Swallows on the wires, Humera, 2018 — photograph by Ben Weinberg

Long ago, when I lived on the island,

weeks at a time with no one,

only the wind and tide moving.

Long enough on my own,

so the empty spaces in solitude were filled with wild

and quiet was not alone.

Then, the stars drew closer,

and in the pause between breaths I heard the whispers in the wind.

I knew when someone was coming.

As though the movement toward the island far away

sent ripples through the woven structure of atmosphere,

like the echos sent ahead on the rails by an approaching train,

vibrations cast forward through time and…

Look out upon the garden,
a wither of tangled vines
unharvested fruits hang cracked and past their time
mist, softer than a lover’s goodbye kiss,
whispers promises and memories.
The windblown leaf
a tiny prayer of thanks
an ode to letting go.

In the dawn, still fog shrouded,
a peaceful moment lulls,
calling to mind
memories of gatherings and grace.

Time and tide,
channeled where once they meandered,
sing the algorithm for this age,
our age of bitter ironies
and dreams come true.

Singing into being a time of reaping,
no joyful thanksgiving this season.
Looking out on all we’ve wrought,
only the sinking, leaden knowledge;
that the savaged garden beyond was ours.
Oh, the terrible unfolding as the flowers of our folly bloom

Chimney bricks, Gotts Island, Maine — photo by author

I dreamed the old man last night
Driving cross country
road turned north,
and as in dreams, no one noticed,
the shoulder crumbled
like a leaf we fell
looking up
where the road went on without us.

In the logic of dreams,
I remembered the old cellar holes on the island.
Jumble of mossy bricks where the chimney stood,
piles of laths and plaster all that was left of the walls
a few old bottles where the pantry shelf collapsed
shards of wavy, bubbled window glass.

As children, we used barrel tops for shields and laths for swords.
Later, when all…

Painting by Jeffrey Ackerman — 2016 (with permission of the artist)

Old Door — Gozo — photo by author

After Filomena: Madrid, Spain January 2021- Photo by author

It came without warning,
that’s what they’ll say,
wish I’d a known,
never saw it coming,
never knew it’d be like this.

Oh, I’d laugh, if it wasn’t a crying thing,
Here at the scene,
walls tore down and roof ripped away,
every last belonging scattered,
dreams in tattered heaps,
waiting to be hauled away.
Laughter now, hollow as a sea worn shell,
echoing with all that might have been.

Profit and loss, every penny counted twice.
Not an expense out of line.
So neat and simple in columns and rows.
Who spoke for the trees and the land?
Who spoke spoke for the…

American School of Madrid photo by author

I am the head of school at the American School of Madrid. I am an educator, not a scientist. This is not a data driven report, this is one school’s story, our school’s story. As much as we need data to guide decision making, we also need stories to give hope, to serve as examples, and to give a broader context than points on a graph and percents in a spreadsheet. The discussion about COVID precautions and preventative measures has become polarized and deeply divisive in many communities. In some school districts and communities, what began as a discussion became…

Ridin’ with Lady Luck — Lewiston, Maine — photo by author

Coats and faces tight against the wind,
only line in the winter empty plaza,
on the kiosk windows, yellowed and edges curled
all the winning numbers sold
el Gordo, Navidad, el Nino, La Loteria

I ‘magin you know it well as me, the rush,
calling shotgun long-sida luck,
always a clamor, claiming credit when things go
the way we hoped they might,
but the crowd thins like smoke in the wind
when fate shifts, and tables turn.

Luck’s a tide.
No dam’ll hold it when it flows. …

Cathedral of Girona — Catalonia, Spain — photo by author

Peppers, lime, fresh ginger and mixed spices

Summer heat is all we talk about for a while but it is gone so quickly. School starts, the first rains fall, leaves turn. Suddenly the warm is something we lean into instead of pulling away from. The heat of summer lives on the bright colors of jams and sauces. I have bags of roasted tomatoes, pesto, and raspberries in the freezer. Next weekend I’ll harvest the winter squash and have containers of bright orange and gold mash for cream soups and stacks of butternut squash for roasting. But this weekend I packed summer heat in jars. Literally. …

benjamin weinberg

Writer, walker, poet, educator. Commercial fisherman, builder, donut maker, organic grower. Boston, U. City, Maine, South Africa, Madrid.

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