Ice Cream and a Wok: A Poem

This is a little moment I had today that I decided to turn into a poem, which I hope you enjoy.

green woodpecker bird tree birch
It looked a little something like this… (Image by Jan KASZUBA from Pixabay)

When I cycled up the drive

coming back from Sainsbury’s, with

panniers full of ice cream

and a cheap wok, I startled

a green woodpecker off the gravel,

and into a tree. It made a noise

somewhere between a caw

and a coo, as if it were saying,

how could you, how could you

in an indignant tone of voice.

And how could I?

Interrupt this moment of peace,

of calm, where this bird had trusted

the stillness, how could I break it?

For something so trivial

as ice cream and a wok.

The process of writing this poem was to first start with something small, which was this particular moment in my day where I startled the woodpecker, and then go outwards from that. Oftentimes, people try to start their poem from some large concept, but can’t ground it. It’s much easier to start small and work outwards, in my opinion. From there, I thought about the sound the bird had been making, then personified it with speech to ask the question, “how could you”. I also utilized an internal rhyme with “coo” in this section to make it flow more naturally. This is where I was able to bring in the larger concept of human interactions with nature.

The ice cream I bought today was Häagen-Dazs Belgian chocolate and it’s amazing. You should go buy some.

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If you have any feedback on this poem, my creative process, or anything about my blog, please leave a comment down below!

2 thoughts on “Ice Cream and a Wok: A Poem

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