Monthly Archives: June 2013

Poetry Swap!

Is there anything better than a surprise package in the mail?  This week’s mail brought me a home-made poetry collage (and many oohs and ahhs.)  And I’m willing to share:

2013-06-27 16.05.05Mary Lee Hahn sent me the collage for the first round of this year’s poetry swap, organized by Tabatha.  Mary Lee found the larger-than-life stag beetle sauntering down her sidewalk.  It’s impressive, as is her poem:


A rhino needs a grassy plain,
For worms, the dirt’s essential.
The open sky’s the hawk’s domain,
The mole requires a tunnel.

A spider builds between the weeds,
A front desires a current.
A big soft chair, a book to read:
For me, that is sufficient.
–Mary Lee Hahn, 2013

When I looked at Mary Lee’s artwork I felt a little chagrined about what I had sent Joy Acey for the swap.  A plain old poem on plain old paper with a teeny tiny handwritten note.  Yikes–I better step it up for the next round!

The poem I sent to Joy was inspired by the Viceroy, my daughter’s pet axolotl.  The Viceroy has spent most of its life at Oberlin College, but recently graduated.  S/He’s an impressive amphibian–how many salamanders do you know that have a book dedicated to them?? Viceroy is now in Michigan until said daughter finds a job and flies the coop.  Like any college student, the Viceroy gets much better food at home than at school.  The daughter and I have been catching pond critters that Viceroy snaps up in an instant:

Hungry Axolotl

My birthday gift—an Axolotl–
swam around his big blue bottle,
lunged for lunch: he ate a lotl.

The Viceroy, waiting for lunch

The Viceroy, waiting for lunch

I hunted for fresh axie treats.
He didn’t feast on fruits or sweets,
Preferring snacks with hands and feets:

He lurked below, a silent threat:
That monstrous mouth of my new pet
opened wide as he beset:

swimming beetles, worms that wriggled,
darting tadpoles, nymphs who wiggled,
slimy snails and fish that squiggled.

How far could his jaws expand?
He swallowed toads that hopped on land,
I wondered if he’d chomp my hand!

My axolotol grew and grew,
‘til he was longer than my shoe,
and hungry for a cow or gnu!

If you should get an axolotl,
Find a home that’s not a bottle,
A bathtub is the perfect spotl!
–Buffy Silverman, all rights reserved

18923_originalClick on over to The Poem Farm to see what’s up for Poetry Friday!