A gray mist hung over the Chilmark Tavern last Saturday evening, setting the tone for a unique addition to the weekly Pathway’s program.
Justen Ahren, West Tisbury’s new Poet Laureate, shared some of his newest poems, part of a new manuscript he has compiled. The poems, narrated in two different voices — that of a mother and her son — were inspired by a simple event Mr. Ahren once saw in Florida: a woman standing in a parking lot, arms outstretched, turning in circles.
“I was imagining why she did that, and that led to the poems,” Mr. Ahren said during his introduction.
Mr. Ahren was joined by guitarist Dana Edelman and the program alternated between poetry and original song, in what Mr. Ahren described as an “improvisation between the spoken word and the musical word.”
Both the poetry and the music carried within them an air of melancholy, put forth in both the rich, evocative details of Mr. Ahren’s writing and the trickling notes of Mr. Edelman’s guitar.
Acknowledging that the material was “pretty heavy,” the duo broke up the evening with a rendition of Mr. Edelman’s Massachusetts Song, a tune that attempts to work as many town names as possible into the lyrics (“You’re a Taunton Falmouth Buzzard,” for example).
Following the song, Mr. Ahren picked up his own guitar for a duet with Mr. Edelman.
Though the crowd was small, the pair held the audience rapt throughout, drawing especially rave reviews from the children of Mr. Ahren and Mr. Edelman, who deemed the night “awesome.”
— Ivy Ashe