Collected in the Rocks

Collected in the Rocks

Manana Sunset

Manana Sunset

Fish House Road

Fish House Road

Winter on Monhegan

DSCN0554 (3)


Also- a great article by Tara Hire about Winter Artists on Monhegan can be read at:

Fish Beach Cook Out- Monday, August 6th!

Monhegan- Monday p.m.- Fish Beach Cook Out!

Monday August 6th from 6- 9:30 P.M.

Proceeds to Benefit the 2014 Quadricentennial of Captain John Smiths’s Landing on Monhegan

Cook out highlights:

Music by Terry Radigan

Food! Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, fresh garden salad donated from the community garden project, potato chips, lemon bars and more.

Prices are $15 adults, $10 children (Lemonade and water are included in meal price)

Also, please visit

Fish Beach Cook Out- Monday, August 6th!

The Carina on Monhegan

by Tara Hire

Carina grocery and deli has been owned and operated by Tara Hire for the last 5 years. Following in the footsteps of the previous owner, Billy Payne, she has been offering a variety of local, organic, and gourmet foods, as well as basic staples for all of the people of Monhegan, including day trippers, summer residents, weekly sojourners and year-round residents.

There have been a few changes to Carina over the years, especially noticeable this year. The layout of Carina has changed, so that the sitting booths are in the south corner. The coffee station is in the north corner and all of the refrigerators and freezers are lined up near the door. The new layout will greatly enhance the flow of traffic and make everyone’s shopping experience better. There are new additions to the breakfast and lunch menus, including handmade English muffins and a lip smackingly delicious pulled pork sandwich. In addition to all of this, Tara is offering health and nutrition workshops throughout the summer: physical activity workshops on Tuesday and Thursday, nutrition workshops on Wednesday, and cooking workshops on Monday. Check out Carina Grocery and Deli on FaceBook. “like” us for a $1.00 off lunch.

A Birder’s View of Monhegan

Brian Willson of Rockport has recently returned from a birding trip to Monhegan. His blog gives a great review of bird species found on the island.

See posts:

Same data – different spin

One way of thinking about “a commons” is that it is a resource shared by a group of individuals.  The key word here is “sharing”.  One can only share that which is his.  In a strange sort way, the proof of having (owning, if you will) is in the giving of it to another.  And in so doing, both the giver and the receiver are enriched.

Certainly it is possible to appreciate parts of Monhegan by yourself, but never all that is Monhegan.   I am told that to love,  one must “know” the beloved.  But my capacity to know is limited and, if for no other reason, that is why I need others, especially those with different capacities from mine. My aptitudes do not include a capacity for poetry, but oh how I thrill at  what the poet shares with me.  We, the poet and I share Monhegan with each other by exercising our capacity to give it to another.  The poet gives me her Monhegan poem, and I give her my photograph of Monhegan.  Monhegan (the beloved) is what is being shared but from different perspectives.

One can argue that if one draws from the commons there is obligation to give back to the commons.  OK, I guess, but I would prefer the realization that what I draw from the commons is enhanced geometrically in the sharing it with other Monheganites (those that identify with Monhegan).  You know, something about feeding the 2000 with a couple of dead fish and a pair of stale loaves of bread.  Look, don’t let my vocabulary tick you off.  It is just how I see the multiplication of our Island.  (Oh God, now he wants to bring 2000 to the Island? – well, in a way.  Not directly and while that might not be desirable physically, how about using the Internet to share our Island with those that have eyes to see and ears to hear (oops there he goes again).

Hey guys, sharing Monhegan with Monheganites  is a huge turn on.  Some of you do so already with a post now and then.  Good! but you can really get ignited by hosting (authoring) a page.  Or share a page.  How about a group of artists hosting a page, and develop a category on Monhegan art to share and solicit posts on art?   Birding, anyone?  There’s a group to work on the trails, right?  Monhegan Essays?  There are as many Monhegans as there are minds that envision it.  There are over 400 visitors to this site everyday of the week!  How do you experience the Island?  Want to try sharing it?   What do you want to share – keep it simple, and we’ll post it, modifying it only to provide consistency with the general site.  Let’s experiment to see how vital this virtual community really is.

Write to me!

Editors Wanted




Early September – faculty meeting at Fordham University, Philosophy Department – purpose, teaching assignments.  Envelopes are passed out… opened …. and an audible gasp from a new Jesuit instructor, “Quantum Theory!  I don’t know anything about that…. hell, I’ve never even taught it!”


Do you have an interest or passion that is central to your Monhegan experience?  Granted, the two editors presently contributing to Monhegan Commons, are hardly “new instructors”.  Even so, a good way to learn is to teach (or is “preach”)?  This is all a learning process for all of us (well, we’ll leave Jim out here).  Interchange of passion is what it’s about.  Eventually, we’ll get (most) of it right.

