Friday, January 15, 2016

My Mistake

a puff of white
precedes each of my
footfalls as I jog                                                               
Kerri is hosting today's Poetry Friday Roundup!
on the desert path

from a distance I see
your supine form
stretched amid the
dried grass
sunning yourself in the
feverless winter sunshine

the arc and swerve
of your body
frozen in mid-undulation
catches my eye                                                                

I stop short
proceed with caution

one end of you is
tipped up in warning
but no rattling sound
accompanies your stance

the other end
shunned from my view
holds no clue
to your lifeless body

when I am right above you
I realize you are
a winter snake
a stick snake

my mistake

but good practice
come spring

36 comments:

  1. It's the noticing that I love, Bridget. You clearly are aware of the need to look for danger, those rattlers. This fooled me until the "stick" snake, love that image, the advice & the picture.

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    1. Thank you, Linda! I'm always aware (wary) jogging in the desert - even in winter when the snakes are hibernating. =)

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  2. You capture this moment well-- I can picture it clearly. As mistakes go, that's a pretty great one to make. You're so right, "good practice/come spring"!

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    1. Thanks, Tabatha! I love it when my mistake turns out to be a stick instead of the real thing - which has happened when I took a "shortcut" on a desert path. Yikes.

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  3. I loved "winter snake".
    Just so you get a picture of my mindset... in the beginning I thought you were jogging in the snow, as we are here. The "puff of white" threw me off!
    And in Maine, we would think nothing of seeing a snake. No poisonous snakes in Maine. Amazing how different meanings, different images, different feelings are evoked depending on where one lives!

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    1. Thank you, Donna! We've had an exceptionally cold winter (by Sonoran desert standards). Plenty of morning jogs in the 30's - I can see my breath, but luckily no snow on the ground. I'd love to jog in Maine (in the summer) and not have to worry about poisonous snakes! =)

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  4. I can see this perfectly. I love feverless winter sunshine and stick snake/my mistake.

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    1. Thank you, Liz! There has been plenty of sunshine this winter, but without much heat (relatively speaking, of course). =)

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  5. Bridget, I agree with the others, this poem is one that captures my attention and changes my direction of thought toward the end. Since I have never been on a desert trail, I can only imagine it. Your visual presented a clear picture in my mind. If you are interested in offering this poem/photo to my next gallery (a winter one to be announced soon) please think about how you would combine them and let me know. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Carol, for the invitation! I would love to share this photo/poem combo if someone can point me in the direction of a program/app that would facilitate the process. I'm not very savvy about how to do that. =)

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    2. Bridget, if you go to PicMonkey (free on the internet) you can go to the collage icon-choose the two square form. Play around with getting your photo to fit and then bring the combo back to PicMonkey to type the poem on the other side. It takes a little bit of time to make it work but if that falls place the photo at the top of a word doc. Type the poem in two columns under it. Place your name and location at the bottom and then take a screenshot. Send it to my cvarsalona gmail account. You can write to me to figure this out but I am excited that you are interested.

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    3. I'll attempt it this week...I may be contacting you for help, Carol. =)

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  6. Funny thing about those Tucson critters, Bridget... they're in cahoots with Mother Nature's prankster uncle, I'm sure of it. Keep puffing!

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    1. So true, Michelle! Thank goodness for the Tucson critter, too, or I would have nothing to write poetry about! hee-hee =)

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  7. Oh, wow, Bridget - very nice poem!! (I had a similar experience with a dead-but-only-freshly-dead copperhead once.) Thanks for sharing your desert life with us!

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    1. Thank you, Robyn! Ack, a copperhead would give me quite a fright - live or dead! =)

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  8. I can totally see why you might (in your poem or in real life) seen a snake in this stick. Wonderful poem. We never know what we will find out in nature.

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    1. Thank you, Laura! Maybe it is my bad eyesight, but this stick tricked me at first. =)

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  9. Love this! I regularly see snakes where there aren't any, but once almost walked on a snake I mistook for a garden hose.

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    1. Thank you, Sally, for letting me know that I am not the only one who sees snakes when they are not there - or almost stepping on them when they are. (The latter happened when we took a "shortcut" off the path. Yikes!) =)

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  10. Proceeding with caution seems like the best policy! Nice poem!

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    1. Indeed, year round in the desert. Thanks, Ruth! =)

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  11. I love the pacing of your poem -- running along, slowing, slowing...stopped, but ready to start running, now that the danger has been identified. Nice!

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    1. Thanks, Mary Lee! My jogging pace is rather slow so as to facilitate my scanning the path for critters. At least that's what I tell myself. lol =)

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  12. Your poem shows me how the most ordinary of experiences can become a poem--if one just pays attention.

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    1. Thank you, Violet! Yes, my ordinary life is the subject of a lot of my poetry - for better or worse. =)

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  13. a winter snake, a stick snake, my mistake... could be a haiku! :) Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Excellent suggestion, Irene! My next poem about jogging will be a haiku! =)

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  14. Hi Bridget! I love how you set the tone and *show* how cold it is with your breath. I'm in the camp of, "If I'm running something is chasing me," or I guess, "If I'm running, look for a snake."

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    1. Thank you, Keri! You're too funny with your "camp" motto's - how about the "If I'm running a snake is chasing me"? hee-hee =)

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  15. Feverless winter sunshine is a great image. Lots of sharp noticing.

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    1. Thank you, Doraine! Our sun has been bright, but not so warm as of late (though I know that will change too soon). =)

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  16. Oftentimes, poets see hidden things in nature that make us stop and marvel at the beauty around us. Lovely poem, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Myra! There is a lot to marvel at if we take our time - or have motivation in the form of a snake. =)

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  17. Oh. Different snake. (We live in taipan territory.) But I know this feeling well! How many more 'not-a-snake's did you see after that first fright? I'm guessing there were more... (Or is that just me?)

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    1. Yes, I've had many 'not-a-snake' frights, and some 'yikes, it IS a snake' ones too. Thanks for reading and commenting on my poem, Kat. =)

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