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:
Mary 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:
My birthday gift—an Axolotl–
swam around his big blue bottle,
lunged for lunch: he ate a lotl.
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
Click on over to The Poem Farm to see what’s up for Poetry Friday!