Find True Relief from Your Chronic Illness at Med Matrix in Orrs Island, ME

Med Matrix - Your Partner in Vitality

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Functional Medicine in Orrs Island, ME

Have you ever been to a primary care doctor and wondered why they focus on treating symptoms instead of addressing the root cause of your illness? Rather than take a patient-centered approach to address questions like, "Why are you ill?" they prescribe medications that alleviate symptoms but don't do much to solve the underlying issue that's causing you to be sick.

When you have a cough, you're handed a cough suppressant. When you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you're prescribed a pill that masks the issue. The truth is that this approach only masks symptoms and can even make them exponentially worse. Medication never treats the root cause; your body's dysfunction isn't due to a deficiency of the medication you're taking.

That begs the question: Wouldn't you prefer to deal with the underlying cause of the problem making you feel bad? At Med Matrix, we take a functional approach to medicine instead of simply treating the symptoms our patients have.

We ask questions like:

  • Why is your body making more cholesterol?
  • Why are you obese?
  • Why is your blood pressure higher than ever before?
Functional Medicine Practice Orrs Island, ME

Med Matrix: Taking a Functional Approach to Healthcare

At Med Matrix, we delve deep to uncover the fundamental reasons behind your persistent health issues, offering you a path to lasting relief. Our team consists of knowledgeable doctors and skilled functional medicine experts who create caring environments focused on patient needs. We prioritize a holistic healing approach that looks beyond symptom management and aims to uncover and solve the core causes of your conditions for sustained wellness.

Are you:

  • Fed up with prescription after prescription and the side effects that come with them?
  • Seeking clear answers to complex health issues?
  • Craving a proactive role in improving your health?
  • Looking for a supportive, compassionate healthcare team in Orrs Island?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above or cannot get relief through conventional methods, functional medicine in Orrs Island, ME, is for you.

What is Functional Medicine from Med Matrix?

The functional medicine model of care offers a patient-centered approach to managing chronic diseases. It aims to answer the question, "Why are you ill?" so that you can receive personalized and effective care tailored to your needs.

Functional medicine providers in Orrs Island, like Med Matrix, take the time to listen to you and gather your medical history. This information helps us identify the root cause(s) of the illness, including triggers such as:

  • Poor Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Allergens
  • Toxins
  • Genetics
  • Microbiome (the bacteria living in and on your body)

Once we identify the triggers, we can create a customized plan that helps you lead a healthy life. Your plan will address various aspects of your life, including physical needs such as nutrition, exercise, and sleep, as well as mental and emotional stressors related to social, work, and community life.

 Functional Medicine Meal Plan Orrs Island, ME

The Med Matrix Difference

 Functional Medicine Testing Orrs Island, ME

At our functional health center, we provide a full spectrum of services and cutting-edge technologies to support your path to optimal health. Our team is skilled in a variety of practices including functional medicine, health coaching, hormone therapy, ozone therapy, and nutrition. Unlike some clinics that prioritize profits, we use diagnostic tools such as genetic testing and comprehensive laboratory evaluations to obtain a deeper understanding of your health conditions. In short, we take the time to get to know you, your body, your needs, and your goals. That way, we can provide the most effective, longest lasting care possible.

We also introduce innovative treatments and therapies like regenerative medicine, IV nutrient therapy, detoxification programs, PEMF mat, peptides, exosomes, and more. By integrating the most effective elements of conventional and functional medicine, we offer a comprehensive approach to health care that is tailored to you - not someone with a similar body type, age, and chronic illnesses.

Our Philosophy

Med Matrix was founded on the notion that patients deserve personalized, comprehensive care and unwavering commitment. Our philosophy also includes:

Above Beyond
Going Above & Beyond

Conventional medicine primarily aims to label diseases and prescribe medications for specific symptoms. At Med Matrix, we believe in a more holistic approach. Functional medicine - our chosen path - perceives the body as a harmonious. We view it as an interconnected system rather than a mere collection of isolated organs. In essence, we treat your entire system by delving into the root causes of your symptoms rather than trying to alleviate them on their own.

