Happy Friday the 13th, everybody. I’m not superstitious, but why is it that the printer is on the fritz today when I need to get my tax forms copied and out to the post? Never mind.
I have selected another batch of photos from our camping trip to Wyalusing and found a way to tie in the NaPoWriMo poetry challenge as well. I promise I’ll get to spelunking and sunsets, but not today. Today, it’s about the river….or rivers, as the Wisconsin and the Mississippi meet up. Riparian zones (as scientists call the interface between river or stream and land) are great habitats for lots of diverse flora and fauna. I told you about the wild turkeys in my last post. More majestic in flight and about the same size, I found turkey vultures (or buzzards) and a bald eagle also enjoying all the area has to offer. Bluff skimming, aerial gliding and diving, wind surfing…I think it would just be a blast to be one of the soaring carnivores. You have to forgive me for not being equipped with the kind of camera equipment that can capture some of that flight. Imagine instead that a swift shadow passes your peripheral vision, and you instinctively look upward, like any small mammal might. Your gaze follows this heavenly creature until the last feather passes from view, and you realize you’ve forgotten to breathe. They do that to me. I don’t even think about trying to take a photo. I also didn’t photograph the little field mouse we saw on the path we had just trekked a few minutes ago. It wasn’t there the first time around. It was obviously dead, but not marked or chewed. My guess is that it was a fresh catch that got accidentally dropped from the height of flight and left for lost. That picture stays in my mind only, out of respect.
The poetry prompt for today is to compose a “ghazal”. Here’s the description from the NaPoWriMo site:
This is an old Persian form of poetry, and rather strange if you’re used to European meter-and-rhyme forms. A ghazal is made of couplets. Traditionally, the the two lines of the first couplet end with the same word or phrase, and then that same word/phrase is used to end the second line of each succeeding couplet. All of the lines are supposed to be of about the same length, although there is no formal meter or syllable count. If you want to get super traditional/technical, the last couplet is supposed to refer to the poet, either by name, or through some kind of allusion.
Photos first, I think, then the poem. Hope you enjoy!
High up on the hilltop, the breeze makes me shiver
Pushing cloud shadows gracefully over the river.
On invisible gusts, buzzards hover, each feather an instrument
Tuned to the wind, sailing the currents here over the river.
Spring greening the banks, sheltered nests in the reeds,
Weeping willows’ and cottonwoods’ pollen and seeds cover the river.
A sand bar glows golden, inviting for rest any swimmers
Grown weary in late evening’s quest to cross over the river.
As the light glances, changing mood, color and hue, I am breathless
And dreamy, entranced. Miss Priscilla, in awe, can’t get over the river.