OK, I have poems about scary things on my mind this week. I just finished reading The Grizzly Maze: Timothy Treadwell’s Fatal Obsession with Alaskan Bears (excellent book, by the way) and I’m also working on a lesson plan about fear and hope and poetry for a Young Authors Conference.
I grew up in Florida, and alligators are the animal I’m most afraid of. But after the movie Jaws came out when I was 8 years old, sharks were always in the back of my mind whenever I went to the beach and went swimming.
Shoal of Sharks
by Richard O’Connell
"Oh, look at all the porpoise!" someone shouted
While passengers ran to snap their cameras;
But what they leaned toward was a shoal of sharks
Before us, moving like a floating island:
A seething multitude of tails and fins
Fleeing the fury of a hurricane
Hundreds of miles away. They splashed and swarmed.
Slashing the sea to threads of hissing foam…
And because I apparently had bear attacks on the brain, here’s the Monday poem I wrote for the Poetry Stretch at The Miss Rumphius Effect:
Ripped nylon. Claws.
Brush crackles underneath
navy sky, moon as sole witness.
Light creeps through bare black branches to spotlight
burgundy shadows far below.
Sudden, dead air. Silence.
Night prays for more
–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved
That’s a poetic form called a rictameter, which none of us participants had ever heard of before! You can see all the Poetry Stretch poems here.
Gregory K. at Gotta Book has the Poetry Friday roundup today. Stop by and check it out!