Yesterday, Kurt and I were walking at Popham Beach and came across a protected nesting area for terns and plovers. We stopped to watch a swaggering bird trying to entice his mate. He held a shining fish in his beak and strutted back and forth across the sand. She walked away several times but he followed, undeterred, opening his wings, crossing them, and brandishing that fish about madly! What a show!
Today’s task at Teachers Write was to write a 12-line rhyming poem in couplets or quatrains, paying close attention to rhythm. I tried to tackle this moment of avian courtship in my poem. This was fun but quite challenging–Free verse definitely comes more naturally to me. Interestingly, I found that writing in rhyme changed the tone of the poem for me–made it more playful.
(Oh–and I must admit, I did not know the word “avicular.” I first used avian, but it didn’t work for me, rhythmically, so I searched for a synonym.)
A birdie did a courtin’ go
along the beach one day.
A fine slim fish he swanked about
to lure his wary prey.
He postured on the sun-baked sand,
spreading his wings aloft.
He sidled up to get in close,
his dark eye keen and soft.
Repeatedly he shook his beak,
with sparkling fish inside.
This must be avicular talk
for “Will you be my bride?”