Saturday, February 22, 2014

Creative Writing Poetry Assignment - "Grateful Blue Heron"

I haven't written a blog in a long time.  It was a combination of laziness, not writing anything worth sharing, and not being able to access this blog-site.  This a the poem that I wrote for an assignment for Creative Writing class at Coastal Carolina University.  It received mixed reviews.  I had a hard time deciding between the title I used and "My Blue Heron".  Did I pick the right one?

This poem was written in response to the following prompt:

"Write a poem, 20-30 lines and unrhymed, using one of the following options:
Animal – The basic elements of Malamud’s ecocritical aesthetic are: seeing
animals without hurting them; seeing them in their contexts; teaching about
animals; advocating respect for them; and finally knowing them, richly but also
incompletely. With this in mind, as well as the poems discussed in class, write a
poem about a specific animal. As much as possible, limit yourself to concrete
detail and physical description. Try to include a sensory detail at least every third
line. As seen fit, bring in background to help characterize the animal."

                                    Grateful Blue Heron

My arrival disturbed the tranquility of the pond,
shattering the stillness with my human gracelessness.
Lesser birds scattered, fleeing for safer waters,
but one denizen of the marsh simply changed focus.
Across  the mirrored  pool, solo fishing interrupted,
the heron turned his cold gold eyes to me.
Balanced on stilted legs, the magnificent creature
curiously watched me prepare to join the piscary.
A blue-gray statue frozen between fish or flight,
camouflaged by a bank of marsh elder and spartina.
The heron flinched when I broke the glass of the surface,
casting my worm-threaded hook halfway towards him.
A small hapless bream immediately
fell victim to my subterfuge.  The heron  
observed, mesmerized by my success.
With a few graceful flaps he propelled his hollow-boned body,
racing his shadow across the water, legs trailing,
to a less than elegant landing on the bank next to me.  
He stared me down like a dog for bacon,
eternal hunger trumping instinctive wariness. 
I threw him the non-keeper that I had just reeled in.
He accepted it with silent gratitude
and guzzled it down his long thin neck.
The heron became a cautious confederate,
edging closer, his unblinking eyes never straying.
Waiting patiently as only a shorebird can.