—after Edward Hopper’s The Dories, Ogunquit, 1914 (public domain)
Whitney Museum of American Art
Attentive to the forces of the tide,
they point up into open ocean breeze
like hungry pets anticipating food.
They feel the breeze enliven what they see.
A distant shore encloses open sea.
A view of coast as crisp and deep as life
itself, before the smudges of mankind
applied a slick to every shore and reef;
even the clouds are swept clean by the wind.
Feathery skies of sun-made summer choose
a clear-eyed, optimistic morning view
to paint the cove profusions of its blues.
The froth of distant ocean surf and light
explodes into the dory-sides as white.
Donald Wheelock spent forty years writing formal poetry before reaching the stage of submitting his favorites for publication. Formal poetry, once relegated to second fiddle in a career of writing chamber, vocal and orchestral music, has now demanded equal time. Indeed, it has taken over his life. He has published a chapbook, In the Sea of Dreams, with Gallery of Readers Press, and placed poems in Blue Unicorn, Ekphrasis, Equinox, Linea, The Lyric, and elsewhere. He is trying to place two full-length books of his poems. He lives with his wife Anne in an old house at the edge of a hayfield in Whately, Massachusetts.