Ron Silliman

On Brier Island

 From VOG

For Bill Corbett &
Thomas A. Clark

Dinghies adrift
on the Bay of Fundy
Stunted shepherd sniffs
under the shade tree
at a yard sale
Salt water weathered
these lobster traps
abandoned now
at the edge of a deck
Monster on jet skis
scattering cormorants
The breeze in the hair
on the back of my head
Crows amid seaweed
Old Buddha gull
on moss rock
Tour bus in Digby
fresh off the ferry
Islands to go
before we sleep
Red breasted
nut hatch up
side down
on the branch
From a distance
thousands of gulls
declare sunset
Lone raisin
to sweeten the cheese
Son's perfect imitation
of French fire siren
oodle oodle oodle
Warbler with a spot
of yellow on its butt
Gull with the bark
of a dog (what kind?)
Butterfly seen
as remote flower
Which white splash
out in the cove's mouth
is alleged baby whale?
Game in which one figurine
represents "the evil chicken"
Fog visible
drifting along the path
Out over the water
near the French Shore
lone spot of sunlight
only for a minute
Foghorn and gull chorus
Tiny spider descends
from the bill of my cap
Jeep audible
up the gravel path
Two cabins over
the voice of my wife's mother
shouts "Sunshine!"
Raspberry fields forever
Arthritic shoulder
skipping stones
into the Atlantic
at Pond Cove I
realize the strength
in my throwing arm
has gone for good
Sunset to the west again
Seals and one guillemot
Two whales at play
about a lone boat
Lighthouse computerized now
Cement foundation
all that remains
of the keeper's house
Voices amid gooseberry
Jigsaw unfinished on the table
Gulls in every direction
Fisherman's son
to be a fisherman
if the fish remain
Boys hurling seaweed
"Slimed again"
Six acres and a house
at the furthest end
of Digby neck
$300 1949
Gulls quieter in fog
or drowned out
by the backhoe
seeking water
Pine siskin at Elaine's feeder
Barnacles on the hump
back's tail
diving or gliding
almost sleepy
by the side of the boat
Mako shark
attacks driftwood
tho white sided
atlantic dolphin
by the dozens
are just yards away
Shearwater's glide
almost running, skipping
on the boat's wake
Two razorbills
solitary on the water
The old professor
at ECTC (Eastern
Carolina Teacher's
College) had needed
a student to drive him
and his car
north to Digby
who in turn
bought a house by mail
sight unseen
built first in 1822
unable himself
to make upgrades
or repairs
until he retired
forty years hence
Donnie Welch flicking
filtered cigarette butt
into the drought-dry grass
right arm useless
Polio kept him
close to home
postmaster for eight years
but in the Coast Guard
for another 13
cursing what tourists
have done to his taxes
or the long waits
for the ferry
Dug down
sans dowser
only to find bedrock
Waxwings still
in the dead pine
Rabbit that crawled
under the steps
to die    Toad
the size of
my thumbnail
Black snake red snake
flew right up
to my face
Harrier swoops
high over Pond Cove

Humpback glides
just below the surface
at peace in
the Bay of Fundy


EPR #5:
Trouble Ticket

EPR #4:
Essay: The Desert Modernism


© 2003 Electronic Poetry Review