Just a few points of orientation are enough to find your bearings among the roughly 6,000 stars your eye can pick out in a black sky, clear of city lights. About 300 of the brighter ones have names, such as Polaris, Sirius and Vega. The rest… Read More
    TRANSPORTATION: POEMS by Kristen Lindquist; Megunticook Press, Camden, 2011; 60 pages, trade paperback, $12.95. Kristen Lindquist’s higher-profile persona is development director for the Coastal Mountains Land Trust in Camden, where she also lives, and then underneath that is her life as a seemingly ubiquitous midcoast birder… Read More
    The key to stargazing is points of orientation. In the beginning, like for all beginnings, you take the simple points first, which in the case of stargazing is simply the brightest stars. There are two ways to use the bright stars, and like practically everything else… Read More
    Winter is a dark and reckless thing, even when it’s half asleep. By which I mean, of course, the lack of snow cover in most of Maine through the middle of last week. At my house in Troy, we’ve had disturbingly mixed feelings about this. In… Read More
    The great weight of winter is bearing down on us again. For younger readers this will be little more than an old guy’s grouchy personal mythology stinging their ears. But the more years you’ve lived through the apparently interminable stretch from December to March, the more the cold… Read More
    The day before the November snowstorm, a few vestiges of summer dangled like bits of grass and twigs in autumn’s last spider webs. A lone yellow hawkweed, contracted against the cold, looked up out of the grass by the gravel walk. A little viney beast with tiny white… Read More
    A FRESH FOOTPATH: MY NEW LIFE IN POETRY by George S. Chappell; Pell Press, Rockport, 2011; 288 pages, trade paperback, $15. George Chappell’s “A Fresh Footpath” is a beginning and a culmination, simultaneously. It’s his first collection of poetry, assembled after a recent sojourn… Read More
    Everything is interacting. People are interacting with their cars and cats and jeejahs, with the woods, with each other. Mosquitoes are interacting with dragonflies. Blue jays with sunflower seeds. Roots with soils. Sunlight with raindrops. Moons with planets, planets with stars, stars with galaxies, and galaxies… Read More
    One of the easiest things to understand in chemistry is the model of an atom. An atom is like a mini solar system. It has a nucleus, which is like the sun, and electrons whirling around the nucleus, like planets. After this it gets complicated fast,… Read More
    BRANCHING OUT: 15 YEARS OF TENANTS HARBOR POETRY READINGS; Limerock Books, Thomaston, Maine; 84 pages, trade paperback, $14. Generally I’m not a fan of verse anthologies, which provide little more than fleeting glimpses of any particular poet. But “Branching Out,” a selection of writings by five… Read More
    Beside the driveway in late September, I stopped to watch a red-tailed bumble bee pore over some New England asters, bright purple-blue-rayed medallions in tight clusters. He was making his way over each blossom, methodically prodding each dusky orange central disk. He was working very slowly, gathering what… Read More
    A scent of pine: A Maine Haiku Anthology; edited by Bruce Ross; Tancho Press, Bangor; 54 pages, trade paperback, $14.95. Haiku is a fun little poetic form to fool around with, and “a scent of pine” offers a look at the productions of 18 Mainers who… Read More
    I get out of bed and make coffee, then sit in front of the computer. I spend much of the morning complaining to two friends. They seem to understand what I say. They are a dying breed, and they live hundreds of miles away. Why do… Read More
    The usual summer frameworks were somewhat disjointed this year. Around our house snowbanks lingered into May, the timing of some wildflowers was way off — starflowers weeks late, lupines a month early — and in the end I did see small green rose hips at the end of… Read More