West Tisbury: Hunting cats


My apologies to Joyce Kilmer for what follows:


I think that I shall never see

A sight as gross awaiting me.


A sight of fur, its past unknown,

In clots and tufts, bereft, alone,


In pieces left from battle royal

Between my cat and this gargoyle.


It now lies on my shower floor.

Discovered by chance and well before


I turned the water on to wash.

It would have made me scream, “Oh gosh.”


No nest of robins in its hair.

No life remains for Summer fair.


No snow upon its bosom rests.

No rain will lay upon its chest.


Poems are made by fools like me,

But only Nelson can kill so gruesomely.


This bit of doggerel was inspired by my pulling back the shower curtain first instead of blindly reaching in to turn on the water. Nelson had obviously brought some small animal into the house before killing it, leaving its remains to startle me first thing one morning last week. For some reason the cadence of Kilmer’s poem, “Trees,” came immediately to mind and kept going through my head. I think the prolonged heat is getting to me.

Aside from my cat’s misadventures, it has been a pleasant week. The nights have been cool enough to give some respite from these endless hot days. I don’t think it will ever rain.

My thanks to Julie Kimball, who minded the gallery for me Saturday afternoon so I could attend Siren Mayhew and Sean McMahon’s baby shower. Deborah reminded me that I had her baby shower 26 years ago when Siren was born. I don’t know how people move away from family and friends, missing that interwoven community life I so treasure. Besides Siren, now almost a mother herself, her cousins Caroline and Lucy, Shaelah and Aidan Huntington, and Tessa Permar were among the “all grown-up” young people in attendance.

The shower was lots of fun. Sean’s parents were there from Longmeadow, and all of his siblings. Shirley was the “grandmother in charge,” looking forward to her second great-grandchild. She mentioned that when this baby arrives, there will be four generations of Mayhew women living in the same house.

The big surprise of the afternoon was when Sean dropped down on one knee and proposed to Siren. She said, “Yes.” Her engagement ring had belonged to Shirley’s mother. Sean had the stone reset into a firm, round bezel, since Siren is “a strong woman who works with her hands,” and he thought the high prongs formerly holding the diamond were impractical. So now we have a wedding to look forward to, as well as the birth of Sean and Siren’s child.

Shirley mentioned that she was missing another party being held at the same time. It was Bob and Maggie Schwartz’s 70th wedding anniversary, a momentous occasion. Congratulations to you both.

Tara Whiting wants to remind all West Tisbury voters and prospective voters that we have a primary coming up on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Absentee ballots are now available at the town hall. If you are not registered to vote yet, or want to change your registration information, the last date to do so is August 15 by 8 pm. If you are registered with a party, you must take that party’s ballot — Democratic, Republican, or Libertarian. If unenrolled, or not registered in a political party, you may choose which ballot you wish to vote on.

Hal Garneau will be returning to the Tabernacle on Tuesday evening, July 31, 8 pm, with an all-new 3D slideshow presentation, “The Campground through the Stereoscope.” Over 700 people attended his presentation last year, and were amazed by the 3-D effects and Hal’s passion for his subject. This year he will show over 130 historic stereoscopic images of the Campground. The event is free, and free 3D glasses will be provided. Donations are always welcome and graciously accepted.

Congratulations to Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden. Their book, “How to Read Nancy,” won an Eisner Award at the San Diego Comic Con.

The weekend we have all been waiting for: The Friends of the West Tisbury Free Public Library Book Sale begins this Friday, July 27. Doors at the West Tisbury School open at 9 am. Hours are 9 am to 3 pm. Books are full-price on Friday and Saturday, half-price on Sunday, and free on Monday. Donations are always gratefully accepted.

At the library this week:

Thursday, July 26, 4:30 pm, an outdoor (indoors in case of rain) Rock Concert for Kids with the Pinkletinks.

Saturday, July 28, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, play “Fire Tower” with the game’s designers, Sam Bryant and Gwen Ruelle. Fight a fire in the State Forest, beat back the flames and your opponents. Have fun. Rick O’Gorman will speak at 4 pm about his experience with what he “understands to be nonhuman extraterrestrial contact.” He will also sing a few songs he wrote in reflection after his encounter.

Monday, July 30, 11:30 am, a guest instructor will lead Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop this week and next. At 6:30 pm, free family and teen movies will be shown. Free popcorn, too.

Tuesday, July 31, 2 pm, iRoboteers from iRobot will give a demonstration for kids and families.

Wednesday, August 1, 4 pm, “Financial Aid 101 Workshop” with expert Nancy Sinsabaugh. She will review processes and answer questions to demystify the complicated maze that students and parents must navigate to qualify for financial aid. Christopher Carrick will talk about the “hidden spiritual agenda of relationships” at 4:30 pm. At 7 pm, Cynthia Riggs will read and talk about her latest mystery, “Widow’s Wreath.” Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Thursday, August 2, 10:30 am, special guest Paddington Bear will join us for preschool story time to share songs, stories, and hugs.

The fair sign is up already on State Road, making me feel like summer is almost over. I’m still waiting for rain.