Provincetown’s Ebb and Flow

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.



Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today I’m hosting and asking folks to “compound me!”

I’ve provided a list of compound words in the prompt . (A compound word is formed by putting two root words together to form an entirely new word.)

Writers must choose at least one compound word from the list and use it in their poem EXCEPT, they must take apart the word! They can not add any words between the two root words nor can they add any additional letters to the root words. For example: moonlight: writers can put moon at the end of one line and begin the next line with the word light. Or they may, within one line, include the two words moon and light, with no other letters added to the words and no additional words between the two root words. They may however, add a punctuation mark between the two root words.

Confused? Here’s the two lines from my poem above, where I’ve used the words honeydew and moonlight, which are in the list:

Sometimes mellow, sweet as honey,
dew dripped fogged another day?

and
marveling at the glory of an amber moon,
light temptation for tomorrow’s palette of words.


I do hope you’ll join us! Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time and you’ll find the complete list of compound words there. Choose one or more and compound me! Or just stop by to see what others write. The more the merrier!

Photos from our annual two weeks in Provincetown over these past 22 years. We’re here until Saturday, and as you can tell from this poem and the last few I’ve posted, it is my muse. We are smitten with our beloved Provincetown.

Video was taken yesterday!! Did you know …. May is spawning season for horseshoe crabs. They’re not actually crabs. They’re chelicerates, most closely related to arachnids, such as spiders and scorpions. They’re consiered “living fossils” meaning they’ve existed nearly unchanged for at least 445 million years, well before even the dinosaurs! Amazing to watch their spawning. Our first time in all these years, coming in May….and then we find out it’s horseshoe crab spawning time!

Provincetown Off-Season

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!

Glendalough

Walk with me in the fields of Glendalough,
walk quietly amongst its tipping stones.

Ancient headstones stand quietly askew,
testament to centuries of monastic life.

Sixth-century monks lived secluded here
prayed within primitive stone structures.

Evidence of their medieval dwellings
still lies scattered in verdant landscape.

Lush hills gently swell, envelop sacred history.
Hushed visitors walk through hallowed grounds.

St. Kevin of Glendalough first blessed this land,
centuries later, still a place of pilgrimage.

Many come to pray, to see, to touch this land,
seeking calm, finding a place of primal peace.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 27.

Today, we have a tough prompt; what I call a sudoku prompt !  

We are to write a duplex. Like a typical sonnet, a duplex has fourteen lines. It’s organized into seven, two-line stanzas. The second line of the first stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the second stanza, the second line of the second stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the third stanza, and so on. The last line of the poem is the same as the first. The only part of the requirements I did not follow was the bit about the last line. I like the way mine ended as is.

Photos taken some years ago when we visited Glendalough in Ireland. An absolutely beautiful and serene place. Saint Kevin is an Irish saint, known as the founder and first abbot of Glendalough in County Wicklow, Ireland. His feast day is June 3rd. He was born in 498 AD. After his ordination, he moved to Glendalough to live as a hermit in a partially man-made cave. His companions were the animals and birds around him. He lived as a hermit for seven years, wearing only animal skins, sleeping on stones and eating very sparingly. Soon others sought him out as a teacher and holy man. Glendalough grew into a renowned seminary of saints and scholars. Until his death around 618, Kevin presided over his monastary in Glendalough.

Spire from History

I am blessed to tower above many,
as thousands sit below me every year.

I’ve been a long proponent of freedom,
pealing out my beliefs since 1750.

My fame is from my history,   
my role in a famous midnight ride.

Visit me on Patriots Day’s Eve
and you’ll see me glowing with pride.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, Bjorn asks us to write a poem that is a riddle, using personification for abstract or innate objects.

The answer to my riddle?

The steeple of Old North Church in Boston. Established in 1723, the enduring fame of Old North began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when the church sexton, Robert Newman, and Vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns aloft as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution and was later etched into poetic history by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. We are members of Old North, humbled to sit in her box pews for services. We’ve climbed the very steep stairs to reach the heavy long ropes attached to her eight bells, which first rang in 1750. You’d have to climb up further, on ladders, to reach the bells! In his youth, Paul Revere was a bell ringer at Old North.

Also shared with NAPOWRIMO Day 21.

Photo is from the Eve of Patriots Day this past week. It is the one night every year, that lanterns light up the steeple again.

Perspective

Here on this observation deck
wind whips around me.
I lean into it, one hand on rail
other on my woolen hat.

I stare at ship so far below.
Placed on Lysefjorden’s glassy sea
like a miniature game board piece,
by someone’s winning hand.

Snow topped mountains
climb into cloudless sapphire sky.
Their massive girth surrounds me,
the sentinels of time

Humbled, I begin to understand,
I am the Lilliputian in their land.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 11, where today, we’re asked to write about something large.
Photo from our cruise through the Norwegian Fjords in 2017.

Provincetown Aubade

I stand at water’s edge
on the precipice of new day
as darkness surrounds me.
Cold damp salted air clings
and coats my upper lip.

Cinnamon colored strips
jut their way through ebony sky.
Monotone scrim begins to fluctuate
as dark clouds differentiate themselves,
shades of grey against paling black.

