Chasing Fireflies

With fond childhood memories
In the dimmest evening light,
Holding jar and lid in hopes
Of catching fireflies that night.

In wonderment and excitement
Your imagination soars.
Nature and all its many gifts
That can’t be found in a store.

To run, to scoop those tiny stars
That light for a second or two.
View their magic in that jar;
Setting them free when I’m through.


I have learned so much more
Than I thought I ever knew,
When I came to spend my time
With young students, such as you.

You showed me tender feelings
Held inside your minds and hearts;
You put your thoughts to paper
Then shared your wonderful art.

I see and feel the wisdom
In each verse you’ve written down.
That special place you go to,
A place that you all have found.

I most sincerely thank you
For the time that you gave me;
With sharp pencils and notebooks,
Be all that you can be.


The sun climbs up the eastern sky,
Bringing life to a new day.
Rolling meadows velvety green,
Budding leaves are on their way.

Waiting pastures welcomes its herd
After milking time is through,
For it’s there they graze in comfort
In fields watered by dew.

Green mountain peaks have shed their snow,
A clear blue sky hangs overhead.
Nature greets me most sincerely,
I have nothing here to dread.

From my tractor seat this morning
I see a world full of good,
And knowing that time is precious,
These treasures are understood.


Daylight fleeing as it does
And evening drawing nigh.
The fire box now glowing,
Feeding sparks to the sky.

Evaporating moisture
Sent up the chimney flu,
There inside the boarded walls
Was smell and sounds I knew.

From levered pipe on the side
There flowed an amber stream.
The sweet odor from the pail,
A sugar maker’s dream.

“Time to fire”, someone says,
With slab of seasoned wood.
Its glowing inferno fed,
Warmth felt from where I stood.

Hard labor and precious time,
Traditions kept alive.
Generations of stories,
It’s how “sugaring” survives.


Snow, it can fall from mid-day sky
At dusk or at days new dawn,
Placed gently upon bow and branch
And blankets the frozen lawn.

I have heard the voice of thunder
And flash of bright lightning too.
Thunder snow in the still of night
Stirs the senses through and through.

There’s a storm they call “Nor Easter”.
Fury lies within its breeze.
Strong enough to push snow sideways,
Packing it beneath the eves.

O the snow that flies in the night
When all is quiet and still.
Its magic stirs the wondering eyes
And warms a hearts winter chills.

Yes, how the sound of falling snow
Leave emotions left unsaid.
I’ll bid the busy day goodnight
As I make my way to bed.


Somewhere just beyond the fog
Waves break on its sandy beach.
Treasures brought in by the tide
Staying just beyond hands reach.

Sounds of the sea will reveal
The white foam crashing thunder.
And sand castles built with dreams
By young at heart that wonder.


The slow crackling of a campfire
And night songs of the peepers,
Caress the weary heart and mind
From sounds of phones and beepers.

I look to the stars in silence,
North Star having its own place.
Constellations play hide and seek
And shooting stars sometimes race.

Sparkling like a thousand diamonds,
Lighting up the midnight sky.
Keeping company with the moon,
Soothing to both you and I.

Another day now behind me,
Reflect on things I’ve done and said,
And hope perhaps that all is right
Before I climb into bed.


Each morning they come
With the sunrise they fly.
Looking for breakfast
To the feeders hung high.

Finches and bluebirds
Cardinals, swallows and doves,
Darting and swarming,
Nudges turn into shoves.

And there on the ground,
Squirrels impatiently wait
For the seed kicked out
At an alarming rate.

This show takes a twist
As dominance sets in,
Yes big daddy squirrel
Rules the turf once again.

Best of luck to those
Thinking you’ve got them beat.
They’ll climb anything
With those sharp little feet.


O those pesky leaves do fall
And pile themselves deep once more.
The north wind rakes them every year
Then throws them at my front door.

Now orchard trees shed their fruit
To be hand- picked one by one.
The scent of fresh squeezed cider
Lingers beneath an Autumn sun.

The great pumpkin has arrived
With a scary lit up face.
Inviting those in search of treats
To a dark and spooky place.

Yes, apples, leaves and pumpkins,
It is now that time of year.
Jack Frost has left a message,
Winter’s grip is almost here.


She is the last of her kind,
Saved by a woman and a dream.
A journey of two miles,
Moved by a brave and daring team.

Twelve, thirty one, fifty five,
She was winched across frozen ground.
Taking sixty five long days,
Reaching her new berth safe and sound.

Her days now spent near a friend,
The lighthouse from Colchester Reef .
Now you can stand between them
Scratching your head in disbelief.

Her grand staircase and hallways
All masterpieces from the past.
Hand carved and trimmed by craftsmen,
Built with pride and skill to last.

The walking beam and smokestack
All a symbol from bygone days.
Her whistle can still be heard
As if the TI were underway.


Written by Shelburne’s Poet Laureate, Rick Bessette

Dedicated to Electra Webb, Ralph Nading Hill, Alanson Fisher and Martin Fisher For their vision and passion for the TI, aAnd for the craftsmen past and present.