Working Together
Working Together

At Med Matrix, we consider patients to be more than visitors. We believe they're valued partners on the path to optimal health. Our cohesive team of seasoned physicians, devoted nurses, and expert nutritionists has an unwavering commitment to steering every patient towards health and happiness - a state we affectionately term "Health Actualization." Our functional medicine clinic is your comprehensive destination for wellbeing, and healing that propels you toward a life full of energy and vitality.

Advanced Testing
Advanced Testing

We seamlessly blend time-honored Western medical practices with cutting-edge functional medicine diagnostics conducted within our state-of-the-art, in-house laboratory. We understand that every patient has unique health needs and goals. Our diagnostic testing helps uncover the underlying issues you're dealing with so they can be addressed effectively. We do so through individualized treatment plans and custom treatments, not generalized care. Whether your path to wellness includes supplements, botanical medicines, prescription medications, therapeutic diets, detox regimens, or stress-reduction strategies, we're dedicated to your health.

Patients First
Patients First

Our core philosophy revolves around patient-centered care. Our practitioners take the time to listen, truly understand your unique story, and make you an integral part of the discovery process. We firmly believe that there's no one-size-fits-all solution in healthcare. That's why we're dedicated to delivering the highest quality functional medicine in Orrs Island, ME. Our approach to Health Actualization isn't solely about the absence of disease; it's about fostering vitality and overall wellbeing. Together, let's collaborate to achieve your path to Health Actualization.

Functional Medicine Memberships from Med Matrix

Our functional medical memberships are designed to optimize your health and prevent diseases from interrupting your wellbeing. These 12-month memberships feature the following core components and timeline:

Advanced Testing.png

Advanced Testing

Our advanced diagnostic testing takes into account more than 100 biomarkers, which helps us identify and ultimately address the underlying problems causing you to be sick.

Functional Medicine

Functional MedicineReview

We'll set up a one-hour meeting where you'll meet with an IFM-certified provider. During this meeting, your provider will get a better sense of who you are and the goals you have for your body and overall wellness.

Healthcare Plan

Personalized Healthcare Plan

Your healthcare plan is customized to your body and your goals and can include guidance on lifestyle optimization, diet optimization, supplement optimization, and hormone optimization.

Quarterly Testing

Quarterly Testing and Review

Once a quarter, you'll meet with a health coach from Med Matrix who will check on you and where you're at with your health goals.

Other benefits of signing up for a functional medicine membership include IV vitamin credits, access to a professional health coach, and discounted pricing on stem cell therapy.

Top 6 Reasons to Consider Functional Medicine in Orrs Island, ME

One of the most popular questions we get from new patients at Med Matrix is why they should even consider functional medical services over those at conventional medical centers. We get it - if you've only known the traditional side of medicine, exploring treatment from a functional medical doctor might seem unnecessary or uncomfortable. Before you retreat back into your comfort zone, take these points into consideration.

 Functional Medicine Consults Orrs Island, ME

Comprehensive Treatment Options

Unlike conventional doctors, who must work in a narrow scope of treatment, functional medicine opens the doorway to a wealth of therapies and treatments. For instance, at Med Matrix, when a patient presents with symptoms of depression, we don't simply consider which prescription medication to prescribe.

We thoroughly assess omega-3 levels, vitamin D levels, hormones, thyroid imbalances, gut issues, and inflammatory markers. Our goal is to identify the root cause of your depression. We seek to understand WHY your depression is happening. Some common functional medicine treatment options can include the following:

  • Health Coaching
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Diet Optimization
  • Holistic Treatments and Therapies
  • Hormone Balancing
  • IV Vitamin Therapy
  • Med Spa Services
  • Peptide Therapy

Healthcare and Wellness Services Catered to You

Functional medicine recognizes that each person is unique, so their treatment should be personalized. We all have different genetics, upbringings, diets, stress levels, and backgrounds. As functional medicine providers, we aim to understand each patient's life story from birth and create a plan that is tailored to them. Common sense says that conversation could take some time, and you'd be correct. An initial consultation with a functional medicine provider from Med Matrix can last an hour or more. But that allows us to provide you with focused, one-on-one attention.

This approach is in stark contrast to an appointment with a primary care physician, which only lasts a few minutes and can make you feel like you're just a number. It's challenging to have a meaningful conversation and provide a comprehensive solution in such a short time. Doctors who practice functional medicine in Orrs Island, ME, often see fewer patients per day, and for good reason - they're able to devote more time and energy to you, not processing transactions.


