Topic: Ways to write on black paper
June 20, 2019 / By Ida Question:
It is rare when something happens to you that is so strange you feel compelled to immediately capture the event on paper. Yet that is just what happened to me in the summer of 2008 and, after showering, I sat down at the computer and began to type.
I live along the banks of Bacon Creek in Sheridan, Michigan, and I get to see a great deal of wildlife going about its business throughout the summer. I had been watching a Great Blue Heron hunting along the bank of a large pond in my front yard on a beautiful Sunday morning last May. Normally, when I blunder outside, he flies off, but this time, maybe because I was quite far away and sitting still, he tolerated me. I watched him successfully nabbing fish for about fifteen minutes as he walked and waded his favorite side of my pond, sometimes up on the bank, and sometimes knee-deep and poised for action. A lightening quick thrust of his bill into the water, a hearty splash, a flash of silver, a vigorous shaking of the head...and down goes lunch.
When he got to the pond’s Northeast corner, where it’s a little deeper just offshore, and where several seven-foot saplings are growing out of the water, he started to exhibit some behavior I had never seen before---he began to beat his wings on the ponds surface. He would flap them three or four times, and then give a little lurch, and then rest. He seemed stuck in that one area. After a minute or so, he had managed to flap his way half onto the bank. He rested his head and neck on the bank with his huge wings outstretched on the water. Then after a few moments, he again started flapping---sending up tremendous splashes but not really going anywhere. I thought for a second maybe the poor guy had become tangled in the tree limbs or something but his wings appeared to be working fine. So I wondered if one of his legs was in trouble. Maybe caught on root? Something had him pretty riled, and in the back of my mind a gnawing dread began to form. I went over to investigate.
He was keeping an eye on me as I neared, but made no attempt to flee. I walked right over to him, and I pondered my next move. No heron had ever let me get anywhere near this close, so at that point I assumed my suspicions were correct and that he was in need of some kind of assistance. I maneuvered my way down the four-foot slope and stepped into the water. The big guy flapped and lurched and moved a foot or so away from me, and away from the bank. Mud oozed between my toes as I slowly waded closer to him. His crown was spiking above a wild yellow and white eye, and we stared at each other distrustfully as I neared. His impressive bill–-so close and colorful---was a blend of orange and yellow and peach, wetly gleaming with a plastic shine. The water was above my knees as I slowly reached beneath the surface and calmly secured his leg in my hand. It felt surprisingly cold, and very strong and springy, like an old waterlogged tree root. Not really knowing what else to do, I gently pulled upward. I felt some resistance down there, as if his foot was attached to a bungee cord or something… but suddenly he squawked (honked?) loudly several times right in my ear and made a lunging motion at my head, scaring the daylights out of me and prompting me to immediately let go of his leg.
He managed to move a few feet away from me, flapping towards the center of the pond. If I wanted to try again I was going to get a little wetter. It wasn’t a decision arrived at instantly, I confess---I had to think about it for a few seconds. But I had come this far--I couldn't just go back onshore and watch him die, could I? So I waded out a little further---water up to my navel now, and sinking ankle-deep in black muck. Again, I came along side my Great Blue buddy, who was floating low and still eyeing me with a fair amount of alarm. I murmured a few soothing phrases as I reached beneath him, found his leg and once more began to slowly pull upward.
Edyth | 5 days ago
Long ago I heard this album I had been anxiously awaiting and
I remember my excitement freeing my new little treasure from it's
plastic case. Putting it on for the first time to fly along with me as my
fingers struggled with my keyboard to bring across a story I wanted
off... owt... away from me. But it never dawned on me at the time I wrote
that a whole bunch of other stories and songs were happening and
being born inside, outside and all around at the very same time that I
haha :) well sort of like even now you see.
Well the next thing I knew, I recognized something in the music that
suddenly had both my arms up in the air swaying back and forth to
Ello! The sound of the birds! A whole army of them. Listen.
Can you hear them?
I had to come back and leave this with you because more than once
after reading some of the poems and stories on here, it came to mind
but after reading your story a couple times about the heron and wow
if you do change it, I hope it's not too much because it is as lovely
as the whole album and that was just a tiny fragment of a magical
place such as Michi. Only leggy adventure I had in my yard was when
I had to rip off one of the roots and leave it buried under the soil so I could
replant a clematis in order to save it's life. It was quite a struggle and
harrowing experience for me because I worried what if it was screaming
and cursing me out and I just didn't know it because I am deaf to that
sort of thing and not a good a proper clematis whisperer.
Tighten it up, Cheese. Too much dead-wood, etc. in this piece.
(Revised Lines 1 through 3)
It's rare when something happens that's so strange,
you feel an urgency to capture this event in words.
Summer, 2008, I experienced this.
I could hardly wait to reach my PC and began typing.
Avoid having all sentences stretching from margin to margin.
Find interesting "break points", eliminate unnecessary descriptions
and declarations the readers will assume and become a participant.
Good story, Cheese.
the cheese whisperer
I am excited with this one, and you left us at a steep enough cliff where I want more. Your descriptive imagery really brought life to your story. This is what I find amazing about story type poetry. I know some will not call it poetry, but you clearly have to be selective in your discourse, as you only have one shot and keeping us involved, and you achieved that with flying colors. IMO you may have over-worked the 'big guy" buddy relationship with this the heron, but I do admire how you took a chance with it, and it is only a minor consideration to modify on a re-write. You did extremely will here CW.
CW--- I read part 2 first and then part 1 so I think you gave the heron back to the turtle, but in any case your description is definately Wild Kingdom worthy, and you have a serious knack for prositry. I wouldn't change anything,I liked the adventure very much---Keep Them Coming----------william