The Salt Coast Sages

Downeast Maine Poets

Poetry at Kelly Lombardi's Roque Bluffs home

Meet The Salt Coast Sages

We show up at poetry readings in black-T shirts  bearing, on the front, the words The Salt Coast Sages and on the back, Catch Us Before We’re Gone. Both inscriptions express the fact that in age they are all past fifty. But in spirit we practice the craft of poetry—and we think it is a craft—with all the enthusiasm of the young. We named themselves Sages just for fun; we are too smart to pretend to wisdom.

We first came together in a poetry class in the Sunrise Senior College, an education program for learners over fifty at the University of Maine at Machias, the small-town seat of rural Washington County. As the teacher of the class, M. Kelly Lombardi became our mentor, tmother hen, and task master In between semesters, she kept us together with sessions in her seaside cottage, where we soon discovered that cooking was another of her fine arts. All the Sages have published poetry in literary journals and other periodicals. But each is tenaciously different in style, background, and personality.

Salt Coast Sages at WERU radio station 2007

Kelly Lombardi, a writer and critic as well as a teacher, had reinforced her Irish ancestral and Italian spiritual heritages with annual pilgrimages to Irish pubs and an Italian monastery. When not abroad, she had written sensuously descriptive poetry in her home at Roque Bluffs. Alas, we lost Kelly to cancer in September 2008.

Sharon Bray, a freelance journalist living in Orland, is a member of the Maine Poets Society and Orland Fire Dept. Her poetry tends toward narrative and imagism, sometimes slipping into a touch of theology. She hangs out around clotheslines and takes a lot of pictures.

Donald Crane, living between Milbridge and Harrington, has been both a farmer and a public-relations man. In subtle word-portraits of Down East people, he heeds a muse who wears muddy boots and slings hash in local cafés.

Gerald George, a writer, editor, and former administrator, left Washington, D.C. for a home between a woods and a cove in East Machias. He can be serious only so long before his pen has to poke a little fun.

Philip Rose, a sea captain who delivered yachts for boat companies, lived in Starboard on Rose Ledge overlooking Machias Bay. For many years an English teacher, he particularly liked to spin story poems in a Down East dialect.  Sadly, Phil was taken from us by automobile accident in May 2011. In Spring 2011, we lost Phil in an automobile crash in Belfast. 

Grace Sheridan, once a federal civil servant, loves the seascape near her home in the fishing village of Cutler. She turns her memories as well as everyday scenes into emotionally poignant poems. She serves as registrar for the annual Roque Bluffs Poetry Festival.

Sages at Calais Book Shop June 2009

"A Rump-Sprung Chair
and A One-Eyed Cat"

Poems by Down East Maine's
 Salt Coast Sages

Edited by the late M. Kelly Lombardi

Cover Illustration by Mary E. Weston

This book contains some of the best work of the Sages.
But they are far from finished!

$10.00 + $3.00 Shippiing & Handling 

Send check or money order
and your mailing address

$13.00 per book


Salt Coast Sages
78 Destiny Bay Rd.
Cutler, ME 04626

Make checks payable to Salt Coast Sages

Also available at many local, independently owned bookstores.
Confirmation will be sent to your e mail address if provided.
To schedule readings by the Sages for your bookstore, library or organization, contact Gerald George 207-255-6800

©2008 The Salt Coast Sages