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!

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.

Greening

Deep into the woods, therein lies peace.
Surrounded, enveloped in green,
lush emeralds lull my spirit
birdsong’s lilt soothes my mind.
I crave thy beauty.
I bathe in your
dappled jades,
in your
calm.


Written for NAPOWRIMO Day 9. Today we’re asked to write a nonet: first line has 9 syllables, second line has 8 syllables, third line has 7 syllables, etc.

Photo from our time in Ireland a number of years ago.

Who is the Predator?

They leave the body. Bloody pile of corpuscles dragged to Lake Manyara’s shore. Young zebra, quiet since teeth first gouged neck. Decimated.

Jowls dripping, appetite sated, his eyes bid her follow. Series of slow guttural growls signal acquiescence. Lioness follows beside. Slowly they retreat into maze of acacia trees. Unseen by approaching safari truck.

High power rifles catch glaring sun. Two men peer quietly into distance. Cheetah carcass, day’s first kill, hangs over vehicle’s hood. Not enough, they seek more.

NAPOWRIMO 2022: and so it begins with a prompt to write a prose poem that is somehow about a body, includes dialogue and at least one vivid image. Here, the dialogue is implied in the second paragraph/stanza.
Image from Pixabay.com

Shinrin-Yoku

Serenity, I walk in bliss.
Trees breeze-whisper, nothing amiss.
Soft ferns hushed, shimmer velvetly.
Moist, fresh forest scent, nature’s kiss.
Your lips come to mind. Ecstasy.
I walk in bliss. Serenity.

Shinrin-Yoku is Japanese for forest bathing: bathing in the forest atmosphere, taking in the forest through our senses.

Grace is hosting Meet-The-Bar Thursday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. She’s asked us to write a Sparrowlet, a poetry form invented by Kathrine Sparrow. Here’s the elements of a Sparrowlet:
1. stanzaic, written in any number of sixtains (6 line stanzas) I wrote 1 sixtain.
2. syllabic: each line must be 8 syllables each (Often written in iambic tetrameter – I didn’t!)
3. Line 1 and Line 6 of the stanza is written in 2 himistichs (I had to look this word up)
4. Rhymed, rhyme scheme is BbabaA.
5. The 2 halves of Line 1 are inverted and repeated as a refrain in Line 6. The lst line MUST be the EXACT SAME as line 1, just switched around. You cannot change any of the words. (Punctuation may be changed to accommodate the meaning.)
RRA, RRB
xxxxxxxxb
xxxxxxxxa
xxxxxxxxb
xxxxxxxxa
RRB, RRA

Luckily Grace included an example of a poem written in this form within her prompt. The example for me, was much easier to follow than the definition itself! Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us to try this form — or just to see how others wrote with it!

Photo from a trip to see my niece in Ohio a number of years ago.

Juxtapositioning

Ancient eucalyptus tree.
Pock marked bark-skin,
peeling, barren in places,
adds beauty to greening canyon.

Elderly man in thick glasses,
blue-veined hands hanging limply,
shuffles across street.
Driver sits, hand poised over horn.

Musing, I ponder our value system.
We should learn from nature.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse where the word to use (or a form of the word) in our exactly 144 word poem sans title is “muse.”

Photos taken yesterday from our patio, which opens to a beautiful canyon. We’re in an apartment rental in sunny San Diego until early March, escaping Boston’s winter (as in 11.2 inches of snow on Friday!).

Provincetown Pilgrimage

I mellow in my Provincetown days.
I watch and listen to the ocean tides,
their fidelity to lunar rhythms.
My body rests in this place.

Skies often pastel my respite.
Blushing dawns. Tinted sunsets.
Sherbet orange melts into lemon yellow.
Pinks blur into shades of grey and soft orchid.

I’m struck by how colors blend here.
As if the palette is tipped
just ever so slightly
and delineations disappear.

For two weeks every year,
I leave the world behind.
I do not come to recharge;
quite the opposite.
I simply come to be.

Written from Boston, having recently returned from our annual two weeks in Provincetown. Posted for OLN at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.

Apologies for those who have been reading a lot of my poetry about Provincetown the past two weeks….this is the last one for this year. I promise!

This photo was taken on one of my last mornings there this year. Somehow Provincetown IS an artist’s palette. The challenge is to recreate it in words. No photoshopping here….it really looked like this. Mother Nature a la the impressionist painter? Until next year…..

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 jetty.
Preen patiently,
wait for morning sun.

Dawn tints the sky,
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.

Provincetown Dawn

Gull claims its spot,
lone protruding rock on submerged jetty.
Preens itself then waits expectantly.
Sliver sun peeks out from low slung cloud,
turns near darkness into luminescence.
Bathed in rouging blush,
water glistens in dawn’s appearance.
Gull preens again, swathed in nature’s spotlight.
My contented sigh, applause enough
as curtain rises on a new day.

Photo taken this morning in Provincetown, on the very tip of Cape Cod.