The Poetry of Art on the Trails 2017

We are pleased to share with you all of the poetry submissions for the 2017 Art on the Trails program.  A PDF version of the Art on the Trails chapbook can be viewed here. This file cannot be printed. If you would like a copy of the chapbook, please support this program and purchase it from The Tishman Review for $15 plus shipping. 

Below are poems that were not included in the book.

Thank you to all of the poets who submitted their beautiful poems. 

All Things SparkleyÉvoluer
By Chelsea Bradway

Shattered… little bits sprinkled on the ground
Slivers cutting, ripping, yearning

Dreaming…. waiting to be awoken
Soft whispers, guiding, comforting, loving

Drinking….. filling the emptiness
Tears smile, kissing, escaping, releasing

Evolving….reaching towards the sun
Sparkley light, dancing, gliding, embracing

Wandering…..finding home
Sweet surrender of solace, grinning, hugging, revering

By Louis Morrison

As I look
at these odd
hanging creatures,
I begin to wonder
if one still dwells here

If it does,
what’s its name?
Maybe we
would look the same..

But for it to live
so long in this,
an icy pond,
my guess would be
of it he’s very
very fond .

Vertibral CairnVertebral
By Carla Schwartz

You want to be straight
but can’t balance
on a line
so you curve,
and align
with the trees
who swerve
in their own
the light.

Hug14Under Weight
By Carla Schwartz

Stories, storage,
sleep, a packed
up life compressed,
piles and piles and
piles of it, sinking
under its own weight.
When you go, what
remains? Only stone,
concrete, and piles and
piles of books, folios,
your life’s remnants
collapsing under
their own weight.

Intention PortContinuum
By Chelsea Bradway


You pull me in
Guiding me beyond
Pushing me through to the other side


You embrace my every whim
Holding me stead fast
No longer a prisoner


A sweet calm surrounds me

Intentional Portal
By Carla Schwartz

Deep in the woods,
through an opening,
light —
a portal,
almost heart-shaped —
a channel,
a nest
that invites
with light,
intentionally invites
you to look,
invites you
into its cradle.

SpheresWagon Wheels
By Keira Akus

The rusty old thing
didn’t seem like
when someone
made it to use
As it gets admired,
it still has
its talent
That is worth
a piece of gold.

Tree HarpTree Harp
By Campbell Morrison

I see in front of me
a bronze stump
of a tree surrounded
by rocks and up
above me
is a circle of hawks..

While the wind blows
in one direction.
The harp shines
to its perfection.

Tree WrapThe Dance in the Woods
By Carla Schwartz

Weave yarn
around a tree,
connect two
who thought they could live separately.
\/___________________________ \/
All dressed up,
the couples entwine.
O, the lines that bind them —
you can see them.
\/____________________ \/

By Carla Schwartz

The walnut tree slices
dangle like an earring
or pendant
from the broken arm
of the big old oak.

splatters spring
from each center
and shimmer
even in rain.

Who knows
what one tree
has to say
to another?

Who knows
the language
of trees?

Here, the viburnum
in bloom,
the dainty flowers,
like the centers
of these walnut rings,
from their hearts.

And Then There Were None: The Closing of Art on the Trails 2017

Moira Linehan reading her poem, “Finding Solace: Art Trails at Beals Preserve”

It’s been a few weeks since the Closing Ceremony of Art On the Trails: Finding Solace in the Woods. The event was amazing, bringing poets and artists together, on a hot fall day, to walk in the woods and listen to poets who were inspired by the art installed there. We had the opportunity to hear about the history of Beals Preserve from Whitney Beals, to have State Representative Carolyn Dykema expound on the value of open space, and to sell our beautiful poetry chapbook. All of our poets came and read, we celebrated with Prosecco along the route, all the while getting assistance from all of the SOLF volunteers. I could not be more grateful. 

As each of the artists came and deinstalled their work, I felt sad to see them go, but also excited for what next year might bring. Stay tuned for news of Art on the Trails, 2017.

One of the volunteers was Radek Jaster, a Northborough resident and senior at Algonquin Regional High School. Already known for his film work, he came to document the event.  Below is his amazing four minute video.  Enjoy!

Art on the Trails 2017: Poetry Walk and Closing Ceremony to celebrate art, poetry, nature and community this Sunday, September 24th, 4-6pm at Beals Preserve

The public is invited to the Poetry Walk and Closing Ceremony of Art on the Trails 2017 – Finding Solace in the Woods at Beals Preserve in Southborough on Sunday, September. 24, from 4-6 p.m.

At 4 pm Catherine Weber, program director, will deliver a brief introduction at the main entrance, and State Representative Carolyn Dykema will speak, followed by a moving poetry reading at 4:15, when the group will proceed with the Poetry Walk, visiting each of the 15-art installation along the trail.

During the Poetry Walk, the 13 selected poets, led by the editors Cynthia Franca and Maura Snell, will read their original poems in respond to each artwork displayed at the trail.

