For Shubhra Chand


A Japanese painting closed in

I cannot see the ocean

one hundred yards away

from across the world

comes beauty


on a machine I do not understand

life here in Maine

is mostly silent

except for tourists

proudly wearing their museum badges

I like the silence

it helps me think

though music aids

I have only approached the typewriter

A few times

since August 6th

when God slowed traffic

to a walk for three hours

in memory of Hiroshima

after the walk passed

we all forgot again

went about our work

with a mild sense of irritation

I have a terrible burden

a historical memory

helps me remember

what some people think

is very inconvenient

tonight the fog lingers

I can see nothing


Kendall Merriam, Home, Sept. 30, 2010

Listening to Phyllis read a sad story in the New York Times


Kendall Merriam was born and raised in Rockland. He has a history degree from Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. and graduate studies in military and maritime history at the University of Maine at Orono and Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Conn. He also received grants to study historical research at Colonial Williamsburg and the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Merriam has been widely published, including in Katyn W Literaturze (Katyn in Literature), a Polish anthology of literary works about the World War II Katyn Forest Massacre by 120 international authors, including Czeslaw Milosz. Merriam has written more than 20 books and plays. Most of Merriam’s work has a definite muse — family, friends, and strangers — with life’s larger themes of work, love, loss and death. On April 29, 2010, Merriam was appointed Rockland, Inaugural Poet Laureate, an honor from his hometown Merriam cherishes.

The Courier-Gazette will feature quality poems of local authors in Open Mic. If you would like to submit a poem, please email it to News Editor Dan Dunkle at or mail it to 91 Camden Street, Suite 403, Rockland, ME  04841. Please be sure to include your name, address, daytime phone number and a little information about the poet. No profanity or explicit material, please. 500 words or fewer preferred.