While walking the outline of Harbor Park,

I turn and see barges and lobster smacks

before gathering in all of the view.


The horizon holds me, except for fog

obscuring one vessel or another

fading in and out of a ghostly scene,


too far or faint to read a craft by name:

to give the harbormaster lists of ships

from some other ocean on distant maps.


A gull soars above me, focused on food,

making no sign it is aware of me,

seems not worried about my presence, but,


instead, circles its target of refuse.

Pilings, standing in tides like sticks to protect

shoreland, hold up a seaborne restaurant.


Gulls still look for food to change their mood,

scanning rooftops, railings and a green yacht

rocking back and forth while tied to its wharf.


Just beyond, daffodils grow at hillside

next to the local police station lot

by the municipal fish pier running


along Commercial Street to Journey’s End.

The street loops to town past Coast Guard cutters.

A working harbor, there’s room for moorings


for windjammer sails and fish boats alike

to celebrate the catch of the blue deep

in music, pageant and lobsters galore,


and honor those who died in ships at sea.

Meanwhile, a light at the end of a long

breakwater serves to guide mariners home.


George Chappell is a Rockland resident and former member of The Courier-Gazette news staff. He participates in the Rockport Public Library's Poets' Corner Workshop. His book, "A Fresh Footpath: My New Life in Poetry" is available through Pell Press in Rockport.

The Courier-Gazette will feature quality poems of local authors in this space. If you would like to submit a poem, please email it to News Editor Dan Dunkle at ddunkle@courierpublicationsllc.com or mail it to 91 Camden St., 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 less preferred.