Briny foam deposits anonymous relics, tumbled sea glass, ceramic shards. Deposits of what once was spurred imagination to pen. Vast expanse edged by the granular, waters creased afar by horizon line. I miss thy rolling waves, my salt-kissed lips, now bare.
Lids closed shut, head bowed. Mortar, brick and cement sight lines erased by self-enforced darkness. Pigeon lined window ledges unseen, gulls imagined delete traffic squeals. Oceanic Muse, realm of Neptune, despondent without thy grace. Oh that I might return to thee.
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. It’s Tuesday Poetics and today Ingrid asks us to consider the Muse. She tells us that direct invocations of the Muse are rare in modern poetry. She gives us several choices on how to go about writing a poem today that considers the Muse. For me, I’ve always loved the ocean. The photos are from one of five winters we spent in Bermuda where the waters are incredible shades of blue and green. We often hiked along the Old Railway Trail which provided many views of the ocean’s splendor. We continue to spend two weeks every fall in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod. Our rental unit is right on the ocean’s shore. Today I sit in our Boston high rise condominium, realizing how much the ocean is my Muse.
i Provincetown summers. Tasty salty upper lip, mango tinted dawns. Blue hydrangeas, hollyhocks, honeysuckle and moss rose.
ii. Color profusion. Blarney Castle garden walk, nature’s floral art. Ireland is so much more than the luck of shamrock green.
iii. Singapore orchids, pride of National Garden. Soft delicate blooms, violet to deepest shades, azure-veined whites and more.
iv. I sense Japan’s calm, forest bathing in deep greens. Celebrate her spring strolling by cherry blossoms. Petals rain gently in breeze.
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today is the second day of our dVerse 10 year anniversary! Our prompt is to think about the word “garden” and see where it takes us. I took that literally. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us! Photos from our travels.
Seascape rhythmic swells, sonata in blue. Harmonic melody carried by balmy breeze. Percussion added as sea foamed waves lap shore. Time signature ever changing, sand grains shift and ripple too. I sit mesmerized, all this balm to my soul. Smile serenely, softly, as unconscious movement of tongue reveals salty upper lip. Apt coda to this masterpiece ~ nature’s wondrous symphony.
Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sarah asks us to consider “blue” in our poetry. Photo is from our time in Bermuda a number of years ago.
Wade with me through windswept grasses. Stand tall against the gale gazing at nature’s palette, ocean’s waters. Myriad shades of blue blending, rippling from azure to ultramarine, royal blue to sapphire, turquoise to navy. Calcarenites protrude, their dark rough surface rocky, uneven. Each a sentinel of this island called Bermuda.
Posted for NaPoWriMo day 12. Photo taken a number of years ago in Bermuda. This scene is just a short walk from Tobacco Bay. Staying in St. George’s for five different years in the months of January and February, we often hiked out to this beautiful spot. And yes, the ocean truly looks like this! No photoshopping here.
Escaped from blaring horns hectic pace and sweat filled nights caused by deadlines and stress. Driving on two lane byways now.
The wayside diner beckons me. Apple trees shade the walk, bees buzz round fallen overripe fruit. I don’t even lock the car doors.
Inside, large cheerful sunflowers sit in vases on oilcloth covered tables. Sheila sashays over with a pleasant hello, sets down a chipped porcelain cup.
She pours in dark rich coffee right to the brim. “What’ll ya have? Got fresh melon off the vine and cinnamon buns are good today.” Her nametag is printed in thick magic marker.
I sigh and nod my head. No words needed. She saunters back somewhere, to the kitchen? No matter. I just sit, run my finger slowly round the coffee mug’s lip.
I stare out the window. Contemplate nothing. No deadlines hurtling at me. I’m in an internet dead zone. I may just sit here until dinner time.
Placemat menu lists pot roast. Sounds good to me.
