The summers of my privileged youth were filled with riding bicycles with my best friend, June; drinking from the garden hose; drawing hopscotch grids with colored chalk; climbing Mrs. Jester’s apple trees; running through sprinklers in the back yard; and fishing off the Lake Michigan pier with my dad. Once every summer, my mom bought a box of popsicles and doled them out to me and my friends. Everyone else fought over the red ones. I always had the yellow ones to myself. I guess nobody else liked banana.
hot city summer steam hovers over pavement tempers flare, guns pop
Frank is hosting haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today he asks us to consider summer. Photos from my childhood, in the early 1950s. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!
Haibun: one or two paragraphs of succinct prose, usually biographical in nature, followed by a haiku that amplifies the theme, but does not duplicate the prose.
Walking down Provincetown’s main street, I passed two men sitting on a bench chatting in front of the courthouse. It’s a popular place to people watch.
I heard one man say to the other “I have a list of things I’m not allowed to buy.” I started wondering, what might that list include?
Possibly . . . M&Ms with peanuts, wine spritzers and flavored beer. Tie-dyed tee shirts, bumper stickers, and coffee mugs for mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, best brother or best sister. Cape Cod engraved silver spoons. Salt and pepper shakers in the shape of whales. And possibly starfish from the shell shop? Because he already has too many.
“So what would I buy if I had that list,” I asked my spouse after writing this poem. In his inimitable way, he simply said, “Use your imagination.”
Image: photo of sign taken on our walk yesterday to the far East side of town, where automobiles first enter Provincetown.
Beloved Provincetown, how shall I pen you? Sometimes mellow, sweet as honey, dew dripped fogged another day?
Your fickle Spring brings brisk winds, lean-into gusts that slow my steps on low tide walks along the shore. Horseshoe crabs spawn, two moving as one, leaving intricate trails on sand, caring not that I observe their intimacy.
Summer explodes in gulls and fireworks. Two and four-legged beach walkers skirt ’round children digging moats. Engorged tour buses relieve themselves. Nametagged visitors join throngs in streets as bicycles weave their way through maze.
Autumn brings sweatered afternoons, shorter ice cream lines, gardens’ last hurrahs, and fewer buskers on the streets. I stand alone in wool cap on deserted shore, marveling at the glory of an amber moon, light temptation for tomorrow’s palette of words.
When your Winters flaunt Nor’easters, remaining locals, few in number, tread quickly through snow-muffled quietude. Behind once busy Commercial Street in this, the most off of off-seasons, ocean’s rhythmic tides still reign.
The ocean, in fog or sun or snow, Provincetown’s constant gift, no matter the time of year.
. . . shadow me to sleep. Hush headlines, past regrets, and lists of tasks undone. Toss full moon behind gathering clouds. Snuff stars until dust drips silently crusting my eyes. Sink me into primordial seas, ombréd in shades of grey that I might rest in peace.
Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sarah asks us to include the word “sleep” in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.
Photos taken last night from our deck here in Provincetown, as the moon was rising. That’s my husband’s hand. Unfortunately, it did indeed totally cloud over and we never saw the eclipse or infamous blood moon….but this was an amazing sight as well.
There’s a quiet to this place in that transition between winter and when-will-it-get-here spring.
Ocean ombrés from greys to taupes bereft of sails and buoys, lonely tides missing congregant gulls.
Lulling seeping fog muffles sound. Low-lying dulled clouds meld into one sky misting all that lies beneath.
And if perchance the sun should shine clearing skies to blue, cold damp air chills the bones still.
Lean-into gusts of wind accompany the lone walker, a speck of time on these vast sands in the quiet of this place.
Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.
Today Sanaa is hosting and from 3 to 4 PM, Boston time, we will be LIVE.Poets from around the globe will meet via Google Meet and read aloud one poem of their choosing. It’s amazing to see the faces of folks and hear their voices….come join us either to read a poem of your choosing, or just to sit in and listen. HOW TO JOIN US?
Go to https://dversepoets.com at 3 PM or just a few minutes after, and the links to join us will be there…just click and come!
Photo taken this morning from our deck in Provincetown.
We’ve spent two weeks in Provincetown, at the Watermark Inn for the past twenty-two years. We’ve been here in January, July, May, and September. For some beautiful photos over the years, click here!
He courted me online. Sent me airfare from Paris to Boston. Met me with flowers and a grin. We sped out of the city, not slowing down until we crossed the Bourne Bridge onto Cape Cod. Small towns appeared and disappeared until we reached Provincetown. Shifting into four-wheel drive, he maneuvered through a maze of sand dunes, finally reaching his secluded shack. The one he’d so romantically described. For three glorious weeks we made love under down comforters and hiked the deserted beach. Off season was best, he said.
On April thirtieth, he muttered “you’re not enough.” He walked out and left me stranded, scared to death. For how can I be sure I shall see again the world? On the first day of May, I got the nerve to climb up the nearest dune. I hoped the world was on the other side.
She enjoyed a staccato existence, never a sustained note ecstatically percussive. High on life, she jived from one gig to another town after town, no stage too small. Showmanship and flair, nothing static in her repertoire. Gender be damned, she was a one-man band.
Quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title) written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Mish is hosting and asks us to include the word “static” within our poem. Note: I ecSTATICally included static twice!
Every line in this poem, is the first line in one of Maya Angelou’s poems. The poems are listed below, in the order of their appearance:
When I Think About Myself My Arkansas Greyday After Thank You, Lord Life Doesn’t Frighten Me Slave Coffle Alone I Almost Remember When You Come to Me Woman Me To Beat the Child Was Bad Enough Passing Time We Saw Beyond Our Seeming Now Long Ago Changing Communication II: The Student
Today’s prompt: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in which you muse on the gifts you received at birth — whether they are actual presents, like a teddy bear, or talents – like a good singing voice – or circumstances – like a kind older brother, as well as a “curse” you’ve lived with (your grandmother’s insistence on giving you a new and completely creepy porcelain doll for every birthday, a bad singing voice, etc.). I hope you find this to be an inspiring avenue for poetic and self-exploration.
My life is like a fragile hourglass sand grains drop through. Some moments I savor slip past me before I can taste them. Other times lag behind move so slowly I can not stand it and so I open my mouth and scream aloud. I want to control each and every grain of my life, especially now in our winter season when the path ahead is far shorter than the glorious one we’ve been blessed to share.
Written for NAPOWRIMO, DAY 28. Today the prompt is to write a concrete poem, in which the lines are shaped in a way that mimics the topic of the poem. Also shared with dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today it’s OLN: Open LInk Night where we can share any one poem of our choosing.