On This Quiet Shore

You won’t find me in those old haunts,
the cobblestone streets above the river
where metal bridges and railroad tracks
lead to the iron bound city.
I acted the fool, irresponsible and careless,
but there was method in my madness,
following the stars and dirt roads
to be with wild geese and towering trees.
In the distance fog banks cover the mainland,
ferries sound their deep throated warnings
yet here on the island the skies are clear
and a great orange sun brightens the land.
I couldn’t scrape the city clean
nor my own heart on those unforgiving streets
but I’ve found a home on this quiet shore,
swept by the tide and ocean wind.
The grass is soft and night skies dark
while into the silence the old songs rise
with a place for you beside the fire.





















Reading of “On This Quiet Shore” with music by Boccherini


10 Responses to “On This Quiet Shore”

  1. Mike McCauley says:

    Don — Beautiful poem! Patty & I have been fortunate enough to live now for 46 years within 3 blocks of the eastern edge of Lake Michigan. It was only a 10 minute drive (along the lakefront) to my office in “the ironbound city” downtown. But here, at our home, there always was a respite from all that. Where “into the silence (when the kids were not home!) the old songs (could) rise with a place (a loved one) by the fire.” Thanks for writing & sharing this.

  2. Tom Figel says:

    Don, I notice how skillfully Mike McCauley points out your distance from essential legal services. Nancy and I heard songs performed yesterday by a local man who grew up in – and fled – Belfast. One of the songs was “Dirty Old Town”. Fine stuff. Like your poems.

  3. Peter Lepanto says:

    Beautiful Don! Thank you!

  4. Jean Berman says:

    Don, I live on an island in Maine, and had the fire going yesterday during a big rainstorm, so especially relate to your closing thoughts. I feel so blessed to be here. Thank you for the variety of images stitched together in this inviting poem.

  5. Relating DEEPLY to this beauty, Soul Bro’… taproot reached the mark! Love & Blessings.

  6. Stan Grindstaff says:

    Don ~ I join you at the fire…

  7. PenDell Pittman says:

    Don, your words here mirror for me personal insights, past and present: Despite my once haunting “streets, bridges, and railroads” of Belief, concepts, and judgments, my young, foolish “madness” prompted quite starry-eyed dreams – while the foggy Unknown congested my “mainland” humanness with subconscious warnings of self-defeating subterfuge.

    Yet, in the blessed Here & Now, amid deep waters and balmy winds, my quiet earthen shores have places for igniting my “creative fires” anew – while they ongoingly resonate with Yours!

  8. Edward Haimes says:

    Don, I too prepare a place for those who seek solace. I continue to find my joy in stillness and the beauty of nature. Deer, elk, bear, bobcat, mountain lion, wild turkeys, surround me, giving voice to my beloved. I am so very thankful. Blessings to all.

  9. Chris Dalengas says:

    Well done! Emotional and so evocative. Cheers!

  10. Elizabeth Nunn says:

    Wherever we live we create our own island if only in our hearts. Thank you.

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