Tag Archives: Newport Beach

At Newport Beach Beneath a Harvest Moon

by Thomas Davis

“The storyteller moon,” the old man said.
We sat upon the long-grassed beach and stared
Into a sky now dark, the fiery red
of sunset flung at stars the sky had snared
Into a symphony of silver stained
Into a river of eternal light
Above the song of waves that, lapping, trained,
Like time, into the shores of moon-struck night.

“No, not a storyteller moon.” He sighed.
“That comes just as the winter starts to howl.
That’s when you tell the stories that are tied
Into a tree frog’s peeps or black bear’s growl.”

Moon-struck, star struck, we heard the lullabye
Of waves absorbing us into the sky.

Last night Ethel and I traveled to Newport Beach where the Door peninsula looks out on the wild waters of Death’s Door, Buttes de Mortes. Francha Barnard had invited us to join her and other Door County poets to write poems beneath a full harvest moon.

On Saturday night the moon had been full and orange as it rose over Door County, but, after a summer that has seen the corn shriveled from drought, we drove up the peninsula to the park beneath cloudy skies that rained off and on. By the time we reached Newport Beach it was clear that none of us were going to take lawn chairs in the darkness down to the beach unless we wanted to ruin the tablets we’d all brought with us and got thoroughly soaked.

Instead we went to the ranger’s front office, talked awhile, and then, stymied from our effort to write poems beneath a full moon, listening to waves singing onto beach sand, we sat down and tried to write a poem nevertheless. Both Ethel and I, in the miracle of being with other poets, succeeded.

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In the Deep Woods

a photograph by Sonja Bingen

Orange mushrooms

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Newport Beach

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

It is the end
of Door Peninsula,
the Newport  Beach  forest,
 
less dense now
from the gale winds
of last September
that toppled dead trees,
crisscrossing their trunks
ahead on our path
amidst living, smaller trees.
 
There are no words
to describe the large
old pines and cedars,
the largest trees
I have ever seen in Wisconsin —
 
not the picked over
forest trees
of two and three cuttings
that mostly remain here.
 
So tall these trees
along Lake Michigan,
dripping morning fog
on top of our heads and faces
from their skyscraper canopy.

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Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry