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!

Hushhhhh . . .

. . . 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.

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!

Dune Shack

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.


Written for Prosery Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets across the globe. Today Merril asks us to use a line from Sara Teasdale in our prose: “For how can I be sure I shall see again the world on the first day of May.” We can not change the words – must use them exactly as written. However, we may change the punctuation.

The Bourne Bridge does indeed separate Cape Cod from the mainland of Massachusetts. Since 1998, we’ve spent two weeks every year at Provincetown, at the very end (tip) of Cape Cod. We usually take the fast ferry direct from Boston – it only takes 90 minutes – and we usually come in September. However, because of another commitment, we arrived in Ptown on Saturday and will be here until May 21st. Definitely off-season. The ferry isn’t running yet so we took a bus. After the bus crossed the Bourne Bridge, we did indeed ride through many small New England towns before we spied the National Seashore coming in to Ptown. done A number of years ago we did Art’s Dune Tour in his 4-wheel drive. He takes you way out and up and down all the dunes. To this day, there are still some very secluded artist’s shacks in the dunes.

Above image by Jan Aldrich has been cropped showing a sand dune and part of an artist’s shack on the National Seashore.

Photo below is of me today on our morning walk at low tide. Chilly but still beautiful.

Character Sketch

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!

Photo by Erriko Boccia on Unsplash

Life as an Hourglass

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.

Victorious Tanka

Caught in his maelstrom
she survived a winter’s tale.
Fighting against his  
blizzard of heartless demands,
she left when the crocus bloomed.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, Ingrid asks us to consider the bard, William Shakespeare. We may choose a title from a list she gives us, a partial list of his plays. I’ve included A Winter’s Tale within my poem

Also, off-prompt today for NAPOWRIMO, Day 26.

Tanka: A poetic form of 5 lines with the following syllabic requirement: 5-7-5-7-7. Image from Pixabay.com

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.

How Long is a Blue Moon?

Do not concern yourself.
Only twice in a Blue Moon:
that’s what the sages say,
the peacekeepers, historians,
the literati and oracles too.

Only the Harbinger keeps watch,
collects viable bodies of evidence.
Tracks events pointing backwards
to repetition of historical eras,
measuring time needed for a Blue Moon.

Adolph Hitler’s evil ran rampant,
stacked skeletal remains in godless towers
as ashen clouds floated to the skies.
It was during the time of the Blood Moon,
a horrific sliver of time gone by.

Only the Harbinger understands
the Blood Moon is but the crescent stage
in the life time of a Blue Moon.
It is the beginning soon buried within the tides,
too often forgotten in the ebb and flow of time.

Completion of a Blue Moon is near.
The Harbinger has placed its warning voice
in the human of its choosing.
As sunflowers wilt and blood is spilled
that chosen voice bids you listen now.

The innocents lie dead in our streets
and still this evil invades our land.
A different man, but mark my word,
he is the evil we face today,
many of our people, fighting to their death.


Can you not hear me?
How can you not understand?
Twice in a Blue Moon is now.

Writing for two prompts today:

It’s Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Merril is hosting. She’s created a list of names of actual English country garden roses and asks us to use one or more of them either in the body of our poem or in its title. “Twice in a Blue Moon” is actually the name of an English country garden rose!

NAPOWRIMO, Day 19, asks us to write a poem that begins with a command.
Photo is from Pixabay.com

Spring Time on Butrick Street

Rain drops glisten daffodil petals.
Forsythia blooms in Mrs. Jester’s yard.
Buttery yarn disappears from hank,
chain-stitched and double-crocheted
by arthritic fingers on blue-veined hands.
Children with yellow chalk-smudged cheeks
squat on sidewalk squares.
Round smiling sun in place,
they draw happy flowers below.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 18 and dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe: both prompts coincide nicely in this poem.

It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse. The word to put in our poem of exactly 44 words (sans title) is “chalk” and the pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.

The NAPOWRIMO prompt is to “write a poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is being answered.” The question I’ve answered is “What are yellow things you might see in the spring? My answers are daffodils, forsythia, yarn, chalk-smudged cheeks, and the sun. Photo is from Pixabay.com

** I grew up in Waukegan, Illinois. The house I lived in from the time I was two until I went into third grade was at 144 South Butrick Street. Mrs. Jester was our elderly next door neighbor.