A Gull’s Story

This is my place,
Provincetown’s quiet eastside coast.
Let my distant auk relatives
claim the boring inlands.

Each dawn I take my perch,
lone tall rock on submerged quay.
I preen patiently,
wait for morning sun.

Dawn blushes, rouges sky,
tints and glistens ocean path.
My rock is center stage,
lone gull in nature’s spotlight.

I dipfish in shallows when schools swim by.
Clams succumb to my drop and crack maneuver.
I pick and peck lobsters asunder. Swallow as is.
Melted butter a human absurdity.

You are not alone, you know,
bragging on your mythology.
Gull lore says that generations ago,
pilgrims landed in Provincetown.

My ancestors met them,
an entire colony of gulls.
Squawked so loud those humans left,
sailed on to Plymouth Rock,
obnoxiously omitting us from history.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sarah has provided an interesting prompt entitled Creepies and Crawlies. She introduces us to the idea of writing in the first person, as a spider, a cockroach, a butterfly, a dragonfly, or, I may be taking poetic license here, an animal of our choice. Since we are in Provincetown at the very tip of Cape Cod, I’m writing from the perspective of the gull pictured in the photo I took this morning as I watched a new day dawn in this amazing place. And, it is true. The pilgrims first landed in Provincetown but for some reason, they sailed on to Plymouth and thus the famous Plymouth Rock and the overlooked history of America’s beginning.

To read a short poem about the same photo, from the human perspective, click here.

Loss

There is no silence here.
Not in my mind
not in the landscape
not in the memories.

Damp sand between my toes.
Infinitesimal salty granules
gathered on my upper lip.
Nothing registers.

Remnants of another time
though they are happening now.
You kissed the salt away
and now you never will.

The swishing of waves,
those white capped petals of the sea.
I have stood many a time
at the doorway of dreaming.

But you always stood with me.
Your laughter.
Your gentle eyes.
Your hand holding mine.

We dreamed together.
Now I stand alone facing this vast sea.
Shall I simply wade into the darkness
or shall I sit and pray?

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today Sanaa is hosting. She asks us to use one line of her poetry in our poem….but we are to substitute derivatives for one or two of the words and see where that takes us in writing an original poem of our own. I’ve chosen the line “The rustling of leaves; I have stood many a time at the doorway of dreaming” from Buck Moon ~ Part two: Seeing things. I’ve substituted “swishing” for rustling and “petals of the sea” for leaves. Photo from Bermuda a number of years ago.

Attitude is a Choice

Sum days her mirror reflects the years.
Grooves etched beside eyes,
crevices left from emotional stress.
Blue veined highwayed hands tattle,
leaving behind tremor shaken script.
But open-toed shoes reveal her true self.
Shining sterling peace-sign toe ring,
defiant purple glitter-polish on her nails.

Quadrille written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today De is hosting and asks us to use the word “groove” or a form of the word, in our Quadrille (a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Image from Pixabay.com

Luna

In the night of day
Luna lights the path
over oceans deep.
Vast sea of glistening caps
ever gleaming, beckoning me.
Your visage when last we met,
only that has kept me safely
undone by storms and cloudy skies.

There is no fear, no dread,
nothing vague.
No questioning of time.
Row on, row on, this cursed ship.
My dreams, my thoughts aswirl,
I shall reach you, my everlasting joy.

An Acrostic Plus, written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.

I’m hosting and ask folks to either write a poem related to something that puzzles them, use the word “puzzle” in their poem . . . or extra points for writing an Acrostic Plus, a form I created: Read down the first letters in the lines of the first stanza and see what they spell; then read down the last letters of the lines in the second stanza and see what they spell. You should then have a message related to the poem!

In this poem, the message is “I love you deeply.”

Whaler’s Elegy

Far too long my creaking, rocking prison,
this whaling ship asunder, lost at sea.
Why can I not be flung to shore?
Neptune, why so intent on punishing me?

My dear wife’s visage alive within my soul.
Grant she knows this forever more.
Neptune, why so intent on punishing me?
Why can I not be flung to shore?

Her lips, her breasts, I long for deeply.
You roiling monster, you unforgiving sea,
why can I not be flung to shore?
Neptune, why so intent on punishing me?

My death is near and she so far.
I curse and scream at thunder’s roar,
Neptune, why so intent on punishing me?
Why can I not be flung to shore?


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the world. Today Grace is hosting and asks us to write a Mirrored Refrain.

