Little seabird with only one foot Standing perfectly balanced at the shore You’re so calm, so still Despite wind-ruffled feathers
Standing perfectly balanced at the shore You’re a picture of grace Despite wind-ruffled feathers For you aren’t alone
You’re a picture of grace Safeguarded, transcending For you aren’t alone Flanked by faithful friends keeping watch
Safeguarded, transcending You’re so calm, so still Flanked by faithful friends keeping watch Little seabird, with only one foot.
As best I can determine, this is a laughing gull, already wearing winter plumage. I thought it was merely standing on one leg before realizing the other foot was gone. I have since learned that such sightings are common: many gulls lose feet and legs when they become entangled in fishing nets while hunting for food. What you cannot see in this close-up are two fellow gulls standing nearby, looking in different directions like bodyguards. I was struck by the poignant poise of this little shorebird and the proximity of the others. Gulls are symbols of adaptability, resourcefulness, community, survival, and strength. Maybe even uncommon grace.
with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge
Yesterday on Ethical ELA, host Kim Johnson invited poets to write mirror poems: “Find a poet whose work inspires you and write a mirror poem of your own by taking a root from a poet’s work and allowing it to breathe life into your own inspired creation. This may be in the form of a borrowed line, a repeating line, a section or stanza, or an entire poem…”
There are a couple of breathtaking lines I love at the end of Billy Collins’ poem, “Tuesday, June 4th, 1991” – he is writing about dawn coming and “offering a handful of birdsong and a small cup of light.”
For Day Eight of National Poetry Month, here’s my mirror of those last five words, in the form of a pantoum:
To My Granddaughter, Age 5 (with love from Franna)
a small cup of light scooped from ocean waves my sparkling little love dancing through my days
scooped from ocean waves my giggling water sprite dancing though my days now such a sleepy sight
my giggling water sprite goodnight, goodnight now such a sleepy sight to me you are, you are
goodnight, goodnight my sparkling little love to me you are, you are a small cup of light
With special thanks to Kim Johnson, who invited participants to write around “second grade pain” on Ethical ELA this week. She modeled with a form of poetry, the pantoum.
I knew right away what my poem would be about…
2nd Grade Trouble Pantoum
I’m in trouble for reading My little heart bleeding For I hid during math with a book When Teacher came to look
My little heart bleeding To numbers, conceding When Teacher came to look In my cloakroom nook
To numbers, conceding Warrior Teacher, succeeding In my cloakroom nook Oh, treasured book, that the pillager took!
Warrior Teacher, succeeding For I hid during math with a book Oh, treasured book, that the pillager took! I’m in trouble for reading.
Note: A pantoum doesn’t have to rhyme, although mine does. It is a form comprised of repeating lines in this pattern:
Begin by writing four original lines. 1 2 3 4
REPEAT lines 2 and 4 and expand ideas in lines 5 and 6: 2 5 4 6
REPEAT lines 5 and 6, expand ideas in lines 7 and 8: 5 7 6 8
FINALLY, repeat lines 1, 3, 7 and 8 in the following order: 7 3 8 1
The annual Slice of Life Story Challenge with Two Writing Teachers is underway, meaning that I am posting every day in the month of March. This marks my fifth consecutive year and I’m experimenting with an abecedarian approach: On Day 18, I am writing around a word beginning with letter r.
Also shared for Poetry Friday this week; many thanks to Linda at TeacherDance for hosting the Roundup!