Walking down Provincetown’s main street, I passed two men sitting on a bench chatting in front of the courthouse. It’s a popular place to people watch.
I heard one man say to the other “I have a list of things I’m not allowed to buy.” I started wondering, what might that list include?
Possibly . . . M&Ms with peanuts, wine spritzers and flavored beer. Tie-dyed tee shirts, bumper stickers, and coffee mugs for mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, best brother or best sister. Cape Cod engraved silver spoons. Salt and pepper shakers in the shape of whales. And possibly starfish from the shell shop? Because he already has too many.
“So what would I buy if I had that list,” I asked my spouse after writing this poem. In his inimitable way, he simply said, “Use your imagination.”
Image: photo of sign taken on our walk yesterday to the far East side of town, where automobiles first enter Provincetown.
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.
. . . 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.
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!
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.
I see her walking through peonies waiting patiently for the strawberry moon. She, the night traveler in my dreams. She bids me walk slowly, eyes open in my sleep, to explore her natural world. Together we soar on the wings of a hawk as goldfinches sing and wonder precedes us. Approaching Provincetown, we marvel at migrating wild geese making their cacophonous way to their winter’s resting place. As I begin to drift near rising she leads me past fields of goldenrod to a small pond bedecked in floating flowers, lily pads asleep and yet to bloom. Cool winds ruffle my eyelids like rustling leaves in a tree. The lilies break open over the dark water as my dream retreats into dawning sky. I awaken to a certain sharpness in the morning air ready to take up pen, inspired by this woman. She, the night traveler in my dreams.
Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 25. Today we’re to write an aisling: to recount a dream or vision featuring a woman who represents the land/country on/in which the poet lives.
Mary Oliver moved to Provincetown in the 1960s and sets most of her poetry in and around this wonderful town. An avid walker, much of her poetry comes from her observances of the natural world. I’ve incorporated 9 titles of her poems in my Ode: Peonies Strawberry Moon The Night Traveler Hawk Goldfinches Wild Geese Goldenrod The Lilies Break Open Over the Dark Water A Certain Sharpness in the Morning Air
We’ve lived in Boston for the past twenty-five years and spend two weeks of every year in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod.Photos from our visits to P’town.
Laura is hosting dVerse and shares with us the background and meaning of aubade. It is a serenade to dawn. She asks us to write a melodious poem evoking day break and using either the word “morning” or “aubade” in our title.
Photo is from one of our annual two-week stays in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod, where dawn never ceases to amaze.
Savor Cape Cod sunsets. Some seasoned with paprika, cayenne, tumeric red-oranges.
Others like Monet’s garden scenes bloom in pale lavender and rose pinks, scattered through buttercup yellow.
Hot summer days wane at oceans’ edge. Luminescent full moon slowly rises, cools down dark ebony sky.
Written for Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Lisa asks us to use the word “season” or a form of the word in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Photos taken over the years at our annual two weeks in Provincetown, MA, at the very tip of Cape Cod
Brew strong rich dark coffee. Inhale deeply to awaken muse.
Take journal, pen, and mug outside on deck.
Contemplate gulls, shapeshifting clouds, dark wet seaweed blown to shore.
Sip coffee, tasting words that come to mind.
Let ideas ebb and flow like rhythmic tides.
Look to horizon then back to shore, reeling in wayward words.
Let them tumble like sea glass sculpted by waves, smoothing thoughts into poetic lines.
Put pen to journal page. Curved script like ripples etched in sand.
Edit between sips as nouns and verbs wrestle like squawking gulls over luscious scraps of food.
When mug is drained and poem complete, stand by water’s edge and read aloud, your gift to the sea.
Written for NAPOWRIMO Day 4. Our prompt today: “write a poem . . . in the form of a poetry prompt. If that sounds silly, well, maybe it is! But it’s not without precedent. The poet Mathias Svalina has been writing surrealist prompt-poems for quite a while, posting them to Instagram. You can find examples here, and here, and here.“
Photo from one of our annual two week sojourns at the Watermark Inn in Provincetown, MA.