Vineyard Verses

Most passers‑by do a double‑take

at this December addition at Sunset Lake.

The lake belongs to gulls, ducks, geese, and a lone swan;

but none seem to mind this tree on their pond.

Strollers pause, some make a stop…

to view the lighted tree with a star on top.

It’s hoped that before the season is through,

students stop by to sing a carol or two.

Sadly, as all can plainly see,

it’ll be hard to place gifts under the tree.

But, after a mild and pleasant fall,

it’s a nice way to convey Season’s Greetings to all.

Here’s a spring-time scene of which I’m fond…six new little ones out on the pond.

By their size, it’s easy to tellthey’re not too long out of the shell.

Parents guide them past life’s tough hurdles…like hunting hawks and snapping turtles.

Little ones also have the needto know the best grass on which to feed.

And in the chill and dark of night,they must be kept warm and out of sight.

Mom and Dad provide fine preparationfor this next Canada Goose generation.

— Photo courtesy of Julian K. Robinson

In our area, he’s a leader

in emptying a full bird-feeder.

At daylight, he usually beats a path

to drink from the lawn bird bath.

And after he saw two big crows do it,

he helped himself to the small birds’ suet.

If the neighborhood cat becomes a pest,

he hustles back to his tree-top nest.

And if there happens to be a hawk in the sky,

he stays out of sight ’til danger’s passed by.

He’s a pest; that’s a fact I’ll not belabor;

he’s also my bright-eyed bushy-tailed neighbor.

— Photo by Julian K. Robinson

After a successful first-flight test,this young osprey returns to the nest.

Part of a familiar Oak Bluffs scene,the nest faces the dock of the “Island Queen.”

Mom proved a familiar sight in the local sky;she hatched two chicks in mid-July.

From the time each emerged from its shellit flapped its wings, often and well.

After seven weeks, bye and bye,their flapping would lift them into the sky.

This one’s local fame cannot fail;it’s the logo on each bottle of Offshore Ale.

A new act at the Agricultural Fair:

four cyclists on a wire high in the air.

The large crowd uttered hardly a sound

as the four pedaled forty feet above ground.

As they maneuvered above the crowd,

the gathering’s silence seemed loud.

The foursome displayed huge talents

in maintaining perfect balance.

Surely this act must bear some of the blame

if the Fair’s other offerings seemed rather tame.

This aerial performance sounds good in a poem;

readers are warned not to try it at home.

In an annual rite of spring, ospreys have begun returning from South America, and have been spotted around the Vineyard. — File photo by Julian K. Robinson

As readers may easily see,

This male osprey has his eyes on me.

To him I had become a pest,As he guarded his Farm Neck nest.

With his mate in the nest are two little ones,I have no idea whether daughters or sons.

He fulfills their every wish,adding twigs to the nest and catching fish.

His stance is regal; his gaze is keen . . .a pretty sight against a wall of green.

Their sighting is one you’ll surely remember;hope you see them before they leave in September.

— Photo by Julian K. Robinson

Hoping thousands of spectators would be there,he readied this draft horse for the Fair.

Known for brute power rather than speed,it is truly an awesome steed.

Now and then a team may be seen on the road,usually pulling a heavy load.

Of the horse, the young man seems truly fond;and between the two is an obvious bond.

He knows that with intense training and care,he may win a blue ribbon at the Fair.

Regardless, the horse stands out in the crowd,and would make his Belgian ancestors proud.

They arrived back late from winter vacationto nest at last year’s Vineyard location.

Between them, they share a bondwith the nest pole at Oyster Pond.

Before neighbors had a chance to fear,the birds began doing what they did last year.

By early May, she had passed spring’s testby laying three eggs in the nest.

In mid-June I had my first sightingof a little head in dim morning lighting.

No ifs, ands, buts, or maybes…this is truly one of her babies.

For a photog, they proved a winsome pair…

a little girl and huge horse at the Fair.

She stared long and hard in total silence;

he stood motionless, looking over the fence.

She had been amazed by a calf, goat, and pig,

but had never seen a creature this big.

Although she moved up rather close,

she couldn’t quite reach his nose.

Since she couldn’t rub his face in greeting,

she let her voice effect a meeting.

Her greeting was neither threatening nor bossy…

just a four-year-old’s high-pitched “Nice horsey!”

From out of the sun and out of the west,this Oak Bluffs osprey descends toward its nest.

He returned from the south about two weeks late;he’s now patiently seeking a mate.

When not perched on the nest or fishing nearby,he flies intricate patterns high in the sky.

He shows style as an avian he‑male,hoping it will attract a female.

It’s an amazing display by one,defining his prominent place in the sun.

It’s more than just an idle notion;this landing is poetry in motion.