“Blue Collar Daughters” to Read

On Sunday, March 18, 2018, Judith Robbins will join poets Claire Hersom and Susann Pelletier for a reading of their poems and conversation about poetry in their lives.

This event, dubbed “Blue Collar Daughters,” is the first in a monthly series of community poetry and conversations sponsored by L/A Arts.The event will take place between 2 and 4 p.m. in the L/A Arts Gallery, 221 Lisbon St., Lewiston.

A donation of $4 is suggested, and there will be light fare offered. The poets’ books will be available for sale.


“She continued writing all her life …

persevering through war, exile, imprisonment
and the loss of her fortune.” So writes
the translator Wendy Chen of Li Qingzhao
known for her ci––her poems set to music.

The gauntlet thrown down, I pick it up,
not having had to persevere through war,
exile, imprisonment or loss of fortune,
my cup of history and responsibilities

shouldered over many years is what
I have to offer, not that of the Chinese poet,
her life complicated by much beyond her control

but kids, they are what fills the cup
with laundry, cooking, transportation
doctoring, comforting, encouraging
daily emergence into their lives.

Notwithstanding differences––a woman’s
life is a woman’s life––I accept the challenge
of her life, and continue writing mine.

Squirrel slides off our roof

A Poem by Jane Costlow

Squirrel slides off our roof
into the barrel of pollen-scummed rain, into
the big black trash can beside the beach rose.

A lid might have saved him.

On sunny summer days it waters the garden.

The morning’s post-storm stillness interrupted
by this floating corpse. One more.
Beneath our blooms and clover
it’s a graveyard out there: beloved felines, disemboweled
possum, the bird that hit the window.

Sleek stiff hair, already smelly,
it slides off the shovel and into the back-fence hole
beside the compost. Dust to dust.
Air, water, earth.
The fire of sun
steams off the heavy dew.
All our bodies fall into what comes next.
Et in arcadia the heat of life slips
quickly down to cold, once the course is run.

Morning light skids down the shingles.
Peas and basil lift with the warming air.
My stomach turns inside me.
I’m the only one
in this joint who knows the end.


Giving thanks …

…for the life and work of Seamus Heaney
for the Muse who drew him through himself
then out of himself to translate the world

to us in tongues not easy to understand
but in allowing the power of language
to hold us, meaning flows, and in reverie

we know who he is: Bard in the wilder-
ness who did not abandon his native land
of human touch. He left a path of words

to follow, crumbs he had dropped
on his way out to the poems.