Written for day 3 of NaPoWriMo. Today we are to create a Personal Universal Deck, an idea originated by the poet and playwright Michael McClure. He gave the project of creating such a deck to his students in a 1976 lecture at Naropa University. The idea is to take 50 index cards or pieces of paper and write words on each side of the card *so 2 words to a card; one on the front and one on the back; 100 words in total. The following instructions are given for the words: Divide 80 of the 100 words evenly among SIGHT, SOUND, TASTE, TOUCH AND SMELL, sixteen each. Also include 10 words of movement, at least one body part, and one abstraction (such as peace, patriotism, etc). Then, shuffle the cards and pick out at random, a number of cards. Lay them down and you will see the words looking at you. Create your poem using those words. The cards can be reshuffled and used many times….each time drawing out a number of cards from which to create your poem. You choose how many.I thought the title “Swapping Decks” went with the sense of the poem and also refers to the Personal Universal Deck I created for this prompt.
I picked out these words: blaring horn, cinnamon, buzz, sweat, sigh, sun flowers, and melon! These words were among the 100 that I wrote down on the cards, using the front and backs of the cards as instructed. An interesting exercise! I’m tempted to pull out the “deck of word cards” I’ve created, and use them again, drawing out cards at random, placing them on the table so one word on each is displayed (no fair turning the card over and choosing to use the other word!) and writing more poems from them. In a way, it’s like “found poetry”.
They spoke to me that day, ice shelves weeping falling into sea. Like hands clapping for attention their loud crack of fissure turned our heads We watched, photographing the majestic. Leaving Antarctica’s Paradise Bay we saw remnants of her tears, ice bergs – some small, some humongous, clogging our way. And yet all we did was maneuver through, oblivious to her pain.
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe, where the prompt Thursday was to use imagery and/or personification in our poem. Photo taken on our 2018 Antarctica cruise. Witness to climate change’s deleterious effects on melting ice shelves causing sea rise. Paradise Bay, silent save the birds and the cracking of shelves as they fell.
I am oceanically mesmerized. Sitting on rippled sand, slowly sifting granules through my fingers through my toes.
Waves splash, crash, dash against shoreline’s rugged rocks. Salty spray, misty on my skin, lost in thought, time labors not.
I stand, then saunter farther down shore. Discover limestone formations, arced frame through which I stare. Architecturally designed by nature, window open to bluest of blue seas.
This is Bermuda, beautiful indeed.
Written for MTB (Meet the Bar) Thursday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the world. Today Peter is hosting and asks that we consider and emphasize sound in our poem. For example, we can use onomatopoeia (the word sounds like the object described); alliteration (repetition of consonants); rhyme; and rhythm. Photo taken four years ago when we wintered in St. George, Bermuda. No photo-shopping in second photo. The water is truly those amazing colors!
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.
Originally published a number of years ago. Publishing again today as we return to Boston. Instead of our usual two weeks, with walks into town to meander galleries, shops and eat at restaurants, in this age of Covid, we spent just 8 days in hibernation at our rental by the ocean. But, Provincetown, even without all the hoopla and town attractions, never disappoints.
Sunset photos taken 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.
Early fall breeze wisps over me touches my brow, my nose, swirls ’round the room. Plastic window blinds plink a tune.
Lying, just barely awake, my hand touches yours. Fifty years together, twenty years enjoying this place.
Provincetown’s oceanic lullabies, gull squalls and answering calls, raucous Commercial street walks, and paint-brushed skies to end the days.
Lying next to me, this year’s fourth night, your fingers curve round mine. Your lips puff out some snoozing air and I smile.
Eye lids heavy, I imagine us young again. Dancing in the stars riding on moonbeam tails, and I grin myself to sleep.
Photo taken in Provincetown from our deck, BC (before Covid) in 2019. This year we are hunkered down, still enjoying the ocean and beautiful scenes similar to this, but maintaining our Covid-bubble. We are not walking in to town to galleries, restaurants, and shops. Here’s hoping next year will find us on raucous Commercial street again!