Saturday, August 7, 2010

Where's the Bus?

Jeanne Iris is hosting the Poetry Bus this week, and I'm trying to get onboard.

I chose the third option: What is your favorite summer sensory memory?

The aroma of honeysuckle? gardenias? sweat? s'mores?
The sounds of tree frogs? block parties? a favorite song? the beach?
The touch of summer romance? itch of mosquito bites? poison ivy? breezes?
The taste from the Good Humor truck? BBQ? salt water? apple pie?
The sight of family reunions? long car trips? a first date? summer rain?

Here's mine:

Fort Caswell

I sit on the porch with Beth.
Rockers click-clack
on tongue and groove
like little river-waves
slapping the sea-wall along the Cape Fear.

The gospel of peace,
now fervently preached here,
belies crumbling forts.
No guns remain to bark out
bitter words of war.

I walk the beach alone
and think I can see forever.
My eyes, not yet wizened by age,
do not note the hurricane that lurks
just beyond my warm sand world.

I buy cheap souvenirs,
trinkets for my friends.
Pelicans in tight formation circle overhead,
denizens of estuaries alive yet putrid.
Like me, they seem carefree this day.

I am content as I rock with Beth
at Fort Caswell on the Cape Fear
where river and ocean rush to meet,
a boy adrift on the edge of thirteen,
feeling safe for the last time.

(See for
more on the NC Baptist Assembly there)


The Bug said...

Feeling safe for the last time - sigh. Sometimes it's hard to reach back to before life gets so complicated - you've done a good job of that here.

Argent said...

Beautifully poetic. I liked "bark out bitter words of war" and the image of the rocking chairs like waves. A master of poetry as well as prose it seems!

Bekah said...

The sound of old rocking chairs- the sound of safety, indeed. Welcome to the blogging world, Dr. M!

Carolina Linthead said...

Thanks, y'all! Glad to be here, Bekah. It was a memorable summer experience, one of the most positive of my life, which is why it has always been so poignant for me. Also, lest I was too vague, I had a *major* crush on the older Beth, who was kind enough to hang out with me when she need not have :-)

izzy said...

Those old forts! I don't know which we frequented more: sand,or history !
of course porches and rockers (- swings-
I had to be moving)and far sighted horizon, clear to the end - Great. Thanks.

Ann T. said...

Dear C.L.,
I'm with The Bug. That's a powerful line. And estuaries are.

The poem does convey the pause that is the bridge. Great!

And welcome to the blog world! I am thrilled!
Ann T,.

NanU said...

Mmm, that's a rich one, Mister Linthead. I like the way it builds to that perfect last line.
Niceta meetcha!

Jeanne Iris said...

I love the way you've captured that element of fear along with the tranquility of young love. Great imagery, particularly the pelicans, and alliteration with the sounds of the sea.

Once, I walked along a beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia, where a wall built of shells still hugged the shoreline and wondered what part of American History once played out on that same shore.

Suz said...

you've done this before