Daily Prompt:Imagine that tomorrow, all of your duties and obligations evaporate for the day. You get the day all to yourself, to do anything you please. What types of fun activities would make your day?
I awaken just before sunrise, after a good night’s sleep free of the crazy, Technicolor dreams induced by my medications. I get out of bed, quietly tiptoe across the room, and peek out between the drapes. The sun has just cleared the horizon and the beautiful hues of pink and orange sunrise dance across the waters toward my feet. As I take pictures of the beautiful scene, I enjoy total silence – no one would believe thousands of people surround me. As the sunrises, it reveals mountains covered with snow, their lofty peaks shrouded in mists. Small icebergs float by, jewels of aquamarine. Slightly ahead and off to the right, I am treated to the breaching of a humpback whale.
The day that has just begun will be filled with amazing scenery, more whale watching, maybe exploring a coastal town, say Juneau or Sitka, followed by a delicious dinner, an evening’s entertainment, maybe some trivia in one of lounges. The sun is unwilling to set in this Land of the Midnight Sun and we are reluctant to stop for the day because this is an imaginary day and tomorrow reality returns.
I am reminded of a scene in the movie Groundhog Day, when Bill Murray, trapped in time and made to repeat Groundhog Day again and again recalls a far better day in his past life and says, “… that was a pretty good day. Why couldn’t I have that day to live over and over…”
I try, on special days like these, to be present, in the moment, but as hard as I try, the day slips away, leaving only memories. I look at the pictures I have taken on such special days, and think to myself, was I really there? Why didn’t I pay more attention? But I can close my eye and remember all the beautiful places I’ve seen and one of the most beautiful is Alaska. As I hold to the adage, “Think Big!” I could think of nothing bigger or more beautiful, than spending my imaginary day in Alaska. The following is a poem I wrote following my visit to Alaska in 2012.
This one is a sestina. It has 6 verses and each sentence of each verse must end in one of six words. I chose; Alaska, glaciers, aquamarine, paradise, mountains, whales. In each verse these words move around according to a preset form. It ends with a tercet (3 lines) and in each of those lines are two of the six words. It is a form of poetry that uses repetition.
And Did I Mention the Water is Aquamarine?
a pristine wilderness, wild and untamed, a place called Alaska
a land of bears and bald eagles; graced with icy glaciers
and did I mention the water is aquamarine?
our ship slowly starts passage into the fjord, a slim slice of paradise
we pass the silent sentinels, the mighty mountains,
a sudden disturbance in the water; we are in the company of whales
we spy a spout of steam, a telltale sign, we watch for the whales
in summer, they come to feed on small fish off the coast of Alaska
fresh water runs in rivers from the melting snows of the mountains
slowly they move, ages old, ever changing, grinding rock and ice, the glaciers
glow on a rare sunny day in July. We are thankful to be here in such a paradise
enchanted, we watch the sunlight sparkle on waters of aquamarine
this is a color rarely seen – a translucent version of aquamarine
so pretty when it swirls, and suddenly, there appear two killer whales
azure skies, the brilliant sun, running waters, crystal ice, this is my paradise
and a dream come true – long have I waited to come to Alaska
to see blue ice glowing in the fissures of the glaciers
and marvel at the snow- capped peaks of lofty, rugged mountains
beaches are fine, but take me to the mountains
especially those that surround waters of aquamarine
crack! the sound echoes, as ice splits from the glaciers
in the gold of the setting sun, the breach of a whale
I’ll forever remember the unrestrained beauty –Alaska
has all the facets of a true paradise
I walk in the beauty of this wilderness paradise
where wisps of fog conceal the tops of the mountains,
the leaves strung with pearls of morning dew. Of Alaska,
I’ll always remember that incredible shade of aquamarine
and that sound in the night – the exhaling breath of a whale
and those blue icebergs sailing by, spawned by the glaciers
despite their age, there is a fragile beauty in the glaciers,
which is woven in the fabric of this natural paradise
I can hear it calling to me in the singing of the whales
as it echoes through the canyons of the waiting mountains
and reflects in the waters of aquamarine
it’s a song of the wilderness, – the song of Alaska
I came in search of whales, and the snow-capped mountains,
which rise in silhouette above the glacier icefields, in a paradise,
a dream taken form in aquamarine – Alaska.