A Mirrored Refrain “is a rhyming verse form constructed by Stephanie Repnyek. The poem is formed by three or more quatrains where two lines within the quatrain are the ‘mirrored refrain’ or alternating refrain. The rhyme scheme is as follows: xaBA, xbAB, xaBA, xbAB. x represents the only lines that do not rhyme within the poem. A and B represent the refrain.”

What I always find most challenging in following a particular form, is letting the poem make sense such that the form doesn’t stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. I’m always up for a good challenge! Image is in public domain.

Misfit Stands Tall

Standoffish elitist mother
newsstand famous dad
outstanding intellectual brother.
She never fit in.
Headstands, handstands,
she tumbled through life.
But the joke’s on them.
She wandered into a club,
took the mic and found her voice.
Highest paid standup comic,
guess who’s laughing now?

A bit late, but written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe…responding to Monday’s Quadrille prompt. Use the word “stand” or a form of the word, in a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. I decided to see how many words I could use that include the word “stand” in them! Had fun with this one. Photo from pixabay.com

Oh Glorious Day

This Iowa field, this Iowa day.
I stand in the midst of flowers
green grasses waving,
sun’s warmth soaking my skin.
Double hollyhocks stand tall.
Gaillardia faces blush,
edged in sherbet yellow ruffles.
Ethereal clouds float lazily,
cotton ball fluffs
like white misshapen dots
on seersucker blue sky.
Newly painted barn gleams
surrounded by emerald shrubs,
trees and hills.
Ah yes, Iowa,
you are indeed the heartland,
loved by so many.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for global poets. It’s OLN (Open Link Night) and Mish is hosting.
We’ve not lived in Iowa since 1997, but oh the glorious memories we have of our days there. From teaching in a small rural high school, to owning our first home on 30 acres of land, to raising our children in a University town and earning my PhD there. Iowa is known as the Heartland – we surely found it that.

Photo is from Nancy Mast who often posts Iowa farm photos.

Claim Thy Power

Why is it women bear the blame?
Eve, in the garden of Eden
picked fruit from that forbidden tree.
With juice dripping down her chin,
she offered its flesh to Adam.
Adam took the bite, yet bears little blame.

Persephone, stolen away by Hades,
hungers for light in the underworld.
Eats six pomegranate seeds
only to learn she, not Hades,
bears the blame
for autumn and winter’s chill.

Who writes these tales?
Codifies them into myths believed?
Ah men, they are the shapeshifters.
I call on thee to reposition these stories,
reveal the weakness of Adam
the cunning treachery of Hades.

Take up the flowers, the scepter too.
Power in the womb, provider of the world.
Power in the breast, nourishment for all.
Power in the mind, our acuity revealed.
I call on you, deny your herstory no longer.
Claim your rightful place at the table,
and it’s not in the middle of the men.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Sarah asks us to be inspired by the myth of Persephone and write a poem that is somehow related .

Persephone is the daughter of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, fruit and grains. She was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld. Ceres searched for her, leaving the crops to fail. Zeus, king of gods and father to Persephone, intervened and ruled that if Persephone had not eaten anything in the underworld, she could return to Ceres, above ground. Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds. Zeus consequently allowed her to return above ground for only six months of the year, thus creating the seasons. She is above ground for spring and summer, spreading flowers and seeds. She is below ground for autumn and winter, thus causing the demise of crops, flowers, etc. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Romantic Tryst

Come walk with me, my dearest love,
through verdant fields, blue skies above.
Your hand in mine, without its glove,
I lust there of. I lust there of.

We stop to rest midst blooms divine,
wild flowers witness as we recline.
My lips seek yours, as if fine wine,
wouldst thou be mine? Wouldst thou be mine?

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today Grace asks us to write a monotetra. This is a form developed by Michael Walker consisting of 1 or more quatrains. Each of the 4 lines in the quatrain must have 8 syllables. The four lines all carry the same end rhyme but the fourth line repeats the first four exact syllables twice and in both cases, the 4th syllable must have the end rhyme. So the rhyme scheme/poem’s structure looks like this:
First or only Quatrain
Line 1: 8 syllables, A1 (in my poem above “love)
Line 2: 8 syllables, A2 (in my poem above “above”)
Line 3: 8 syllables, A3 (in my poem above “glove”)
Line 4: 4 syllables A4 (“I lust there of”), 4 syllables A4


Second Quatrain
Line 1: 8 syllables, B1 (divine)
Line 2: 8 syllables, B2 (recline)
Line 3: 8 syllables, B3 (wine)
Line 4: 4 syllables B4 (wouldst thou be mine?), 4 syllables B4

Photo is from our trip to Ireland some years ago.

Ode to the Muse

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.