Dog Bar Breakwater

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Dog Bar Breakwater

It’s quite a simple structure, given its task:
blocks of granite, each one thirteen tons, piled neatly
and securely on and next to the other.
So far it has survived more than one hundred
years of tides, winds, waves, heat of summer and the
numbing cold of winter.

Like a mother’s guarding arm, it protects our boats
from the dangerous surf, deflects the fury
of the sometimes angry sea; provides a measure
of calm to our harbor and is home to the beacon
and signal that guide us safely to our berths.

On fine days, it is a place of walks, picnics,
picture taking, artists painting, people fishing,
quiet talks and, each September, we watch schooners
head out for their annual race into the past.

On stormy  days, if one dares go out to see,
we witness giant sea upon sea doing their best
to crest over the topmost blocks as if to challenge
he very notion that we, by force of will,
can make any harbor safe.

It is a noble effort that makes me wonder:
we have built the Dog Bar breakwater, but
can we, on our stormy days, prevent ourselves
from dashing recklessly upon  hidden bars
by careful placement of blocks of wisdom,
and, on the good days, walk along the tops amid
waves of joy and gratitude?

Marty Luster

Encore. Originally posted January 22, 2012. Video clips January 25, 2014.

About Marty Luster

I'm Marty Luster, a retired attorney and politician. In 2010 my wife, mother-in-law, dog and I relocated from Central NY to Gloucester. I hope my photographs and poetry(?) reflect my love for this place and her people. My picture-poem posts can be seen at and selected black and white images can be found at
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9 Responses to Dog Bar Breakwater

  1. Liz says:

    Profoundly beautiful – the breakwater itself, the video and most of all- the poem! Thanks for the encore Marty!

  2. Fredrik Bodin says:

    Your poem reminds me of TS Elliot’s “The Dry Salvages,” and also of some wisdom that stayed with me from a fortune cookie: “There is plenty of cactus in the world, but you don’t have to go sit on it.”

  3. Mary Barker says:

    Spectacular Marty. Thank you so much for sharing the poem and footage!

  4. Dave Moore says:

    Marty hopefully you are going to put these and your photo’s in a book down the line – historical record and impact for generations to come! Thank You! :-)

  5. Anne Lubbers says:

    This is great! I love Dog Bar. We always walk it when we visit Gloucester. I certainly would NOT if it looked like this though! Spectacular!

  6. saint707 says:

    A treacherous beauty well captured in pictures and verse! Thank you!

  7. Lora M Kling says:

    beautiful in every way–thanks for sharing!

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