Slice of Life: Noticing The Moments As Poems

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

Summer ain’t over yet but it’s getting there … so I am trying to quiet my mind a bit before the frantic start of a new school year, using my daily morning poetry to notice moments. It’s sort of like some zen incantation, how writing words as poems of moments of stillness gives the head a chance to pause.

Four Moments

Two small finch
balanced on stems,
nibbling seeds,
their hollow bones
in perfect sync
with summer flower,
fluttering, bending,
but holding steady,
swaying in the breeze

The dragonfly
alights to the edge
of the boat,
lands and waits,
as I draw in paddles
to let us float,
its wings a-hover,
a stillness moment
of quiet wonder

They climb the tree
that is a castle
that becomes a cloud
that moves a mountain
that starts a story
that becomes a poem
that looks its way out
on the wider world
where we are only wandering by,

In the aftermath
of the receding,
with the world
painted in brushes
of broken limbs
and damaged parts,
the evening sky
casts us a glow
in pink, amber, blue –
an act of forgiving
while still giving
the storm its due

Peace (sharing it with you),

  1. Such a nice meditation for my morning. We started school and I’m happy to be with kids again. I miss the spread of time to write. But now I’m writing with them.
    I like the rhythm of the “that” lines in this part:
    “that starts a story
    that becomes a poem
    that looks its way out
    on the wider world
    where we are only wandering by,
    Wander in wonder…

  2. I love the “hollow bones” in the first verse, and like Margaret I also love the rhythm and fairy-tale quality of the third verse. And finally, the image of the colors of the sky “an act of forgiving/while still giving/the storm its due” is so beautiful and original and has me thinking.

  3. I agree–that third stanza is so evocative and beautiful. As a reader, I’m challenged to keep shifting my perspective–to keep re-seeing this slice of the world.

  4. Always enjoy reading others poetry as I try to build my skill with writing it. I walked away with a sense of peace from your words.

  5. Oh, Kevin, what richness and beauty in these four moments. I can see each with you–the birds, the dragonfly and your stopping rowing to appreciate it, the tree-climbers, and the storm aftermath. I am fully there with you with only words. How does that work?

    The lyrical quality of these lines are magical to me today:

    its wings a-hover,
    a stillness moment
    of quiet wonder

  6. I am reading this on a Friday night in mid-August. From the hollow bones of the finch to the “the world/ painted in brushes/ of broken limbs/ and damaged parts” I quiet washed over me as I read your words. A moment of pause before my life slips in again. Thank you.

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