Archives for posts with tag: New Hampshire

A Small Coop Market Helps Local Farmers
by Beth Fox

How will they make it? I wonder,
when the pandemic hits the tiny coop
on a back street, in small town New Hampshire.
The struggle is on to find products
fill shelves, provide
what discerning clients want.

I watch events unfold. Online,
the eye-catching checklists
become easier to use.
Texting to check for timing
and product, it is so easy
to pick up bagged groceries
with the slide of a card,
smile behind masks.
To keep everyone safe, there
are free handmade masks
for anyone who needs one.

Meal planning goes back to
the old-time way; I use
what’s in the cupboard.

Then the coop fosters
the pop-up farmer’s market,
enlisting a vacant parking lot
at their doors. Windy Saturdays
in March, hungry locals drive thru,
wait in line for orders pre-placed.

We get better at it,
pick out the boys’ fresh catch,
fish that couldn’t be any fresher,
crusty bread and fragrant pastries
winter stored root vegetables,
potatoes with a little dirt on them,
First greens from micro gardens,
soaps, herbs and spices
and yes, the hand sanitizer
that’s been impossible to find.
I use my own bags
take products from gloved
hands, numb with cold. With a nod,
I applaud their teamwork, ingenuity
take home the spirit of community,
their unspoken gift.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Here are Tracey and Erin at The Wolfeboro Natural Foods Store. An active Board behind the scenes provides energy and support. This little coop amazingly provides everything I need, and more.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Beth Fox has been published in Poet’s Touchstone, The Seacoast Anthology, Avocet, Prey Tell, and The 2010 Poets Guide to NH: More Places, More Poets. She was a finalist in the Center for the Arts annual poetry contest and Touchstone Member Contest. Beth contributed to an anthology for Seniors, Other Voices, Other Lives.  A retired teacher, she lives in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. 


30 Belknap Mt. Road
by Kelley White

In my town
the mailman leaves pots of herbs from his greenhouse
in the battered mailbox.
He props up the little broken flag.
He knows if you’re home
or gone away to school or looking
for work. (Then he gives the letters
to your mother or your friend.)
Schoolchildren walk
at 7:40 and 3:10 past my house.
They stop at the little store
(closed only once in one hundred and eighty
years) for tootsie rolls and popsicles. Boys
do tricks on bicycles.
People bring pies door to door.
We go to the ice cream social
at the library.
We bring our books
back on time. If we forget
the librarian renews them anyway.
She knows my children’s hobbies
and recognizes their best friend’s mother’s
car. The police car
stops children and gives them tickets
good for an ice cream cone at the dairy bar
when they wear their bicycle helmets.
The man at the store wraps up an extra
donut. You can take it to the bench
behind the children’s room
at the library and listen to
the brook. People wave
at you when you walk home.
It my town everybody
knows my parents
and asks after
my family’s health.
I know their children
and remember their birthdays
and anniversaries
and how they take
their coffee. Only problem is
I don’t live there anymore.

Previously published in Dakota House Poetry Journal and part of AFTER FROST, soon to be published by cyberwit.

Photo of Gilford Village Store (established, 1840) by the author. 

30 Belknap Mountain Road almost goodbye

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I thought of essential workers I immediately remembered my wonderful New Hampshire mailman (and thought of some pretty wonderful postal workers where I currently live in Philadelphia who keep a watch on our neighborhood and recognize when someone needs support and helps them find the help they need). When I pulled the piece up from the archives I realized it also touches on other essential workers—the keeper of the little village store, the friendly police officers, and, yes, not to be forgotten, the librarians! Sadly, I don’t live there anymore, perhaps none of us lives in that world anymore, but Gilford Village, New Hampshire, will always be my home.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: 30 Belknap Mountain Road (as I was saying goodbye).

11-16 Evelyn with Kelley in gray

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pediatrician Kelley White has worked in inner city Philadelphia and rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

PHOTO: The author with granddaughter Evelyn.

Lost River, New Hampshire
by Barbara Bald

Moss-covered giants, pushed askew by glacial forces,
form a gorge fifty-feet deep.
Like emery boards on fingernails, cascading waters
tumble rock, scour edges into potholes.
Boulder caves, eons old, beckon visitors,
entice them into black holes of unknown depth.

A challenge for some — biceps ready,
chests puffed into a make-my-day attitude.
Unloading pockets, leaving backpacks trailside,
adults push, pull, contort bodies into crevices
their children scramble through.

Remembering when sleek frames fit through easily,
some come face-to-face with bellies, love handles,
pounds they meant to shed last spring.

Grandparents, like pack mules, carry water bottles,
shades, keys, cell phones, extra layers.
They tag along holding hands with
agile memories
that wear their faces.

At the Lemon Squeezer entrance:
dressed in hiking boots or flip-flops, convertible pants
or mini-skirts, some visitors rally to Mommy you can do it!
Others, eyes wide, palms sweating, ignore all pleas to enter.
Some, simply pass by, intimate
with their limits.

Here, people from all nations, languages, and backgrounds,
worried over being stuck or fear-struck.
laugh in a common language.
In shapes and sizes as unique as rocks,
people of all races agree
to help each other’s children through the caves.

Together they challenge the same adversaries —
time, age, change,
fear itself.
Cameras flash, locking hope in place.

