Monday, August 8, 2011

"Maine Step Son" Poem

Our Nigerian friend, Philip Oyok, is a writer and a poet. He just sent this touching poem about his recent visit to Maine-

Maine Step Son

I have a picture in my mind of Maine, 
And I feel it's a picture that's never going to wash away 
Ever till the day the Lord takes me away:

Walking down the streets of Bath
Sitting by the riverside
Staring out at the Carlton Bridge
The sight of the Bath Iron Works building the ships
While on the river, luxury boats went by and by.

Walking down the streets
Ogling the old homes, picturing the lives of the old folks
Of past sea captains and boat builders and Maine-ish wives
Proud of the New World they had
Were they happy?
Were they proud?

There's a quietude here I never discovered elsewhere:
Old folks shuffling by
Some waving a hand, going Maine-ish when they spoke: "Hi stranger. Care for a bee-ah?"
Some foreign it sounded to my ears
I often had to laugh and cry
At the sound of their happiness
At the sound of their years.

Driving through Woolwich
Admiring the rich, old homes out on Pleasant Cove
Venturing into a Borders' shop in Brunswick
Too bad their doors won't stay open for long;
The splendour of the Androscoggin River,
Stopping at a drive-in to munch on lobster roll
Listening to Eagles on the radio
'Take it easy' while we cruise along the turnpike road.

Entering Cape Elizabeth
Stopping to see the famous light house at Fort William's Park
Looking at the giant elm trees in Sebago Lake
The water so blue, looking invitingly new
Old and the young jumping into the water
The zenith of summer
We fry marshmallows and eat them with chocolate
Being around a family, the love permeates the tide. 

We visit the Wildlife Park
Take pictures standing beside a carved out bear just before seeing the live ones
The eagles all stay quite in their caged homes
Turtles bask in the shade away from the sun
Look! There's a moose, acting like we aren't even there
A porcupine sticks it head out of its hole, but hurries back inside
A trail of kids walk by, marveling the sight.

Sitting in front of the bath City Hall
watching tourists snap photos
buying ice cream and listening to the quite music of the street
the air tingled my nostrils
from Granite Street, the wind ruffles the hairs on my skin
Since arriving here, my glands hardly broke a sweat
Though my sleeping hour overdue, sweetest dreams always came too soon.
The evening comes but late
We sit out in the front porch, feeding on lobster
I wear an apron on, knife and fork in my hand
Grinning at the camera
Moments such as these are forever.

It is too late to answer the question
But I will return again
This land, this part of the world
Will be a second home
This beauty, I take home with me in pictures
In dreams ... 

This Maine state of mind.


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