Friday, November 27, 2015

Coyote Moon

It's Poetry Friday!  Hooray!

Last week I had this idea for a poem to go with a picture.  Actually, I had taken the dog out, and heard a band of coyotes across the road, down in the river flats just below our house.  They sounded very close and were probably on our neighbors property just across the road.  There are lots of trees out here, and lots of dark with no street lighting in our village (if we were even in fact in the village).  The sound of coyotes when you are out by yourself in nowhere is beautiful but eerie.  I brought the dog in.  Later in the evening when the moon came into view of my big windows, I got this picture with my iPhone.

Later I put the two events together, along with a third event that occurs regularly here: the sightings and sounds of owls.

I immediately thought "gotta write something about this".  And it was so clear in my mind that I knew I'd be doing that for Friday last week.  And then Thursday night and Friday morning do you think I could remember what the great idea was?  Of course I couldn't.  I should ALWAYS be unsurprised and expecting that of myself by now.  But somehow I always think "I couldn't possibly forget this - not this time, heh-heh!" and take myself seriously.  Seriously, how could I do this more than twice before I'd remember the kind of person I am?

Anyway, I finally DID remember when I was scanning my pictures and came across the one I've posted below.  What a relief!  The poem did not come as easily as it probably would have if I'd written it right away.  But still, I enjoyed the journey.  It started out simply, got extended with garbage, and continued with some potential parts.  I cut out the garbage and the simple beginning and worked on and reworked the potential parts, until a reflective, reverso poem emerged.  It was a bit tricky in some parts and had to be tweaked quite a bit.  That included zapping some lines I thought should be there, but really only because I liked them.  The poem didn't.  Once I got rid of them, the flow was much better, and it made sense and said things in an uncontrived fashion forward and backward - the most difficult thing about a reverso or mirror poem.



Reflections of a Coyote Moon

With the night

in tune 

to the moon, 
coyotes croon -

echoing

as

owls

go gliding

on a hunt.

Smallish creature,

one of tasty feature,

snatched -

taloned 

breath;

No

tomorrow!
No

breath.

Taloned,

snatched;
one of tasty feature,

smallish creature

on a hunt.

Go gliding,

owls,

as

echoing

coyotes croon

to the moon

in tune

with the night.

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

<<<<~~~~~~~~~~****************~~~~~~~~~~~>>>>

The unfortunate thing about this remembering of potential poem is that I saw turkeys - 16 of them - on my foresty lawn last Friday morning also, and I thought (and so did they) that surely I would write a Thanksgiving turkey poem in their honor today.
But then I remembered the idea about the moon and coyotes at a time when it seemed such an exercise in futility to remember it!   So it seemed only right to post the reverso poem now that I remembered what I was going to write about.
So now NEXT Friday, stay tuned for a turkey strut!

(Unless I don't because something else comes to mind.)
16 turkeys in the yard...
I think I overheard one turkey asking another "Are we eating as we meander or meandering as we eat?"
As they pecked around in the leaves and grass, Mr. Thomas Turkey (I'm sure that's what his ID tag said) saw some movement (probably from us in the window watching).  He, Old Big Tom (that's what his friends call him), stretched his neck up to look around.  Two more joined him.  Then a few more, until the whole flock had their heads in the air looking around.  We kept very still and one by one they resumed eating and meandering or vice versa.  Then the one who had first thought he discerned danger, decided he was wet to the down feathers, and shook like a dog.  After he had that great idea, they all took turns shaking the water off their feathers, some stretching their wings out, too.
And as suddenly as they had appeared, they disappeared, walking off into the woods...kind of like in "Field of Dreams"...gone without a trace, invisible in a matter of seconds as they blended into the browns, grays and blacks of the woods.  But I heard them exclaim as they meandered out of sight, "Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!"

Head on over to Carol's Corner to read more poetry today...spend the weekend!