Education that Empowers

The primary objective of functional medicine is to equip and empower the patient to take charge of their health and enhance their quality of life. Since you can't visit a Med Matrix doctor every day, it's important that we continue your healing process using guidance provided by your functional medicine provider.

This guidance will cover important topics relating to your individual health, and may include protocols for optimizing your diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress, and supplements intake. We couple that guidance with advanced lab testing, condition diagnosis, and medication management. We understand that can be a lot to process in one or two meetings. As such, we may recommend health coaching and other services to help.


System-Based Treatment Protocols

Functional medicine believes in treating the person, not just the disease or the symptoms. Most conventional medicine models prioritize prescription medications that match up to specific symptoms. In the world of functional medicine, that's a short-sided approach. Instead, providers at Med Matrix take a systems-based approach to care.

For instance, if you're concerned about enduring too much stress, we want to know that's due to inflammation, malfunctioning adrenals, G.I. problems, or something else entirely. To find out, we check the functionality of your kidneys, heart, gut, liver, thyroid, hormones, and even your vitamin D levels. The more we know, the better understanding we have of the systems we need to address.


Uncover the Root Cause

Many people struggle to find answers to their medical conditions because they are passed around from doctor to specialist and back again. This happens frequently. Numerous patients have told us that they were informed, "it's all in your head" and "your labs look normal," despite experiencing severe symptoms indicating that something was wrong.

When you come to Med Matrix for a functional medicine appointment, it's almost like you're hiring a medical detective to uncover the root cause of your symptoms. Our doctors thrive on difficult cases and won't stop investigating until a solution is uncovered.


Cost-Effective Treatment, Long-Lasting Results

Functional medicine goes by many names, such as integrative, holistic, personalized, and preventative. Preventative medicine is the most cost-effective form of healthcare. By preventing or slowing down diseases, you can save future healthcare costs that would have been incurred if a preventative approach wasn't taken.

For instance, let's consider Type II Diabetes. Patients who visit a functional medicine provider are proactive and start addressing blood sugar concerns well before conventional medicine does. Functional medicine providers monitor blood sugar levels even before they reach conventional pre-diabetes levels. When patients are informed and educated about diet and lifestyle before the onset of a disease, much better results are achieved in disease prevention. Once someone has a diagnosis or disease, it becomes more challenging and expensive to correct.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Maintaining Your Health

One of the major hallmarks of functional medicine in Orrs Island, ME, is to stay healthy year-round by eating a healthy diet and exercising. While diet and exercise are crucial for wellness, many Americans don't get the necessary amounts of vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Whether you're working with a health coach or you're simply looking for diet tips, keep these important supplements in mind as you work towards a healthy life.

 Functional Medicine Treatment Center Orrs Island, ME

Two words that send shivers down the spines of every man are "erectile dysfunction." Unfortunately, when your T levels are lower than they should be, this is one of the most common symptoms that men must endure. Being unable to get it up isn't just embarrassing - it can be downright depressing and lead to issues with mental health. It's a hard topic to discuss, but a personalized TRT plan from Med Matrix can help.

Natural sources of vitamin D include:

  • Sunlight
  • Fatty Fishes
  • Dairy Products
Functional Medicine Practice Orrs Island, ME

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a crucial nutrient for supporting the immune system and overall health. In addition to its well-known role in preventing scurvy, vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, wound healing, and combating infections. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Including vitamin C-rich foods in your diet or taking supplements can help ensure that your body has an adequate supply of this vital nutrient.

Natural sources of vitamin C include:

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Cruciferous Veggies
 Functional Medicine Meal Plan Orrs Island, ME

Anemia is a condition that affects millions of Americans, resulting from various factors including iron deficiency, which is one of the most common national deficiencies. Iron is crucial for maintaining healthy blood. It plays a key role in supporting the production of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.

Natural sources of iron include:

  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Meat
 Functional Medicine Testing Orrs Island, ME

Functional Medicine in Orrs Island, ME: A Root-Cause Focus from Med Matrix

As a catalyst in the evolution of healthcare, functional medicine adopts a holistic approach to promoting health and wellbeing. It delves into the underlying causes of diseases and aims to restore optimal bodily function through a personalized and patient-centric approach. This approach complements conventional medicine and serves as a crucial partner in the overall healthcare landscape.

