West Tisbury

By Hermine Hull - May 11, 2006

If anyone could have conjured up a perfect spring weekend it would have been this one. The sky was pure azure, the air balmy, the new green grass seemingly unrolled along the roadsides like silken ribbons.

Mike mowed our lawn for the first time, making the yard look instantly tidy. Leslie Baker had given me some tulip bulbs last fall, a variety named "Hermine" that just opened its double pink flowers from fat buds. My mother-in-law and niece appeared at drink time on Friday. As it was warm enough, we sat outside on the porch, admiring the view and enjoying our drinks. A summer tradition recommenced.

The Energy Fair at the Grange Hall on Saturday was a great success, by all appearances. The crowd was reported to be substantial and steadily appearing throughout the day. The Solar Car Race, put on by sixth-graders at high noon, was the highlight of the day. There were representatives from the Cape Light Compact, as well as displays of solar panels and hot water heaters, energy-saving appliances, and a windmill.

Ben Paul celebrated his 85th birthday on Thursday, May 4, with a family birthday party at the home of his daughter, Diane Wall. Diane and Howard with their daughters, Hilary and Tessa, were there, as were Diane's sister Jan Wall, her husband Rich Rooney, and their daughter Janaye. Ben's wife, Florence, and a niece from Vernon, Connecticut, Lee Hammitt, rounded out the guest list. Everyone enjoyed a fine dinner (Diane is a wonderful cook) topped off with angel food cake and strawberries.

Welcome home to Bruce and Mary Lu Keep, who have returned from a trip to Greece. They spent two weeks, one on land exploring the natural history and language, the second week aboard a three-masted sailboat touring the Cyclades Islands. They traveled with friends from Wayland, and were part of a small tour group.

West Tisbury poet Dan Waters has been awarded first prize in the Newburyport Art Association's 2006 Poetry Contest. His sonnet, "Jellyfish," was selected from more than 770 poems in this annual competition that draws entries nationwide and from abroad. I asked Dan for permission to print it here:

"Jellyfish"
By Daniel Waters

A hemisphere gelatinous
and clear,
It quivers here between
reproach and shame
Like something from a dream,
without a name,
Receding waves to grieve its
brief career.
This tender slice of optics
magnifies
The sand it dies on as the
tide's repealed,
Apparent yet transparently
concealed:
All metaphor, a vitreous disguise.

Beachcombers interpret what
they've found,
This crystal parachute,
this contact lens,
This breast implant whose
milkless mound offends
The children smearing it into
the ground
As punishment for gleaming
like a jewel
And yet for being nothing
like a jewel.

Dan and his poetry were the topic of a feature story in the Newburyport Daily News. He will be honored at an awards-day reading on Sunday, May 21, 5 pm, at the Newburyport Art Association. The reading and reception are free and open to the public if anyone would like to attend.

Closer to home, Dan will be a guest poet tonight, May 11, at Outerland, nearby at the Martha's Vineyard Airport. The event will feature several poets and music. There is a $10 cover charge. He will also be giving a one-person reading on Tuesday, May 23, at the Vineyard Haven Library. That program is free and begins at 6:30 pm. Dan's book, "Needing Winter," winner of the 2005 Westmeadow Press Chapbook Contest, will be on sale at both events.

Cynthia Riggs will once again be hosting Hospice of Martha's Vineyard's Annual Plant Sale at the Cleaveland House. The sale will take place this weekend, May 13 and 14. If you are like me and hate to throw a perfectly good division into the compost pile, please bring your extras to Cynthia's by Friday. Sharing plants is one of the good things about gardening; sharing them to benefit a good cause is even better. A couple of years ago, Diana Manter brought me a gift of some unusual grasses she found at the plant sale. They are now flourishing specimens. So you never know what treasures you might find. Check it out.

Don't forget to vote in the Special Town Election next Thursday, May 18. The polls will be open from noon to 8 pm at the Public Safety Building in North Tisbury. Cynthia Riggs and Cynthia Mitchell are running for one position on the Board of Assessors.

Please consider my recommendation to take a walk along the path in North Tisbury from the Public Safety Building to Indian Hill Road. Between Vineyard Gardens and Cronig's it is like walking through a botanical garden. The daffodils have been abundant and there is a lovely planting of "Freckles" violets. The fragrance of Viburnum Carlesii, now blooming, perfumes the air. It is really a pleasure. The path joins up with a Martha's Vineyard Land Bank path through the woods to Indian Hill Road, a wild and natural juxtaposition to the more tended plantings. The Pathways By the Roads Committee, which designed and oversaw the construction of the path with County Engineer Steve Berlucchi, has just had their proposal approved by the State for an extension that will run from the end of the Land Bank's path all the way to North Road. We expect this path to be completed before the summer. It will be a lovely stroll to take after dinner of a summer's evening.