This week my big stack of library books includes NIGHT BECOMES DAY: Changes in Nature by Cynthia Argentine (Millbrook Press, 2022.) The book draws connections between seemingly disparate agents of change in nature–waves washing away footprints in sand is compared to rivers wearing away canyons; the speed of pumpkin tendrils wrapping around a rope compared to the slow growth of an acorn to an oak; and hot magma bursting from a volcano compared to the cold, slow scraping of a glacier. The stunning photos that accompany the text pull a reader in, and I imagine a child would pore over them, gradually seeing the similarities between river and waves, the growth of different plants, and geological forces that shape the land. And perhaps drawing their own connections when they observe the world around them.
I was particularly taken with the lyrical language in the text. Although written in prose, some lines read like poetry. Consider the description of snowflakes in this spread:
Did you know that snowflakes are born of dust? I had forgotten that fact, although it reminded me that clouds begin as “flecks of airborne dust.” Aha! Maybe I can follow the books lead and write something that connects snowflakes and clouds… dust specks and dust specks? Here’s a speedy draft, inspired by Cynthia Argentine’s description, that perhaps I will revisit.
Flecks of dust lift
High in the sky
a raft for water
to cool, cling, condense–
into puffs and piles
High in the sky
with cold, cold water
that fall and grow,
fall and grow
into sparkling, starry
Although we’ve had a few snow storms, we are now snow-free in Michigan. Maybe by Tuesday’s solstice there will be some starry snow.
Looking for more poetry? Jone Rush Macculloch is rounding up this week’s Poetry Friday Post with the jingling and tinkling of bells.