Ocean State (intermission)

I believe the previous post was not one of my best.  I am working too quickly, under deadline.  After about 45 years in Rhode Island, I'm moving with family back home to Minneapolis.

Poems are my legacy.  It's what I've been doing since the 1980s, when not working or stumbling through the daily round.

My birthday, May 29th, is actually Rhode Island Statehood Day.  They used to have a postage stamp celebrating that day (not that I'm featured on the stamp!).

I did have about six poems published on the op-ed page of the paper of record (Providence Journal).  W.B. Yeats also published essays there under special assignment, in the 1890s (about Ireland and Irish culture).

So this project gives me a chance to buzz around & take pictures before I leave, and to reconsider & share one of the most loco of local poems I've written in this Ocean State.

Come to think of it, one of my best poems is very short.  This also appeared in the Journal, featured in Tom Chandler's weekly poetry column.  It was written after seeing a grand moon one night, hanging low over the beach in Narragansett.  Rhode Island's motto is "Ocean State".  Ocean State is featured on the RI license plate.  I like to think it's a little reminder of my poem, carried front & back on every vehicle, over every pothole.


Here the waters gather along the shore.
They meet the land breathing in foam,
and roll the sleepy pebbles and shells
back into long sand waves as before.

Our moon, casting her antique spells.
A motionless iris in the whale’s eye
of the sea, her unspeakable name
sinks to the bottom of lonely wells.

Her low whispers frame the deserted dome.
Her light covers the circus floor.
And she lifts, with one nocturnal sigh,
the heaving swells in a silver comb.

Atlantic Ocean, from Berkeley's Seat

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