Thursday, March 31, 2011

For the Birds

If you know me at all, you probably know I am not too fond of animals.

Nope, not even the Cottonelle Golden Retriever puppy. Ick. I have nightmares sometimes about people giving me a puppy as a gift, and I hold it at arms length away from my body, pretending to like it, kind of shuddering, not exactly sure what to do with it.

When I think of puppies, all I can think of is fur, constantly shedding fur matted to my couch. Sickening slobber coating my shoes. Pee pads and surprise poop piles and having to get up at 5:00 am to take it outside.

Honestly, some dogs are okay. I just don't want to take care of one. No thank you.

(For all of you quickly pointing out my true obsession with children of all ages, I have no defense. I guess I'm just a people person. I'll put up with baby spitup and poopy diapers all day long. I guess because I know they grow out of it. And they can talk to me. And they are people. End of tirade.)

Anyway, while I was at Barrier Island, I was walking alone to the dance hall for square dancing when I noticed an absolutely ginormous bird standing about 10 feet away from me.

Yes, I came face to face with a Great Blue Heron.

This stunning bird was about half as tall as me and could probably peck both my eyes out in a millisecond. When I first saw her I was a little freaked out, thinking she would pick up on my fear and go for the jugular.

But then I realized she wasn't freaking out about seeing me. She wasn't even phased by my quiet yelp or hurried unzipping of my book bag to grab my digital camera. Even the flash didn't scare her off.

She actually stayed quite still during my whole paparazzi photo-shoot. I couldn't believe how close I actually got to this exotic, majestic, insanely blue bird. Right when I got comfortable, she flew away. One flap of her four foot wings sent her about four yards forward. It was amazing.

As a writer, I knew I just had to capture this moment, put it into words. But not prose. No, only a poem would suit this moment. I hope you enjoy it.

PS: My class is currently writing poems about biotic and abiotic factors we saw on our trip. I'll post some of those when they get finished!

Great Blue Heron
By: Ms. Grimsley

You curtsy in calm pools of glittering green,
Wade in water brimming with life.
Endless living creatures bow down
To you and your majestic reign
As queen of the island.

Your slender legs are planted firmly,
Like a ballet dancer on pointe.
You exude grace
Just standing still.
You are silent, solemn, strong.

The wind, your heavenly chariot,
lifts you effortlessly, regally.
With just one flap of your sapphire gray wings,
You are lifted up, up, up.
Your blend in with the stormy sky and salty sea,
As you wave to your loyal subjects below.

Now I know: I may not be an animal lover, but they sure do offer copious poem-writing opportunities.


  1. You know I love it! I especially love the ending!!


  2. beautiful poem. i would have hated being that close to a giant bird too.