Poetry Friday: Small Comforts

Today’s poem was inspired by Janet Wong’s prompt for Renée LaTulippe’s Community Collection earlier this week. Janet shared “Joyce’s Beauty Salon,” a poem from her book A Suitcase of Seaweed and other Poems. Inspired by Janet’s mother’s beauty salon, the poem recalls women leaving the salon “carrying a lighter load” because of Joyce’s magic. Janet asked poets to consider this: “Is there something you can do—or someone you can count on—to help you “carry your load”?

As I was thinking about Janet’s question, I turned the page on my desk calendar and saw this photo:

Short-tailed Albatrosses, photo by Tui De Roy

These two birds are surely helping one another carry their load! A little research revealed that the short-tailed albatross was hunted nearly to extinction at the turn of the 20th century for its delicate white and yellow feathers. Today, it breeds on only two Japanese islands, one of which is threatened by volcanic eruptions. Scientists are working to establish additional colonies on other islands in an effort to save these beautiful birds.

The look of content on the smaller bird’s face inspired this poem:

No gilded palace
or cushioned throne
could lure me
from our island home.

Murmuring in the moonrise
beak to pearly beak,
By your side forever,
cheek to feathered cheek.

© Catherine Flynn, 2018

Please be sure to visit Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

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14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Small Comforts

  1. I love “beak to pearly beak” and “cheek to feathered cheek.” I haven’t gone to No Water River. I feel already so overwhelmed with writing prompts. I enjoyed reading about your process. So many muses this month…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Catherine, it’s a wonderful love poem. I love that “cheek to feathered cheek” and hearing about these birds, a new endangered species to me. While doing errands this am, I hear the NPR Ted talk, a woman speaking about parenting. She emphasized so very much that half what a child needs is unconditional love, not love for grades or doing well in homework or sports, but love no matter what. Your bird pic and poem reminded me of her strong words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yup. Plenty of “awwww…” in this poem and sweet photo. But when I look closer I see intentional word choice (lure, pearly, feathered), information (island home), and alliteration (murmuring in the moonrise). Great poetry makes hard work look easy.

    Liked by 1 person

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