Friday, April 10, 2015

I is for Impossible and It's Not How You Start

This is the Interesting, Illustrious and Important Illuminating beyond belief A-to-Z April 2015 Challenge!!!!  And I am an A to Z Participant.  And it is Day 9, Letter I!

Again this year I am writing a poem a day to celebrate National Poetry Month.  It's my FOURTH YEAR in a ROW of writing a poem a day for the A to Z Challenge. My theme this year, is signs I've photographed and poems to go with them.

It is also a posting for Poetry Friday at Laura Purdie Salas' Writing the Word for Kids, a DigiPoetry offering and for Poetry Jam.

This Tuesday, April 6, in the early afternoon, the first osprey returned to the nest on Route 1 in Bath, Maine.  He/she? was so regal sitting up beside the huge nest on the power lines separating the north and south bound lanes.  I look for their return every year.  One year they were back on April 2, but this year, with the snow still mostly covering the ground and ice still on much of the water, I wondered if they would be late.  What they do would seem impossible, but they do it every year, like clockwork without a clock.  In some respects this sign is as much about them as the second poem here.  They start their trips in different places, arriving here within a day or two of each other.  Their distances are different, the weather patterns different, but they end up in the right spot every time!

It's where you end up
that says that you win;
It doesn't much matter
just where you begin.

Some roads are longer
and some roads are rough,
But work through the hardships
when the going gets tough.

Set a good pace, get
your goal in your sights;
Don't waver and wander,
no lefts turns or rights.

Though you may have started
behind all the pack,
Forge a path straight ahead
and never look back.

No it's not where you start
that determines your fate;
It's more how you handle
what's served on your plate.

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

-----------------For Poetry Jam this week - the theme: Impossible Worlds------------------

Impossible World

The ospreys' nest stands cold,
   Piled with winter snow
     A stick bed settling down
       Making a flatter surface
          Than a summertime nest

Come spring,
   come spring,
     and melt away the snow -
 But the ospreys come home
   before the snow can go

They were each in different places:
   Florida, Cuba, Jamaica,
      Puerto Rico, South America -
         First one.  Then the other.

The pair winter apart
   and return within days
      of each other
         to the same nest year,
         after year,
         after year

Raising one,
   two or
      sometimes three young
To continue
   this impossible ritual
      leaving and returning
         to their same partner.

They find fresh sticks
   for the nursery
      and "fluff it up"
         with pointy twigs tucked,
Before starting
   their new family.

How do they know -
   how to build a nest
      to weather storms,
      to shelter
         eggs and young?

How do they know
   it is time
      to come home?

How do they know
   it is time
      to go their separate ways?

How do they know
   where to go
      and where it is
         in this big world?

It is impossible to tell.
It is impossible for me to do all
   they seem to find possible to do
      without a level,
      a calendar,
      a watch,
      a GPS,
      a car...and an airplane -

Yet, all they have
   is themselves.

Maybe all we need is to
   carry an osprey with us;

But I guess
   that would
      REALLY be

©Donna JT Smith, 2015


  1. That's a great message! I think this is my favorite poem that you've shared for the Challenge so far. :)

  2. So very true! It does seem almost impossible for birds to find their way home.....they have had their own gps system that works flawlessly - for years. And not to mention knowing how to build nests. And we humans think WE are intelligent. Smiles.

  3. Ospreys are beautiful animals and birds are indeed fascinating. I like what you made us see of them. I also enjoyed the first poem, especially the first stanza.

  4. Donna,

    Love these aspects of impossible, yet very possible through your poetic examples..The bird instinct and habits are amazing and so much taken for granted by humans..Then, what life offers on our plates and how we manage it all with our options taken...Superb words..


  5. This is a very extraordinary piece of work :D
    Loved the lines:

    Come spring,
    come spring,
    and melt away the snow -
    But the ospreys come home
    before the snow can go

    Nice even flow throughout the poem... giving a sense of calming peace :D

  6. The two poems compliment each other well - just the thing to shake off the end-of-a-long-winter lethargy and greet the arrival of spring.

  7. Maybe we have that osprey within us, but just don't know how to access the knowledge. Love the story you've shared, prose & poetry, Donna!

  8. I want to figure out how to find that osprey within me...and how to live the last stanza of your first poem!

  9. yes it would have been great if we really could carry an osprey with enjoyable poem Donna...

  10. Wow--what wonderful two poems! I love the kind of jaunty tone of the first one--and don't so many kids need to hear that today. And that second one is so lovely/meditative, and then...that hysterical suggestion of carrying an osprey with us. On top of two fun poems, something in your post itself gave me an idea for the pantoum I'm working on. Thank you!

  11. I loved both poems, Donna. The first was inspirational and perfect for building self-confidence and filling one's heart with courage. The second was a beautiful reflection on the grandeur of nature and its multitude of creatures, each having adapted to a life that fits in so well with that of others. Lovely offerings for Poetry Jam!


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