A selection from Vagabonds and Sundries


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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