Giraffe in Summer, © 2009 Michelle Kogan, pen and ink.
Happy Poetry Friday!
and Happy Summer!
At the beginning of June Laura Purdie Salas, who is a poet, author, and member of a group of Poets known as the Poetry Princesses/Poetry Sisters/Poetry 7 posts, invited all their Poetry Friends who have been following their postings to join them in their monthly poetry challenge, which takes place on the last Friday of each month. Thanks to all the Poetry Sisters for extending this invitation! Here’s their challenge this month: “theme is susurrus, or an image of thick woods, whatever form we wish!” I couldn’t escape susurrus-it’s sounds drew me in and wouldn’t let go…
SOUNDS OF SUSURRUS…
Susurrus surfaced some
200 years ago–shy six years…
It crept out quietly,
from hum thrumming of cricket’s
wings rubbing, while lost in lyrical love
It hung in evening air, filling all ears
with rushshshing hushshshing katydids
doing their stridulating summer thing
It beat its wings in bees, and
gave bigger winged one’s slooower beats,
and even looower busy buzzing
It hums through evening… Once thought silent, this
sleek giant, perhaps connects with others or catches dreams–
Let’s lift up our plummeting giraffe population…
Hum thrumming susurrus, wherever you come from
hum your heart away, and stay forever more…
© 2020 Michelle Kogan
Make sure you turn your volume up, their hums are very low…
I came across this gem of a giraffe poem…
By Lucie Brock-Broido
In another life, he was Caesar’s pet, perhaps a gift from Cleopatra
When she returned to Rome Her hair salty and sapphired
From bathing, the winged kohl around her eyes smudged
From heat. In another life, he was from Somalia
Where he spent hours watching clouds
In shapes of feral acrobats tipping along their tightropes
Spun of camels’ hair and jute.
His eyes were liquid, kind.
His lashes each as long as a hummingbird’s tongue.
His fetlocks puffed from galloping, his tail curled upward
From the joy of feeling fleet across the tinted grasslands
And the gold savannahs there.
Do you find me colorful as well?
Once, in another life in the Serengeti, he stretched his neck
To feed on the acacia twigs, mimosa, wild apricot.
He was gentle and his heart was as long
As a human’s arm.
At night, the others of his species hummed to each other across
The woodlands there; no one knows how, exactly, to this day,
But you can hear their fluted sounds.
Pliny the Elder wrote that,
In the circus of the hunting-theatres of ancient Greece,
He would be safe.
He was considered among the curiosities.
The House of the Medici found him novel,
And he pleased them mightily.
Do you find my story pleasing, too?
Even on the ship to France,
The sailors cut an oblong hole
Through the deck above the cargo hold to allow his head
To poke safely through.
When he arrived they dressed him in royal livery
To walk the seven hundred leggy kilometres
From Marseilles to Paris to be presented
To the Queen Who fed him rose petals from her hand.
At Thebes, in the tomb of the Valley of the Kings,
He was depicted in a hieroglyph, his forelegs gently tethered
By two slaves with a green monkey clinging to his neck like a child
Just along for the ride.
Do you think I have imagined this?
Read the rest of the poem and hear the poet reading her poem here.
Karen Eastlund at her blog, Karen’s Got a Blog! is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday roundup, thanks Karen! She’s sharing some poems from her Norwegian heritage, and some very cut puppies too.
Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.