Cumberland Island

You appear as a thin dark green finger
along the jagged Georgia coast,
Wildness speaks to us in many familiar and foreign voices
as we penetrate your gentle harbor,
Muscular wild horses lazily munch grass at the water’s edge
and flick pesky horseflies with their tails,
Their hides shimmer in the mid-morning sunlight,
reminding me of bright copper pennies and gun metal gray clouds,
The main road greets us like an luminous dark tunnel
through the mossy green forest,
beckoning us to explore it with our feet
and discover the island’s many secrets,
Eagerness gathers in our hearts,
We sense there is something exceptionally powerful
to experience here on Cumberland Island,
Dungeness House, now in ruins, is unimaginable,
unless you were there to see what is left of it,
The mansion’s thick broken walls, red brick chimney, and
black wrought iron fence are snared in a thick green
tapestry of twisted vines and foreboding weeds,
Venomous snakes now slither where industrial robber barons
and their curious wives once danced,
The music is the same,
transfixing and intoxicatingly sweet to the soul,
Old things abound inviting spirits to come forth,
They are everywhere on the island,
not just in the old weedy family cemeteries,
You could feel them jealously watching you
as you savor the same gems that called
the Carnegie family and others to Cumberland
in the late 19th Century,
Orange rusted skeletons of old cars,
Model T’s and the like,
line a stretch of the dusty road behind the barn,
The old tin lizzies remind us of life’s paradoxical ways,
Things we wouldn’t imagine, like finding model T’s
on this thin green finger off the Georgia coast,
In a distant field, near the white sandy dunes,
there is a watercolor cream foal, surrounded by
its protective mother and stately father,
Our hearts spring open, like new rose blossoms
in an English garden, at the sight of the newborn,
The island’s velvet-soft north beach makes us feel like
beautiful white shells and sand dollars,
We feel conjoined with the soul of this magical place,
As we board the boat for our return,
five gargantuan manatees linger and play in the shallow
brackish waters of the tranquil sound,
All this in one mesmerizing afternoon stroll
across Cumberland Island.

#####
Previously published in Stilling the Waters:
Poems about Finding Peace and Meaning
in Everyday Life
, By Donald T. Iannone,
(Medicine Wheel Publishing, 2005)

13 thoughts on “Cumberland Island

  1. As I grew up in Brunswick, just north of Cumberland, you have described the serenity and thorns of the golden isles perfectly. Have humbled many a trout, bass and shark around that beautiful island. Thanks for reminding me of home!!

  2. I like such narrative poems. They take us on a journey with vivid imagery.

    BTW, if you posted comments on bloggers with the other option on the comment section, you need not use your blogger id. You can put up your URL, the way we do here at wordpress which takes one directly to the blog. I have started using it for all my blogger comments.

    Some bloggers have switched off that option but those are few and far between. Sorry for taking up your bandwith!

    😀

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