Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Scanning the Reach

Wheat Field in Rising Sun, Van Gogh
posted for Magpie Tales by Tess Kincaid

In the cool shade of the boat house,
scanning the reach in a blue brim
hat, book on my lap, all was floating:
thick clouds teasing patches of blue sky,
cattails nodding to blue-flag, daisies
dancing with buttercups in the breeze.

A cheerful symphony of chirps, tweets
and twitters - flap of eider ducks and
slap of salt water on silver schist ledges.
Mussel shells strewn on stepping stones
into the cool watery passageway, broken
by the gulls, sharpened on the rocks.

The tide takes a turn - so loud now - bell
clangs out there, somewhere, breeze wraps
around me, sun hides and I'm cool - too cool.
A call for homage to strange powers of the sea.
All is silver now - clouds and reach - steel
in the west, symphony of silence - mist.

The climb back up to the white cottage
at the top of the meadow is steep on the path
past the skeleton tree, two arms reaching out
for the crows that caw at dawn; up past the
bolted rhubarb where Mary will pick a few
sweet stalks to make a tart tonight.

 field, skeleton tree and Eggemoggin Reach.


  1. Thanks Ann, really enjoyed this, Libby @Libbypoetry

  2. I do feel like I'm in your poem...

  3. ah i like your story telling...pulls me right in...i want a bit of that tart...and love the line in the last stanza of the arms reaching, its a great picture...

  4. This made me smile for the gentle scene you painted.

  5. Even though so much of this was about water, and the feelings that it gives us, it still manages to go with the picture, invested now with more peace than when I first looked at it. I especially like the images in the second stanza, and the final lines that sing of home.

  6. This is excellent poetry! Well written, beautiful imagery, great story.

  7. is this idyllic retreat available to rent if so sign me up ....sounds wonderful ! thank you for allowing to me share

  8. The turning of the tide changes something so richly idyllic into something other, steelier, colder, blickered by the trudge home past the skeleton tree. Its as if the fish in the boat of Elizabeth Bishop's "The Fish" revealed not rainbows but a freezing descending stair. Fine work. - Brendan

  9. Lovely quiet scene. I can taste the rhubarb tart!

  10. Lovely description...makes me want to be there.

  11. ...very descriptive and detailed piece… like reading a novel in a compressed form, gracious! (:


  12. Your poem well describes this painting.. #Great

  13. takes me right in, thanks for the trip! :)

  14. Great prose. Loved the title. The feel of the entire piece. John Stienbeckish. Twas alive in my mind as I read.

  15. Thanks so much to everyone for your comments. I returned home from Maine just before midnight tonight. Tomorrow I will read the other Magpie posts, since all I was able to do these past two weeks was post: first on my grandaughter's ipad ( with her help) and then on my daughter-in-law's laptop during her short stay at the cottage. But I wasn't able to make the rounds to read and comment on other Magpie Tales.

    It was utterly uncanny that Tess posted Van Gogh's painting. His blue wall looked like Eggemoggin Reach at the bottom of the meadow in front of the cottage we rented. I'll post a couple of photos tomorrow.

  16. Ah, this lovely piece made me float, and crave a bite of rhubarb tart.