Ruthanne (Rufus) Collinson



Ruthanne (Rufus) Collinson has worked as a journalist, photographer, bookkeeper and turkey farmer.  Her poems have appeared in various journals for the field of experiential education.  Two books of her poetry have been published by Folly Cove Books, Turning the Stones (1997) and Traveling to You (2008).  Rufus was formerly the Manager of Communications for Project Adventure and lives in Gloucester.


Water Over Stones


This morning

the ravenous sea

reaches way out

over the shore

and pulls back again,

powerfully driven

to contain itself

and everything else too.


I hear the haul

of water

over a hundred thousand stones.


O the sound of longing,

hush rock hustle

huddle huddle hush,

the crockery and the surge,

water taking the shape

of stones,

this great symphonic jostling

of all that comes in,

of all that pulls out,

of all that remains.


On the Boulevard


On the first morning of my new life

on the weathered promenade

above the ancient harbor,

I see the swan

gliding in from another cove,

all curves and glory, magnificently


And then a silver sedan

pulls up from the city side,

rolls in over smooth stones,

and stops.

In a lurch of time and motion,

a woman emerges,

stooped and groping

calling over and over,


The swan looks in her direction

and paddles madly toward the pebbled shore.

The woman plods carefully in turn,

her arms clasped in front of her.

Sheenuu comes ashore,

as awkward now as composed before,

one slow ungainly step after another.

The woman stumbles a little,

crooning softly now,

There there,

reaching out the cup

of her clasped, primeval hands.

The swan slides her long neck

into the curve of arms.

And they embrace there

on my first morning in this new place

where anything is possible.




Sitting on the stoop,

third week in the city,

I see a teen-aged girl

and a young boy –

maybe her brother,

maybe her charge –

pass by.

In a small hollow of quiet

within the bass notes and the sirens,

I hear them clearly.

She is talking

with animation and confidence.

She says,  “It’s only because

he cares about you so much.”


After a small silence,

the boy reaches out

and touches her elbow,

saying again and again,

“It’s true.

It’s true.

It’s true.”


How wonderful

to be in the presence

even for a moment

of this young soul


for the first time perhaps

what in this life

is True.


As you pass through

the seasons of yourself..


May you slip a little,

drift a little,

swim way out,

lose yourself occasionally

in the fragrance

and the fire,

be a little blown away,

be a little certain,

find the hearth that waits for you

in every kind of weather.