Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Nostalgia and the Authors journey across the pond.

Baxter Island, Maine
 As nostalgia goes, here is a poem I wrote when I first came to America.
Baxter island, Maine, USA 1988.

Traces of life revealed,
Smoothed over by a gentle tide,
Across sands and landscapes wide,
Reaching out across time,                                 
In silent echoes we hear.
From so far-- is felt so near.
How 'all life's' precious, my dear. 

Dec (c) 1988/9-2011. Jacqueline Howett
I wrote this poem. 'Sands of time,' to my entry into America, when I seemingly fled as if with my life from Old England in 1988, at the beginning of the first Arab invasion, not long after the Arabs became educated in London. And while running away from all that was Europe in change, (it was also the beginning of the computer era.) I was looking back across the channel from my new Cape Cod style home right on the water in Falmouth, Maine relieved yet somewhat puzzled this was New England. Baxter Island was at my doorstep. A beautiful untouched landscape on rock where I frolicked with my two Pekinese dogs I had brought with me. I wrote three sessions a day to my novels and carried some bread and salami sticks on my walks, a habit I still had from living as a writer/hermit in the mountains of North Wales, UK, but I still dressed in my crazy London fashions when on occasion I went out to dinner. I was still blind to what Mainers were wearing. My walks across a bridge from my house to Baxter Island, was a solitary place for the death, dumb and blind, and yet, I felt this is what I had done to Europe for a time.
From a seat bench I looked across the waters to Old England at my whole life that seemingly was vanishing.
So I kept looking across the pond. On the other hand, I didn’t want to forget all I had lived up to this point on the other side across these oceans, as I hadn’t fully understood it. So, in my silence I kept looking just like a puppy dog or the caped lady in the movie, the lieutenant’s woman. After all, it was my place of birth, my roots. But the spirits had by now already moved me on and mingled me in with new faces and places yet to see. However, I was allowed to look across the ocean. It was as if God felt amused by my expression and yearning feelings to something I coudn’t describe or quite fathom yet. I had moved house several times, left the state, then returned to live in Portland, Maine, but I always drove or biked back to look. This time I found another outlet to the sea on a small stretch of beach that looked over across the water at the Cape Cod house surrounded by water on every side where I use to live, just passed a section called Back bay. Once again, I would reflect upon the time factor moving me along from the past. The people that had come and gone in my life since then, and how I continued to write all through it what ever came my way. I could still see old England from there. How often I would return and look when I was out on my bike, and this was a carry on I did until I left Maine. It had become a part of me. I wanted to hold on to it for as long as I could. I have a funny feeling that this time Maine, I am never coming back.

But who really knows...
So you see, I now carry a little of that with me.

I have another poetry book coming soon, called Sands Of Time, This poem will the opening of the book. Here is a glimpse of the book cover. Although it has been mentioned before, I thought it fitted in well here to give it another mention.

Jacqueline Howett Author of The Greek Seaman and Amorphous Angelic, Selected Poems and The secret Passion of Twins, (a short story).

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