” camp,

deep-sea fishing excursions,

river kayaking, whitewater rafting

on rocky, crystal clear rushing streams,

ski jetting at the lake or saltwater

sailing, yachting, water skiing

and swimming at the beach.

Fourth of July family celebrations

produce hours of colorful

bursts of fireworks high

into the hot summer night.

Labor Day holiday sends tourists

hastily heading southward,

bidding farewell to

Miles the Moose and

D. Claude Lobster

as they pass through the Kittery toll booth,

en route to the metropolitan

chaos they call home.

The dark, damp walls

of blue-black melancholy

begin to set in, as real as

meteorologists predictions

of an early frost.

Today’s sunrise announces

the showy debut of colorful leaves

as the curtain of fog rises

on the first crisp morning

of another fall season in Maine.

Hardy tourists linger for

the perfect snapshot, framed

for their desk back at the office

on the 21st floor in the city.

Bright yellow school buses

round up chatting children

dressed in trendy school duds

new to them, from older sisters

and brothers hand-me-downs.

Students nervously wait until dawn

in rural driveways dotting

the Maine countryside.

Freshly painted classrooms, and

shiny polished floors reflect

images of anxious children

thundering through hallways,

en route to the first classes of fall.

Distracted by thoughts

of cotton candy or fried dough

sprinkled with powdered sugar,

consumed while walking past

fair ‘barkers’ and ring toss games

at traditional county fairs across the state.

Preoccupied with thoughts of oxen

straining in a dusty pulling ring,

dreaming of blue ribbon

prized pigs, giant pumpkins,

penny scrambles or this years’

fair queen contest, each student

attempts to be attentive

during the first weeks of history,

algebra or English classes.

Visitors ‘from away’ can hardly envision

how swiftly seasons pass in Maine

before the first pristine,

intricate snowflake designs

cover doorsteps, prompting

silver Yankee shovels

to dip and lift, dip and lift

load after load of the heavy white stuff.

Darkness falls quickly,

shorter days dictate residents

condense workdays, inviting snowplows

to clear roads for safe travel long into the night.

Residents maximize efforts

to accomplish necessary daily tasks.

Winter has arrived in Maine.

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Sweltering August day, following Gramie’s path

through tall steamy field grass, plucking

perfect pods, newly bursting with

faerie hair stars, weighted only by their

oval brown seed. The sky above fills with

hundreds of feather-light starbursts

emerge as each pod bursts open,

once green-black-yellow-white

striped worms take flight

as monarch butterflies

all a mesmerizing sight.

Gently picked pods fill her canvas sack,

destined for more days of drying

out on a hot sunporch. Later in fall, with

her patient direction, permission

to be wild and creative, pods

become magical ornaments for 

holiday trees. Paint, beads, glitter,

seeds, ribbons, brightly colored yarn,

sequins, patience all invested.

Dioramas display miniature deer

romping through cotton snow,

dried fern trees, painted skies,

adorning the common milkweed pods

repurposed into treasured memories

for generations to ponder.

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Burning scarlet rays of morning sun

pulse through layers of chiffon fog

revealing crystal rainbow prisms,

dewdrops clinging to leaf tips,

until they slowly evaporate.

Feathery tender ferns unfurl

under the warmth of ole sol,

magically awakening dozens of

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

cocoons suddenly hatching.

In a gentle swirl, an upward funnel

of virgin butterflies releases

into the air reaching the tallest treetops

only to disappear, guided by instinct

to seek the nectar of life.

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When the onyx sky transforms

brilliant midnight sparkles

to a spectacular array of gold,

blood orange, crimson and purple dawn,

Swango Princess blows

a secret morning kiss

through a wall of wispy river fog

to Big Chief, the proud leader 

of Abenaki, admiring her

from a bed of dewy ferns

across the Kennebec River.

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A crystal white blanket

surrounds sturdy roots

hidden deep below the forest floor

during the long winter in Maine.

Dormant oaks and maples, alive with

grey squirrels scrambling

to deliver fat cheeks filled

with coveted acorns

to fill their midwinter pantry.

Clever raccoons climb tall oaks,

clinging to leafless branches

high above the ground.

Prickly fat porcupines gnaw

away at maple or birch bark

searching for insects 

to snack on at midnight.

Stately oaks stand straight,

stiff soldiers sending tall shadows

across a marshmallow-y coverlet

blanketing the forest floor

at sunrise.

Crisp evergreens

puffed twice their size,

hibernate under heavy coats

of white icing, providing refuge

like condo’s for families

of chattering songbirds.

Branches bow down in reverence

to the mighty passing storm.

Battered by house-sized

chunks of ice — Kennebec shores

appear smooth and glassy

as if shrink-wrapped for the winter

like hibernating yachts at the marina.

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