18 comments:

  1. Donna,
    I love your elegant reverso poem and your wonderful, humorous description of those meandering turkeys. I especially love these lines: "With the night
 in tune 
to the moon, coyotes croon -
echoing
 as 
owls
 go gliding
 on a hunt.
" In recent months I've found solace in the wonders of nature that surround me--clearly you appreciate them as well! Got to love living in Maine!

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    1. I do love this "Little House in the Big Woods" life!

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  2. Well done with the reverso poem, Donna! You've created the perfect mood piece to go with your amazing photograph. I haven't yet mustered up the courage to write one, myself, though I suspect I will at some point. Loved your turkey encounter too!

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    1. Thanks, the reverso is kind of fun, in that it is such a puzzle. I love puzzles! You really should try one out sometime!

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  3. Loved hearing about all your encounters, and that you finally remembered about the coyotes and the owls. Sometimes even here in the city I might hear a coyote howl. They have moved into to find cats I suppose. Love that last about the turkeys too, a poem itself! Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.

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    1. Ha! Yes, I finished a poem for the turkeys on Wednesday...Coming Soon (next Friday to a Blog Near You (right here)!
      Coyotes will eat just about anything, so trash cans are fair game in the cities along with small animals. Our cat is never outside - coyotes, owls, hawks, fishers, foxes....too many hungry animals out there. And the dog is always supervised!

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  4. Your writing process made me laugh! Can't tell you how many perfect poems I have started, out walking the dog, etc., and how few of those I have remembered well enough to write down. Your reverseo is really clever, it definitely captures the music of the night.

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    1. Why in the world I would think I'd just remember, after forgetting so many times, is beyond me! I guess I forget that I forget...

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  5. You always make me smile when you explain the route to your poems - and this one made me laugh. Clever reverso - and so delightful to read aloud.

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    1. The route to a poem is always intriguing to me. (.....) And there was a whole lot of stuff I just wrote here about that. I have deleted it and am posting it next week as a blog post on Friday, along with my turkey stuff. I'm happy that the reverso is fun to read aloud. I had hoped that it would be fun to read and work well both ways. It does to me, but I'm so close to it that after a while you don't know what is "understood" because it is yours and what doesn't work because of the same thing!

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  6. Ditto the kudos on your reverso! And it's always enjoyable to listen in on your thought process. But my favorite part here is the musing on the meandering turkeys--so chatty and imaginative. I'd read a book of Little House in the Big Maine Woods vignettes...

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    Replies
    1. It's an idea...
      When we were out of our house for 11 months after a house fire, I used to update the staff at school with accounts of our motel stay and house cleaner bumbles. I'd been encouraged to make it into a book at that time, but just never got around to it. Maybe someday if I lock myself in a room and tell my husband not to let me out until he sees a manuscript come sliding out from under the door... yeah, maybe I could do it then.

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  7. I must have been channeling you -- I had the "perfect idea" for my post this Poetry Friday, but unlike yours, mine is still hiding from me! I'm trying to get smarter about outwitting my forgetfulness -- I took a notebook and pencil on our long walk by the river yesterday.

    Love hearing your thought process and listening to you chat about the turkeys. I think Heidi's onto something...

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    1. I so hate to forget what I wanted to do next. I do carry a notebook in my purse, but those notes didn't get in it. You DO have to use it!
      Part of the reason I wrote a bit here about the turkeys is so that I would remember that I had an idea!

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  8. What a great description of revising! :-) Reversos are just about the hardest thing there is. Good job!

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    1. The hardest thing about revising is taking out lines you like, but which don't like the poem. Bravely cutting them and stashing them somewhere for maybe later use, usually makes you feel good in the long run. I eventually forget that I had them in there!

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  9. Donna, you crack me up, and more so since I recognize myself in all your forgetting, then trying to outwit the forgetfulness. The internet sure doesn't help in that department!

    The reverso is, what someone said, "elegant." My favorite lines:

    "Smallish creature,

    one of tasty feature,

    snatched -

    taloned 

    breath;
..."

    Now looking forward to more of the turkeys next week.

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    Replies
    1. You are so right about the Internet...I am constantly battling IIDD (Internet Induced Distraction Disorder).

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