Patricia Gomes Graces New Bedford with Moving Poem, “Gale Force”

The whimsical words of New Bedford’s Poet Laureate, Patricia Gomes, played an integral role in the launch of DATMA’s Summer Winds series. She wrote Gale Force exclusively for the opening celebration of centerpiece sculpture Silver Current (by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics, on view from now until September), and performed it at the event. Gale Force, at its core, is about hope, change, and new life; the metaphor used to convey these themes is the driving force behind DATMA’s inaugural season of events: wind.

Gale Force

by Patricia Gomes, Poet Laureate of New Bedford

Written for DATMA

The North Wind
brings winter’s bite.
Woodstove scents,
frosty days, long nights,
The North Wind
gifts us with time. Time
for idling. Time to mend
our nets, patch our flags, and batten down
our beloved hatches.

Then, it is the West Wind
that offers hope.
A bright beacon
for the weary winter traveler.
Thermometers rise
to meet the sun,
to greet the robin searching
for its breakfast worm.
Bringer of light, that West Wind;
signaling the end
of monotony of ice, snow,
and soul-crushing heating bills.

Southern Wind
is a gentle swell, a refined
southern belle
sweeping us towards porch sitting,
and sail setting.  She is the
fat, lazy bee
caressing the petals
of day lilies; the languid melting
of ice cubes in a glass of lemonade.

These three give way to the Wind
of the East:
hard-blowing, dreary,
a chaotic beast.
East Wind knows no master.
Tearing sails asunder,
a cargo of lightning and thunder.
Moor the vessel, the old salts say.
Wind from the east means
fish bite the least.

And the cycle begins anew.  Currents
of change
that move the tides
in a slow dance
with the moon, for change is
often slow,
allowing us the opportunity
to adjust our sails,
plot new courses,
and journey forward

into the future.