Sundays with Me and Paul . . .

Come walk with me . . .
past busy city intersections
into Little Italy,
past salumeris and bakeries too.

Now look up . . .
at that gleaming white spire
atop the red brick edifice.
Boston’s Old North,
Paul Revere’s church.
National Historical Park Site.
Active Episcopal congregation.

So glad you’re joining us today!
Allow me to seat you inside.
Are you three today?
Yes, amazing to see . . .
all original white box pews.
And where are you from?

How about Pew #25?
Owned in 1759,
by Captain Daniel Malcom,
a Son of Liberty.
Yes, in those days,
wealthy people bought their pews.
And note the plaque inside,
December 29, 1912
Theodore Roosevelt
He did! He sat right there.

Now do look behind you . . .
four wooden angel figures
in the organ loft.
“Gifts” to the church in 1745,
from a privateer –
a legal pirate –
“taken” from a French ship!

And look here . . . .in your bulletin . . .
right after the Offertory.
See the words to the Doxology?
We sing that, and then . . .
what I love best at Old North.
The next words you see there . . .
final verse to My Country Tis of Thee.

Our fathers’ God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by they might,
Great God, our King!

The organ booms it out
and everyone sings . . .
oh how we sing!
Chills down your back!

After the service,
listen . . .
oldest bells in North America,
cast in Gloucester, England in 1744,
hung in Boston in 1745,
will be pealing away!

Six bell ringers pull on ropes
in mathematical sequences
from high up in that famous spire . . .
where the lantern was waved
April 18, 1775.
You remember . . .
one if by land, two if by sea” . . .

So there you have it!
Nice to have you join me,
on my almost-every-Sunday walk
to Old North . . .
hallowed ground
hallowed place
in American history.

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It’s Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Sarah is hosting and asks us to take her and our readers on a journey that is very familiar to us. Most Sundays of the year when we are in Boston, we walk to the North End (Little Italy) to Old North (actually Christ Church) and usher for the 11 AM service. Top photo was taken last Christmas; second photo was taken after the Patriots’ Day Service, the one night a year the lantern is carried again to the top of the tower/spire to shine as it did in 1775. Every Sunday, we literally have visitors from across the globe.

Provincetown Farewell

Day dallies before night,
languorous not angry.
No streaks of orange-red.
No temper tantrum flares.
No sinking glaring half-orb
stamping her rays.

This evening she dabbles,
pastel palette en plein aire.

Blushing, she rouges blue sky.
Sun butter yellows upon her brush,
delicately blend into rosey hues.
Bending closer, stroking more,
soft kisses touch ocean calm
till violet hues meld into scene.

She pauses quietly in her beauty,
then softly fades farewell.

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Sunset photos I took two nights ago in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod. No photoshopping; no edits. Just pointed my phone and clicked. Breathtaking evening as you can see. Easy to understand why artists and poets (including Mary Oliver) flock to Provincetown. Sadly, our annual two weeks here ends on Saturday as we take the ferry back to Boston. Provincetown, you never disappoint!

Mish hosts OLN at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Open Link Night means anyone can share one poem of their choosing.

Cape Cod Early Morn

There is a softness to this early morn.
Waves slowly, rhythmically, lap the shore.
Tide ever-so-surely recedes,
reveals soft ripple lines on moist sand
sans foot prints of any kind.

Sky awakens rimmed with tufts of dawn,
pastel pinks and barely blues.
In the distance, Provincetown sleeps.
Sail barren masts pierce the clouds,
spinal column of the town.

Serene solitude,
self alone in nature’s calm.
I close my eyes in wakefulness.
I listen. I feel . . .
the softness of this early morn.

Cape Cod – Indeterminate Morn

Darkest grey
to pearlescent cream,
nature’s demarcation divides the sky.

Storm cloud tier looms,
like heavy horizontal quilt
atop matte-dull strip of bright.

Ocean broods below,
accentuates smudged palette
in film noir scene.

Cape Cod indecisive morn.
dares the gazer –
define the coming day.

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Photo taken several days ago from our deck in Provincetown, Cape Cod. This is in color. I did not photo shop to black and white. The day did turn into a blustery one, as if the sun had taken leave. 

St. George, Bermuda

Oh yay! Oh yay!
Deep sounding voice
booms on the square.
Bell clangs loudly
swung in an arc,
beckons tourists
gather ye ‘round.

Voice of St. George,
the place, not the man.
Dressed in short britches
historical garb,
he transports us back
to the ways of the times.

Town Crier by role
he riles up the crowd
condemning a woman,
the gossip of town.
Punish by dunking
those times were cruel,
we applaud them today
for the sport of their play.

Historical town
island country.
Maintaining its past
by living today.

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David Firth, the official St. George town crier, and the woman on the dunking chair, reenact history for delighted tourists. David Firth participates in international town crier competitions and works hard to perfect the voice and look. He also serves as a council man in local government. This is day three of NaPoWriMo and rather than follow the prompt, I wrote this “travel poem.”

