Nightcap Poem from Kent Bowker


The Virgin Spring. © Gabrielle Barzaghi


Breakfast at Lobsta Land


On the sunlit side away from the marsh another scene

harsh in comparison as an endless stream of cars

impinge the ear and sight at the entrance to the bridge

gateway to Gloucester narrow to impede the hoard stream

but it doesn’t quite work the way it used to do

when everyone worked in the town, or went fishing.


The marsh view seems fixed, season and tidal modulation

from year to year comforting knowable and unchanging.

Not so on the highway, a little denser and faster every year.

fishing slowly dying, tourists coming, commuters, in and out.

On one side the beauty, on the other the sign of change

destruction of the unique you don’t see; it’s incremental,

one old building down, one condo built

iconic reminders of the old slower ways replaced.


The once upon a time of amiable ways, backyard conversations

the regularity of a walking postman who might be a great poet,

when we all knew each other, the artist could be your plumber.

Few now accompany St Peter on festival days.

Our memories short get used to the erosive growth

hardly notice what it does as the town, marsh and shore

irretrievably change, we don’t see the loss.



Kent Bowker 10/6/2015

Nightcap poem # 96


Kent Bowker

Kent Bowker  started with poetry at Berkeley in the Fifties, then became a physicist working mainly in optics.  His new book of poems is Katharsis: Sifting Through a Mormon Past.  He lives in Essex, next to the Great Marshes and is treasurer of the Charles Olson Society.