Mary Ann is drawn to the pastoral tradition & its illusion of idyll. She also writes from her love of homo ludens (playful human), believing poesis is play, and play, beauty. She’s drawn to the (seriously playful) ethos of The Origami Poems Project and enjoys making and distributing micro-chapbooks. She volunteers with the arts-outreach group, Ocean State Poets, bringing poetry to marginalized communities.
Her poems appear widely in literary journals, most recently in the anthology Missing Providence (Frequency Writers). Awards include Boston’s Grub Street poetry prize, Tupelo Press and River Styx finalist, and honorable mention in Bauhan Publishing’s May Sarton Book Contest.
Mary Ann’s proudest poetry moment came when her German translation of Leonard Nathan’s poem, “From The Mountain” was installed in the Avalanche Museum in Galtür, Austria—a museum inside an avalanche wall surrounding the village where thirty-eight people died in 1999.
A retired occupational therapist and avid mountaineer, Mary Ann lives with her husband Pete and dog Ezra Hound in southeastern Massachusetts and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
► Mary Ann's Origami micro-chapbooks & selected poems are available below. Download & Print each single-page micro-chapbook (formatted as a PDF) by clicking the title. To read the 'Selected Poem(s)', also click the title(s).
|IVORY in Connecticut|
Cover Design by Carl Peter Mayer
Images from the Web
“Through 1954, Connecticut was the largest
importer of tusks anywhere in the world.
One adult African elephant tusk of 75 lbs.,
properly milled, could yield the
wafer-thin ivory veneers to cover
the keys of 45 pianos.”
Start with middle C
and play it back thru time, thru
the juke, the clap, the hand, the cry
back through a century
of sheet music, cannons, Yankee Doodle,
ragtime in living rooms—
the middle-class pastime,
before radio and gramophones
Play it down, down,
through cakewalks and marches,
Burning mobs, “coon songs”, lynchings,
and whites in blackface performing…
Mary Ann Mayer © 2015
Cover image from the Web
It’s the way the street corners whisper
and the tail lights answer
as the tall girl, the one with the habit, slips
into the alley
and doors shut before winter lets the cold in
Mary Ann Mayer © 2013
Cover Image of Kestrel from the Web
I dive into air.
A kestrel soars alongside.
The day is all mother-of-pearl and ripples.
Why do I feel so
for this bird, his
curve ball world
of vaster space and
I’m just a body unlearning itself,
one leap, weightless—
and the axis of the world
tips her wings.
Mary Ann Mayer © 2012
Cover Image from the Web
Dedicated to the
Forever Young Band,
RI's Neil Young tribute band
Slater Park, September 2010
It’s always a country fair after sunset,
the lights of rides turning on one-
by-one, twinkling in harmony with a
watermelon sky spilling sugar-pink
juice into clouds jet, gold, silver-lined.
It’s shooting-stars, still hurricane time,
approaching autumn, a fork
in the road. Couples rise in the sky
on the turning wheel,
others tilt-and-whirl through calliope music.
Under the tent the band plays. All Neil Young.
Some drift away. She wants to stay
and dance. He wants to slip between
the parked cars, down to the river,
lay in golden-rod blaze…
by Girl Friday aka
Mary Ann Mayer © 2011
Book created to
support the work of RI Pet Rescue
See our 'Random Acts of Poetry' page
Thanks, Mary Ann Mayer, for
inspiring this collection
The old bird dog stands her ground
before the cupboard,
toenails gripping, stick legs splayed out
over scratched linoleum.
She lowers her muzzle,
the color of lumpy Oreos in milk,
to nuzzle for droppings
from Mother Hubbard’s treats.
Though never gentle with cookies,
she’d always been tidy.
Now she leaves half behind.
She’s an old girl
I can’t count her years exactly,
but I can count the crumbs.
Mary Ann Mayer © 2010
To my father, Bob Maitland,
whose stories these are.
Cover design by Carl Peter Mayer
Painting by Bruce Mitchell
Wiring Point Judith
I was loaned to the line gang
Mary Ann Mayer © 2005 / OPP 2010
- Excerpted from Telephone Man
Mary Ann Mayer © 2005
Purchase thru Amazon here
Sculpture and cover photo
by Carl Peter Mayer
Sisters and fish, my friend
kerplunks, her arms stretched to ten and two,
and floats in her sea soup,
under her, green, giggly waves, and over her
blue-kissed sky. This is the purpose
of time (between fish and sisters):
going to the beach
and the beach going home with us.
Salt in our caruncles,
salt rust in the soap dish, sand in the soap.
A throttling wave, a good pumice,
a good slumber under a feather boa of stars.
All night long, waves break and
break under the cliff, under the floorboards,
and still we pick out a melody
against the roar.
Mary Ann Mayer © 2010
sounds like a proverb or song
I once heard
about how people should be in love
most of the time,
grateful for ways the body
in moon light, native
Mary Ann Mayer © 2010