There, there in front of me
hints of red-orange light.
Shards of yellow tinted crimson
elongate, stretch, and slowly shift
until my chill is forgotten.

Glorious golden orb begins to rise.
Sole cormorant on jetty stone
shadowed now in rising dawn,
my only company as I smile.
Today is indeed, a new day.


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets and for NAPOWRIMO, Day 8.

Laura is hosting dVerse and shares with us the background and meaning of aubade. It is a serenade to dawn. She asks us to write a melodious poem evoking day break and using either the word “morning” or “aubade” in our title.

Photo is from one of our annual two-week stays in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod, where dawn never ceases to amaze.

Provincetown Palette

Savor Cape Cod sunsets.
Some seasoned with paprika,
cayenne, tumeric red-oranges.

Others like Monet’s garden scenes
bloom in pale lavender and rose pinks,
scattered through buttercup yellow.

Hot summer days wane at oceans’ edge.
Luminescent full moon slowly rises,
cools down dark ebony sky.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Lisa asks us to use the word “season” or a form of the word in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Photos taken over the years at our annual two weeks in Provincetown, MA, at the very tip of Cape Cod

Prompt for Sojourn in Provincetown

  1. Brew strong rich dark coffee. Inhale deeply to awaken muse.
  2. Take journal, pen, and mug outside on deck.
  3. Contemplate gulls, shapeshifting clouds, dark wet seaweed blown to shore.
  4. Sip coffee, tasting words that come to mind.
  5. Let ideas ebb and flow like rhythmic tides.
  6. Look to horizon then back to shore, reeling in wayward words.
  7. Let them tumble like sea glass sculpted by waves, smoothing thoughts into poetic lines.
  8. Put pen to journal page. Curved script like ripples etched in sand.
  9. Edit between sips as nouns and verbs wrestle like squawking gulls over luscious scraps of food.
  10. When mug is drained and poem complete, stand by water’s edge and read aloud, your gift to the sea.

Written for NAPOWRIMO Day 4. Our prompt today: “write a poem . . . in the form of a poetry prompt. If that sounds silly, well, maybe it is! But it’s not without precedent. The poet Mathias Svalina has been writing surrealist prompt-poems for quite a while, posting them to Instagram. You can find examples here, and here, and here.

Photo from one of our annual two week sojourns at the Watermark Inn in Provincetown, MA.

Disappointment

Holding kite, excited to run
grinning in sun.
Wind picks up speed
flight guaranteed.

Running down field, kite takes to air
eyes glaze in glare.
Excited screams,
Better than dreams!

String tugs, yanks and breaks. Kite floats free
stilling her glee.
Kite disappears
brings on the tears.

Written for Meet the Bar Thursday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today, Grace asks us to “explore an invented poetry form – The Minute Poem. It’s a 60 syllable verse form, one syllable for each second in a minute. The theme must be an event that is over and done completely, as in a minute. Since the dominant line is short, the effect is likely humorous, whimsical or semi-serious. It was created by Verna Lee Hinnegardner, once poet laureate of Arkansas.”

For me, it’s another “sudoku” poem! That is, a complex form that challenges me. Here’s the elements we must adhere to:
* It must be narrative poetry: tell a story.
* It is a 12 line poem made up of 3 quatrains (3 four-line stanzas)
* Syllabic form is 8-4-4-4, 8-4-4-4, 8-4-4-4 (8 syllables in the first line of each stanza; 4 in the second, thrid and fourth line of each stanza.

* It must have the rhyme scheme of aabb, ccdd, eeff
* It should be a description of a finished event (preferably something done in 60 seconds).

PHOTO: taken in Bermuda about 7 years ago when we went to their Good Friday kite festival.

December in Boston

White frosting on the ground,
icing on the trees as well.
Cold air nips at noses,
wool capped walkers lean into wind.

Skaters glide clockwise
round Boston’s frozen Frog Pond.
Brightly colored mittened hands
wave happily to friends.

Old North’s bells chime
as they did in Paul Revere’s day.
Her white steeple towers proudly
over festively garlanded gates.

Mrs. Martignetti and son
sit in Modern Pastry Shop.
Chat and warm their hands
over cappuccino filled coffee cups.

Oh yes, it’s true.
Everyone admits it.
Old Man Winter is definitely here.

Written for Open Link Night Live at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, we’re invited to post any poem of our choice and join others at a LIVE dVerse session which is from 3 to 4 PM, Boston time. To join us, either to read your own poem or just to listen, click here at 3 PM and follow easy directions to access. It’s a global bunch and a lot of fun. All poetry written and read in English. Photo from pixabay.com

NOTE: The line about Mrs. Martignetti and son is dedicated to Anthony Martignetti. Anthony came to the U.S. as a 9-year old. He became famous when, as a 12-year old Italian immigrant, he ran through Boston’s North End in a television commercial for Prince spaghetti, as his mother yelled “Anthony!” The commercial first aired in 1969 and ran for 14 years making him a local and national celebrity. See short video below of the commercial and its history.