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…..

Worlds Apart

Before this
brick, concrete, two hospitals,
Old West’s church steeple.
My Boston’s high-rise views.

Before this
seventh floor balcony,
city walks.
My outside.

Here, the ocean lives outside my door.
Sun rises in pastel silence.
Serenity lingers on the breeze.
I can just be.

Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for global poets. Today the word to use in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title, is linger. Photos taken from our deck this morning in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod.

It’s a Wrap

Petulant nature
angry at summer’s demise.
Rain pelts. Thunder roars.
Lightning cracks and flashes.
Temper-tantrum stomping.

She pouts today.
Glum gray overcast sky,
like widow’s shroud.
Hides distinct features,
individual clouds indiscernible.

Cormorant swarm takes its leave.
Thousands bob in ocean.
Race forward, then streak to sky.
Mass exit. Black shapes,
like inkblots everywhere.

Provincetown deserters,
just like tourists.
Summer in their rearview mirror.
Fading. Disappearing. Gone.
Page turned.

Autumns’ quiet delights
somewhere on the horizon,
not quite yet in view.

Written for OLN at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Photo and video taken yesterday morning in Provincetown. Sadly, I didn’t think to get my phone to photograph and video tape it until the swarm’s mass had already passed … this is the tail end and it’s still incredible to look at these images!

My Love and I

Wine me this evening.
Let us sit together
sipping and listening.
No words needed.
Waves roll in, roll out.
No other sound.
Love can be silent.

Side by side many years.
Children raised, married,
parenting their own.
We have time to reflect
on what was,
what is,
and what is yet to come.

The years ahead,
far less than those behind.
And yet we smile,
sit together,
sipping and listening.

Photo taken this week in Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

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.

Haiku and Tanka Garden Travels

i
Provincetown summers.
Tasty salty upper lip,
mango tinted dawns.
Blue hydrangeas, hollyhocks,
honeysuckle and moss rose.

ii.
Color profusion.
Blarney Castle garden walk,
nature’s floral art.
Ireland is so much more
than the luck of shamrock green.

iii.
Singapore orchids,
pride of National Garden.
Soft delicate blooms,
violet to deepest shades,
azure-veined whites and more.


iv.
I sense Japan’s calm,
forest bathing in deep greens.
Celebrate her spring
strolling by cherry blossoms.
Petals rain gently in breeze.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today is the second day of our dVerse 10 year anniversary! Our prompt is to think about the word “garden” and see where it takes us. I took that literally. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!
Photos from our travels.

Provincetown Farewell

Day dallies before night,
languorous not angry.
No streaks of orange-red.
No temper tantrum flares.
No sinking glaring half-orb
stamping her rays.

This evening she dabbles,
pastel palette en plein aire.

Blushing, she rouges blue sky.
Sun butter yellows upon her brush,
delicately blend into rosey hues.
Bending closer, stroking more,
soft kisses touch ocean calm
till violet hues meld into scene.

She pauses quietly in her beauty,
then softly fades farewell.

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Originally published a number of years ago. Publishing again today as we return to Boston. Instead of our usual two weeks, with walks into town to meander galleries, shops and eat at restaurants, in this age of Covid, we spent just 8 days in hibernation at our rental by the ocean. But, Provincetown, even without all the hoopla and town attractions, never disappoints.

Sunset photos taken in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod. No photoshopping; no edits. Just pointed my phone and clicked. Breathtaking evening as you can see. Easy to understand why artists and poets (including Mary Oliver) flock to Provincetown.

Provincetown Good Night

Early fall breeze wisps over me
touches my brow, my nose,
swirls ’round the room.
Plastic window blinds plink a tune.

Lying, just barely awake,
my hand touches yours.
Fifty years together,
twenty years enjoying this place.

Provincetown’s oceanic lullabies,
gull squalls and answering calls,
raucous Commercial street walks,
and paint-brushed skies to end the days.

Lying next to me, this year’s fourth night,
your fingers curve round mine.
Your lips puff out some snoozing air
and I smile.

Eye lids heavy,
I imagine us young again.
Dancing in the stars
riding on moonbeam tails,
and I grin myself to sleep.

Photo taken in Provincetown from our deck, BC (before Covid) in 2019. This year we are hunkered down, still enjoying the ocean and beautiful scenes similar to this, but maintaining our Covid-bubble. We are not walking in to town to galleries, restaurants, and shops. Here’s hoping next year will find us on raucous Commercial street again!