Today on Ethical ELA Jessica Wiley invites teacher-poets to compose in a form invented by her ten-year-old daughter, entitled “By Myself.” The challenge: Keep the first and last stanzas from the model and write eight rhyming lines in the middle, beginning with “I am.”
As I began to write this morning, quite by myself (so I thought), I heard a sound outside… I had to stop, open my back door, and listen. Naturally it had to become part of the poem, as it’s part of me, now…
Lines Composed Before a Late-April Dawn as Birds Begin Singing and a Barred Owl Is Calling
When I’m by myself
And I close my eyes
I’m flickering candleglow
I’m a rainstreaked window
I’m sky-scouring birds
I’m the wings of words
I’m snowflakes, driven
I’m mistakes, forgiven
I’m an ivy-covered portal
I’m the voice of the owl, immortal
I’m whatever I want to be
An anything I care to be
And when I open my eyes
What I care to be
A recording of my owl out back in the pre-dawn darkness this morning.
One of the many symbolic meanings of the barred owl is sacred space… which is always calling to me.
It’s also known as a hoot owl.
I have stories and an old song about that, for another day.