If you're sick and tired of relying on traditional models that push pills and prescriptions down your throat, it's time to make a change. At Med Matrix, we look beyond symptom management. We're focused on being proactive, not reactive. Our doctors of functional medicine are trained and fully equipped to help you reimagine what it's like to live a happy, healthy life.

If you're ready to take the first step toward true wellbeing, we're here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about our comprehensive functional medicine program.

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Latest News in Orrs Island, ME

Settlement deal ends lawsuit over Orr’s Island property

A trio of fish houses and piers on Barleyfield Point, a rocky peninsula that juts out into Lowell’s Cove, Orr’s Island. Its numerous owners have settled a lawsuit filed by one shareholder seeking to force the others to sell their interest in the property. (J.W. Oliver photo)A courtroom trial over the future of a sliver of working waterfront on Orr’s Island has ended in a compromise that will place the property under the permanent stewardship of a nonprofit to preserve public access.On Thursday, May 16...

A trio of fish houses and piers on Barleyfield Point, a rocky peninsula that juts out into Lowell’s Cove, Orr’s Island. Its numerous owners have settled a lawsuit filed by one shareholder seeking to force the others to sell their interest in the property. (J.W. Oliver photo)

A courtroom trial over the future of a sliver of working waterfront on Orr’s Island has ended in a compromise that will place the property under the permanent stewardship of a nonprofit to preserve public access.

On Thursday, May 16, parties to the case preempted what would have been the third day of testimony by reaching a settlement agreement that involves creating a nonprofit called Friends of Barleyfield Point to purchase the site from its many fractional owners for $345,000, the property’s total appraised value.

The site, known as Barleyfield Point, is a narrow, rocky, mostly tidal projection into Lowell’s Cove that was conveyed by its original owners to 12 local residents in the late 1800s. Since then, shares have been passed down over generations such that at least 100 people now own small fractions of the roughly one-third-acre property, litigants said.

A lawsuit filed in 2022 by co-owner John E. “Jack” Sylvester Jr., of Orr’s Island, had asked the court to force a sale of the entire site to him following a failed attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation. He had described the property in court documents as “unmanaged, unsecured and in deteriorating condition” with too many owners.

But many of the site’s co-owners filed their own joint claim asking the court to force Sylvester to sell his shares to them. They had feared the loss of public access for fishing gear storage, as well as swimming, recreational fishing, picnics on the beach and other longtime community uses for the property.

During the bench trial, in which a judge decides the outcome rather than a jury, Sylvester testified that he never intended to take away that access, but his assurances seemed to leave the other litigants unmoved.

After two full days of testimony during which attorneys for each side argued over the property’s value and sought to poke holes in their opponents’ arguments, the parties came together to reach a deal. As a result, what could have ended in anger and tears was instead capped off by smiles and handshakes.

“Today has gone a little bit differently than expected, and I’m glad to hear that the parties have been talking and reached a resolution,” said Superior Court Justice Thomas McKeon, who presided over the Portland trial. “Overall, a resolution is a really good thing, and it benefits everybody.”

Settlement details

Barleyfield Point has been enjoyed by locals as a public amenity for generations. Its original owners, Fidelia Prince and Alice G. Robinson, sold it in 1891 to members of four families living nearby, according to court documents filed in the now-resolved lawsuit.

“It was used in support of their part-time, small-scale fishing activities: lobstering, shellfishing, and gill netting,” Sylvester’s legal complaint explained. “Three owners operated nearby general stores, two others summer boarding houses. Four fish houses and wharfs were built on the eastern side of the Point for storage, repair of gear, and processing of catch.”

The site’s property owners are “tenants in common,” which means each of them owns a share of the entire property and can sell or give away their share without permission from the other co-owners, similar to shareholders in a company.

Sylvester owns the largest share of about 44% of the land, as well as a separately deeded wharf and fish house on the site. Defendants named in the lawsuit hold shares ranging from one-ninth to 1/36th of the site, as well as two other onsite wharves and fish houses owned by local residents Craig Ramsay and Brian J. Black.

