Gifts for All, Good Tidings for Vineyard

W est Tisbury’s Mill Pond was all white;

The snow on the cattails a pretty sight.

The mallards were swimming up and down.

A wood duck, too, was visiting town,

And hooded mergansers were having their day

While in their incredibly stately way

Babette and Romeo — that elegant pair

Of swans that assuredly add such flair

To Mill Pond waters were cruising about

Enjoying a breakfast, without a doubt,

Of cornbread supplied by Jenkinson, Joan,

If You Go to Sea

If You Go to Sea

If you go to sea you really must know

What to do when the wind she blows.

If weather bodes toward a nasty gale

You must, beforehand, shorten sail.

As the gale comes on and it gets quite rough

Head up to weather but don’t let sails to luff.

It’s a good idea to use a drogue

To keep the vessel under good control.

If when quite rough and stomach is sour

Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims survived!

For this they praised the Lord

And thanked their Indian friends

Who taught them how to live

In this different land.

Like them we pause,

From daily toil and furrowed brow relieved,

To feast and laugh and play and rest,

And tell ourselves how much we’re blessed

In this hopeful land.

Could they have known,

Long years ago, where Moses’ trek would lead:

Stiletto heels and MTV,

Hurricane Forecast

Hurricane Forecast

We felt the wonder

of the moment. . .

standing silent, awaiting

the outcome of an event unfolding

untouched by human hands. . .

wind and sea spoke with voices far away

but touching us nonetheless.

fear and hope we held in visions of

our own device. . .

— C. Glenn Sprague

Requiem for Little Guy

Requiem for Little Guy

Love’s embrace

Held thee

A short while — almost weightless.

Fly away

Little Soul

On butterfly wings.

Frail veil

Of human life

Slipped through love’s fingers — voiceless.

Fly high

Little Guy

On angel’s wings — all breathless.

Portrait of My Husband Reading Henry James

Rather, it is in the shorter history of America,

not England, not Italy, that we find ourselves

in the perfect middle of a rainy, summer afternoon

inside a 1930s shingled boathouse long since

beached on a low hill out of water’s reach,

and plumbed and electrified for habitation.

No effort has been made to hide its origins.

Old masts and spars wait in the overhead rafters.

Blocks and tackle, coiled in figure eight knots,

Remembering Dan Aronie

Behind his eyes the part of him

That always knew the joke

Till at the end the only thing he needed

Was a smile.

— Gerry Storrow, from Requiem

Dan Aronie died early last Friday morning at his home in Vineyard Haven. He was 38. Dan had suffered for much of his life with both diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

The Quahaug Seeker

The Quahaug Seeker By Adam Moore

Sengekontacket rippling gray

Waters had beckoned me to lay

My rusty basket rake upon

The sandy bottom of the pond.

I grasped, as did I deeper wade,

A rope with braided fibers frayed,

And with it tethered bushel wire,

Afloat in rubber tube from tire.

To quahaugs rake, to harvest reap,

Sea Breeze

Sea Breeze

Alas! the flesh is sad; the books I’ve read already —

O to run away! To flee! I feel with birds their giddy

Flights between unknowns: sea-foams and skies!

And nothing, not old gardens mirrored in bright eyes,

Can now hold back this heart — o sea-drenched nights!

Nor, on this empty paper, lamp-light’s

Desert clarity, whose whiteness keeps it undefiled;

Chappy Shadow Walk

Chappy Shadow Walk

I took a stroll this morning, before the sun would shine,

down Cape Pogue Ave to Chappy Road, and met a good friend of mine.

Across Dike Bridge and to the beach, we stopped a while to rest,

and each time I turned to look for him, he was always to the west.

We walked along in silence, but I had a lot to say,

past Poucha Pond along the shore until we reached Katama Bay.

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