Friday, July 4, 2014

Artistic Interpretations - Life on an Island

Ocracoke Island is a village with sixteen miles of undeveloped ocean beach, tucked around what is now called "Silver Lake" and delicately wedged between the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound.  It is currently my favorite place to vacation.  It is accessible only by ferry, boat, or small plane.  Today it is a place to read a book, bicycle, swim, fish, surf, kayak, eat, and among other things to dream.   Tourists, during the summer months, take it over and the locals are kind and roll out the red carpet.

Overlooking "Teach's Hole" (aka Blackbeard)
I walked the trail and sat on the sandy shore where Blackbeard surely tread, and died.  I visited the museums and bicycled the charming lanes and roads, photographed birds and front porches, relaxed on the balcony listening to the local tavern's live musical entertainment as the night sky twinkled above.

Oh, yes, WELCOME to Artistic Interpretations!  

Ha, see, I'm already getting carried away - it truly is a place that can become a state of mind.   sigh.

Yet life not so long ago was quite different on this remote island, the local people closely bound together (as I imagine they still are today), its people not the fair weather minded tourists that burst the island's seams during June, July, and August.  I toured a museum and took photographs of a replicated interior (of an Ocracoke home) that I believe was between the 1920s' - 1950's?   I almost felt the presence of these stoic, hard-working women who once lived on this remote island.

HERE is a bit of its history - I think it a fascinating read -  It is the location of Teach's death (Blackbeard) and was a military base during WWII.

For July's challenge, I ask you to bring a character or characters to life in a poem based on the images in these photos.   It can be in any style and manner you wish.  It may have dialogue or be purely meditative, it may be fictional or non-fictional.  I would like you to do a little research about Ocracoke, but it does not have to be about Ocracoke if you feel otherwise inspired.

For an extra challenge, cursor down for an added twist…

 For an extra challenge read on:

The Ocracoke dialect, often called the "brogue" has its roots in the types of English that were spoken in Southwestern and Eastern England in Elizabethan era.  It also has Irish and Scots-Irish English ancestry as well.  Although many people believe the Ocracoke English is "Elizabethan" or "Shakespearean," the dialect has actually changed quite a bit over the course of the past two and a half centuries.  Today's brogue is a mix of old and new language forms, as well as a blend of features which are unique to the island… below are a few examples.  (You may use some in your poems if you are up to the challenge)

Call the Mail Over - Distribute the mail - comes originally from the custom of distributing mail by calling aloud the names of those who received letters at the dock when the mail boat arrived.  Is the mail called over yet?

Dingbatter - A non-native of Ocracoke or the Outer Banks.  Sometimes used somewhat negatively to refer to someone who is ignorant of island life.  The dingbatter kept his fishing line tangled with mine.

Meehonkey - An old-time game of hide and seek.  Also, a call used while playing this game.  We used to play meehonkey every evening in the summertime.

Mommuck - To harass or bother.  This word is found in the writings of Shakespeare.  Young'uns, haunt I been mommucked this day?

O'cocker - A person born and raised on Ocracoke.  A native as opposed to a non-native resident.  The term is generally used only by native Ocracokers.  Kenny is an O'cocker.

Quamish - Sick to the stomach.  This term comes from qualmish, which means prone to qualms or spells of sickness, and is found in Shakespeare and even earlier writings.  I felt quamished in the gut.

Russian Rat - a large rodent found on Ocracoke.  Technically known as a nutria.  We have lots of Russian rats and mink on the island.

Scud - A ride, usually in a car.  Can also be used on occasion for a ride in a boat.  Candy took a scud around the island. 

Slick Cam - A very calm water.  Typically used with reference to the sound.  It was a slick cam out there today.  (also slick calm).

Token - A sign of something to come.  An omen or portent, often of death.  This use of "token" dates back to Old English.  The haint was a token of death.

Wampus Cat - A fictitious wild cat.  Used to refer to someone who is abnormal in some respect, possibly to someone especially silly or especially heavy.  May be derived from cattywampus.  Walt's a classic example of an off-island wampus cat.

Water Fire - Light which appears on the surface of a body of swampy water.  Caused by gases released by decaying plant matter.  Last night the water fire.

Overlooking the Atlantic
For this challenge I do require the poem(s) to be new and created for this prompt.  Please link your specific post to "Mr. Linky" below.  As we know, Friday is often a hectic day (AND it is Independence Day for the USA), so please feel free to submit late and remember - Monday is "Open Link" here in the Garden.  Thank you, and I look forward to your artistic interpretations.

As I write Hurricane Andrew has made landfall on the North Carolina Coast and Ocracoke and Hatteras Island, (Pamlico Sound) I believe are in its path - it is a category 2 hurricane with 100 miles per hour and a possible storm surge of three to five feet.  It is the earliest hurricane along the coast in recent history…  

I also enjoy a blog called "Ocracoke Island Journal".  It can be found HERE.  The Facebook Page (which is linked on Thursday's 9pm blog post, is updating on the status of the hurricane.


Jim said...

A nice prompt, Margaret. Thank you.
I will follow your directions but we have an island here, Galveston, on the Texas Gulf Coast. Pirate Jean Laffite's little house still stands.
Another nice island we spent most of three days and two nights this April is Key West. Do you know that they were "The Conch Republic" after they seceded from the U.S. in April, 1982, and declared war immediately after. The U.S. made concessions and things were patched up.

See you tomorrow (?) with a poem.

Fireblossom said...

^^^cool story, bro. Just like when you told the same story last weekend.

I'm in. I Googled "wampus cat" and found some interesting stuff, so I went with that. Happy 4th, everyone.

hedgewitch said...

Margaret, what a wonderful prompt--and your photographs are just astonishing. I hope I will be able to come up with something, and I hope the natives of this beautiful place weather the storm.

Hannah said...

Awesome variety here, Margaret!! Thank you for the challenge!!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Great prompt, Margaret. I'll be back. yay!

Unknown said...

Its been a while since i last wrote... i was off on a holiday... These pictures are so beautiful they do speak a story themselves... for me a quite cheerful one... hoping you like it...Thank you Margaret!!

Margaret said...

Still celebrating the 4th of July with family... I will be submitting my poem late and will read the other poems after I write mine.

avalon said...

Margaret, you've collected a great eclectic mix of research here for July 4th. I've long been fascinated by the many Melungeon myths and theories that are floating about. I thought they mainly centered on Roanoke island, and am happy to learn that it goes even wider.
Great connection for today linking American roots with those of Europe.

Jim said...

Finally made it, Margaret. When I found my article and picture this morning I did have a rough draft already from last night.

So I edited and adapted the last few lines and called it "quits".
It was, for me, worth doing. Thanks a lot for the incentive.

Stacy M.S. said...

I just added my link...always late, I know, but the internet at my current location is terrible. :/ I will make my rounds and comment later this evening!!

Susie Clevenger said...

Such beautiful photographs Margaret and I appreciate all the information you shared...looks like a wonderful place to visit. Thank you for the prompt.

moondustwriter said...

Carried away by the story that you tell in photographs Margaret.
Wow what a place to kick back.