Photo by Len Burgess. All Rights Reserved

At Dawn
At dawn we walk through a forest of frozen firs,
their branches dipping to snag our hats and drip
ice down our backs and send chills to our toes,
with snow underfoot and shadowy woods ahead.

But, the young sun’s glow gives a sweet caress
and promises us shelter as we trudge through
this strange, mysterious  and glorious world
of shadow and light, of biting cold and loving warmth.

© Marty Luster 2015


Mending the Nets


Kneeling, as in prayer, they, each in their own pew,

mend the nets to insure the fullest possible yield

when next they harvest the sea.


Knowing that the repairs will hold for only so long

and  that if any one of them does not

do his job well, the prize will be lost to all, and


knowing that despite their skill and diligence

and patience and experience, the sea may still deny

them the reward of a full hold and a decent living .


Knowing all this and knowing the dangers they face,

they together, in an act of faith , mend the net  and

tend the ties that bind them, each to the other.


© Marty Luster 2013






Photoshop Memory


If I should grow old and dim of eye

with my memory shrouded in mist,

one sight I’d remember is the Annisquam Light

and I’d  hope to see it like this.


The sky and the water perhaps bluer than true,

the boulders, a rich golden glow;

the textured ripples sculpt’d by the tide

’cause my photoshop helped keep it so.


© Marty Luster 2012

Instructions for Beach Meditation

Sit comfortably with good posture on a quiet section of the beach.

Take a few cleansing breaths and then partially close your eyes.

Notice your breathing and hear it accompany the surf

and the breeze and the smell of the sea and the soft gong of

the buoy and the touch of the sand and the warmth of the sun.

*    *    *    *

Draw breath into the center of your body, in and out,

in and out, and let the sounds and smells and sights and

feelings slowly and gently lift from your mind.

*    *    *    *

Allow your eyes to stare about six feet in front of you

and perhaps soon your vision will focus

on one bright spot; all else falling into the darkened background.

*    *    *    *

Feel the breath enter and leave in a steady rhythm.

Count them as they come and go and know

that all sound, all sight, all thought,

all feeling is fleeting

and what remains

is simply


© Marty Luster 2012

A Nice Vacation


It was really a very nice vacation;

a road trip to Lion’s Head Ontario

on Lake Huron to visit family

and explore an area I hadn’t seen before.


I crewed on a sail around the peninsula,

watched the grandkids play on the rocky shore,

saw some limestone caves and perfected the art

of entering and leaving a hammock .


But where was the Annisquam Light and Coffins

and Wingaersheek and Good Harbor and

where was the aroma of the ocean, the rhythm

of the tides and the feel of salt on the skin?


Where was Fiesta, and the Schooner Festival,

block parties at night and dory races and whale watches;

or the Dog Bar Breakwater, Bass Rocks and

the light that adds such magic to our every day?


Coming home, we spent some time in the Adirondacks,

a place where, for years, I hiked and climbed and camped.

The peace of the inland lakes, the grandeur of the High Peaks

and the majesty of its old growth forests are dear to me.


But where was Dogtown with its mythic allure

and Ravenswood, high above the harbor

and the granite walls of flooded quarries

and  the wind rustling the marsh grass in Jones Creek?


Most of the people I met along the way

were courteous and kind and friendly and helpful;

but where were the toughened fishermen, the storytellers,

artists, poets, merchants and trades-people of Gloucester?


It was a very nice vacation, full of discovery

and relaxation, but where was my home?


© Marty Luster 2012



This tender awaits

the return of its skipper;

like a dog, his master.


© Marty Luster 2012

Solitary Sailor


To make a long voyage in a small boat

was a quest of mine for many years;

spurred by Slocum, Guzzwell, Chichester and Johnson

I planned my trips to Nova Scotia and beyond.


Though some small sailing adventures I’ve had,

I’ve never left the shore very far behind

and never saw a distant shadow on

the horizon become the outline of a new land.


But the image still appeals to me as I

sit on the heights at Stage Fort Park

and listen to the sea as a solitary

sailor makes his voyage across the harbor.


© Marty Luster 2012

Joe The Woodcarver


Seated by Pavillion Beach, Joe carves each

piece with the care and skill and memories

that more than forty years in Gloucester

have instilled in his mind and in his hands.


With his family sitting near him he lays

out large and small sea- horses, whales

and mermaids while chatting with a stranger

about the sculpted wood now emerging .


He talks about his collection of old photos

and the pictures he has taken with the

camera of his eye,  while his knife fashions

from one of those pictures a fearsome white shark.


From eye to mind to hands to knife, Joe

whittles for each a life by the sea; images

of the world around us and beneath us

as we pass a lovely afternoon on Pavillion Beach.


© Marty Luster 2012

Taking Photos on Cape Ann


Like the hummingbird, I flit from one bright spot

to another, sucking  the nectar from deep within.


Like the hummingbird, I appear motionless

just before I take my sustenance from the flower.


Like the hummingbird, I am gone before you see me;

I  leave –  sated with the fullness of my life.


Like the hummingbird, I know my way

and revisit my favorite places.


Like the hummingbird, I am nurtured by

the colors, perfume and sweetness of this garden.


© Marty Luster 2012

The Gift


He had spent his youthful summers on Cape Ann,

but life, as it has a way of doing, took him many miles away

to a place where his kids were born and are growing up

not knowing Stage Fort, or the harbor, or the people of Gloucester.


They have never seen the brave souls on the greasy pole

or splashed in the Good Harbor surf, or, until this day, stood

on a rock watching the fishing boats live out the traditions of

nearly 400 years that began on this precise spot.


So he gave his kids a gift, one that they will remember

and cherish and make them think of him well after they

are grown and have children of their own;

a gift that only a parent can give.


On this lovely day in July he brought them to Gloucester

and showed them around and told them stories

of his summers in this place and gave them

a part of his life that they will keep forever.


© Marty Luster 2012