Bob Barsanti

Bob Barsanti

Winter is a Season Without

Winter is a season without.  You stand on a bluff at Cisco, face into the driving western wind and waves that no one will share, never mind ride or bounce in. They peak out on the horizon in massive fifty-foot collisions, then roil and somersault all the way into the shore.  Collisions repeat without pause or breath, over and over, witnessed and unwitnessed, under the purple clouds and golden light.

Tiny Adventures


On a Tuesday afternoon in October, I bought a new trashcan.  It sits near the island in the kitchen, glossy and new.  I glance at it several times over the course of dinner and see how it fills an otherwise empty space and carries out the most boring of utilitarian tasks--hide the coffee grounds, yogurt containers, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin wrappers from prying eyes.  In a day or a week, it will disappear into the background like the toaster and the vodka bottles, but for right now, the newness gleams.


I met her in July.  She had been a classmate of mine in graduate school, then had gone on to success in publishing. At ten thirty in the morning, at low tide, she had appeared at Ladies Beach in a big hat, big glasses, black bikini, and trailing a four year old daughter.  The two of us re-connected for a moment, then went our ways.  I plucked the seaweed from the waves for my son and she picked up a dead crab to bring back to her daughter.  Never saw her again. 

Bare Ruined Choirs


The summer leaves Nantucket as a lover would.  He lingers through September, makes two or three brief forays at breaking up during September, then he tries to work things out during October.  Finally, he gets in a fight during Halloween, and moves out sometime deep in November.  Sometime after the Vineyard game, the island takes a long bath, puts on sweat pants, watches old movies, and eats pint after pint of Ben and Jerry’s.


Summer lingers.  It still calls, it still writes, it wants to remain friends.  But the days have grown shorter and the calendar has turned.  He knows he has to go soon but neither of you wants to close the door one last time.  He is just holding out for a few more minutes.   


I took the late ferry back to the island last weekend.  Yet another early autumn storm had turned the sound “choppy” and the travel iffy.  But most of the passengers on the boat were in high spirits.  They sat in defensive scrums; they were young, employed and carrying their workshoes and thirty packs.  The couples smiled, laughed, hugged, and tried not to get seasick.  They were on their way to a wedding.


Now that the summer has faded to a close, I turned slowly to the pile of junk that has been accumulating in my life over the last few months.  It had been building in the shadows of drying towels and mildewy sport coats, but now, in the harsh incandescent light of fall, it lay at my feet in slovenly splendor.

Great Point

On one of the last days of my summer, I rode out to Great Point with Al Sylvia, in a big Trustees of Reservations four wheel drive van.  Like most of the days this summer, the sky burned blue and clear; we could see the centuries for miles all around.

September Song

September is in the air.

Sometime at the end of August, a Canadian cold front slips over the Adirondacks and the Berkshires, fords the Connecticut River and then sweeps over the coast and the island. August’s beer has become September’s champagne.

Back to School

I have been digging through the cardboard boxes of family history in the last few weeks.  They have come to my downstairs bedroom and they wait.  After his parents died, my uncle took on their heap of memories, furniture, and artifacts.  He carried them, stored them, and, too soon, left them.  Now, they have fallen to me.