So, if you want a “page”, describe what you have in mind (we might help, but only to make it consistent with the rest of the site).  We’ll post your idea and see the quality and quantity of responses the post draws and take it from there.  No contracts, just flowing with the currents of this virtual community.

Submit to: Peter

Island Pond Has Frozen – Jim Stallings


Island pond has frozen
But not enough for skaters.
Weather says:
Three to five inches
Of white stuff,
Rain and sleet.

Hunker down, Hearth Huggers,
Bolster forth, Brave Hearts.

Yes, we are dreamers
of winter full,
Still shy the solstice
When time hangs still
Twixt shorter nights
And longer days to come–

And Lo! Our bonfires
Beckon the sun
From the dark ocean,
As our faces turn
East in faith.

Jim Stallings

Evolution of the Commons – A request for help

For many who consider themselves as part of Monhegan Commons, it is recognized that one of the major goals of this virtual commons is a search for ways to avoid the logical results described in Garrett Hardin’s essay, “The Tragedy of the Commons”.  The dilemma  posed  by Hardin here, in over simplified terms, points out that it is rational and in the best interest of each individual sharing a commons to increase their use of the fixed resource, as in so doing, they reap the total profit from the increase while the cost of doing so is distributed amongst all the users of that commons.  Or, in purely eco-political terms: capitalizing the gains and socializing the losses.  There are so many current examples of this in our US Commons, negating the need to show that while good for a few in the short run, it is a disaster for most in both the short and long run.  We are still left to deal with the privatizing of this continent’s indigenous people’s land, to say nothing of the short term gains from slavery.

Far better to look at the way Monhegan dealt with the outside world.  For close to two hundred years the Island’s inhabitants welcomed artists to the Island. Edison’s ‘Monhegan Associates’ formalized the relationship between the winter and summer communities.  ‘Daytrippers’ are a welcomed and even necessary part of the economic life of the Island as a whole.  The Museum shares this Island’s culture with all that visit.  Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corp. facilitates the evolution of emerging Maine artists. While these examples are obvious, more abound.

Events on the ground present challenges to which we must respond.  Failure to do so is perhaps worst than responding inappropriately.   Monhegan’s record  is far better than most commons in dealing with the threats of the day. Even so we might do better in dealing with the world’s latest threat, technology.   Wishing that it did not, or will not affect the Island is denialism  in the extreme.  If you can buy that, the next step would  be to find ways of getting technology to work for/with you –  not be overrun by it.  Yet technology by itself is not the issue as much as content.  Sure, the daily photos are refreshing, but really, they’re not much compared to a bunch of Zimmie’s post cards.  MC’s photos are daily, however, and that is where we’ve gotten the advantage.  What I feel is lacking as of right now is content: ideas, issues, discussions, debates

As you might guess, I have some ideas.  These ideas are crude and in the need of massive input from the likes of you (it is a commons, not a fiefdom).  I appeal for your thinking on just what is in the best (virtual) long term interest of Monhegan Commons, given the reality of technology.  After kicking this idea about a bit we’ll try to construct a new ‘statement of purpose’, incorporating the best of what we would hope for.

Please, add your comments (knowing that transparency and accountability are the necessary price tags for this vehicle of free speech).





The road

shaped to a slope


Monhegan House, Trailing Yew,

Mrs. Cundy’s Cottage-

windows over

walls of darkened roses.

We step from church

into our galaxy,

which here includes

the scattered lamps of town.

Our unspoiled night

can still declare God’s glory:

distant waves

sounding for all the world

like wind in spruce tops,

or wind in spruce tops,

sounding like the waves;

a smell of salt,

of drying fish-nets,

a sense of vast Atlantic reaches

under fixed or falling stars.

With flashlights lit,

we find our ways,

in all directions,


Alonzo Gibbs




Kent Cottage


lifting Fog










Laundress by Gayle LaVallee


    early June. The hotel’s tableclothes
        curled in my basket, wet
            ready for hanging
                my joy among the strong white lines
    pinned to the promises of season, green grass,
            breeze just recently shorn of daffodils.
        I am tall, romantic,
            as I stretch them out, tight checks and polka dots,
            in fresh sea

    in August.  Rows and rows and six lines deep
        colored guest sheets
            across the bowed-down ropes.
    I pin and unpin,
        pin again, take down,
        reach and lift and gather in
        sultry air, the sweating

    October.  The last white curtains sail
        the flapping line
            in crisp attention.
                the sea wind turns
    the empty pegs
            tuning its   goodbye song
        to lace and valance and laundress
        standing in romance
            folding the season

Gayle LaVallee