I Am Not a Squirrel!

I’ve been enjoying my daily poetry exchange with Liz Steinglass for National Poetry Month. Liz has been posting a poem inspired by the contents of her desk on her blog every day. Most of mine are not ready for prime time and are sitting in a file. But I’ve decided to share one poem a week in an effort to put some April poetry out in the world.

This poem was inspired by Tricia Stohr-Hunt’s challenge to write a somonka, which according to Tricia is “a Japanese form that consists of two tanka written in tandem. The first tanka is usually a declaration of love, with the second a response to that declaration. While this form usually requires two authors, it is possible for one poet to write from both perspectives.” My pair of tanka is far from a declaration of love and response. Rather it is a contrast between the squirrel-like critter I would like to be and the reality of my procrastination. I wrote it one morning after staying up until 2:00 am to meet a writing deadline.

Source: http://www.naturalheritage.com/news-events/event-detail.aspx?id=144

Squirrel gathers nuts:
digging here, burying there,
mapping his treasure,
driven to hoard and stockpile,
hustling from daybreak to dusk.

I squander my days–
no frenzy of gathering,
no furor of work
until a deadline draws near,
rousing my inner squirrel.
–Buffy Silverman, all rights reserved


Don’t procrastinate in checking out all of the Poetry Friday treats around the internet. Laura Purdie Salas has today’s roundup on her blog.

37 thoughts on “I Am Not a Squirrel!

  1. Ha! My inner squirrel is fat and sleepy this morning. 🙂 In fact, I think that’s the kind of squirrel I would like to be… one all full and happy, just about to enter hibernation. 🙂 Thank you for this poem! xo

  2. Buffy,
    Thank you for sharing this delightful poem. I enjoyed the contrast between the squirrel and you. Thank you for introducing me to the somonka. I may have to give it a try this month.


  3. Oh, Buffy – as usual, I can relate. Yesterday was a mad-dash to turn in a big (just slightly overdue, kinda) freelance writing project then scramble around to clean up the house, more or less, before the arrival of visiting in-laws. I need to summon my inner squirrel way more than I do! But maybe Michelle’s right, and some of us have late-night poetry-writing squirrels like Ulysses. ;0)

  4. Love your inner squirrel–that’s a pretty funny image! Glad you’re sharing some, Buffy, and leave it to Tricia to show you a form you haven’t heard of before. She does that all the time to me!

  5. I am enjoying our daily exchange too! I think you only changed one word, right? Stockpile. But it gives the last two lines a whole different shine.

  6. I watch the squirrels outside all the time & wonder where they find the energy in our arid climate with seemingly so few things to eat, but they scurry, finding–& eating! Your own frenzy, if like the squirrels, must reap its own reward, Buffy!

  7. Love the poem –especially the idea of “rousing my inner squirrel.” Your word choice is also great–squander, hoard, frenzy. Thanks for sharing!

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