The grounds and history of Grey Towers provide the inspiration for this unique creative workshop, led by Jeffrey Stocker, acting coach and director on June 17, 2017.

Reflection and meditative thoughts about nature, artistic exploration and then literary expression were the focus of the workshop. The group enjoyed an opportunity to be inspired by the surrounding and then share their written creations.

Below is a selection of writings from the workshop.


head and foot stones

At Laurel Hill Cemetery

(Burial Ground as of 2022)

By Linda Fields

Tallest Pine:
how many of these children
did you know
whose bodies lay below you
for so long?
And what do you make of the Phoebe
who calls her name
over the grave of young Mary Charlotte?
Did that thin dead limb joined at your base
once make you whole?
And how do you reconcile this life
surrounded by death?

Nature’s Tweet

By Regina Yeager Drouse

In the stillness and cooling comfort.
There’s a quiet vibration of life.
The blades of grass moves to nature’s metronome.
Trees line up at attention with their arms outstretched to welcome.
Each limb shaped by its life on earth wrapping in abundance of evergreen grace.
Twigs crunch under foot like exclamation points to celebrate each chirp,
Nature’s tweet
Twitter silence.
Clarifying purpose on earth.
Pure in Joy
Heart is filled.
All is Well

MEF Trail Vernal Pool
Turkey sculptures

3 Haiku

By Edson Whitney

Green vine waterfall
Cascades and reflects, falling
Into lily pond

Birds call, trees rustle
Civilization intrudes
Tires roll on highways

Stone turkeys, sentries
Proud native birds, feathers spread
Sorry Benjamin

There is a wall

By Dan Fields

There is a wall.
It spans all the time
From the first fear of thunder
To the present fear of the other
It circles the globe many times over
And goes by 700 names
Each promising true shelter and protection
But delivering only divisions and subjugation
We fearful humans built this wall
And will shrivel and perish behind it
If we can not surrender our need for it
Time to grow up
And redefine human courage

Gated garden by Norma Bernstock
beech tree in the summer

Grey Towers Observations

By Sally Hendee

The chucking of a woodpecker
mixed with sharper notes of songbirds.
I watched layers of vail; the hems of clouds,
descend on the distant hills.

Colors changed with distance;
blue to lavender hues
tinted ridges.

Loose stones on the path
pushed against one another
with each step, crushing beneath me.
An empty bench invited,
allowing a finer view...
the crowns of grown trees.

An occasional breeze ruffled through their leaves,
made enough disturbance to cause curiosity.
the spaces that were visible with wind’s lift,
again, became dense with the fan
of sharp-edged oak leaves, as movement ceased.

My shoulders felt heat
of a not-so-obvious sun.
It waited for a moment of breakthrough.
Some gray days have a brightness
that defines a new mood of weather.
There is a kind of hope in it,

hinting of shallow clouds
that may drift
to reveal the blue.

A busy community of ants came from nowhere;
explored a tiny piece of cheese
that escaped my al fresco lunch.

Is there a pecking order with ants,
or maybe a picnic order?

I freed the bench
to return.