Friday, April 15, 2011

More Twitter Tanka

Twitter is so ephemeral, I am trying to unearth poems that have only appeared on Twitter and put them on my blog so that they will be easier to find and can be more readily seen.

night watch
at three am
the drunks asleep
but the fishboats
heading out

aloft in a gale
shoulders aching
as they battle
the mainsail

a whale
named "Salt"
swimming circles
and slapping the sea
with her tail

Stellwagon Bank, off Cape Cod

the bluest skies
and a fair wind blowing
no sign
of the hurricane
beyond the horizon

two days later
the sodas 
the passengers
didn't want

the roll gauge
as still
and motionless
as the crew

Buzzard Bay
slowly building
on an August afternoon
before the hurricane

the ship murmurs
to water, wind,
and sky,
prayers full of spume
for a safe anchorage

storm watch
midnight rain
and the roar
of wind
through the rigging

the witching hour
but the ship
in a safe harbor
not even a black cat
on this black night

to cancel
Martha’s Vineyard
and take refuge
in a fishermen’s town

season’s end
I’ve had enough
of tourists
I long for the cold work
of oystering

during a tropical storm,
but still traffic,
lights, and noise
in a sleepless city

security lights
gleaming on
the herring hopper:
my view for
most of the night

the cruise ship
with her passengers
dwarfs us—
and so do
their wallets

the lullaby
of rain on hatches
rolling off
the quarterdeck
all night long

her spars
across the river
slim and wooden,
all day we ask passing boats,
“Who is that ship?”

fairy lights
tiny sea creatures
in the dark
beneath the pier

Martha’s Vineyard—
the green scruff
of hills
dotted with
enormous houses

the soft roar
of the sibilant sea—
a sea turtle
raises his head
to look at us

not to like
Martha’s Vineyard,
then the old lighthouse
illuminates history

heading into port,
a shimmer
of salt scales
on the windward rail

sunset fading
a constellation of
airplane lights
over Manhattan

listening to
some other boat’s
man overboard
on the radio,
a quick head count here

city dwellers
never look up from
their televisions
as a tall ship
ghosts by at night

ten million people
in New York City
never saw us
as we passed by
one evening

migrating bird
support ship—
two warblers and a kestrel
take refuge in our rigging

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