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Poetic Impressions of a Maine Boatyard

By guest bloggers, Peggy and Jerry DePersia

Yes, DesignDestinations is stretching creatively. Here you will find  poetry written by  Peggy DePersia and the photography of Jerry DePersia.  Traveling to  Maine at the beginning of the summer they enjoyed a creative time in one of the most beautiful parts of the United States.

Peggy devoted herself to  a poetry workshop at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts while Jerry made a return visit to a wooden boat building class at the Wooden Boat School.  Both are near Camden, Maine.

I hope their words and images take you to the Maine boat yard the same way I was transported to this magical place.

Dry Docked

by Peggy DePersia

Like a school of fish

they faced us

eerily blind,

topsides canvas-

wrapped below

the water line

moored to trailers,

keels slicing downward,

ventral fins,



held in place by

a lost season or unpaid fee,

even history, long

regaled and treasured

can tether her to the yard,

till she can be readied,

till she sets sail.

Maine Boatyard

by Peggy DePersia


“Is this Seal Cove?”

car window lowered.

“It was yesterday.”

came the terse reply

as the stranger moved toward us.


His memorable face,

round, weathered by wind and tenacious cold,

had a northern clime’s blue eyes;

he squinted with the first sun of many days. His silver curls –

glinting in the brightness that afternoon,

like a warrior’s helmet –

framed his eyes,

a most compelling feature.


“Can we look around, take a few pictures?

Anyplace we shouldn’t go?

Is that acceptable?”


He studied us.

Read us with care.


Go ahead, look around – avoid closed doors,

he answered, adding, incredibly,

“Approach open doors with circumspection.”


‘Circumspection.’ We were dumbfounded

by the word springing to those tight, watchful lips;

we sat observing, as he walked away,

the erect posture, the carriage

in his nondescript jeans and T-shirt –

blue, of course, and worn –

the jeans belted by a solid buckle.

A man hewn by the history of this place.

A man who did not omit to tell us,

walking away, toward his small office,

“I’m the proprietor;

you have my permission.”


And each word he’d said, refined him

in memory like a stone

faceted, held a long time,

with circumspection.















Jerry DePersia is an architect in Grand Rapids, MI and a lover of wood crafts.

Peggy recently retired as a high school art teacher and now devotes her time to teaching at Kendall College of Art and Design and living creatively.

They both enjoy travel and their time on or near water.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Sep 1, 2011 Reply

    Peggy and Jerry, 
    Thank you so much for sharing your poetry and images. 
    What a gift.   

  2. posted by
    Visiting the Poetry Foundation in Chicago | DesignDestinations
    Oct 23, 2011 Reply

    […] Peggy is a poet and an artist. If you’d like to read a sample of her work, click here for her poems about Maine boatyards.  You won’t be […]

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