Featured Poem: Remembering Paumonok

By Barb Whitmarsh
Bayou City Branch, Texas


Note: Paumonok is the name the American Indians gave to Long Island.



Is it still as I remember

Suns golder than Tut’s mask

Redder than blood on the trauma room floor

More orange than pumpkin fields out east

In late October

And afternoon breezes

Are they stirring the trees

Pushing sailors on course

Is moonlight getting caught in the eelers’ pots

And Sagittarius shooting arrows into eternity

O, how I miss the bay nights

The throaty frogs

The fox scurrying in the shadows

My memories of Paumonok must suffice

No one knows I speak of things irreplaceable

Ponds here are lame against the moon’s tug

And wild flocks cannot intoxicate me like a beach rose

Evening winds tease the hardwoods

But nothing shakes the scrub pines

For here there are none.


  1. Susan says:

    This is an outstanding tribute to the lands where I dwelled and grew. Home never leaves your heart. Absolutely perfectly done, Ms. Whitmarsh. Thank you.

  2. Janet Clare Fagal says:

    Ah, Long Island. I grew up their, too, Barb. Your poem captures so beautifully the land, the air, the sights. I found this link thanks to you and know I never really learned much of this history growing up. In gr. 7 back then we studied the history of NY but it was much broader. I spent much time in East Hampton in the 1950s with my grandparents and extended family and we would go clamming and out to Montauk to Hither Hills. I always miss it. It is so vastly different now. Makes me sad in that I wish East Hampton was the sleepy village of my memory, but I understand “progress”. And its draw. Thanks for this poem. I will want to read it again and again.

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