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Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. There is a common aid to navigation — often used in coastal waters — that has always had a special meaning for me as a poet. Here is “The Bell Buoy,” a poem from my 2008 collection, Father of Water.

Best wishes,

Charles Pierre

Shivering Sand. Photogravure by Wylie. Undated

Shivering Sand. Photogravure by Wylie. Undated. Click to see the bell buoy more clearly.  Reposted this poem from 2015 Blogfinger.net. ©

BELL BUOY

By Charles Pierre.

There is something singular in the rhythms

of the bell buoy, as it rings in the wake

of an unknown vessel already passing

on to its destination. The restless gestures

of this solitaire, anchored in the routine

of the sea, are a directing presence,

even in this hostile chopping,

metal on metal clanging from its heart,

clanging down the chain to the muddy anchor,

clanging out above the waves, creating

a point in the pointless sea, echoing out

to another, its clanging a song

of hope through these splintered waters,

a hard human song in an inhuman place,

something with a ringing truth to it

of who we are, something to sustain us,

wherever this imagined drifting leads.

 

Sounds:  bell buoy ringing; waves hitting boat:

Music on the water, from the film  The Sand Pebbles  (1966) with Steve McQueen.:

MATT MONROE

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Hi Paul:
     Greetings from Manhattan. When March ends, and the last few patches of snow melt from the yards, and ice disappears from the ponds, those of us who live along the coast shed our heavy coats and head for the shore. Here is the poem “Orient Point,” from my 2008 collection, Father of Water.
Best wishes,
Charles Pierre

Early spring morning. Deal Lake. Ocean Township.  March 29, 2015,   By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge.

Orient Point
By Charles Pierre
To find words again, after winter’s pause
and the stifled months of life ashore —
to hear voices, if none but the shrill sounds
of sailors boundless in April winds.
I slip from silence, English my ship and sea.
Speech as fresh as the first mild gusts of salt air
billows my cheeks, flying from my lips
to take me as far as sound can sail —
Speak, as if spring is all there is!
——————————————————————-
BEN PATERSON TRIO,:  “Here, There, and Everywhere” by Paul McCartney;

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Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. The downtown café has been a part of New York life for more than a century — a place of quiet refuge from the stresses of the city. Here is “Café Candles” from my 2008 poetry collection, Father of Water.

Best wishes,

Charles Pierre

Paris. Candles in a place of quiet refuge. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Paris. Candles in “a place of quiet refuge” as described by Charles Pierre, poet.  Paul Goldfinger photo.©

 

Café Candles

By Charles Pierre.

 

An hour past sunset, the sky gone gray,

a waiter with a tray of candles balanced

on his palm circles this intimate room,

placing a flame at the center of each table,

the lights casting aureoles around the faces

of casually seated couples and threesomes,

and even the solitaire clutching a book

who burns with isolation in his corner.

As evening deepens and the sky darkens,

each candle becomes a central point

for the rhythms of talk and silent thought,

each table a star in the modest constellation

of this room, patrons entering and leaving,

the waiter serving and clearing the tables

of all but those small candles, which flicker

at each disturbance of the air, then recover

to blades of brightness, portioning this space

and its speech against the black canyons beyond.

 

CARLOS GARDEL

 

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Greetings from Manhattan. Walking and poetry are both rhythmic activities that I have tried, in several poems, to bring together to create a unified effect. Here is “A Couple” from my 2010 poetry collection, Brief Intervals of Harmony.

 

Best wishes,

Charles Pierre

 

Upper East Side, New York City. August.2014, By Paul Goldfinger ©

Upper East Side, New York City. August.2014, By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge

 

 

A Couple

By Charles Pierre

 

That man and woman walking side by side

almost glide together through the evening,

parting the oncoming crowd with a singleness

of rhythm that erases the differences in height

and stride. Palm to palm, with fingers entwined

and arms swinging between them, they keep

their shoulders straight and eyes fixed forward,

talking without turning aside, letting the words

swirl around them in a cloak of conversation.

His left to her right, they reflect one another,

both wanting an equal partner but remaining

self-possessed, the emptiness of darkest space

less a threat than if each were facing it alone,

though their need for connection goes mostly

unconfessed: a solitary pair accustomed

to the same pace, limbs moving in unison

through the rush of wind leading night’s advance.

 

 

Frank Vignola plays Gershwin.   “Our Love is Here to Stay.”

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Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. Over fifty years ago, my grandmother said a few things to me shortly before she died that I knew would eventually find their way into a poem. Here is “Grandmother’s Note” from my 2008 collection, Father of Water.

Best wishes,

Charles Pierre

Paris. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Paris. By Paul Goldfinger ©

 

Grandmother’s Note

By Charles Pierre

 

Looking for less with each added year,

I’ve begun to live in the small space

that surrounds me now, in the shadows

 

that gather at my feet and follow

as I walk along, and in the breezes

that take my shape for an instant,

 

leaving nothing but gentle creases

in my hair and a cool ripple

over my skin. Expecting little,

 

I go where my handwriting leads me –

become just a sound, a word, a phrase,

part of the impression on the page

 

for a moment, not an old woman

with the obvious lines of age, but

a clear thought in this surrounding space

 

CAL TJADER: “The Night We Called it a Day”

 

Charles Pierre. Photograph by Marcella Kerr. ©

Charles Pierre. Photograph by Marcella Kerr. ©

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A favorite room----at the Gasparilla Inn, Boca Grande, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

A favorite room—-at the Gasparilla Inn, Boca Grande, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. It is surprising how far you can travel, just by sitting quietly at home in a favorite room, surrounded by familiar objects. Here is the poem, “A Room in New York,” from my 2008 collection, Father of Water.

