Archives for the month of: June, 2012

Nearly Every Day


Nearly every day I wander about

with camera in hand (attached like some odd

prosthetic device) trying to capture

the seconds that constitute my life.


It’s as if by snapping the shutter I

assure myself that nothing will change;

the people and places I see and freeze

in time will always be here and I will always


be unseen, but still be part of the whole

of this marvelous place discovered so late.

And those who tend their shops or perfect their art;

who play with their kids and fix and serve our meals,


or prepare their boats for long hauls at sea;

and those who repair our roads, connect our phones,

keep the peace and douse our errant fires and

those who find joy on the water; all those who don’t see me


as I observe them from the docks and corners

and the doorways as I walk  the town

make their lives part of my own and allow

their moments to mingle and merge with mine.


I put my camera to my eye and for one

fraction of a second a silhouette and I are one,

sharing that brief instant, caught forever

in a world that will never change.


© Marty Luster 2012






A June egret sees

the tide recede inch by inch

while I hurry by.


© Marty Luster 2012


Call Me Ishmael


Not long ago I took one of my usual walks

to the waterfront .  It was not, as Ishmael says,

during a damp, drizzly November in my soul, but  in

the real chill of a drizzly Gloucester afternoon.


Despite the gloom, I found myself not alone

on the Harbor Cove boardwalk near Lat 43.

At the far end, among the traps, sat a man feeding the gulls,

looking out over the bulwarks of the nearby boats.


The scene reminded me of the rest of Ishmael’s

opening observations: there is something

that draws “almost all men in their degree  *  *  *

to cherish the same feelings towards the ocean with me.”


Those feelings compel us to choose the water’s edge

even when a snug room or restaurant  is nearby and

might  provide some comfort, say a cup of soup or tea;

but we decide to stay outside to watch and feel and wait.


We, who, unlike Ishmael, cannot “sail about a little

and see the watery parts of the world” still drift to

beach and marsh and wharves just to gaze and stare,

and let our senses absorb and our imaginations soar.


© Marty Luster 2012

When I Visit The Docks at Night


When I visit the docks at night I enter a mystical realm;

what’s familiar in the daylight becomes a stage for a

pageant  from another age –a reminder of what has been

and a plea from the past for us not to forget.


Work for the day has ended, the docks are empty.

The boats are all secured and the gulls are quiet.

It’s night and our vision is limited, but small sounds,

as from an unseen wind chime, render accompaniment.


The stage is set as the yellow glare from the tethered boats

is diffused in the mist that has descended across the harbor.

It offers a comforting aura to an audience of one

and a mellow atmosphere that softens the chill night air.


At night in the shadows cast by the pilings and the rigging

and the nearby buildings on the wharf, unseen and unheard,

I listen to the hubbub of the ancient crews as they gather

on these docks to lay in stores and ice and their very lives.


I see their dories nested on deck, the trawl tubs loaded

and the buoys and anchors assembled.

They await their voyage to the Banks and their

deployment at the proper time and place.


I see hope in those faces that their dories may

be filled with hundreds of thousands of pounds

of fish; that their payday is generous and their

return to this good port is swift and safe.


And, as I listen and watch this pageant unfold,

my wish is that all those whose voices I hear

and whose faces I see and whose hopes  I feel, will return

to perform for me when I again visit the docks at night.


© Marty Luster 2012