PHOTO: Paradise Falls, a 35-foot waterfall at Lost River Gorge, New Hampshire (

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For several summers, I worked at Lost River Reservation in Kinsman Notch, just west of North Woodstock, New Hampshire. Lost River is a series of caves that visitors can crawl through and listen for the sounds of a river that makes its way under boulders and boardwalks. My job was to light the candles that lit their way underground, hold their cameras and belongings and test their body frames through a gauge to be sure they could fit through The Lemon Squeeze. Besides being in a scenic natural area, it was a place that engendered peace and excitement. It was an amazing job mostly because I got to see people of all nationalities, not only getting along, but helping one another. It surely convinced me of our oneness.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Bald is a retired teacher, educational consultant, and freelance writer. Her poems have been published in a variety of anthologies, and her work has been recognized in both national and local contests. She has published two full-length books, Drive-Through Window and Other Voices/Other Lives. Her chapbook is entitled Running on Empty. She has written articles for Heart of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Magazine, and other local magazines. She lives in Alton, New Hampshire, with her cat Catcher and some very personable goldfish.

PHOTO: The author at the Bretton Woods Ski Area zip line, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.

Breaking News (The Great Stone Face has Collapsed!)
after Frank O’Hara
by Kelley White

The Old Man of the Mountains has collapsed!
I was driving along and suddenly
the radio started squawking and staticking
and you said it was the oldies station
but the oldies don’t hit you on the head
hard so it was really alternative rock and
static and I was in such a hurry
to get you to McDonald’s but the traffic
was acting just like the radio
and suddenly I hear the DJ
there is no radio in the White Mountains
there is no static in New Hampshire
I have seen a lot of mountains and a lot of men
and some of them acted perfectly disgraceful
but they never actually collapsed
oh Great Stone Face we love you get up

Previously published in The Cape Rock

POSTCARD IMAGE: © 2020 Anderson Design Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. See all of Anderson Design Group’s original art, books and gifts at:


 NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: What could be better to remember as a Landmark we can’t visit this summer than a Landmark that has itself disappeared? Growing up in New Hampshire, the Old Man was a steady presence. I spent one summer in college working with the Forest Service in the White Mountains with the Great Stone Face as a constant backdrop. Then, after millennia, it crumbled away one foggy night. We were supposed to gather on July 10 (on what would have been my mother’s ninety-fifth birthday) to bring her ashes back to New Hampshire, but our trips all had to be cancelled. Perhaps by her hundredth birthday things will be “normal” again.

PHOTO: The author in the 1970s, when the Old Man was still standing. The beloved landmark collapsed on May 3, 2003.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pediatrician Kelley White has worked in inner city Philadelphia and rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

house-lawn copy
To Do List
by Midge Goldberg

The mud room door latch doesn’t always work.
Old and bronze,
sometimes it sticks,
and you fiddle with it
on your way out.

When the back door opens,
the air pressure
changes, makes the mud room door
open on its own—it floats ajar
till someone comes along
to shut it.
I’ve seen you push it gently closed
with your fingertips.

Other times
it seems to lock itself
and no amount of key-jiggling or curses
unlocks it.
I know that thud on wood, the sigh,
when you finally give up,
go around through the kitchen.

Though you always carry
a Swiss Army knife,
I tell people, you’re ornery,
you like the door like that—
unpredictable as the weather
that broke it,
wore it down,
then slips it open with a breeze.
You’ll never fix it.
I know you.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Living in an old house gave me many opportunities to imagine all the people that had lived in it before, and what it was like to live there in 1880. Was there a road, neighbors? How isolated was it, and how did they live day-to-day? What did they eat? Did they grow all their own food? Where had they come from? There was always a special feeling in that house, and the doors seemed like the magic wardrobe by which I could enter back into those early times.

midge-goldberg red dress summer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Midge Goldberg received the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award for her book Snowman’s Code, and the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Measure, Light, Appalachia, and Poetry Speaks: Who I Am. Her other books include Flume Ride and the children’s book My Best Ever Grandpa. She is a longtime member of the Powow River Poets and has an M.F.A. from the University of New Hampshire. She lives in Chester, New Hampshire, with her family, two cats, and an ever-changing number of chickens. Visit her website at and follow her on Twitter @midgegoldberg.

Round Pond
by Kelley Jean White

Always twilight. I pull the heavy oars
through dark water until we balance,
cool air and water, night stilling, silent,
but for the living web of insect song spun
to our skin. We could hear a fly
settle on the face of the pond, hear the fish
rise to meet it, the still circles of each rise
ringing out until each fish’s hunger met
our wooden boat and quavered back.

Night birds dipped, smooth swallows,
flickering bats; no human sound
but the shipped oars dripping and
the shirr, shirr, shirr as my father gathered
the line in his palm for the cast,
the quick run-out as the trout pulled taut,
the moonlit silver dulling in the dark creel.

My father knew each hatch, which mayflies
lived for only one night’s flight, or two,
or three, or five. He knew the larva
and the nymphs, each swimming, clinging,
crawling stage. He’d catch a chrysalis
on the net’s edge to watch the rough husk split
then dry and enter air. So many white wings.

He’d lean a moment, the lit match quick
against his young face, the cigarette cupped,
match shaken, his hands brisk to tie a leader
or untangle a knot. I wet a finger. No wind.
Moon. I lay on the bottom of the drifting
boat, rocking, palms open to stars, so many
risings, light, sound, circles, whispers of fish,
my father dim in the bow, casting and reeling in,
my whispering breath, the water gentling,
lapping, and he rowed us swiftly home.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Round Pond” is a real place in my little hometown, Gilford, New Hampshire. I wanted to capture the twilight moments with my father whose fishing hat still hangs on a hook by the door though he died in 1999. I hoped to include all the senses and sounds of those evenings. The poem was included in an on-line chapbook Every poem I write for my father is called twilight, published by Tamaphyr Mountain Poetry, and in a featured poet section of Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts Spring, 2009. I hope my father would have liked it, but I didn’t send poems out for consideration for publication until shortly after his death.

IMAGE: “Gilford, New Hampshire, pond in winter” by Mim White. Prints available at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame  (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.