Clammers in Machiasport
Clammers in Machiasport


Hi there…How do you do?
I’m Derek Purlington.
I’m from Connecticut…
bought the lot beyond the cove.

        Ayuh, I know it—use’ta hunt there.

My big house is all built,
and the pier and beach house
will be done in a month.

        Use’ta walk down here to wade
        and sun with Sal, my wife,
        when we first were datin’.

Next summer we’ll widen the stream,
dredge around the pier.

        Ducks use’ta love feedin’
        in that crick. Use’ta clam
        those flats myself.
        Use’ta make good money, too.

Well, it certainly is a great spot!
We love the natural beauty,
the undisturbed quiet,
the feeling of peace and privacy.
What a shame so many folks
can’t appreciate
what this is worth!

        Use’ta be.

Philip C. Rose was an English teacher, photographer, and not-so-ancient mariner who spent his final years writing poetry from his cliff-perched cottage in Machiasport. At times terrifying, at times inscrutable, the sea was something he wrestled with and wrote about, but never railed against.

This piece is part of Voices from the Coast, a collection of writing, art, stories, and images offered in celebration of the Maine coast and launched in 2020, Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s 50th year.


More Stories from the Coast

Clocking Changes at Calderwood

MCHT land steward Kirk Gentalen has learned to love walking the same trails over and over again (it’s part of the gig). And Calderwood Island has been one of his favorite places to return to for all the changes that have occurred there over the past decade-plus.

Read More

Muscongus Bay

Essay by Robert Ives, part of the Voices from the Coast project to celebrate peoples’ deep connection to the Maine coast and MCHT’s 50 years of land conservation.

Read More

Cute Don’t Cut It

MCHT land steward Kirk Gentalen thinks flowers are just fine. Even cooler are the critters they attract.

Read More

Plant Strategies for Survival

MCHT Land Steward Kirk Gentalen shares information about the survival strategies of several plants found in June in Maine—the pink lady slipper, the bunchberry, and the one-flowered cancer root.

Read More

The Friends of Oophila Amblystomatis

In his ongoing salamander egg studies, MCHT land steward Kirk Gentalen learns about the super special algae that turns salamander eggs green.

Read More