Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Poem - Graceful geese

This was Day 5, the final day, of the five day December Open Write with Dr. Sarah Donovan's Ethical ELA. What fun I had these past few days!

Today's inspiration was suggested by poet and author Chris Baron, challenging us to write a poem called a "Before Picture":

Write a poem of any structure that behaves like a before picture. A “Before Picture” is meant to capture not just an image but also to serve as a symbolic remembrance of everything that happened at that moment but also what led to it–both inside and out.

Imagine you are taking a before picture.

Use images, figurative language, and everything else to help capture that moment in time: What it looks like AND what it stands for.

As has been true each day of this poetry challenge, I had several false starts on my writing, thinking of all sorts of "before pictures." I actually flipped through my Google images, and then remembered this recent day when I happened to see dozens of geese on a pond, and later watch them fly away. They seemed to instantaneously divide themselves into equal size flocks, which fascinated me. Honestly, how do they do this? I took a picture when the third and final remaining group (gaggle?) of geese was left at the pond. (I've included this image.) Unfortunately, I did not capture their gorgeous departure.  

Here's my poem:

Graceful geese

Graceful geese scattered on the pond,

there must be several dozen of you

floating, resting, softly stirring,

soaking in the sunny day. 

but not necessarily with 
one another.

Giving no hint of the disciplined flash mob that you are.

Each of you appearing lost in your own thoughts, 
soft ripples surround, 
small and intermittent honks of harmony,
a few beaks bobbing in the water.

In an instant, you will take flight
gather in your gaggle
simultaneously dividing into 
not one, not two, but three 
perfect formations in the sky.

Who directs your beautiful show?
When do you rehearse?
How do you know what to do?
What is the signal? 
Will you teach this teacher your ways?

How you tease me
looking lazy, leisurely, and languid,
yet ready
to vault into your voluptuous v. 

There is such mystery in this.

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