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