Saturday, December 26, 2009

Simply Frozen Over

All the boats are packed away for the winter which is a good thing!
I don't think that many would make it down the Essex river this day.

Simply Frozen Over


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Simply Taken Apart

Two more images from Conomo Point in Essex.
You'll have to watch your footing on this dock.
The first step is a doozy!

Check out this house across the water.
See what happens when two brothers cannot agree?

Simply Taken Apart


Monday, November 16, 2009

Simply Left

Conomo Point in Essex in early November.
Even the leaves have left from the trees.

Autumn River Song
Written by Li Po
The moon shimmers in green water.
White herons fly through the moonlight.

The young man hears a girl gathering water-chestnuts:
into the night, singing, they paddle home together.

Sitting Outside at the End of Autumn
Written by Charles Wright

Three years ago, in the afternoons,
I used to sit back here and try
To answer the simple arithmetic of my life,
But never could figure it—
This object and that object
Never contained the landscape
nor all of its implications,
This tree and that shrub
Never completely satisfied the sum or quotient
I took from or carried to,
nor do they do so now,
Though I'm back here again, looking to calculate,
Looking to see what adds up.

Everything comes from something,
only something comes from nothing,
Lao Tzu says, more or less.
Eminently sensible, I say,
Rubbing this tiny snail shell between my thumb and two fingers.
Delicate as an earring,
it carries its emptiness like a child
It would be rid of.
I rub it clockwise and counterclockwise, hoping for anything
Resplendent in its vocabulary or disguise—
But one and one make nothing, he adds,
endless and everywhere,
The shadow that everything casts.

The Death Of Autumn
Written by Edna St. Vincent Millay
When reeds are dead and a straw to thatch the marshes,
And feathered pampas-grass rides into the wind
Like aged warriors westward, tragic, thinned
Of half their tribe, and over the flattened rushes,
Stripped of its secret, open, stark and bleak,
Blackens afar the half-forgotten creek,—
Then leans on me the weight of the year, and crushes
My heart. I know that Beauty must ail and die,
And will be born again,—but ah, to see
Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky!
Oh, Autumn! Autumn!—What is the Spring to me?

Simply Left


Friday, November 13, 2009

Simply Aground

It is November at Conomo Point in Essex.
The summer has past. Families and visitors have left.
Many of the houses have been closed up until next year.
At low tide, even the sea appears to have journeyed away for the season!

Written by Edna St. Vincent Millay

These wet rocks where the tide has been,
Barnacled white and weeded brown
And slimed beneath to a beautiful green,
These wet rocks where the tide went down
Will show again when the tide is high
Faint and perilous, far from shore,
No place to dream, but a place to die,—
The bottom of the sea once more.
There was a child that wandered through
A giant's empty house all day,—
House full of wonderful things and new,
But no fit place for a child to play.

Low Tide
Written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The sea came wooing in mad male fashion;
The strand like a maiden was shy as fair.
He fell at her feet with a cry of passion,
And flung out his arms to clasp her there.

He swore to be true; the bright stars glistened,
And the wind went dallying off with the ships,
While the strand like a maiden leaned and listened
And the sea's wild kisses fell on her lips.

But desolate now in the moonlight's glory
Is lying the pale, deserted strand,
While the sea is telling the same old story
To another shore, in another land.

The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls
Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Simply Aground


Monday, November 9, 2009

Simply At Anchor

A lone sailboat remains moored off Conomo Point in the Essex River.

Perhaps this anchor would hold her although with the low tide, she' snot going very far!

Sailboat at anchor.

Simply At Anchor


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Simply Raven-ing

A tree and a rock fight for their own space.

I still don't know which one is winning!

The beginning of a trek down into Magnolia Swamp.

Make sure you don't zig when the boardwalk zags.

A rock with a fern problem. Must have been a "bad fern day".

Or, perhaps it was a "bad moss day"!

Simply Raven-ing


Friday, November 6, 2009

Simply Breath Taking

Here are few more glimpses of the view from the top of Ledge Hill Trail in Ravenswood Park. On Wednesday, the weather was perfect for walking in the woods, as well as sitting for a spell taking in the vista of Eastern Point down below.

The beacon atop Eastern Point Lighthouse flashes every five seconds.

We are so lucky to be surrounded by so much beauty.

Simply Breath Taking


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Simply Out On A Ledge

One of my favorite spots in Gloucester is Ravenswood Park. This is especially true on the bright, autumn days of early November.

Ravenswood offers that solitude we all need from time to time. It's a place for a quiet walk, a place for contemplation, a place to sit and watch and listen to nature.

If visiting the park midweek, it is possible to walk for hours without seeing another soul, unless, of course, the GHS cross country team is running through the woods!

They don't call this the Ledge Hill Trail for nothing!

A tree with funny feet.

Sometimes, the path is easy to follow.

One of the prizes at the top of the hill.

Simply Out On A Ledge


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Simply Sea-ing

Something about the ocean makes one gaze into it.

