Monday, August 14, 2017

"Teach's Hole"

Teach's Hole - from the vantage point of Springer's Point - Ocracoke Island, NC
Teach's Hole

Live oaks hunched and bent
for centuries have pointed the way,
loblolly, beach, and maple offer swaths of shade
as perspiration tickles paths down my spine
and the humid breeze lifts a curl,
for even straight hair bends in this tucked away place
where, if one believes or listens closely enough,
a pirate's wail or song may be heard
within the deep folds of a foggy morn.

Easily imagine a bottle of rum in hand;
initial heat searing a path from throat,
to chest, to stomach.  Close my eyes,
hear the digging and hiding of the treasure chest -
for we all know it's here, somewhere...

Find myself silhouetted beneath a stunted, stilted canopy, 
divest myself of its protection, enter realm of sea and sky,
sink my toes into shifting warm sand,
witness windswept trees, roots exposed,
lounging drunkenly upon dune grass and shore;
they obviously know where the kill-devil's hidden.
Wonder which are native to Teach's Hole
and which were cast ashore upon a hurricane's whim. 

Beach glass glints blue-green but I walk by
as I spy a hermit crab at ocean's edge,
play peekaboo for a while; a gambler's luck not mine
as he darts inside at each sneaky turn of my wrist.

Return him to salty spray and settle
beside beach grass and sea oats, wax myrtle and holly,
watch pelicans and seagulls swoop and glide
above (and below) ocean's rolling surface.

Marvel how little some things change; find comfort
knowing swarthy pirates, shipwrecked ponies,
and sundry floral & fauna have anchored themselves
upon this slip of shoreline with their own triumphs
and tragedies - some widely written of,
others left to the ghosts of imagination

and as the sun settles, awash with a glorious template
of which I'd accuse a painter of exaggerated artistic liberty,
I bend my ear, eavesdrop, and embrace evening's breath
as she whispers a few secrets and stories of her own.

by Margaret Bednar, August 14, 2017

* The chiefe fudling they make in the Island (i.e. Barbados) is Rumbullion alias Kill-Devill, and the is made of suggar can distilled, a hott, hellish and terrible liquor. ("A briefe Description of the Island of Barbados" 1651)

Ocracoke Island HERE

This is linked (belatedly as I was on vacation on Ocracoke) with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Out of Standard - writing unseen"

Also linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"


Thursday, August 3, 2017



I often rummaged through Grandma's attic,
thin cedar planks betwixt neatly folded timeworn quilts, 
velvet hats with satin ribbons, bows, delicate silk embroidery, 
and impossibly dainty white gloves with buttons 
all carefully folded and preserved from almost another century.

Was fascinated with her small black and white photos
of Yellowstone, 1915, Marguerite side-saddle upon a donkey -
smooth face, plumpish body, dark hair mesmerizing me.  
Other photos of dashing young men, smartly dressed,
proper women with hour glass figures skirted and buttoned-up, 
images of grandma's arms tantalizingly outstretched 
holding treats for begging bears -

all proof she'd been young once.  I'd put everything away,
carefully descend narrow wooden stairs and look at her - 
try to find 1915 in her sweet dear face.  She'd smile, knowingly.


The watercolor of an old red cedar graced the walls of first, 
Grandmother's house, then ours.  Great-Grandmother Nellie painted it, 
lived in the Red Brick house just a mile from my childhood home, 
died their 34 years of age - measles and pregnant with a fifth child.  
Other paintings of hers: little yellow chicks, farm scenes, florals. 
Imagine her walking past kitchen garden, beyond white picket fence,
setting up her paints, hair and face sheltered beneath wide brim hat,
brush in hand, humming between laundry and kitchen chores.  


A red cedar graces my childhood home's lot line,
was there when our house was built.  Recently stood beneath her - 
old arthritic branches extending far above my head.  
Remember the dark purple-blue berries I'd pick
when I was young.  See a young soft sprout and marvel at this offshoot - 

proof of the nurturing force of nature, of an old matriarch's 
protective shade - thankful my father never chopped her down
for firewood.  


I find a fabric that quilts together these memories
and as I search for complimentary pieces and ponder patterns,
I anticipate wrapping myself up in cedar and berries, 
love and family. 

by Margaret Bednar, August 3, 2017

Painting by my Great Grandmother Helen Augusta (Lyford) Hutchins
Red Cedar trees can live up to 900 years.  The fine-grained, soft brittle pinkish to brownish-red heartwood is fragrant, very light and very durable, even in contact with soil.  Because of its rot resistance, the woods used for fence posts.  The aromatic wood is avoided by moths, so it is in demand as lining for clothes chests and closets, often referred to as cedar closets and cedar chests.

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations - Quilt Me a Poem"

The Eastern Red Cedar that was standing in my side yard when I was two years old and is
still there - a mile from where my Great Grandmother Helen Augusta lived - I like to think this
is an offshoot of the tree she painted above.  

Painting by my Great Grandmother Helen Augusta (Lyford) Hutchins