Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Posts Tagged ‘Jeanine Gervais

Poem: “Mending Wall,” Robert Frost

leave a comment »

Poem:  May 2015

Jeanine Gervais sent me this Robert Frost poem the other day.

I thought you might enjoy it too.

We in Maine are busy with spring clean-up, which involves fixing walls and picking up brush, so the poem is timely.


Robert Frost


Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,

And spills the upper boulders in the sun,

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair

Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,

No one has seen them made or heard them made,

But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

We have to use a spell to make them balance:

‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of out-door game,

One on a side. It comes to little more:

There where it is we do not need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors’.

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it

Where there are cows?

But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him,

But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me~

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father’s saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Written by louisaenright

June 1, 2015 at 11:15 am

Poems: “Our Winter of 2015”

leave a comment »

Poems:  February 4, 2015

I asked Jeanine Gervais, who lives in the northern Boston area, which has also been slammed with snow, to write a poem about winter for the blog.

Note:  a “snow farms,” I just learned are the places (like empty parking lots) where cities/towns are putting snow to get it off the streets.

Our Winter of 2015


By Jeanine H. Gervais…inspired by my friend, Louisa P. Enright


It has been snowing for years now

or so it seems

The sky a milky white

warns us

more to come.

Blankets of snow will silence everything.


There is no escape:

TV weathermen with anxious voices reminding us

of record snow fall…school closings…stay off roads

sand and plow trucks have been deployed.


Why do they broadcast TV newsmen

on top of snow mounds,

then too breathless to give reports,

like we need to see snow mounds

we have the real thing.

We have our own snow farms, too.


It takes 15 minutes to put on four layers

the windchill factor minus 17 degrees

to find the mailbox glued shut

but it doesn’t matter because mailmen who deliver in rain, sleet, and snow,

don’t.  I miss my mail.

The Boston Globe newspaper tube

a frozen cannoli,

glare ice hides

under baby-powder snow.

I hear the roofs heave,

salt is eating my car.


Friends from Florida and Arizona

send emails

with cute remarks

but that’s okay,

we can take it.

We had to jump off merry-go-rounds,

such a gift.


February 2, 2015

Written by louisaenright

February 4, 2015 at 10:39 am

Poems: “Desiderata”

with one comment

Jeanine Gervais, whom I met and enjoyed on board the J&E Riggin windjammer last summer–and we will sail together next summer (July 20-2)as well–along with friend of long-standing June Derr–sent me this copy of “Desiderata.”




Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they, too, have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements, as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be careful. Strive to be happy.

[Found in Old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore, dated 1692]

Written by louisaenright

November 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Turkey Tracks:

with one comment

Turkey Tracks:  October 14, 2014

“My Salad”


We got a bag of mixed lettuce from our CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) farm, Hope’s Edge, last Friday.

Located just west of me, the farm has had some heavy frosts–though our yo-yo weather continues and today is nearly 70!

So, the lettuce was a welcome treat in our weekly share.  This lettuce has…survived.

When one tries to eat within the seasons, lettuce runs out in the fall.  I personally switch to lacto-fermented foods, like sauerkraut, when the lettuce runs out.  I am so not a fan of the lettuce that gets shipped in here from California in plastic boxes.  That lettuce has been gassed and is very old–like about 18 days old.  Whatever zip was in it is long gone.

I’ve been savoring my bag of lettuce–knowing that the cukes, the tomatoes, the celery are all nearing the end of their days.

Here’s another poem from Jeanine Gervais, who seems to be in a creative mood these days.  She’s eating, likely, what’s left in her garden these days.

My Salad

A Zen Buddhist monk book says

to practice


in the moment


“I am washing the dishes

to wash the dishes”

and so I eat my salad

to eat my salad

15 seeds

in tiny halved cherry tomato

raspberry dressing

a pink blanket

covers green leaves

speckled by black pepper polka dots

the white of sliced



in magenta

a still frame


By Jeanine H. Gervais

October 11, 2014

Written by louisaenright

October 14, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Turkey Tracks: “Cherry Tomatoes,” a poem

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  October 8, 2014

“Cherry Tomatoes,” A Poem


I met Jeanine Gervais on the windjammer J&E Riggin this summer.

We were/are both writing/literature teachers at local colleges/universities.

Since the windjammer trip, we’ve been writing back and forth on email, daily.

Here’s the poem Jeanine sent me yesterday.  It really hit home as I had just been out in my own “mid-October” garden, picking cherry tomatoes.  She wrote it herself, of course.



Cherry Tomatoes

My back bends to pick cherry tomatoes

strung like pearls on winding branches

buried amongst rotted vegetables

blackened leaves

the garden in mid-October a shambles.

Cherry tomatoes hidden under

leaves like umbrellas

protected from wind and cold

holding steadfast, saying

Don’t forget me! Don’t forget me!

I am here. I am strong.

Jeanine H. Gervais

October 7, 2014

Written by louisaenright

October 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm