Mystic Arts Center 2

Poetry box by the Turner family.

Poetry box by the Turner family.

My Teacher by Lucy Turner


Brown mist around the mountain, Beneath a treasure blue, Jewels sparkling like diamonds, Silver eyelash blading through. A girl that grows her heart out BIG, Watering her future from the seeds sprouting from her head, Picked children from her garden and did what mama said, Planting learning in the minds of children and the faces she had read. Shows she’s a wonderful teacher from the seed up to the stem.

Poem by Lucy Turner who wrote the poem to honor Ms. Tracy O'Lari, a teacher that has had a great influence upon her. Lucy is ten years old, a triplet with her sister Ella and her brother Aidan. All three are in the fifth grade at Mystic Middle School.
Along with parents, Kevin and Pam Turner, the whole family took part in constructing the poetry box. Lucy's vision for the box was a rustic birdhouse in the wild; covered in moss, surrounded by butterflies.

Mystic Arts Center

Mystic Arts Center

Poetry box by Dan Potter

Tree as Box
by Dan Potter


Poem and poetry box by Dan Potter, sculptor and actor for the Mystic Paper Beasts mask theatre company which he cofounded in 1976, Dan grew up making paintings and sculpture, puppets and masks with his parents, Alice and Fuller Potter, two artists who married while arguing about good and bad art.

When he was ten, his father entered Dan’s first 3D painting/sculpture icognito in the first Whitney Biennale Exhibition, and when it sold to a Texas oilman, they bought a welding rig, and in 1956 Dan began showing sculpture at Anne Fuller’s Stonington Art Gallery.

Moving from welded assemblages in his teens to pottery in his thirties, anatomical drawing in his forties, and lost wax bronzes and plasma cut sculpture in his fifties, he now shows in galleries on Long Island, Rhode Island, the Cape, Connecticut, Mexico, Istanbul, and Hanoi, as well as New York.

Dan is a graduate of the Putney School, Harvard College, and the Graduate School of Design (after a year of working for Paul Matisse as a designer and another studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Strasbourg). He studied with Alex Tzonis, Ricardo Porro, Deane Keller, Don Gale and Peter Zallinger.

Over the past two years, following invitations into Ana Flores’ Poetry of the Wild project, he has created two poems for trees in public spaces. The first, in Riverside Park, New London was destroyed; in a mirrored box with gifts a stencil read: “Long before you came, I was a seed, longing for you.” The second arrangement hung inside a habitable hollow tree that stands by the water before the Mystic Arts Center. Many small gift discs, each read E A R T H as letters in a circle on one side, and on the other: EAR, HEAR THE EARTH; ART, THE HEART.

Mystic Seaport


Poetry box by Jon Day

lost at sea
by Joanie DiMartino

“Mr. Howland overboard Oars were thrown then and waste boat cleared away... he went down before we could get to him.”

--Logbook, 12/1/1881, Charles W. Morgan

the beige smooth of driftwood
outstretched   as though reaching   still
toward fractured waves curling
onto a fog-laden
shore   cold light
reflects off the small glass
bud vase   rose-less
in this winter’s dusk

the whaleman’s cup
long empty   a dented tin haven
brimmed with gossamer
cobwebs   tilted on its side   handle
to the splintered table top like an ear
listening for the cries of gulls

"I desire only ink for wine, only stanzas for bread." -Joanie DiMartino
Poem by Joanie DiMartino. She has work published in many literary journals and anthologies.  Her first chapbook, Licking the Spoon, was published with Finishing Line Press. Her first full-length collection, Strange Girls was published by Little Red Tree Publishing, and the poem “A Treatise on Handling Snakes” from that collection received a nomination for a Pushcart Prize. Strange Girls was nominated for the 2011 Connecticut Book Award, and is presently being developed for a stage performance by director Steve Rotolo in Salem, MA.  Her work has been translated into Bulgarian and Spanish.
Her poems have been featured in several art exhibits in Lexington, Kentucky, including Sideshow, a collaborative project with the Women Artists Group; Collaborations + Catalysts, an exhibit highlighting combined mediums; and Connections--We Are All One.  She was featured in the exhibit Women in the Arts, a show by local artist Deborah Curtis, where her portrait and poem, “Self-Portrait,” were on display at ArtWorks in Norwich, Connecticut.  She is currently at work on several projects, including a collection of poems about the 19th-century whaling industry, highlighting the career of the Charles W. Morgan whaling barque, and is also editing an anthology about the Jersey Shore for Jersey publisher unboundCONTENT, to raise funds for restoration from Hurricane Sandy damage.  She hosts Soup & Sonnets, a monthly literary salon for women, and directs the Hidden Treasures Poetry Series in partnership with the Courtyard Art Gallery in downtown Mystic.  Along with performing poetry, she reviews books and leads workshops and discussion groups. DiMartino resides with her son in Mystic, CT.

Poetry box by Jon Day. Jon grew up in New England in a small town that still allowed the children to walk to school. He wasn’t introduced to the Internet until the age of 8. As a child he dreamed of becoming a paleontologist, ran a small business shoveling snow, raking leaves, and mowing lawns- he was a young visionary entrepreneur with big goals...
Opened and ran the Agaake Salat Gallery in Norwich, Connecticut from 2004-2006.
Attended Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn New York, studied Sculpture from 2004-2009.
One day, Jon decided to leave New York in pursuit of something a ‘little more real’. He became a historical restoration carpenter in Connecticut, and soon moved on to study architecture, boat building, and sailing. Jon was hired at Mystic Seaport Museum, as an apprenticing shipwright in 2010, specifically on the restoration of the Charles W. Morgan.  He was raised to full shipwright status after a few years study. He currently lives in Ledyard, Connecticut where he focuses on sculpture, and living life fully.

Bank Square Bookstore


Poetry box by Mili Ebbin

by Mili Ebbin

At dusk

doing a walkabout

I saw that overnight

the tiny bead buds

of the asters

had suddenly and

brilliantly become white

stars bursting forth

glowing in the dark

in the still corner

where fall begins

Especially For Me.

Poetry box and poem by Mili Ebbin. She left Yale Drama School to pursue an acting career in New York. She studied acting with Uta Hagen and appeared in off Broadway-plays including the New York premiere of The Lesson by Eugene Ionesco. Moving to Spain she appeared in Bob Goldston’s film Running Away Backwards with Richard Gardener. She also wrote for The Scope for the Electric Boat Company. She was a physical education teacher for many years. Her loves have always been her wonderful family, and writing. She enjoyed working on Poetry in the Wild with members of her family and the director Ana Flores.

High Street Gallery


Poetry box by Sadie Davidson DeVore

The Butterfly Box, The Butterfly House
by Sadie Davidson DeVore

Pollen, nectar.
Purple flowers, yellow flowers
Minerals, salts,
Male to female sugars.

Energy, tree sap.
Anglewings, emperors,
Leafwings, wood nymphs.
Pink flowers, yellow flowers.
Fruits, birds, water puddling.

Sand patches, Butterfly bushes.
White flowers, blue flowers, red flowers.
Native plants and trees
Native birds and butterflies.

Feeding, sheltering
In the pines, elms, hops,
Nettles, willows
Warmth in the wood piles
Purple flowers, yellow flowers.

Imago, ecdysis stages
Pink flowers, yellow flowers
Mating day, Zebra
Chrysalis, removing
Emerging, not flying,
White flowers, blue flowers, red flowers.

Small Apollo, clouded
Apollo Mating
Left alone for the season
And the cycles’ reason.
Purple flowers, yellow flowers, pink flowers,
Yellow flowers, white flowers, blue flowers,
Red flowers,
All in the garden I promised you.

Poetry box and poem by Sadie Davidson DeVore, High Street Art Gallery/Studio, Mystic fine Art and Antiques, 137 High Street Mystic, Ct. 06355

Education: BS Missouri State, graduate school UMKC, University of Kansas, University of Arkansas, New York University. Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, MAT in drawing and painting Rhode Island College

Workshops, grants: Skidmore, Yale, Mystic art center, South County Art Association, Brooks Photography School, Wisconsin school of art, Monhegan painters, Stonington Painters, Stonington Printmaking Society, Savannah College of Art and Design

Mystic-Noank Library


Poetry box by Carol Watson

Natural Belonging
by Carol A. Watson

Spirit of place is that force
that whispers out loud,
“Here I am.
See me.
Feel my pull.
Inhale deeply and know
my essence.”

It is the towheaded grasses
that sway and bow
brushed by earth’s exhalations,

ledge and stone
silent and enduring
illusions of permanence,

soft and yielding
cutting, swallowing

It is earth itself
damp and parched
fertile and fallow
consuming old life
yielding new.

Nature’s artistry,
minute and majestic
evokes a primeval satisfaction
insatiated hunger for more.

Nature’s wildness,
its spirit of place
envelopes me
seeps within.
I belong to it.
I am of it.

Poetry box and poem by Carol A. Watson, Artist/Poet, Bozrah, Connecticut. Self-taught and only beginning to do art while in my mid-40ʼs, my work is stylized, capturing the spirit or essence of my subject. I gravitate to collage and mixed media and instinctively work to communicate visually what moves me soulfully and what words seem inadequate in conveying. Horses and feathers, nature and texture, warm and neutral earth tones make me feel most grounded and are my predominant subjects. My work has been shown in galleries and shops in New England, Kentucky, and South Dakota.
A published writer, I began as a teenager to write poems and prose and later, a book about my mother and me after her unexpected death. Writing the book was a cathartic experience coupled with a way to memorialize her. Both my art and writing bear witness to my soul.


Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Store


Poetry box by Michael Gore

by Michael Gore

I climbed up the pole to the osprey nest, mostly just to satisfy my own curiosity.
I'd only ever seen them from below, or from a distance, nestled as they often are in marshy areas.
I figured, nobody's home, no time like the present.
I didn't know if there'd be eggs or not, not knowing what season it was in their lives.
What I didn't expect to see is what I saw:
a briefcase.
Being human, I had to open it.
Inside was a fish.
Not just any ordinary fish.
It had the word HAPPINESS written on it.
I'd known happiness before, seen it many times, but it had never felt,—certainly hadn’t—smelled, like this.
I looked around me, nobody in sight.
Did I dare take it?
I unzipped my jacket, ready to slide the fish into the inside pocket.
Then, before I could even think, a shadow passed over me, and a quick blast of air chilled me.
The osprey swooped in, its talons scratching my hand as it
ripped away the fish,
and with the suddenness of its arrival, it was away.
v I watched it fly off, silhouetted against the low clouds, until it was nothing but a small speck in the distance, and then nothing at all.
I looked to the ground below, then looked at my bleeding hand.
The same hand that minutes before had held the fish, had grasped happiness.
As I stepped out of the nest and began my descent, I looked back at the piece of luggage, propped open still--an empty space where I had first glimpsed the fish.
Who knows, I thought, what other happiness it might some day contain, exhilarated by the idea that happiness could overtake you in the strangest forms, but only probably if you allowed it to, if you opened yourself to that possibility.
I closed it and took it with me, hoping against hope that happiness would
come back soon, with or without its fish, and that
this—wouldn’t—just be a brief case.

Poetry box and poem by Michael Gore. Michael Gore lives in Groton, Connecticut, where he also works in special education in the public schools. He is a poet who also dabbles in the visual arts, and the Poetry of the Wild project was a wonderful platform to utilize both of those passions. He has never had a close encounter with an osprey, good or bad.

Haley Farm Box


Poetry box by Lili Kane, Michael Kane, and Syma Ebbin

The House
By Lili Kane

The house was yellow

like a bee gliding gracefully

caressing the flower petals,

not a thought in her mind.




Constant buzz


The house was blue like the sea


White froth builds up like a building

Brick by brick

Brick by brick



It means home

It means the heart

The sea welcomes you


The house was scarlet like blood

Fresh from war

Ripped from a heart

Bravery torn

Torn and replaced with fear

Blood does not show weakness

Blood shows bravery

Blood shows loyalty

Blood scattered

Blood hidden in the depths of your despair


The house was green like the moss

The moss that clings tightly

Never letting go

Loving until it can’t

Loving and clinging like no tomorrow

Green like Hope

Still trapped

Hope is still there

Still burning in our hearts

Still burning in our hearts

Still there waiting

And waiting

And waiting

Poem by Lili Kane a 10 year old and attends the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London as a fifth grader. Besides being an avid reader, she loves to write stories and poetry in her free time. The inspiration for the poem was a book she has recently read called The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan.

Poetry box: Michael, Lili and Syma collaborated on the creation of their poetry box which was located by the side of the pond at Haley Farm state park. Lili wrote the poem, Lili and Syma designed the box, Michael built it and Syma decorated it. Michael Kane is a master builder and craftsman who in addition to building new homes and remodeling old ones, builds furniture, much of it in the Shaker and Arts and Crafts styles. Syma Ebbin is a faculty member at the University of Connecticut where she teaches classes in marine and environmental science and policy. She works primarily with clay, creating functional ceramic pieces, mosaics and sculptures.