Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.

Poet Henry Braun lives in a wilderness far from neighbors in the middle of Mount Blue State Park. These two excerpts from his longer poem “Under Mount Blue” describe his life there.

From Under Mount Blue

By Henry Braun

Reading Late

Some evenings fragility

lays itself out on roads

from the novel you are reading,

old peculiar enlargements

that keep you wakeful

long after the book closes.

Someone was alive

whom you followed by oil lamp

for hours through the pages

and now, in a quiet house,

everyone breathing must be looked at

and more than looked at,


Firewood Sermon

Sticks of wood are personalities

like dogs and cats, but simpler.

One hisses with the rain

garnered slowly on a woodpile. One

cackles cackles groans

and falls to its side.

Two, brought near strike up an acquaintance

in the burning world.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poems copyright © 2006 Henry Braun. Reprinted from Loyalty: New and Selected Poems, Off the Grid Press, 2006, by permission of Henry Braun. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc at [email protected] or (207) 228-8263.