Poetry Grove

The Poetry Grove provides a moment of calm and peace during the Fair. We hope this online version will provide the same feeling this year.

Join us for a Poetry Reading

In the above video, Lelania Avila and special guests join us with poetry offerings for this year’s fair.
A Pledge: A poem by Russell Libby, read by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

A Special Reading

In this video, we welcome special guest Congresswoman Chellie Pingree as she reads a poem written by MOFGA’s late Executive Director Russell Libby.

Poems about the Fair, shared by Fairgoers

Below, find poetry written by fairgoers about the Fair.

My Favorite Day

by Emily Caron

It’s the morning of the fair
and I am reminded of the giddiness of Christmas morning the crisp air sinks into my nostrils
as Mom and I pack up the car
we hit the road at 4 am- driving from Portland to Unity
By the time we arrive in Unity
the sun starts to peak over the fields
the Earth begins to warm
we make our way through the winding path among the pines “Fair this way” the painted signs read
I spot a horse pulling a cart full of logs in the distance
soon we are among the fairgoers
Bare feet, piping hot coffee, guitars strumming.
I take a deep breath
I soak up the sense of community,
the kindness of every stranger’s smile,
the aroma of the locally grown food
the sight of the hand made pieces of art
the booths filled with knowledge and activists
I smile
My favorite day is here.

The Fair

by Elise Lehotsky

An intricate quilt, a homemade jam,
A plant that flowers again, and again.
The ponds nearby, that taste of dirt,
The fair is still there, for better or worse.
Catch a sun burn, make up some chai
Don’t let your favorite parts go by.
Find some Sweet Annie, walk through a field,
Celebrate this strange summer and it’s usual yield.
Visit the farms, share lemonade with those near,
Stay apart now, and together next year.
The fair pulls us in and twines us together,
it’s still with us now, lo, it will be forever.

Common Ground 2020

by Lelania Avila

The resident trees
their secret lives
two thirds buried underground
in a syncopated dance
with a mychorrizal fungi

Wind plays with branches –
inviting musical waves

Imagine the trees recognize us
Feel the vibrations of first our cars
Then our feet
We put the cars away
in the full marking lot for three days
and we walk miles amidst the
back and forth
to the Common Kitchen
the Common Thrones
the Common
What have we in Common?

I pause.
Take three deep breaths.
Invite your answer.

Together We Are The Sign of Peace, a virtually illustrated poem
by Stephen Oliver of Make it Right! Peace T-shirts, in the Social and Political Action Area of Common Ground Fair 2020. Stephen is also on the board of Peace Action Maine, also present at the Fair. 

As it came to rest upon my shoulder
from a perch within a tree #ALittleBirdToldMe how to get to #Unity It tweeted “#TWATSOP, #TWATSOP

to my ears a mystery…
and nodded it’s little head
at my bafflement and curiosity

The bird’s song continued, tweeting… “#TogetherWeAreTheSignOfPeace
and that we must find #CommonGround
while learning to pronounce the word peace (#pes) in kinetic action, not just in phonetic sound!

For we are in this world #TogetherInALabryinth both the gander and the geese
and it is good for neither
if we don’t find the sweet relief of peace.

And by the way I have to say, unity ain’t unilateral! catch my drift?, capiche?”

Wise proclamations indeed, hatching from such a #GoodEgg and it continued with exhortations tweeting…
“Now get up and shake a leg!
It’s no time to sit on the sidelines

or from a distance gawk.
If you want peace through unity
You must #WalkTheSquawk
When you see something wrong
don’t wait long to stand up and lift your tweet
then find as many ways in the world that you can #GivePeace Don’t be like the many cats I’ve seen stuck in their own trees!


How else will the world come to #KnowJusticeKnowPeace
And what alternatives have you when #TheEmpireHasNoClothes When the madness of the unsustainable started
and where and when it stops, no one seems to know!”

“But there are more ways to peace than those so common heard… For instance, you can do like I do and #FlipTheBird_4peace
But when letting it fly does not suffice to address the blatantly absurd I carry in my heart to tweet, a very sacred blurb

and find myself often retweeting, #TheFinestFourLetterWord L.O.V.E. is another way of saying #DontLetTheBottomFallOut and be refreshed by mother earth, do not sink in doubt!”
You can also get down and dirty and #DigPeace

Make the earth your garden and reap the sow of peace cultivate and propagate, make the world more flowerful
and thereby take your place among the #GentleButPowerful

“Have I appropriately conveyed the #UrgencyOfPeaceAndLove
I ask because I’m utterly convinced I need to change some minds But if you still have doubts and #ThinkTwice
make your thoughts about peace, love, and being kind.
Like the little hatchlings in each moment born
we should in natural radiance continue to adorn
by clothing ourselves in the energy of love
and become #OneInPeace just like the feathers on a dove.
Should we be so lucky, as to maintain the aura throughout our days, we’ll let the world know #PeaceEqualsLove in oh so many ways!”

“Please don’t fear when hope feels almost gone
rather, gather your strength to #UniteInLove and #LIVEON Since #PeaceIsTheWayLifeShouldBe
Let’s make it in Maine at Common Ground Fair
and take is as far as the eye can see.
Now if your heart Iv’e won, I can be done
and return to my perch in that tree..
and there await the next human
to instill love and empathy”…

“Just remember these words, before I go
back to my rounds as a bird of peace,
When you hear #TWATSOP , #TWATSOP…. Remember that we can #MakeItRight together because #TogetherWeAreTheSignOfPeace

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