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.

A Crayola History

Where have all the colors gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the colors gone?
Long time ago.


Prussian Blue and Indian Red,
Blue Gray, Maize, and Green Blue.
Orange Red, Orange Yellow,
Flesh and Violet Blue,
Raw Umber and Mulberry too.
Long time passing. Long time ago.

Crayola’s first eight cost but a nickel,
presented in 1905.
Children were thrilled and color they did,
using Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue,
Black, Brown, Violet and Orange
Kids today need more to be tempted.

Enter Cerulean, Dandelion,
Fuschia and Bluetiful too.
Most clever and tastiest yet?
Yummy Jazzberry Jam.
My rose-colored glasses enjoy these hues
but one new color does confuse.

Ready for it? You’ll never guess.
It’s a bit strange, I do confess,
guaranteed to make you squirm.
The newest? And I do confirm,
it really, unbelievably is Inch Worm!

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets from around the globe where today Mish asks us to write from the perspective of colors. I’ve kind of gone off the beaten track with this…..but here’s some added history:
Cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith introduced the first box of Crayolas in 1905 and yes, they did cost a nickel. Over the years color names have come and gone….some in relation to societal attitudes. The color Flesh became Peach in 1962. Prussian Blue was introduced in 1949 but, figuring young children didn’t know anything about Prussia, it was changed to Midnight Blue in 1958. Indian Red was introduced in 1958 and it actually referred to a pigment that originated in India. The color’s name was changed to Chestnut in 1999….but soon after, a disclaimer was made warning children not to try to roast the color or any crayons over an open fire because they would melt and children could be burned. I suppose this warning was in reference to Nat King Cole’s popular The Christmas Song which opened with the line “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” And yes, Inch Worm is a real Crayola color!

I should also add, apologies to Peter, Paul and Mary for changing the words of their popular song, Where Have all the Flowers Gone. Image from Pixabay.com Information on the history of Crayolas mainly from the article “5 Times Crayola Retired Its Crayons” by Paul Davidson and from Wikipedia.

Ah Boston, for the record . . .

Hear ye, hear ye!
Listen my friends and ye shall learn
of the accolades so well earned
by one auspicious founding city,
bordered by the sea.

1632: first windmill, erected upon Copp’s Hill
1634: first public park, aptly named Boston Common.
1635: first public school dubbed Boston Latin,
still educating youth today.
1636: first college, Harvard University
originally in Boston proper,
later moved across the Charles,
still today in Cambridge, Mass.
1653: first public library
1704: the first newspaper shared its tales.

Now I’m quite certain,
there are many more,
all of which burnish
that proverbial record book.
But do let me share
one most unusual first,
not oft discussed
amongst delicate Brahmin Bostonians.

Taking a birds’ eye view, as they say,
of Boston’s colorful history,
well beyond its revolutionary ties.

1886: the first known photo  . . .
. . . wait for it . . . ’tis really true,
of someone flipping the bird!

There in grainy black and white
the Boston Beaneaters baseball team
stands tall beside and behind
the New York Giants team of the day.

Look closely and ye shall see
Charles “old Hoss” Radbourn
leaning in, well ahead of his time,
Boston-proud that long-ago day.

Middle finger extended,
obviously raised,
hand rests firmly on the shoulder
of one oblivious New Yorker chap.

Now one can theorize
and I generally do,
this could mark
another auspicious first.

One raised finger, the first of many
shared over years to come,
between Boston and New York.
Long before the Babe walked out!

IMG_6089Written for Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where we’re asked to write about a theory, or use the word “theory” in a poem, or theorize within a poem. Information for this post is documented at https://www.chaostrophic.com/heres-first-known-picture-someone-flipping-bird/   Old Hoss is far left, back row. Caveat: some have since said he is holding a cigar…but others point to later pictures of him flipping the bird on other occasions as well! 

Todays Create Tomorrows. . .

Words matter,
sly winks silence not.
Words hurled into sea of humanity
ripple inhumanity.
Build waves tumultuously
till tsunami destroys.

Words matter,
crowds riled to group-think.
Vitriolic spittled slogans,
us-them denigration.
Barbed words
create the wire.

This era,
tomorrow’s ancient script.
Our ever-living shame.

hammer-682767_1920

De hosts Monday’s Quadrille at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today’s prompt word is “wink.” A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!  

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.

St-Georges-Town-Crier

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.”

The Story Teller

Her clan’s scheherazade.
Last in her lineage,
skilled by birthright
in the ancient art.

She follows the stars.
Finds her way,
village by village
to listen, to tell.

Stories they share
of birth, death, harvest,
and ceremonial hunts.
All grace her plots.

Mitochondrial details
events infused by voice,
sadness, daily banter, and joy.
Emotional spectrum wide and deep.

She the vessel of tales,
ewer of their heritage.
She is their story teller,
the carrier of life.

Written for my almost 11-year-old granddaughter who decided we should start the year with the same prompt word, “scheherazade,” meaning storyteller. Also penned for dVerse where Paul hosts today, with the word “grace” for a prompt. Apologies in advance to all who read and comment — it may take a while to respond as we embark today on a 34 day journey to S. America and Antarctica!