Poetry Reading: Merrill, Theriault, Carlson & Peterson


read from their works  Friday, June 20, 2014, 7pm at the Harlow Gallery, 160 Water Street in Hallowell. 

Light refreshments served.  Suggested contribution: $3.00

For further information call Ted Bookey at 458-3881


Search Engine    by Jeri Theriault

I gather words
like pericardium
and ventricle.
I google heart

            (an elephant’s weighs fifty pounds).

google an old lover
look down at his rooftop,
his porch swing,
and glimpse him pruning
his Ever-Bearing Roses.

I google summer, 1986
and there I am
on the deck of the old house,
the children’s voices
mingling with Rte. 1 traffic,
Peterson’s Field Guide
to North American Wildflowers
open and the table:
tansy, wild carrot,

Smack in the middle
of a marriage I didn’t know
I could leave, in a house I hated,
I wrote the Latin names
For flowers—Tanacetum vulgare
Daucus carota—a list
that went on and on
like the pages of URL’s I’d get
if I googled help me, please.
I can’t breathe.

Finally, I googled resilience
and joy—only a little surprised
when that same moment
comes up; that summer
day, me, the children,
the flowers. And a plant
I missed in the Peterson’s:

Sanguinaria canadensis
Bloodroot, its petals winking
and waving white flags
while the taproot,
its buried strength—
the very size and shape
of my own heart—
reaches deep
into the dark.



Woman’s Best Friend    by Robin Merrill

My dog comes and visits me
on the toilet.
Does your husband do that?
My dog lets me kick him out of bed
when it gets too hot.
Does your man allow that?
My dog doesn’t get mad
when I forget to feed him.
My dog likes to take baths.
My dog always meets me
at the door with a kiss.
My dog likes to cuddle.
My dog forgives me
when I snap at him,
when I’m grouchy,
and when I’ve gotten cramps.
my dog stretches himself out
across my stomach
like a giant heating pad
…and the winner is?


Sestina    by Philip Carlson

Give me
One small hint,
Like the way you
Catch a flash of light
In the depths of your eye.

can just
catch your light
whisper. Let me
lean closer to you.
Say it once again. “Hint

your eye
winks, then you
seem to adjust
your gaze, look at me
through dappled gauzy light,
with hints
of dreamy
afternoons. I
take a breath. It’s just
the light and me and you.
smile. Light

fades to just

the faintest hint

of glowing. Your eye

holds secret alchemy.

me and you:
it’s what I
know …past twilight …
fleeting glimpse… brief hint
of something more than just


you, me,
late light, the eye
obscured, just the strangest hint   


Sitting By My Open Window I Think     by Gus Peterson

It’s precisely a sunny day like today –
the dry wind ruffling the plush hair of trees –

I like to shut off the radio in my office
and give it the rest of the day off

from the redundancy of punditry,
the cloudy overcast cycles of war, depression.

Even Beethoven and Bach get sent home
from the morning classical hour.

Standing up from desks blanketed
by the curl of parchment,

they stopper the inkwell
and remove the powdered wig,

arching backs tired from centuries of performing
to a dwindling audience the same sonatas

and arrangements that got them this job,
this occupation of immortality we all so desire,

sitting up at night in the attic writing away
ourselves in flickering candlelight, 

so much so that sometimes we forget
to hang up the tri-cornered hat of ambition

and throw open the curtain on the stage
of a sunny day,

the world and all its instruments playing
a movement to a piece of music

you know hasn’t been heard before
but seem to know by heart, anyway.