15 May 2011

Earthen Fort Visit, Poem

Early morning start.
Long drive.
My love, myself, three friends.

Ocean air greets us.
I love the plants:
windblown,
living at ocean's edge,
holding the sand in place.

Of course,
nature moves the islands anyway.
It's the way of coasts, to change.

Mini museum about the fort
and the war.
Mini history lesson
for my friend
(he's Indian,
not much US history).

Weapons,
ships,
uniforms,
mini battle scenes.
Normal museum stuff.

Walking tour.
First, a film.
Battle pictures, old music.
Historians talking.

Outside, hoping for shade.
The tour guide is good people.

When built,
it was one of the best forts.
Only two sided,
strategically placed.

Earth pushed up
into walls
and battlements.

Only half of one wall left.
Still impressive.
The other wall
fell to the ocean
(shifting islands).

Part of it was flattened
to make way:
air force training landing strip,
for some more recent war,
the Great One
or maybe the second.

Good, shade.
Military still owns the land.
Park service rents it:
one dollar a year.
"Not a bad price.
We'd have to give it up
in time of Pacific war.
The entrance to this river
is still strategically valuable."

New position.
Thankfully more shade.
The general (I think)
left wife and kids
across the channel
during battle.
Good choice.

They loved each other.
His diary entries, and
her comments on some pages:
Playful love.

Ten time as many men
Attacked,
with naval support.
Shelled for days.
Boats had better range.
No fighting back.

Shells stop.
Land forces move in.
More marsh then,
harder assault.

We have a wood bridge.
Worts. Cool plants.
Really tall and wide here.
Lots of water
and enough shade.
Away from bridge:
smaller worts.

Cannon out for repair.
No battlement for us.
Great pictures, though.
Early battle photos.
Good photographer.
We're lucky.
Lots of battle details.

Just think,
man-made hills.
How much sand and dirt
moved to build their fort.
How many military men
worked on it
and how many slaves?

Hollowed out sections:
storage and shelling shelter.
Days of shelling,
the earthen walls
barely looked dented.
And none of the men hurt.

Live Oaks.
Special shape near ocean.
A tilt of being
constantly blown over
by ocean winds.
They are.
Leaves smaller,
waxier,
thicker
than inland.

Strong, beautiful trees.
My favorite trees.

"Well, any more questions?"
No one can think of any thing.
"Alrighty,
well I hope you enjoyed your tour.
Be sure to take a look around inside
if you didn't get a chance before.
Sorry the table's speaker's broken.
Anyway,
if you've enjoyed your visit,
think about making a donation."

Buttercups next to the steps.
Well, maybe buttercups.
Do buttercups grow so close
to the ocean?
Cute anyway.
"Jess, are you stuck?"
I point out the flowers,
then move on.

Another cannon
near the path back.
Kids are having their picture taken.
I had my picture taken
with a canon
when I was a kid.
Another fort,
another time,
another story.



The theme for Jingle Poetry's Potluck this week was Fortresses, Palaces, Castles, and Royal Houses. All I could think about was how much my boyfriend loves visiting forts. We recently visited one, and I thought I'd write about it. I wrote a short story version as well.

***May 21: This poem was chosen as Poem of the Week by Luna on Jingle Poetry! I'm so proud, very excited, and a bit surprised. Of course, I'm also honored and humbled. Thank you so much!

10 comments:

  1. Nice work! My potluck: http://verseinanutshell.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/protect/

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  2. Fascinating tour! I liked the storytelling element of this, and the ending, linking in like a circle of time and experiences.
    Here from Poetry Potluck.

    http://jessicasjapes.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/dark-eyes/

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  3. Thanks for the trip! Nicely penned.

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  4. This is a longer poem than I usually write. I'm glad people are enjoying the story.
    David, verse, and honey - thanks for stopping by and reading.
    Jessica - Love your name, lol. And I thought ending did a good job tying things together too. Thanks.

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  5. Oh - you have the essence so wonderfully and precisely. This is a wonderful, essential poem.

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  6. rich words...
    you have elegant imaginations...
    Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Goodness ... I surely can see why this was chosen, it is marvelous and very musical too!

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  8. Jingle - 'elegant imaginations' is a lively thing to say; thank you!
    Liz - thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the musicality

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