Russell Buker is a teacher at Shead High School in Eastport and lives on Birch Lane near Pleasant Lake here in Alexander. Russellís ancestors settled in Weld and lived in that mountainous western Maine community for several generations. Then the mills of Wilton called Russellís grandfather to Wilton, and that is where Russell had his earliest memories of Maine.

Click on book and hear Russell read his poem THE HORSES in his book SO AS IT SEMED ME


Here are two poems, one from Powdermill Pond and the second from Stone Cove. These collections of poems and others by Russell are available at Calais BookStore.

Quiet Places

Other than the soft drench of our
footsteps the field is now quiet. The bar way
to the field has curled and rotted itself
to sleep and the grass has run native
from timothy to withdrew into itís plump
back. In the corner of the field an old apple
tree ignores the coal-toes of popple
testing the field from across the wall. The tree
has a feint, crooked blush, and no
wonder, as its camouflaged secret stirred
and flew. The greatest quiet must have
been in that noise, for then I
heard myself thinking and my tongue
drying and the feathers and leaves rattling among
the crisp branches. But now the strain
of listening rings in my ears and your
hand stays soft in my imprint.

January Thaw

The rain fell lightly,
Soft as snow.
The outside silence danced
in a flat panned row
and the quiet in my room
listened as though
silence motioned silence.
With a cat like flow
out in the wind cleared field
each silence seemed to go
crouched and listened
for the silence below
then rose and danced
its fluid echo.



Making connections is an important part of my understanding of history. The connection between Weld and Wilton is much like the connection between Alexander and Woodland. How many of our ancestors moved from Alexander to Woodland to work in the mill? Now with better roads and cars, people are moving back to the rural communities and commuting to their jobs.

These poems connect me to living here in Alexander, past and present. I expect many readers have experienced a walk in that field or the silence of winter rains. I expect that many can picture the field and almost feel that January rain. Jd