Sometimes to reflect upon what could have been.
Other times to give thanks for what one has.

Some gaze and wish they could travel the sea to a far away place.
Others gaze and amaze at how lucky they are to live in this place.

Search the Sea
Written by Steve Napolitano

What is this life I live?
Full of love to give
Always kept inside
to protect my wounded pride

So many dreams to chase
and feel your warm embrace
Standing on the salty shore
Watching dreams never felt before

Gazing out towards the sea
As my dreams swim free
Constantly out of reach
From this lonely desolate beach

Just one more nightmare
Before my answered prayer
I swim through all debris
After my dreams, I search the Sea

The Knowing Sea
Written by Mikol Khol

The tide comes in, and moves back out
Like your chest rising and falling
To the melodic rhythm of your life

In the mist of the sea's dew
I see the future of our understanding love
Two young friends discovering the truth

Sand and shells shift underneath
Realizing the changes that have taken place
I know now . . . where my heart belongs

The Sea
Written by Cao Cao

I come to view the boundless ocean
From Rocky Hill on eastern shore.
Its water rolls in rhythmic motion,
And islands stand amid its roar.

Tree on tree grows from peak to peak;
Grass on grass looks lush far and nigh.
The autumn wind blows drear and bleak;
The monstrous billows surge up high.

The sun by day, the moon by night
Appear to rise up from the deep.
The Milky Way with stars so bright
Sinks down into the sea in sleep.

How happy I feel at this sight!
I croon this poem in delight.


东汉 曹操








Simply Sea-ing


Monday, November 2, 2009

Simply Trees

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting
and autumn a mosaic of them all.

Stanley Horowitz

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

cirrus sky hawk drift
blue haze in the autumn air
and my mouth is dry

Greg Boddy

It was Indian summer, a bluebird sort of day as we call it in the north,
warm and sunny, without a breath of wind; the water was sky-blue,
the shores a bank of solid gold.

Sigurd Olson

falling leaves
hide the path
so quietly

John Bailey

Simply Trees


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Simply Footbridge

Footbridge of Life
Written by Peter A. Todd

The ocean's tide is a reflection of Life
As our nights are turned into days
Young people with hands clung tight
Searching their hearts for words to say
Children running and playing along the beach
Building sand castles of their dreams
The elders crossing the bridge at days peak
Mirrored by the evenings moonlight gleam
The ocean reaching into the shadowed sands
Erasing the footprints along the way
Night's glistening moon,mirror of God's hand
Guiding Natures course along the bay
The Footbridge crosses the Sands of Time
That we in our hearts must not ignore
We must treasure Life for all that it holds
For in its passing in Faith we gain Heaven's shore

Simply Footbridge


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Simply A Light!

Here are a few of the lighthouses seen on boating trips over the summer around Cape Ann.

Annisquam Lighthouse

The Light-Keeper
written by Robert Louis Stevenson

The brilliant kernel of the night,
The flaming lightroom circles me:
I sit within a blaze of light

Held high above the dusky sea.
Far off the surf doth break and roar
Along bleak miles of moonlit shore,

Where through the tides the tumbling wave
Falls in an avalanche of foam
And drives its churned waters home
Up many an undercliff and cave.

Eastern Point Lighthouse

My Lighthouse
written by Diane Blue
Sometimes my life is dark, empty, and foreboding
Like a ship in the night out at sea
But you are there for me
You are the tower of strength that I rely on.

Sometimes I'm sad and alone
Like the captain at the wheel, wanting to be home
But you are there for me
You shine your bright light for me to reach out to

Sometimes I'm confused, not sure what to do
Like the seaman who looses his way in the fog
But you are there for me
Your voice tells me the right direction.

Sometimes life is as rough as the uncaring sea
It causes panic, frustration, and despair
But you are there for me
A quiet entity on the edge of a rugged cliff.

You are my beacon, my lighthouse.

Ten Pound Island Lighthouse

Lighthouse Keeper’s Tribute
written by Michael Bauchan

Stubbornness is often said
To be a trait we all should dread.
Sometimes though it’s plain to see
It watches over you and me.

Look at the beauty a lighthouse gives
Brightening shores where ‘ere you live.
We take for granted that pretty sight
When seen by day, but what by night?

Storms roll in to blast the shore
And seem the worst when people snore.
When most people go to bed
There still is a lot to be said.

Lighthouse keepers look up to skies of gray.
Storm clouds make the moon go away.
Sea’s roll in, smashing water high
As if raining upward into the sky.

Temperatures fall, making water ice.
All burrow in, even the mice.
Ice coats sidewalks, catwalks, rails,
Windows and foghorn, stopping the mails.

When pea soup fog came rolling in
Engines were cut amid foghorns’ din.
Flu season be damned, they went about
Assuring their horn’s mighty shout.

Summer, winter, spring and fall
Regardless of weather, through it all
Lighthouse keepers tended lights and horn.
From all dangers, strangers were warned.

