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Monday, July 11, 2011

Life Played Silently

People of Chilmark, Thomas Hart Benton, 1920
From within our shores of sunshine plays,
Upon the land and upon the sea,
Basking in the days of carefree ways,
Games played silently, we all could be.

Simple words spoken within the hands,
Havens cherished, explored, be thus shared,
Martha's vintage language of the sands,
A language evolved beyond presence cared.

Evolving days of lessons to learn,
Schooled in hearts beyond from shores to main,
French signs transformed yet may we discern,
Blending worlds within the hand explain.

To bring to this American shore,
Become these words spoken - ASL,
From island families long before,
Words shared with hands and spoken by all.

As all could be, no barriers would see,
For in those days, hearing spoke with hands,
To share and be a community,
To work, to play, joined upon these sands.

From within our shores of sunshine plays,
Upon the land and upon the sea,
Basking in the days of carefree ways,
Chilmark people... life played silently.

Petrina Lesko
July 2011

The above photo prompt was offered by the wonderful Tess Kincaid over at her Magpie Tales, a fabulous place for poets and writers to share with like-minded artists, creating and basking in the sunshine of life.  Please come join us!

15 comments:

jen revved said...

A lovely poem showing true care and great skill with the form! xxJenne'

laurie kolp said...

Very nice... I really liked the 5th stanza!

thingy said...

Very lovely. You take such great care with your words. It's something I need to learn to do. : )

kaykuala said...

Petrina,
Clever use of common words. Very interesting! The people of Chilmark would have to adjust to overcome their woes too?

Ann Grenier said...

I like "life played silently"; so evocative. Fine work with the rhyme scheme as well.

Martin H. said...

I enjoyed this. Very nicely written.

Helen said...

There definitely is an aura of silence in this painting ... beautifully written.

Tess Kincaid said...

Beautiful. Wonderful rhyme pattern. I love it.

Isabel said...

love the melody of the words

Lyn said...

I so want to be there, sharing this landscape...captivating!!

JamieDedes said...

Completely engaging and am delighted with your discipine, which is clear in the writing. Well done.

Lolamouse said...

It does look as if they're using ASL now that I see it after reading your poem. Your words are exquisite! How did you come up with this interpretation? It's so different but seems so spot on!

Reflections said...

@ Lolamouse... My roommate is fluent in sign language - ASL (her Bachelor's was in deaf studies) and I use it minimally at work for our non-verbal clients. When I looked up Chilmark people to get more of a feel for the prompt - it talked about Martha Vineyard Sign Language and the high ratio of deaf population for over two hundred years. It reference to everyone using sign as a means of communication as it was a high prevalence of a hereditary form of deafness so most had someone in their family who was deaf. Definitely peaked my interest (to see a ratio of about 1 in 25 rather than the typical 1 in 5300+)so I researched more and spun from there. I'm really glad that you caught the reference to ASL and sign language. I considered explaining it in my post rather than letting the piece speak for itself.

Lolamouse said...

Thanks for the explanation. So interesting! I took a sign language class WAY back in high school, as we had several deaf students w/interpreters in our classes. Always found it fascinating and beautiful to watch. The alphabet is about all I can remember now!

Margaret said...

Very interesting - your comment above. I admire the work count and rhyme - I need to do that soon again myself. Very flowing poem.