Ten Pound Island, Gloucester Harbor by Laurel Tarantino January, 2015
We awaken in the cold this morning
to find that the sea has become enchanted
and is rising to the sky.
Gulls shine all prismy within the mist
and ultimately lift up too,
wings becoming light.
Everything is rising.
Even on the hardest day,
there is transformation.
~ Rufus Collinson
Ruthanne (Rufus) Collinson has lived and loved in Gloucester all of her life. She worked for 25 years as Director of Publications for Project Adventure and served as Gloucester’s poet laureate for four years (2009-2013).
Photo by Laurel Tarantino 2013
Let us go to a high place and look out.
Gulls soar and drift like our spirits.
Trees reach out and spread their dapple and their shade.
Small birds twitter in droves like the beauty of our distractions.
Hills emerge and rocks lounge like beached whales.
The land curves and the sands glisten.
We see everything that keeps and holds, encloses
Coves, forts, quarries, cellars, the bell tower, breakwater
Harbor ramps and wharves and pilings, hulls and masts and lines
Vessels of pleasure and provision
Rooftops, widow walks, chimneys
The language and history of the neighborhoods
The salt of our current lives
We dwell in the spirit of all that swells and beckons and provides
The shining harbor
Steeples, light houses, Our Lady of Good Voyage
Our Man at the Wheel
Coffee shops, bars, restaurants
The aroma of the nations
The endless call of the sea and promise of the horizon
The spirit of Gloucester surrounds and teaches us
How to create Love from Loss
How to look far out and find the possibilities within
How to live close and always see the distant horizon
Celebrate Gloucester and your self
All that you have become
Within the shining city of your soul.
~ Ruthanne "Rufus" Collinson
“Night Windows” by Edward Hopper, 1928
Life Behind Lit Windows
Called upon again to drive
The air as cold in my blue van
as the night without
Dinner left behind to its own heat
The cranky engine warms
I settle back and look for life
behind lit windows
Taking the curves wide
I search kitchens for steam.
Blue rooms amber rooms
Upstairs windows shining bright
Edge of cupboard glimpse of portrait
rows and rows of colored books
Sometimes whole rooms appear
with such lustre of light
such perspective of nook and beam
that I can see back and back
tablefuls of celebration
alcoves of despair.
Tonight I am just a tired driver
taking comfort in the hour of safe return.
People come home
preheat the oven
take a bath
admire the suspension
of spirits in a crystal glass
drink them in.
~ Ruthanne (Rufus) Collinson
Ruthanne (Rufus) Collinson has lived and loved in Gloucester all of her life. She worked for 25 years as
Director of Publications for Project Adventure and served as Gloucester’s poet laureate for four years
A note from Ruthanne Collinson:
Being Poet Laureate is such a great honor and blessing to do what you love for the place that you love. I worked with the schools and the senior center; and, in addition to the Poet Laureate column in the Gloucester Times. I wrote poems for city events. I loved working with the schools. I would take the students on silent walks and then bring them back to the classroom and have them write what they saw and felt. It was always Amazing. I met many wonderful people through the Poet Laureate column as well.