Poem: The Beached Tree

There was a tree
That stood upon the shore
Defiant against the waves
Of winter storm
And summer gale.

For years, I walked
Below high-tide,
Combing the rocks
And shells
For treasures.

I would pass
The tree, gray-green
With salt-tinted
Branches and leaves.

Conch-shells sprouted
From passers-by
Who adorned stubs
With empty shells.

But, the rising tides
And strengthening storms
Toppled the tree
From loss of soil
At it’s root.

Now it lies
Upon the rocks,
Lifeless, except for
The shells that gather
Around it’s fallen branches
With each high-tide.

Twigs break off,
Sun dried in summers season.
Passers-by cut larger
Pieces of branch and root
For twilight or mid-night
Bonfires.

Some day I shall
Walk by and
Wonder which high-tide,
Hurricane, or Nor’easter
Picked up the trunk
To return it to the sea.

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Poem: Graduation

Mid-tide water laps the shore,
A mild breeze casts light waves
Upon the deep-blue across the bay.

The sky, cloudless, crosses,
Horizon to horizon, dropping behind
Distant edges of islands’ green trees.

Silhouetted against those
Ribbons of land, white sails fill
With the seaward flow.

Past points, bridges, and light houses,
Those sail boats glide.
A beautiful day to set sail.

Which will return home,
After a day of sailing?

Which will exit the bay
To travel, north or south?

Which will continue out
To the horizon, dispearing
In the space between
Graduated blues of sea and sky?

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Theatre Review: Interlude

In  an evening of theatre, traditionally, the play is divided into two sections, with a fifteen to twenty-minute intermission for the audience to get up, stretch, use the bathroom, get a snack or drink, and maybe even chat with one’s theatre companions about the direction of the play.  At the Blackfriar Theatre, in Staunton, VA, the company calls this “an interlude”.  Just as an interlude in the theatre is a useful change of pace, we have interludes in our daily lives.  Lunch breaks at work, walking the dogs to the mail box after a morning in the garden, prayers and devotions, vacations, and… therapy. Continue reading

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Theatre Review: Sequels and Spin-Offs

A good brand is good business.  In the entertainment business, books, movies, and plays that build on established story-lines, set of characters, and loyal audience have a better assurance of getting a good return on the investment required to bring the product to the bookshelf, screen or stage.  C. S. Lewis drew out his Narnia Chronicles to seven volumes.  The Star Wars sagas have eight movies as canon (with the ninth set to release December 20, 2019).  Shakespeare has several history plays in Parts I, II, or even III.  Then there are the spin-offs of memorable characters that rate their own shows.  My youth had Leverne and Shirley from Happy Days (which was also spun-off from George Lucas’ American Graffiti movie), or Rhoda from The Mary Taylor Moore Show.  Shakespeare took the jolly, drunken knight Falstaff, from Henry IV, Part I and Part II, and gave him his own play, The Merry Wives of Windsor.  Five hundred years later, Amy Witting spins-off another character from the Merry Wives to create Anne Page Hates Fun. Continue reading

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Theatre Review: Antigone

There is a reason that some stories have been told, and retold for generations.  The last time we saw a production of Sophocles’ Antigone was about 20 years ago at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C.  Friday evening, we saw a new production, and translation by Robin Bond, at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriar Theatre in Staunton, VA.  All the usual Greek tragedy elements were there: heroes/heroines, villains, curses/fates we cannot escape, scenes and the chorus.  Each production added elements to test out the oft-told story in different settings.  The D.C. production set the events in an African tribal community of some distant past time.  The Blackfriar production gave us a Greek style tunic-robed cast in an imaginary time and place.  But, they brough contemporary music and rap to fill out the chorus’ poetic lines. Continue reading

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Farm Life: Urban Signs of Spring

Last weekend, we headed into Washington, D.C. to see a couple of plays at Arena Stage (reviews to follow).  Though we had not planned for another annual event, it happened to be Cherry Blossom Festival weekend too.  And, the cherry trees around the Mall, Tidal Basin, and Hanes Point were near peak bloom.  If you have even been in D.C. for Cherry Blossom Festival, you know that this means: traffic jams. Continue reading

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Theatre Review: I must be So-Mantic

In January we decided to move closer to joining the 21st century by setting up a Roku for our TV screen.  We could now live-stream movies.  A year or so ago, The Mrs had set up an Amazon Prime account, mainly for the free-shipping, but also to watch Downton Abby on her little iPad screen on Fridays when I have clinic duties longer she.  As the 21st century Internet vendors’ algorithms want to dictate your interests, our ‘Prime’ link decided that we were interested in 18th century romance TV  series.  Through the late winter, we ate our dinners, knitted, shelled beans, etc with Jane Austin and the Bronte sisters.  Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyer, we viewed in 4 to 11 parts.  A later 19th century tale by Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree, showed up.  Then we went to Arena Stage to see The Heiress, a 1930’s stage adaptation of Henry James’ novel Washington Square.  Just call me Mr Romance! Continue reading

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