THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY

THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
April 12, 2016

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015 Sound Poem Project Day 28: Fox

Yesterday was Day 28 of Author Amok's 2015 poem-a-day project. We spent 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 28 and the rest of the project as they come in. Thanks to everyone who wrote with us.

Our Day 28 prompt is the sound of a fox.

Many years ago, I was at a local friend's house for critique group. As I walked to my car, I heard what I could have sworn was a woman screaming. I froze. Was that what I thought it was? I returned to the house, but the host hadn't heard anything. It was probably an animal, she said. After hearing the opening sound of today's clip, I know she was right.

Here's a helpful video that breaks down the types of fox calls.


What does the fox say? Let's find out what our poets have to say about that.

Our friend Patricia VanAmburg was a longtime professor of world languages, literature, and fine arts at Howard Community College. Her great area of interest is mythology, and there is plenty of mythology surrounding the fox.

VIXEN
by Patricia VanAmburg

Voiceprint of the Mother Goddess
Ishtar moaning at the Fertile Crescent
Xenociea cursing Hercules
Echo howling for lost expression
Naiobe bewailing her dead 

I like the way Linda Baie wove words we usually associate with religion into her fox poem.


The Forest As Church

Red fox’s barks and bays
serve as vigils for the forest,
matins celebrating the morning feast
before sleep.

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

The fox in Charles' Waters poem is a male fox, known as a reynard. I picture him wearing a fedora.

DOO WOP GROUP
Foxes, festooned in rusty fur,
Settle on low hanging branches
Lift muzzles, jaw out
Multisyllabic trills for the ladies.

(c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

I've been trying to write about this long-ago fox encounter for several years. A tanka seemed to be the right form for this conversation which, admittedly, happened in silence.

Fox Tanka
by Laura Shovan

Early morning walk,
the dog halts. Edge of the woods,
a fox in mist.
He watches us, pondering
the choices his cousin made.

Diane Mayr of Random Noodling is also considering the fox and the dog.

Fox at the Edge of Suburbia 
by Diane Mayr

This is no goofy red dog
who has outsmarted
mistress or master,
escaped a collar,
and is now out enjoying
a half-hour of freedom.

The slight tilt of the
slender red head suggests
a constant awareness
of its surroundings.
The loose-limbed
ease in its gait
suggests it has walked
this corner of field
before before before.

Before the farmers
stripped the woods
and plowed the field.

Before we came to this
edge of Suburbia.

Before offers of a treat
bring the goofy red
dog home with tail
between his legs.

Before before before.

And Margaret Simon observes how her dog reacts to the wild cousin outside.

Vulpes, red fox cry
upsets the dog
who whimpers at the window
watching for danger.
The red fox sounds
too much like a lost child.


Our last poem for today is from Mike Ratcliffe of the Skimino Cycle. Mike has some big news -- a poetry chapbook coming out from Finishing Line Press! Congratulations, Mike.

This poem tells a story, but also captures fox's personality and energy.

Red Fox
by Mike Ratcliffe

Run, red fox, run.
The chase is on.
Riders in red pursue,
but cannot hear your cries
over blaring horns
and galloping hooves.
Go to ground, sly fox,
go to ground.
The hounds will clamor
at the entrance to your den,
while you, ever the clever one,
slip quietly out the back.

I can't end today's post without this...

That crazy song we couldn't stop singing last year,
it's now a children's book.
Find it at IndieBound.

That's all, folks! If you've enjoyed writing in response to a daily prompt, stop by Heidi Mordhorst's blog, My Juicy Little Universe, for a March poem-a-day project.

Here are all of the sound prompts for the last week of February. I am working on a list of participants, getting ready to award a prize for our most prolific poet.

Footsteps in snow

Smoke on the Water
Sea Turtle

Ugandan Music

Train

Lava

Fox

Sunday, March 1: Project Wrap-up

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 3 poems. Each of these posts links to the week 1 and 2 poems.

Santa Fe Church Bells Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, and Charles Waters.

Quaking Aspen Poems by Diane Mayr, Charles Waters, Laura Shovan, Patricia VanAmburg, Mike Ratcliffe, and Karin Fisher-Golton.

Tuesday, February 17 -- new poem!
Laughing Child Poems by Charles Waters, Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, Michael Ratcliffe, Linda Baie, Margaret Simon, and Heidi Mordhorst.

Mysterious Space Sound Poems by Patricia VanAmburg, Charles Waters, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, and Margaret Simon.

Museum Stairwell Poems by Linda Baie, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, Margaret Simon, Diane Mayr, Patricia VanAmburg, and Karin Fisher-Golton.

Friday, February 20 -- new poems!
Reptile Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Margaret Simon, Laura Shovan, Mike Ratcliffe, Donna Smith, Robyn Hood Black, Buffy Silverman, and Charles Waters.

Traditional Chinese Music Poems by Diane Mayr, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Robyn Hood Black, Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Carol Varsalona, Charles Waters, and Margaret Simon.

7 comments:

Michael Ratcliffe said...

Thanks, Laura, for a wonderful month of sounds and poems. The poetry has been fantastic! I didn't get started until about halfway through the month, but I'm glad I did. It has been a lot of fun. Even on the days when I didn't send a poem, the prompts got me thinking and, at least, scribbling a few lines. And, there were days, like yesterday, in which I didn't feel like writing, but thought, I have time and really ought to produce something.

Thanks for leading and prompting!

Diane Mayr said...

I agree with Michael--it's been a "wonderful month of sounds and poems."

Anonymous said...

As Laura knows, I have a 50% hearing loss, so I was a bit unsure about writing from sound prompts--but they turned out to be a wonderful diversion for a cold and snowy Maryland February. The best part, of course, was writing in the company of other poets--so thank you Laura--and everybody!!

Patricia VanAmburg

LInda Baie said...

I've just begun another blogging challenge that I do in March every year. I will try to sneak in some poetry too, but it won't be the same without all of your inspiration and Laura's sounds. It's lovely to write in a group. Today, glad to hear once more what that fox said!

Author Amok said...

Thank to all of you for joining in. I love this annual reminder that writing poetry can be a daily practice, a practice that is especially joyful when it is done in good company.

Margaret Simon said...

A great month of poetry fun. I kind of lost momentum this week. But when I played the fox sound yesterday, my dog whimpered at the door. He has never reacted to computer sounds before.

Vulpes, red fox cry
upsets the dog
who whimpers at the window
watching for danger.
The red fox sounds
too much like a lost child.

Charles Waters said...

It was a pleasure. What fun and what a great way to write out of ones comfort zone.