Sunday, June 3, 2012

All the Swans, Long Island Poem for Sunday

We sink
quietly into each
other's company, watch
the sunset pour into the sea
a pink the sky cannot contain,
the artist cannot paint. Instead,
she paints the boats, kissing her
baby profusely between strokes.
Gulls squat on the stone bench
where we sip coffee, In the
salt marsh, a light blinks,
summoning infinite
summer bugs.
We ride home in silence, sweating, past all the swans.

"All the Swans" by Patricia Butler from "Poems by the Boatyard", Finishing Line Press, 2011.
Reprinted with author's permission.

Cover drawing by Jack Butler
Courtesy of Patricia Butler
"A beach. A boat. A backyard. And a father building a boat big enough to contain his large family, not to mention their imagination..." Patricia Butler, Long Island native, introduces herself. Her quirky sense of humor makes her fill her blogspot profile entry "Favorite Music" with "The sound of seagulls, an ocean wave crashing, the slap of water against the side of a boat" instead the usual name of a musician or an album.

Patricia grew up on Long Island, lived and traveled in many varied geographic and cultural areas; she is currently residing in Georgia.

The quintessential summer poem we have picked for this week was first published in Patricia's 2011 collection "Poems from the Boatyard" which we carry at he store. A drawing by her late uncle, Jack Butler of Oyster Bay Cove / Sea Cliff / Syosset, graces the cover.

Previous Long Island Poem for Sunday - Long Island Poem for Sunday, Walt Whitman's birthday, May 27th 2012

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Ewa! Honored to be part of your literary lineup of Sunday poets :)

    I met my first swans at Beekman Beach, on Beaver Dam and Mill Pond. Beauties, one and all, but usually solitary. This poem was inspired by a colony of swans that nests near my parents' retirement home near Mystic, CT. We had been out strolling the peers in Stonington, CT at sunset, going to the shoreline to cool off in a heatwave. We came upon an artist working furiously to capture the magic colors, but stopping every minute or two to kiss her baby on the head. It was sweet dedication to both her loves.

    As we drove home, I just happened to look out the window in time to catch a glimpse of the colony of swans in the salt marsh--dozens of them. It was too stunning a sight to even speak, and over in a moment, just like a poem, which practically wrote itself. Putting it into a sunset shape was the bigger challenge!