It’s Day 20 of Author Amok's 2015 poem-a-day project. We are spending February writing in response to sounds.
For a full description of the project and how to participate, please read this post. I hope you'll join us. I'll continue posting poems from Day 19 as they come in. Thanks to everyone who has sent in poems so far.
Thanks for playing along today, everyone. I know this prompt had a little bit of an ick factor for many of us. Our instructions were to go to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's online Macauley Library and ...
Our Day 20 prompt is: pick your reptile sound.
|He's a noisy fellow: Tokay Gecko|
I had to laugh when Margaret Simon sent this note with her poem: “Reptiles are not my favorite, so I just chose the first one.”
Stretched tight rubber band
sling shots guttural alarm
Gecko gets gumption
Let’s get Patricia VanAmburg’s poem in here, because you’ll see the connection to the photograph Margaret shared. This poem is a lovely little ode to our gecko.
By Patricia VanAmburg
Raspberries to you O
red spotted dragon—
the yoga breath
of wind breaker pose—
gobbler of small birds—
connoisseur of crickets
I love the comical little couplet at the end of Mike Ratcliffe’s gecko poem. Mike captures part of what makes geckos such fascinating little creatures.
Gekko gecko on my wall-- croak-croak,
your name an echo of your call.
Fifteen minutes, I watch you crawl.
I must learn why you never fall.
Hmm… Another gecko poem. No rattlers? No giant monitor poems in the crowd? Here is Linda Baie’s gecko poem.
Dreaming Distress (Tokay Gecko)
a sad tone,
in their dreams.
Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved
Typical of me. I had to, albeit unknowingly, be different. I wondered what the quiet juvenile cobra in the video clips must think of all those noisy scientists.
The Cobra Yawns
By Laura Shovan
I yawn. The humans
are too busy talking
to hear the quiet crick
as my jaw stretches wide.
I slide. Their chit chat
hides the silky brush
of scales on wood.
Stripes glide. I flick
my tongue at the air.
Do they care?
They yammer on.
No wonder humans think
my coils are wound
without a sound.
Donna Smith ofMainely Write has a poem for team snake. She chose a snake that is common to her home state of Maine. What a shapely poem.
Common Garter Snake -- Thamnophis sirtalis
by Donna Smith
by Donna Smith
ss i i
s s i i l l
i i e t y
I crawl to be
and under tree
and then I stop
and all you heard
of a leaf
I crossed or a
One more for Team Snake! Thanks to Robyn Hood Black for sending in this rattler poem -- what a great metaphor.
Call My Bluff
by Robyn Hood Black
by Robyn Hood Black
in the spokes of
my purple bicycle’s back wheel
speeding up/slowing down
back forth back
must be a
Wow -- the snake poems are making a late rally. Here is one from Charles Waters.
SNAKES ARE …
Multi-designed garden hoses
Of serpentine movement;
Forked tongue flicker,
Fang baring, venom sharing muncher,
Buzzing like a radiator on the fritz,
A lawnmower sputtering to
An empty gas tank
Or a bike chain scratching
Concrete after falling off
(c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.
And a true close encounters of the snake-kind story from Buffy Silverman:
"Yours truly was the nature center teacher with a bunch of fifth graders throwing hula hoops that landed around a rattlesnake."
by Buffy Silverman
Away from the forest trail
they tromp through damp fields,
mud oozing under each sneakered foot.
They circle around as
the teacher explains their task:
toss the hula hoop,
identify and count every plant in the hoop,
record what they find,
then toss again.
The fifth graders jostle one another,
uncertain of how to begin,
their chatter a low hum of confusion.
Finally a girl steps forward, grabs the hoop and tosses;
the others sprint to where it lands
clipboards banging against eager legs.
They edge forward then
as leaves crinkle
under the slithering body
raises a rattle
its ratcheting sound
raising hairs on the backs of every neck.
The teacher hurries them away
to a safe distance
where they listen in awe
and watch the Massasauga.
Here are all of the sound prompts for the third week of February. I will post our final seven sound prompts on Saturday, 2/21.
Sunday, February 15
Video of Santa Fe's Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi by my Albuquerque friend, Jennifer Lewis.
The sounds of space
Friday, February 20
Follow the link to choose your reptile.
You'll need to turn the volume high to hear this one.
If you'd like some poem-starters to wake up your muse, you'll find them at the bottom of this post. Drop in any time with a poem. I’ll continue to post your work throughout the month, no matter which sound you are writing in response to.
Would you like to read what we’ve written so far? Here are links to the week 2 poems. You can find links to the week 1 poems on all of these posts:
Sound of Waves Poems by Patricia VanAmburg, Diane Mayr, Linda Baie, Laura Shovan, Margaret Simon, and Charles Waters.
Bubbling Cauldron Poems by Diane Mayr, Charles Waters, Laura Shovan, and Buffy Silverman.
Fireworks Poems by Charles Waters, Diane Mayr, and Laura Shovan.
Classic Typewriter Sound Poems by Patricia VanAmburg, Diane Mayr, Charles Waters, Mike Ratcliffe, and Laura Shovan.
Mockingbird Poems by Linda Baie, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, and Margaret Simon.
Cape Eagle Owl Call Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Charles Waters, and Diane Mayr.
Male Woodcock Mating Call Poems by Diane Mayr, Patricia VanAmburg, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, and Charles Waters.