Boats Seaport 2 2015_may_sm


My Religion Is New England

—A selection from Vagabonds and Sundries

Image © by L.M. Browning



My feast days come

When the apples are ripe

And the blueberries

Hang heavy with juice.


My communal wine

Is the crisp salty liquor sipped

From the oysters that grow

Along the black rocks in the bays.


On the afternoons when the molted leaves

Float in the air like bronzed snow flakes

And the gnarled pumpkin patches

Yield their copper bounty.


Walking across the wide floor boards,

Parched gray with dust,

Bending for the low horse-hair plaster ceilings,

Following the cramped stairways leading up to bed.


When the smell of the smoldering hearth

Beckons me home

As I walk through the village

On the first chilled winter night.


Having a heavy mug of hot cider,

a bowl of hearty fish stew.

and watch the fishing boats come in at dusk,

Their hulls loaded down heavy.


Sitting from my place along the shore,

Looking out unto tall masts,

The smell of the brine

When the wind is high in the east.


Driving down wooded roads,

Following the unending thread of stonewalls,

Winding along beneath the bower

Of Oaks, Maples, and Walnut trees.


I find that my home is my church.

And my heaven, a chair by the hearth.


In the dearness of it,

I find the sacred at work.


In partaking of it

—belonging to it—

My heart swells

With a joy not to be conveyed.






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