The litigants said there are other owners living out of state who own even smaller shares of the site, some of whom have yet to be identified. Under the settlement, a portion of the sale price will be held in escrow to pay those co-owners if they come forward within the next year, and public notices will be issued to try to inform them.

Sylvester will receive $160,000 from the nonprofit for his land, wharf and fish house; Black will receive $45,000; and the other co-owners will receive a share of the remaining $140,000 based on what fraction of the property they own. Ramsay will not receive additional compensation for his wharf and fish house, which are in a state of disrepair.

No information was provided about where the purchase money would come from or who would lead the nonprofit. The defendants had brought up the concept of a nonprofit to own and manage the site in their earlier testimony.

Access preserved

The lawsuit had drawn criticism from some area residents and a local working waterfront advocate who said such cases threatened the future viability of “discreet” wharves that remain vital to small commercial fishing operations in Maine. The site is zoned for commercial fishing and has been used for that purpose in recent years by at least two locals with permission from Black.

The new nonprofit will be required to preserve lawful public access to the site in perpetuity, according to the parties’ attorneys. Peter Murray and Michael Traister of Portland law firm Murray, Plumb & Murray represented Sylvester, while independent Brunswick attorney Judy Metcalf and William Kennedy of Portland law firm Drummond & Drummond represented the other co-owners.

The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association has agreed to serve as the nonprofit’s fiscal sponsor, its director of community programs, Monique Coombs, testified during the trial. A fiscal sponsor is an established nonprofit that provides administrative and financial oversight to the new nonprofit, allowing it to operate under its tax-exempt status and receive donations.

Sylvester, Ramsay and Black will retain the use of their wharves and fish houses, although Ramsay will be required to tear down his aging facilities and rebuild them slightly south to resolve a boundary dispute with Sylvester, who owns an adjacent property to the north.

Sylvester and Ramsay declined requests for comment after the trial’s resolution, but Black expressed relief that the outcome would allow him to make good on assurances to the previous owner of his wharf that he would preserve the site for future generations.

“I made a promise to Ernest Hillman, and I kept it,” Black said.

Black’s daughter, Pamela Black-Blampied, agreed that the settlement was a positive outcome to the legal dispute.

“I am so relieved and just happy that it gets to be the way it’s always been,” she said.

Have a comment or news tip? Please contact J. Craig Anderson via email.

FEMA opens disaster recovery center on Orr’s Island

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has opened a walk-in disaster recovery center at the Orr’s Island Schoolhouse to serve residents and businesses affected by January’s twin storms.The temporary center, at 1594 Harpswell Islands Road, has been established to assist those seeking grants or loans to help them recover from the severe storms and flooding on Jan. 10 and 13. It is being staffed by representatives of both FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration.“Anyone who has had damage, come on in,&rdq...

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has opened a walk-in disaster recovery center at the Orr’s Island Schoolhouse to serve residents and businesses affected by January’s twin storms.

The temporary center, at 1594 Harpswell Islands Road, has been established to assist those seeking grants or loans to help them recover from the severe storms and flooding on Jan. 10 and 13. It is being staffed by representatives of both FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Anyone who has had damage, come on in,” said the center’s manager, Yasmine Greene, in an interview. She said no documentation is required to file for assistance.

The Harpswell center will operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a period that has yet to be determined. Two other Maine centers have opened, in York County and Hancock County.

Staff members said the Harpswell center had a soft opening on Tuesday, April 9, and several people came in. The center can assist anyone in Maine’s eight coastal counties included in a federal disaster declaration issued in March: Washington, Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland and York.

Federal Emergency Management Agency staff members wait to assist customers inside a FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration disaster recovery center at the Orr’s Island Schoolhouse on Wednesday, April 10. The center is open seven days a week. (J. Craig Anderson photo)

Officials have said the deadline to apply for FEMA aid and most disaster-related loans from the Small Business Administration is May 20. The exception is economic injury loans, for which the deadline is Dec. 23.

Michael Drake, Harpswell’s fire administrator and emergency management agent, said a preliminary damage assessment found that 195 residents and 92 small businesses in Harpswell reported suffering damage from the back-to-back storms. Drake said it isn’t necessary to have reported damage in the earlier assessment to apply for federal relief.