Bermuda, Tanaga Me

*Tanaga – part of an oral tradition going back to the early 16th century. Stanzas of four lines, seven syllables per line; rhyming each line of a stanza on the same rhyme sound.

Just my tanaga and me
watching the dawn blissfully.
Sailboats rest upon the sea
kiskadees sing from a tree.

Fingers tap relentlessly
counting sevens, never three.
Overhead the gulls fly free
soaring, flapping gleefully.

This place holds a history
many a catastrophe.
Shipwrecks buried ‘neath the sea
part of lore and memory.

For all things Bermudaful
for friendships and nature too,
my spirit ever grateful
sadly I must bid adieu.

IMG_9534I shot this panoramic at Horseshoe Bay on the south shore of Bermuda, said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We’ve spent at least a month of our past four Boston winters in Bermuda and have come to love the beauty of the country and its people. This is our last year here — as we move on to other adventures next year.

Posted for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Frank introduces us to the Tanaga form. He indicates it comes from the Tagalog language of the Philippines, and does say we may take poetic freedom with the rhyming scheme, which I do in the final stanza.

See the Sea . . .

Transplant from concrete city,
hustle-bustle and blaring horns,
she loves all things Bermudaful.

Smitten by color
red flowers peek from handlebar baskets,
her rusty bicycle now a sky-blue.

Today, just as every day
day after day, week after week
she tries to begin a letter home.

Sea breezed salt-flavored lips
gnaw tooth-marked pen.
Mind searches for appropriate words.

The ocean here is so . . .
cerulean, cobalt blue,
aquamarine, azure hued.

Page littered,
crossed out words.
How to write what she sees?

Try again. First words flow,
White-capped and undulating,
turquoise ultramarine waves . . .

 sapphire, Prussian, pastel blue.
Mesmerizing . . . royal blue waters.
Nature defies the dictionary.

Stationery crumpled and set aside,
sun glasses off, wine poured
she makes the long distance call . . .

and simply says two words.
Come see.

 

Bermudaful — another way to say beautiful in Bermuda!  We have 10 days left of our month-long stay in this beautiful island country.

It’s Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. I’m hosting today and provide folks with a number of images to peruse….all of which, in some ways, evoke the feelings of spring.  “Think young, take the energy of the spring season and think fun, new life, possibilities. Sunny side up, everyone.”  Poets choose one image from those provided in the prompt. (I selected the bicycle). Poems should be motivated by the image, which should be cut and pasted into the post. The poem does not need to be about spring, but it should take us away from the cold and dreary.

Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come see the other images available for this prompt….and put a spring in your step with us!

 

 

Impatient in Iowa

Elusive spring
buried beneath snow.
Monotone whitened rural scene
minus crocus, lilacs,
and red breasted robins.
Brightened only by weathered barn
and newly painted crimson birdhouse,
daredevil cheerful bracelet
on snow laden tree limb.
Old man winter,
still balking at retirement.

Photo by Sari Hacker, my former Iowa Valley High School student. Fond memories of our days in Marengo, Iowa.

Bermuda Beautiful

Liquid joy
blues beyond belief.
Gaze on her,
feast your eyes.
Aquamarine, royal, teal,
sea colors, her crown.

Kiskadee
yellow warbler sings.
Loquat trees
bear gold fruit.
Island nation taunts my pen,
tell them if you can.

History,
railway trails of old,
limestone ruins,
painter’s muse.
Twenty-two miles, end to end,
only half-mile wide.

Soul soother
slower pace of life.
Welcome rain,
next day’s tea.
Bermudean tapestry,
your blues steep my joy.

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Amaya is hosting dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to write a shadorma: a poem with 6-line stanzas with the following syllabic count for the lines: 3-5-3-3-7-5. We are in Bermuda for a month — our fourth year to do this. The waters surrounding this beautiful island country really defy description in terms of their colors. And the yellow kiskadee’s song is exactly like its name: kiss-ka-dee, kiss-ad-dee. Because Bermuda has no aquifer, rainwater is collected in a ridged white-roof system that drains into each home’s cistern located below ground. That water is then pumped up into the house, into the faucets, washing machines etc. Hence, my tea this morning is made from the latest rain storm! Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.  I’ve also published a second shadorma today, more in line with the term itself…in the shadows of a grave yard

Revelation

Bermuda mesmerizes.
Breeze ruffles tall grass,
erases footsteps.

Timeworn calcarenites protrude,
seaside sentinels
revealed in low tide glory.

I stand gazing.
And somehow
in this raw natural place,

understanding dawns.
You are with me,
my forever love.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today it’s OLN….Open Link Night. Post any one poem of your choice. Yes, we are in Bermuda, until April 6th. Photos from Tobacco Bay, one of our favorite places here, about a 10 minute walk from our rental in St. George. Bermuda never disappoints!