At each station, Maura and Cynthia will introduce the reading poets and wait until the audience comes together before reading each poem. After the last poem, the group will walk back together, and join the reception at the Kiosk, celebrating together the project.

The book
The chapbook is a beautiful collection of ekphrastic poetry written in response to the art exhibited at Beals Preserve in Southborough, MA all through the summer of 2017. From emerging to established, the poets and artists whose work is included here is a stunning commentary on how art connects the individual to the community, to nature, and to the world.

Each poem speaks to the unique experience the poet has in connecting with the art and each art piece in turn links with nature, and the community that comes to Beals Preserve, thus completing a wonderful cycle of human experience with nature, art, and words.  

The chapbook will include the selected poems and the art installations that inspired them will be available for sale on that day for $15 (cash or check). All proceeds of the sale of these books will help fund future Art on the Trails exhibitions.  All poems submitted will appear on

The poets
After reading work from over 20 local and regional poets, jurors Maura Snell and Cynthia Franca have selected 25 poems by 13 writers for inclusion in a chapbook which features both the art and poetry and is generously published by The Tishman Review.

Kiera Akus – Southborough
Brian Bogosian – Worcester
Chelsea Bradway – Southborough 
Lisa Breger – Wayland 
Cynthia Franca – Hopkinton
Trisha Knudsen – Northborough
Moira Linehan – Reading
Michele Mendelson – Northborough
Mary Pinard – Roslindale
Carla Schwartz – Framingham
Maura Snell – Westboroutgh 
Lawrence Spezzano –Southborough 
Catherine Weber – Southborough 

As the Poetry Walk begins at the Main Entrance of Beals Preserve, the public can use 144 Main Street, Southborough in their GPS. 

The organizers recommend to park at Chestnut Hill Farm at 7 Chestnut Hill Road or in the Field adjacent to the preserve, on Route 30 (Main Street).  Refreshments will be served in the gathering time before the reading, and during the reception afterward. 

If you have questions, please email the program director Catherine Weber at or call 508-523-3605


Now Accepting Pre-Orders for the 2017 Art on the Trails Poetry Chapbook and Catalog

Cover of the 2017 Art on the Trails catalog and poetry chapbook, published by The Tishman Review.

We are very excited to announce that the 2017 Art on the Trails Poetry Chapbook and Art Catalog is now available for pre-orders. The cost of this full color softcover book (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″) is priced at $15 plus shipping. A limited number of copies will be sold at the closing Plein Air Poetry Walk on September 24th. Online orders will be delivered after the 24th.

Order your copy now!

Poetry Selections Announced

After reading work from over 20 local and regional poets, jurors Maura Snell and Cynthia Franca have selected 25 poems by 13 writers for inclusion in a chapbook which features both the art and poetry and is generously published by The Tishman Review.

Congratulations to:

Kiera Akus
Brian Bogosian 
Chelsea Bradway 
Lisa Breger
Cynthia Franca 
Trisha Knudsen
Moira Linehan
Michele Mendelson 
Mary Pinard 
Carla Schwartz
Maura Snell
Lawrence Spezzano
Catherine Weber

These poets will read their work at the closing event for Art on the Trails 2017, a Plein Air Poetry Walk, on Sunday, September 24th beginning at 4 pm. Refreshments will be served. The chapbook will include the selected poems and the art installations that inspired them will be available for sale on that day. All proceeds of the sale of these books will help fund future Art on the Trails exhibitions.

All poems submitted will appear on this website soon.


Photography Heaven

Photograph by Catherine M. Weber. All rights reserved.

Model with All Things Sparkley by Chelsea Bradway. Photograph by Donna Moore-Wright. All right reserved.

Yesterday, on a perfect August day, ten professional and amateur photographers participated in Creating Your Vision, a photography workshop run by photographer David Lee Black. Black arranged for models to pose in the woods at Beals Preserve, including three dancers (Meredith Wells, Maddie Murray, and Rachael Plattus) and two young girls (Elspeth (age 11) and Gwyneth Robertson-DuBois (age 6)). The little girls wore butterfly wings and posed as woodland fairies, while the other models struck poses of all kinds and with multiple costume changes, using the Art on the Trails installations as their backdrop. All the while, the photographers followed along to catch some magical moments with their cameras. 

Gwyneth Robertson-DuBois playing woodland fairy. Photograph by Allison Rose. All rights reserved.

You can see more of what they captured on David’s Facebook page.

The inquisitive and charming Nicholas Rose (age 6) was the youngest photographer among them. Photograph by Joni Lohr. All rights reserved.

 Two more events are scheduled in September:
Sudbury Valley Trustees walk
September 16th, 10 – 11:30 am
Park at Chestnut Hill Farm, Chestnut Hill Road, Walk across Rte 30 to main entrance, meet at the kiosk. 
Closing Event: Plein Air Poetry and Moving Celebration
Sunday, September 24th, 4-6 pm
Park at Chestnut Hill Farm, meet at the kiosk. During our final event, follow along the trail and listen to poets read their work near the art that inspired it.