He credited the Orr’s and Bailey Islands Fire Department and its board president, Ted Merriman, for making the department-owned former schoolhouse available to FEMA.

“(Merriman) was instrumental in the process with FEMA,” Drake said. “The board members went to great lengths to make this happen.”

All disaster recovery centers are accessible to people with disabilities, FEMA said in a news release. They have assistive technology equipment that allows disaster survivors to interact with staff. Remote interpreting is also available. The centers all have accessible parking, ramps and restrooms.

The agency noted that it’s not necessary to visit a center to apply for relief. Applicants can visit, use the FEMA mobile app or call 800-621-3362. The line is open every day from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Help is available in most languages, FEMA said.

Have a comment or news tip? Email J. Craig Anderson at

Orr’s Island poet’s 2nd collection blends the philosophical with the quirky

Richard Craig Sipe can’t remember being bored a day in his life. It’s no wonder the poet loves year-round living on Orr’s Island.“Long, bleak winters here are good for writing, especially for me,” Sipe said in a recent interview.Since retiring in 2016 after more than three decades in the shipbuilding industry, Sipe has devoted more time to writing. His second poetry collection, “Here It Comes … and It’s Gone,” was released last month by Atmosphere Press. It follows a collec...

Richard Craig Sipe can’t remember being bored a day in his life. It’s no wonder the poet loves year-round living on Orr’s Island.

“Long, bleak winters here are good for writing, especially for me,” Sipe said in a recent interview.

Since retiring in 2016 after more than three decades in the shipbuilding industry, Sipe has devoted more time to writing. His second poetry collection, “Here It Comes … and It’s Gone,” was released last month by Atmosphere Press. It follows a collection he completed in 2020, “Lovely Dregs.”

2016 was also the year that Sipe and his wife, Kristin Fletcher, who grew up in Harpswell, renovated and moved into a family home on Orr’s Island.

“It’s a great place for writing and I have a great room for writing,” he says. That room has a view of the water and, across it, the shore of Harpswell Neck.

It’s also a good place to write about change. Sipe says the title poem of “Here It Comes” was more than 12 years old when he pulled it out of a file and chose it for the book. He found that it still rang true.

Both Sipe’s father and his great-grandfather left their families. As the story goes, his great-grandfather disappeared over a hill one day in the 1890s, never returning to his wife and children.

Sipe remembers the day a distant relative told him his absent father was a well-respected doctor in North Carolina and had a family, one that Sipe did not share.

“I know what happened to him,” he remembers her saying. “Would you like to know?”

“Here It Comes … and It’s Gone” is the second collection of poetry by Richard Craig Sipe, of Orr’s Island, following 2020’s “Lovely Dregs.”

There’s a photo of his great-grandfather’s tombstone in “Here It Comes,” next to Sipe’s poem “American Trilogy.” He calls it the “centerpiece of the book.”

“Sometimes you need / the other side of a hill in your life,” the poem concludes.

“It makes you want to appreciate things while they’re there,” says Sipe of both the verse and his family’s experience.

That’s something Sipe thinks writing does in general. It’s “something I’ve done since I was a kid,” he says of the craft. “On and off, it’s something I’ve kept up doing.”

When he isn’t writing, Sipe volunteers as the head chef at the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program and serves as poetry editor for the Café Review, a quarterly literary magazine based in Portland.

Although he describes “the temporary nature of all things” as the guiding theme of “Here It Comes … and It’s Gone,” much of its contents are playfully concerned with the everyday. “There’s a lot of quirkiness in the book,” he says.

Take “Cow Game,” for example. Sipe based the poem off a diversion he and his sister made use of on long road trips. Each time they passed a pasture with cows in it (a frequent sight in western Pennsylvania, where Sipe grew up), they would add them to a growing tally. There was one rule the siblings agreed upon: if you pass a cemetery, Sipe says, “you lose all your cows and start again.”

“That kind of brings the lighter side of ‘Here It Comes … and It’s Gone,'” he says.

Luna Soley, of Portland, is a freelance journalist and a 2022 graduate of Bowdoin College whose work has appeared in Outside and Backpacker magazines. A former reporter for The Times Record, she grew up on Peaks Island in Casco Bay.


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