Best wishes,
Charles Pierre

A Room in New York

As I sit at my desk, the morning sun begins
to fill this room with slow-moving planes
and angles of light. They glitter my windows
with Atlantic waters and whiten the shades
with New England snow, brightening
my blue sofa to a field of wild asters
in Nova Scotia, and my varnished table
to a forest of yellow pines in the Carolinas.
Rays skim the spines of a thousand books,
where peaks of an Alpine mountain range
shimmer on my shelves. When beams reach
my oriental rugs, the colors of Central Asia
shine up at me. As I write, city and wilderness
move in unison with the sun’s slow passage
through this room: each flame-suffused image,
each act of attention to the way light works,
leading outward to a world beyond walls.

 

Max Raabe and Das Palast Orchestra

Live at Carnegie Hall 2007

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Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. When a blizzard covers the shore, we are amazed at the vast expanse of snow in all directions — but almost immediately start looking for signs of color and life. Here is the poem, “Speck,” from my collection-in-progress, Circle of Time.

Best wishes,
Charles Pierre

Ocean Grove. c.2013. By Moe Demby, Blogfinger.net staff ©

Ocean Grove. c.2013. By Moe Demby, Blogfinger.net staff ©

Speck

By Charles Pierre.

When the blizzard passed,
a holly amid ocean dunes,
with soft snow dusting
the stiff pointed leaves,

shook in the strong wind
as mounds of powder slid
from its peak in a silent rush
to expose an iced-over limb

with one red berry, shriveled
and pitted in spots, split
up the middle, yet whole
on a frozen stem, its skin

bright enough to hold
the gaze of a crow,
frost-coated and perched
on a rise fifty yards away —

one red speck, the only
color in a wilderness
of stark white shore,
edged with ashen surf.

 

RENEE OLSTEAD:

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Ocean Grove beach. Winter. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

Ocean Grove beach. Winter. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net.  click to enlarge the” ocean’s moods.”

Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. In winter, one can walk the empty beach at Ocean Grove and, at any time of day or night, listen to the various natural sounds of sea and shore. Here is the poem, “Listener,” from my book-in-progress, Circle of Time.

Happy New Year,
Charles Pierre

 

Listener

By Charles  Pierre

At the easternmost end of town, where nothing
but empty coastline greets the incoming waves,

I follow a path through the dunes to this beach
and listen long as the ocean discloses its moods:

just past sunrise, when whispers of Atlantic wind
crease my hair and lift sea straw against my legs;

at sun-sharp noon, when rushing tides roll and build
to high-arcing breakers that pound the rough sand;

late in the day, when slant light and muffled breezes
cover the surface of water with glittering shingles;

through the evening, when currents run black
on whistling gusts, and a violet haze mutes the sky;

at midnight, when the air is still and low surf
rustles onshore; and afterward, in the hour

before dawn, when the ocean shares a deep silence
with the land that slopes down to its rippling edge,

as the waning moon leads me back from the beach
to the shadowed dunes and narrow path inland.

 

SLOVENIA SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA.  Xerxes Act 1, George Frederic Handel

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Serenity. Sunrise in Ocean Grove. By Bob Bowné

“Serenity.” Sunrise in Ocean Grove. By Bob Bowné

Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. I was struck by your quietly beautiful photo, “Beachfront Sunrise,” (posted recently on Blogfinger*), and your statement that you preferred sunrises to sunsets because “beginnings are happier than endings.” Here is the poem, “Dawn,” from my 2008 collection, Father of Water.

Best wishes,

Charles Pierre

 

 

Dawn

By Charles Pierre

 

The first hint of morning on the ocean

is a trembling of shadows,

 

a dark hovering of muted tones

that moves with imperceptible pace,

 

a vanishing medium through which

the day brightens and widens,

 

the new light going on for miles and miles

in the shine of emerging surf.

 

LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA.    Peer Gynt Suite #1, Op 46  “Morning”   by Edvard Grieg

*See the post  “Fishing Pier at Sunrise “by scrolling down to Nov. 21 where it has been brought closer to Charles Pierre’s wonderful sunrise poem, “Dawn” where he makes reference to the image in his introduction.  *

 

 

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Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. One can hear great music in Ocean Grove’s Auditorium and Pavilion throughout the summer. But there’s another kind of music that is best heard on the beach at night. Here is the poem “Ocean Musicale” from my 2008 collection, Father of Water.

Best wishes,
Charles Pierre

June 2015. Ocean Grove beach. Paul Goldfinger photo. © Blogfinger.net.

Ocean Grove beach. 2015.  Paul Goldfinger photo. © Blogfinger.net.  Click to make the dark bigger.

Ocean Musicale

By Charles Pierre

In the humid haze of an August night,
the planes of shore, sea and sky dissolve
to undivided black. In this dark hall

of the Atlantic, released from light
and shadow, one moves by ear alone
to the sounds of sand, wave and wind,

listening beyond any human scale
to each natural noise as it occurs,
until the impersonal din becomes

a concert of the barest elements.

PAUL SIMON   Live in NYC (Concert in the park.  1991)

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