Art for Sale, Art Sold

Did you know that much of the work in Beals Preserve this summer is for sale? In fact, we have already sold All Things Sparkley, the hanging piece created by Chelsea Bradway and her daughter Miley and son Max. Not only do sales support the artists, they also support Southborough Open Land Foundation, who receives 25% of the proceeds. If you’ve ever wanted a sculpture for your garden or yard, come on over to Beals Preserve any time up to September 24th and contact me. I can get you in touch with the artist.

Here is what you will see when you go:


Picture 1 of 15

Gregory J Barry
salvaged aluminum cable and reclaimed oak logs

Finding Joy: Visiting Art on the Trails With Children

Abby Carlson looking at Avalonia by Crystal Blanchflower

One day last week, parts of Metrowest saw sudden torrential downpours. The rain was blinding, especially if you were driving as I was. It’s times like these that I worry about the installations at Beals Preserve. While they have been built with all weather conditions in mind, I still worry.

So, the next day, Lucy and I went to check on the installations. The first thing I noticed was the trail leading from the Red Gate Lane entrance was washed bare of leaves and pine needles. It was washed bare of pretty much everything that wasn’t embedded in the soil.
As I approached the first installation, I saw that the Tree Wrap by Hadley Horner was perfectly intact. It has been growing every week, when new visitors come and contribute their own yarn wrapping. I moved on and looked at each installation carefully. Everything was in perfect condition. I enjoyed seeing that milk weed has grown up around Greg Barry’s Heartwood pedestal, which makes the sculpture appear to be planted there as he had hoped. I also noticed that the trail maps have been depleted in both trail map holders, which tells me that we have had a lot of visitors.

Abby, Elly, and Lucy running through the woods.

Later in the week, I gave a tour to Southborough resident Kristen Carlson and her two daughters, Abby, age 4 and Elly, age 2. Once I explained that each installation has a sign marking its location, the girls ran from one to the next, like they were on a magical scavenger hunt. Their excitement and joy made my day.

Isaac working on his own Tree Wrap project.



A few weeks earlier, another visitor from Southborough, Marion Ross, brought her 6 year old grandson Isaac to Tree Wrap. He told her, “I had so much fun making it so I think people will like looking at it.”

I will be offering tours to all sorts of groups this summer and invite anyone interested to join me.

Tour of Art on the Trails Scheduled for this Wednesday at 6 pm

The crowds on the trail.

Since our opening on June 7th, I have given a number private tours of the exhibition, Art on the Trails: Finding Solace in the Woods. Whether the participants are artists, poets, or art-interested folks, I have received wonderful feedback. More than anything, I love the surprise that visitors show when they encounter one of the pieces that are thoughtfully placed within the Preserve.

At the request of a number or poets who plan to respond to the work in the woods, I am leading a tour on Wednesday, June 21 at 6 PM. This tour will meet and begin at the trailhead at the end of Red Gate Lane, where there is parking in the circle. (Use 22 Red Gate Lane, Southborough, MA for your GPS)

The tour is approximately 1 1/3 miles long and usually takes 1 1/2 hours. I recommend wearing sneakers or hiking boots, and long pants, and/or wear bug spray. In addition, I will bring a mosquito/tick repellent device that works well. The terrain is fairly level and there is no climbing required. Participants of any age are welcome as well as dogs, as long as they are friendly and you can control them on or off leash.

Please RSVP on Facebook if you can so we know how many people to expect. If you have questions, do not hesitate to reach me at 508-523-3605 or

I look forward to seeing you there!


A Moving Celebration: An Extraordinary Evening

My introduction to the crowd.

Hadley Horner talking about Spheres in the Upper Meadow.

The crowds on the trail.

Crystal Blanchflower sharing the story of Avalonia.

Participating Artists Under All Things Sparkley

For many months, we have been working diligently to create a special experience at Beals Preserve. Since the first Art on the Trails exhibition four years ago was much less organized, this year I put a lot into raising the bar on the project. I did this by bringing in Mary Tinti to jury the work, by creating a website, and through many other details. So, after installing the work last weekend, our next milestone was the opening reception: A Moving Celebration.

I had high hopes for this event, and yet, for all of our preparation, we could not control the weather. For weeks on end, it was raining, and there did not appear to be an end it sight.

We were lucky that the installation days had only light rain, but Monday and Tuesday saw torrential downpours. Wednesday, the day of our event, however, was the most perfect day. It was warm and sunny. We could not have been luckier.

More than 70 people came and walked the trails with us, listened attentively to the artists, and engaged with them. When we arrived, a few minutes to 8 pm, at the final sculpture, I was elated. What an amazing night.

If you missed the opening, don’t worry. The art will be there all summer, and if you contact me in advance, I can meet up with you and give you a private tour.