a wandering woman writes

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Everyday poetry

This week's Poetry Thursday prompt was "everyday" - using an everyday phrase, something you say all the time, as fodder for a poem.

Well, I didn't do that. Because this day I am diligently finishing up work and packing up belongings for a weekend away, I thought I'd post a little prose painting - of something I DO do everyday - watch the storks that live in Salamanca's steeples. I wrote this last summer, watching the baby storks leap off the New Cathedral as they learned to fly.

Here's a tiny prose celebration of the poetry in every day experiences, then, like glancing up to find flight school in session:

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Learning to Fly

I see her pace out to the end of his nose. An ugly, cold stone gargoyle's nose, dark now from the dampness of the afternoon's rain. Then two leaps, two short half-pirouetting leaps like a barefoot child on hot sand and whoooosh, she does it. She throws her head forward, wind rushing through the fluffy down lining her tiny white head as she swoops off the gargoyle, kicking her red legs back behind her. She spreads her shaky young wings. I watch her experiment. First legs to the left, then legs to the right, finally legs straight below, bringing her long slender body into an odd sitting position. More like a feathered hang-glider than a stork student pilot. She picks up speed and loses speed. She celebrates her Cathedral near misses, perhaps just the fact that they stay near misses, with long slow ascents that end in quick, sudden dives. Exhilarating. For both of us. I suspect she is hearing her heart pound through her veins just as I am hearing mine. Pigeons caw, her parents rattle their beaks a bit, school children come shouting through the plaza, but she is silent, focused. Working. By the end of my half-an-hour watch, while I sit cross-legged against the cold, damp walls of Plaza John XXIII, feeling some 17th-century mason's stonework dig into the small of my back, she is gliding like her parents. Like a sailboat, struggling under the engine power of her wings until she finds it - a rush of warm air - and follows it, wherever it wants to take her. She spreads her wings wide as she can. Then, stretching her legs out behind her like a cliff diver, she stills and lets the warm current carry her, the wind just a whisper in her face.

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7 Comments:

  • Learning to Fly, that's a fascinating write, you painted a lovely, vibrant picture with words

    By Blogger Delaleuverses, at 9:10 PM  

  • How wonderful that you capture this memory in poetic prose. I am crazy about birds and loved hearing this tale.

    By Blogger Sacred Suzie, at 10:26 PM  

  • I loved this ... thanks. It made me remember how it was to see the Albatross back home in New Zealand.

    Keep painting :)

    By Blogger woman wandering, at 11:47 PM  

  • this is poetry indeed in the every day. i would love to see something like this some day. thank you for taking me there...

    By Blogger liz elayne, at 12:02 AM  

  • Having just had flight school here put an extra smile on my face. Of course, yours is more brilliant. Blue jays lack a certain...well silence, would be one thing.
    I love this post...one of my favorite things you have written. You capture it beautifully...a can feel that last part, you really take us into being that storklet.

    By Blogger Laura Young, at 2:14 PM  

  • What patience you had to sit there and watch a bird learn to fly! Our lives are so busy, I don't think I've ever had the time to stop and observe this for myself...thank you! Loved how you ground the poem in the 17th-century stone mason's work grinding into your body...

    By Blogger Ceebie, at 2:38 PM  

  • This is so beautiful and poetic! I watched some baby storks in Cordoba, but only for a few minutes.

    Enjoy your weekend away!

    By Blogger paris parfait, at 12:29 AM  

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