“SOURLANDING” — New Poem

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Sourland Mountain Preserve, “Mr. Smiley Face” major rock at entry

Lately, the Muse has become relentless, interrupting key reading to dictate her latest devisings.  Tonight, she’s kept me at reformatting and meticulously improving page after page in her new poetry notebook.  Maybe she’ll ‘get off my back’ for awhile, if I turn one of her latest into a blog for you.  Might even go so far as to illustrate it a bit.

Ladder and Birdhouse

I always considered this Hauptmann’s Ladder — this site so near the hasty grave of the Lindbergh baby...

I’ve been out on this trail (in Hopewell, off Greenwood Avenue, which is off Route 518 mid-town at the light at the vintage pharmacy.)  Its magic only increases with each visit.

Sourlands Rocks 08 08

Rocks Exhale Lenape Presence

An assignment for US 1 (Business!) Newspaper, at their request, features the Sourlands Mountain Preserve as one of four shady hike sites.  As I say in the story, along those trails, there is no Philadelphia or Manhattan; no Princeton; not even Hopewell.  Matters political are so remote as to be impossible, although their results can extensively and even destructively affect sacred sites such as these.

Without determined preservationists, we would not have had these hikes.  Nor would you, and others, (including my daughter’s literature class) have this poem.   Enjoy, and walk this shaded trail, as summer burgeons.

Marilyn as Lookout Sourlands 08 08

My sister, Marilyn Weitzel, Janet Black and Betty Lies Bird the Sourland Mountain Preserve Trail (see what I mean about SHADE!)

 

SOURLANDING

 

 a short walk in the dense woods

where temperature and season

remain irrelevant

silence itself audible

 

now and then broken

by ovenbirds’ shrill cries

 

in the right light

blessed by

orotund tones of wood thrush

 

domain of terrestrial turtles

and the occasional owl

 

dark ponds all a-shimmer

with polliwogs

 

towering rocks

still breathe Indian presence

 

at trail-top, we might ride

the grown-ups’ teeter-totter

hand-hewn from a wind-felled tree

 

“If you would attempt exercise

go in search of

the springs of life,” asserts

Henry David Thoreau

 

“The world today

is sick to its thin blood

for lack of elemental things,”

Henry Beston mourns

 

 

CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN

Summer Solstice 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SEA and SEASIDE VISTAS of Cape Cod — Through Henry Beston’s ‘eyes’ – “The Outermost House…”

Cover, Henry Beston's "Outermost House" on Nauset Beach

Cover, Henry Beston’s “Outermost House” on Nauset Beach

Perhaps the most enticing phrase in Henry Beston’s Outermost House (just re-read for easily the 15th time, during and after our Cape Cod sojourn) is “I like the seven windows of my larger room.”  Those of you who know me know I spent 5 yes perilous years in a Canal-side, forest-surrounded apartment, which had barely any windows and less light.  I am free of that situation now, but seven windows in one room would be more precious to me than diamonds, even without the Atlantic Ocean or Nantucket Sound or Cape Cod Bay within listening distance.

Henry's Nauset Retreat before 1978 Blizzard

Henry’s Nauset Retreat before 1978 Blizzard

Because of his views from the Eastham beach house, Henry could exult, “Into the bright, vast days I go.”  Carolyn Yoder, Jeanette Hooban and I also poured ourselves into bright vast days.  Unlike Henry, we did not trek the midnight beach, no matter the weather, preferring the luxury of snap/crackling fires and favorite films instead.

Vastness was particularly rewarding below Chatham Light, where seals beyond counting were basking and humming (! I kid you not!) on a Chatham bar — sandbar, just beyond our reach.

Chatham Light

Chatham Light

Seals at Rest on Chatham Bar

Seals at Rest on Chatham Bar — “the long grey line” -=- of HUMMING Seals

"into the vast bright days we went" -- Race Point Beach, Provincetown

“into the vast bright days we went” — Race Point Beach, Provincetown

Bright healthy beach pea thriving on unspoiled protected Provincetown's Race Point Beach

Bright healthy beach pea thriving on unspoiled protected Provincetown’s Race Point Beach

Spouting Whale as Drawn in Provincetown Race Point Sand, by our predecessors on that beach

Spouting Whale as Drawn in Provincetown Race Point Sand, by our predecessors on that beach

Sun Creating Our "Vast, Bright Days", drawn by predecessors in Race Point Sand

Sun Creating Our “Vast, Bright Days”, drawn by predecessors in Race Point Sand

Shorebird Signatures and Dune Grass, Race Point, Provincetown

Shorebird Signatures and Dune Grass, Race Point, Provincetown

Barefoot October Surfcaster, Provincetown, Race Point Beach

Barefoot October Surfcaster, Provincetown, Race Point Beach

right whale as seen from Race Point Beach (photo from INternet)

right whale as seen from Race Point Beach (photo from INternet)

Tail of Right Whale as seen by us from Race Point Beach - Feeding in Enormous Circle -- Photo from Internet

Tail of Right Whale as seen by us from Race Point Beach – Feeding in Enormous Circle — Photo from Internet

And Carolyn Yoder, who held the glasses at that  moment, saw this very rare, calm, powerful creature spout.

Fragile Leopard Crab, Race Point, shell whole despite powerful waves

Fragile Leopard Crab, Race Point, shell whole despite powerful waves — see all the colors of authentic Provincetown sand!

Sea-Washed Stones, Race Point -- far more stones than shells!

Sea-Washed Stones, Race Point — far more stones than shells!

I select scenes from our various sea-side treks, gllmpses that convey our time, not in an Outermost House (which the Blizzard of ’78 washed out to sea anyway), but a Marsh-side, pond-side house in South Chatham.

Explore with us.  Experience the pristine beauties of the Cape, saved by President Kennedy not long before his death.  He, –man of Hyannis–, well knew the Cape’s value and its peril.  He braved the wrath of many forms of financiers during his tenure, –not the least of whom were those who would develop/destroy the sacred essential sands from just above Chatham to and beyond Provincetown.

Land's End, or Beginning, Provincetown

Land’s End, or Beginning, Provincetown

"Vast, Bright Brewster Beach"

“Vast, Bright Brewster Beach”

Raptor Alert, Alarmed Gulls, Brewster Beach

Raptor Alert, Alarmed Gulls, Brewster Beach

Tide-Dislodged Peat Clump, "primordial ooze" and the dune grass that creates it, Brewster Beach

Tide-Dislodged Peat Clump, “primordial ooze” and the dune grass that creates it, Brewster Beach

Jeanette Skips Out into Low-Tide Revealed Sandbars and Marshes

Jeanette Skips Out into Low-Tide Revealed Sandbars and Marshes

Henry Beston, in one of his countless memorable paragraphs, writes of “the restless sea and the mutable land.”

In Cape Cod, land is still principally mutated by wind, sand, sea and its tides.  Thanks to severe preservation measures in the 1960, under our soon-to-be-martyred President Kennedy, Cape Cod is a paradise of the natural.

Preserve whatever you can in your territory, wherever it is!