Anonymous lighthouse keepers kept the watch
Whether healthy or well, battening the hatch.
Lesser men couldn’t take what they got
But lighthouse keepers were a stubborn lot.

More men would have died, and women too,
If lighthouse keepers relied on brew.
Instead they faithfully kept light and horn
Through the night and into the morn.

Their faith in God and service to man
Stand many times taller than
The tallest lighthouse tower you see
As a tower of power for you and me.

So while you pass a lighthouse tower
Think of behind the scene power
Of a stubborn man braving nature’s fury
Protecting strangers, no favor to curry.

Loneliness broken by wife and kids,
To some it would be hitting the skids.
Lighthouse keepers stayed firm on the rock,
Sometimes with a boat on the dock.

Lighthouse keepers were saving souls
By light, horn, and boat, what ‘ere nature doles.
Thanks were anonymous as sailors passed by
But better that, than for sailors to die.

The Lighthouse Service filled a great need.
Motivated by service, never by greed.
Though they reached the end of their time
It would positively be a crime.

If we didn’t take the time to say
“Thank you for being there night and day.
As you retire and take your rest
Know your example was of man’s best.”

We kids who lived in lights with you
Could see firsthand all you do,
Your coping with every kind of strife
Taught we kids how to deal with life.

Simply A Light!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Simply Marsh House

A house on the Annisquam River in the salt marsh near Gloucester Marina.

There was a child went forth every day
written by Walt Wnitman

There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he looked upon and received with wonder or pity or love or dread, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day… or for many years or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morningglories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the March-born lambs, and the sow's pink-faint litter, and the mare's foal, and the cow's calf, and the noisy brood of the barnyard or by the mire of the pond-side… and the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there… and the beautiful curious liquid… and the water-plants with their graceful flat heads… all became part of him.

And the field-sprouts of April and May became part of him… wintergrain sprouts, and those of the light-yellow corn, and of the esculent roots of the garden,
And the appletrees covered with blossoms, and the fruit afterward… and woodberries… and the commonest weeds by the road;
And the old drunkard staggering home from the outhouse of the tavern whence he had lately risen,
And the schoolmistress that passed on her way to the school… and the friendly boys that passed… and the quarrelsome boys… and the tidy and freshcheeked girls… and the barefoot negro boy and girl,
And all the changes of city and country wherever he went.

His own parents… he that had propelled the fatherstuff at night, and fathered him… and she that conceived him in her womb and birthed him… they gave this child more of themselves than that,
They gave him afterward every day… they and of them became part of him.

The mother at home quietly placing the dishes on the suppertable,
The mother with mild words… clean her cap and gown… a wholesome odor falling off her person and clothes as she walks by:
The father, strong, selfsufficient, manly, mean, angered, unjust,
The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, the crafty lure,
The family usages, the language, the company, the furniture… the yearning and swelling heart,
Affection that will not be gainsayed… The sense of what is real… the thought if after all it should prove unreal,
The doubts of daytime and the doubts of nighttime… the curious whether and how,
Whether that which appears so is so… Or is it all flashes and specks?
Men and women crowding fast in the streets… if they are not flashes and specks what are they?
The streets themselves, and the facades of houses… the goods in the windows,
Vehicles… teams… the tiered wharves, and the huge crossing at the ferries;
The village on the highland seen from afar at sunset… the river between,
Shadows… aureola and mist… light falling on roofs and gables of white or brown, three miles off,
The schooner near by sleepily dropping down the tide… the little boat slacktowed astern,
The hurrying tumbling waves and quickbroken crests and slapping;
The strata of colored clouds… the long bar of maroontint away solitary by itself… the spread of purity it lies motionless in,
The horizon's edge, the flying seacrow, the fragrance of saltmarsh and shoremud;
These became part of that child who went forth every day, and who now goes and will always go forth every day,
And these become of him or her that peruses them now.

Simply Marsh House


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Simply A Lone Boat

Even with boats, sometimes cliques evolve.

One solitary wooden boat drifts alone while the others huddle together telling stories!

For The One Teaching Dreamers. Gifts At Dusk.
written by Tim Bellows

How many times can I step
into his wooden boat.
To meet his dreams,
my dreams? In how many seas

can I gather and hand out
his white roses, yellow violets,
pinpoints that flash like eyes?

I feel warm as his wider ocean.
My heart answers it. Streams
flow underground below the waters.

In dizzy miles above us
his wind currents
whisk across the tops of clouds.

Birds and fish hover
in their elements around us.
His boat rocks.
The boat is still as his sleep—

deep as sunset gold
or one gull´s curved flight. The lights
of stars are seen on the tips of waves
that continually shut their eyes.

The stars and I are waking up
as the breath of the master
sets us free to float
on the ocean of the only dream.

Simply A Lone Boat


Monday, October 12, 2009

Simple Annisquam

It's that time again. A melancholy time. We took the last boat ride of the season up the Annisquam River on Saturday. Add to that the Red Sox loss on Sunday and all are thinking "wait 'til next year".

Simply Annisquam