Ode to Julian

Julian Robinson, known for his photographs of Island birds, died on February 24th at the age of 82. William Waterway pays tribute to this beloved Island resident in his “Ode to Julian”

Ode to Julian


the spirit of nature’s form and color beckoned

with patience and love of life you answered

camera waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting ready

to discover entertainment filled spontaneity   

seated in your folding chair for hour upon hour

whether mild, hot, cold, wild – sky you did scour

awaiting winged ascension rare


each picture of precious moment captured

an imprint on your soul forever remembered

with others to share – here your island home

a mind-filled smile revealed through a poem


fighting osprey, white swans, red-tail hawks,

great blue herons, blue jays, mocking birds,

baltimore orioles, cedar waxwings, owls –

snowy and great horned, red-winged blackbirds,

common goldeneyes, red-breasted merganser

and many more – Birds of a Different Feather

loving farm animals – a poster for the Fair

the bloody battle of KC for Felix Neck territory

you were there, Julian, you were always there


~William Waterway


If you’d like to include a memory or thought about Julian Robinson, please feel free to do so in the comments section.


Jill Gault February 25, 2012 at 09:45 PM
What a beautiful man with a big spirit!
Donna Davey February 26, 2012 at 01:56 AM
How we loved Julian. He sat in our yard for hours waiting to photograph a red screech owl and her babies who took up roost in one of our large bird houses. They are wonderful pictures as were all his amazing photos. He had a loving kind heart and will truly be missed on this island. Our thoughts and prayers to his family. Donna Davey & Scott Graupner
Brenda T. Lehman February 26, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Julian was a kind and generous man. He just loved to give away his pictures. Many people still smile at all these beautiful photographs...they are everywhere. Mimi said they had a beautiful life...he will be sadly missed by many.
Kerry Quinlan-Potter February 26, 2012 at 01:03 PM
This man brought so much grace to Martha's Vineyard. Always smiling, with that twinkle in his eye he stood out as an example of true gratitude for his environment. He spent his time documenting the wonders of this island, sharing his enthusiasm and his gift. Running into him always made me happy, his smile infectious and his joy for life so apparent. Thank you Julian.
Mathea Morais (Editor) February 26, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Thanks to all of you for leaving such wonderful comments. If any of you have pictures of Julian's please feel free to upload them to the article or email them to mathea.morais@patch.com and I will add them.
Ruth Major February 26, 2012 at 03:26 PM
When I saw Julian's photograph of one of my favorite island cows licking and orphan calf, I wrote and asked him if I could paint the pair from his photo and add them to my design for the Agricultural Fair poster entry. The design won that year and I am certain it was because Julia captured such a precious moment in that cow's life. Ruth Major
Skip Finley February 26, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Friend of my late parents, Julian's been a mentor and friend since I was a teenager, inspirational as an adult and a favored source of art to our family. Condolences to Mimi and their family and much love to a man with a life well lived.
SANDRA HEALY February 26, 2012 at 08:17 PM
mimi all of us at johns fish market are saddened by the news of julian. You both are remarkable people. He sure was one of a kind in my book. I have not seen you both for awhile but you both were always in my thoughts. every where we go we will be reminded of him. His beautiful photos everywhere. much love, sandra
William Waterway February 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Ruth beautifully inspired painting confluence of two spirits made manifest through art
Norman Hall February 27, 2012 at 02:26 AM
An island treasure has left us his extraordinary legacy. Julian's smile, his warmth, his grace will live in the many hearts he touched. We will miss Julian holding court next to the Corner Store with something special to share with every passerby. Be well my friend. I'm sure you know Mimi, Julian's spirit has soared to heights much higher than his winged relations that he so adored and payed reverance. GODSPEED.....
ALISA ROMAN February 27, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Julian graced the Island with his elegant presence,he embraced its inhabitants,human and animal He was one of a kind, he made our Island richer ..I will miss seeing you and Mim,the love of your life.holding court outside the PO in Oak Bluffs, Farewell, My Friend, Alisa Roman


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