9 – Moon Haiku

the blue moon / full moon

but for the first bird awake

silent smile, makes no sound

Photo: Full moon over Grant Tetons. Photo and Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #9. If you like this photo and poem, then pick up a copy of my new book EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND today! CLICK HERE

2 – Blue Moon

The wide, whorled moon shell

n’est pas bleu

its chalk-white shell shattered

so only the round face gazes

at me from the rough-washed sand

here, four thousand days away

on this full moon, blue moon way.

Here, where, in our future perfect

we will have sat by the quay, again,

eaten mussels in that broth with wine

sun on our weary faces,

facing Le Vieux-Bassin

your smiling moon face

what I will have remembered most,

a rare find among the ebb and flow

of this dream whorled world.

IMAGE: Moon shell, Naticidae. POEM ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #2. If you like this poem, you can buy a whole book of them today! CLICK HERE

Chatham’s South Beach Shrine

We walk along an outermost spot – one of those remote and seemingly isolated spaces that exist scant miles from the 216,000 residents of Cape Cod. This, Chatham’s South Beach, is a breathtaking expanse of shoreline watched over by the famed Chatham Lighthouse and, more recently, Great Whites.

It looks different than the first time I saw it years ago, but such is the fate of the outer shore of the Cape—its profile forever carved by the ebb and flow of the Atlantic and her whims (and whorls).

On this visit, there is more water, less beach, the walk from the upper parking lot down to the shore is noticeably shorter. And still, the fishing boats pass, the seals bob, a kite soars, a dog wanders. In the distance, you cannot miss the distinct and dramatic sound of the ocean surf pounding against what remains of “the bar”—the last vestige of calm before the deep and wild beyond.

These days, a quarter-mile walk down the beach brings you to the South Beach Shrine, a makeshift homage to all things flotsam and jetsam. The literal “what we leave behind.”

It is many things, this shrine — part protest and part art project, part community rallying cry and part curiosity. Its irony reminds me of Prada Marfa, its whimsy like a roadside attraction, its message disheartening. Thankfully, it is big and bold enough to hold all of our interpretations, and strong enough to withstand the ever-changing landscape of coast and culture.


Story and Photos ©2017, Jen Payne. For more, see Occupy Chatham South Beach on Facebook.

NOW ON SALE: Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, a collection of poetry and photographs illustrating how changing the world begins with you and me.

Pilgrimage: Walden Pond

Such is a pilgrimage to Walden… in which we take time to note the formation of clouds, marvel at the patterns of sunlight, witness the subtleties of color and contrast, adjust our depth perception, consider the craft of balance, imagine the space of simplicity, find inspiration… and love.   Thanks Melissa and Jon for a wonderful day! Photos ©2015,… Continue reading Pilgrimage: Walden Pond

The Inherent Balance of Sacred Space

I live within walking distance of a beautiful shoreline. The woods I adore are no more than a 10-minute drive from my house. My backyard view offers sunrises and a resident hawk who soars through sunlit trees. The sound of my yoga mat on the living room floor at once makes me breathe deeply. But… Continue reading The Inherent Balance of Sacred Space