Monday 11 September 2017

Come Back, This Will Only Take A Minute If You Hold Still

It's Poetry Monday! Diane (who started the challenge) suggested Nature as this week's topic, to give us a boost and some focus. But if you're inclined to write about something else, please do! There aren't any rules; we just want to encourage the writing of poetry of any kind. Post in the comments on any of our blogs, or if you post on your own blog be sure to leave us your blog address in the comments.

Check out Diane's blog (HERE) and Delores' blog (HERE) for their poems. Joan (of Devon) also contributes regularly in the comments here. Other folks are leaving poems or links quite often, too. Check out the comments to see them - there is a lot of talent and everyone has a different take on the weekly topics. If anyone wants to join on a regular basis, please let us know and we'll include you in the preamble each week.

In view of the direction I took with this week's topic, I think we need some introductory comments.

I had already been musing about the idea of having a tail.

Before you start backing away from me with that funny look in your eyes, let me explain how I got there. If you've been reading regularly, you will remember that our big fluffy black cat has gone to live with our son. Here he is, before he moved away:

I hope you can see his tail here. Photographing a black cat can be a challenge. And who could have predicted I'd need a better picture of his tail at some point?

Anyway, it turns out that Mr. Floofy was responsible for nine-tenths of the cat hair issue we had here. (Sorry, son. I didn't realize.)

That got me thinking about what it would be like to be covered in long, fine fur all over and not be able to ever, ever, ever get away from it. And, in particular, for a cat who bathes with its tongue, what would it be like to have a tail covered in that amount of fur?

Then I got to thinking about what it would be like to have a tail, in general. Or to have other things humans don't have.

Oh, for goodness' sake, before you run away completely, here's my poem.


And You Thought The Bionic Man Was Special

Have you ever thought that being human-shaped is kind of dull and boring?
No doubt our opposable thumbs are an advantage but after that it's all downhill.
Compare our two arms and two legs to a bird with two wings soaring ...
We're stuck on the ground while he flies high without a single pill.

Or consider the elephant with his elegant and useful trunk,
So sensitive it can find and pick up a single blade of grass by touch;
Strong enough to knock down trees and pick up heavy junk;
So agile it can open any human-made, one-handed latch.

And speaking of prehensile appendages, what about a monkey's tail?
It's like a fifth hand, while humans are lucky to have two (and could often use a third).
Imagine the thrill of swinging securely along a treetop trail!
It would be just as glorious as flying like a bird.

And what if we could bring our homes with us like the tortoise does?
And if we're threatened simply pull in our head and limbs and be safe?
All snug inside our fortress, uncaring what the danger was,
While the thing outside that meant to eat us can only growl and chafe.

Then there is the lowly fish, a swimmer extraordinaire.
He spends his days and nights where we cannot survive for long,
Pulling oxygen from the water with his gills, just as we breathe the air ...
We say he's lower on the evolutionary scale, but maybe we're wrong.

So many of Nature's creatures have been given (or have retained)
Extra-special features -- like deluxe models of the basic animal form ...
Why on earth does man think he has the right to rule and reign?
Is our brain our only saving grace? The thought leaves me, at most, lukewarm.

Yes, but some days maybe I shouldn't be allowed to write down what I think ...


For seven facts you might not know about the elephant's trunk, click HERE.

For a brief but adorable video of a baby elephant trying to figure out what that thing on the front of his head is, click HERE.


I'm not sure why I started out thinking about tails but now I'm concentrating on trunks. Your guess is as good as mine.


If you could have any "extra-special feature" that another species in the animal kingdom has, what would it be?


Elephant's Child said...

I love your poem and have often thought that we are seriously deluded in considering ourselves the peak of evolution.
I would like wings. But I would also like a tail - for the lashing of, if nothing else. And how I would love to be as supple as a cat (and rather a lot of other animals).

Jimmy said...

Very interesting take on all the different animals and their abilities, being able to fly like a bird would be quite a thrill, but having a tail for better balance or for a third hand wouldn't be a bad thing either.

River said...

Extra special feature? Fingernails as strong and sharp as bear claws, eyes as sharp as an eagle, teeth as strong as pretty much anything else.
Apart from that, I like being human, we're adaptable, we can move around and live (survive) in many different places, we can swim like fish AND walk on land, even fly if we learn to hang-glide, or take a plane.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Having a couple of cats, I know their taill are all about attitude.

Martha said...

Oh, cute poem! And I had a good laugh with that baby elephant and his trunk. So adorable. But then, baby elephants are always adorable.

Wings would be nice. I wouldn't mind having wings!

baili said...

please keep expecting me such mistake(though i will try best to avoid) but i know it is hard for stupid like me ,i read your both posts and wrote the comment belong to upper one below ,sorry about this

Red said...

So we're not half as good as we thought we were! Interesting idea to explore.

jenny_o said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way (about our delusions!), EC.

A tail for lashing! I hadn't thought of that but I love it.

jenny_o said...

I think flying would be pretty good, too. I've watched a few drone videos which made me feel like I was flying :)

jenny_o said...

I like being human, too, but I also like to dream :) Strong nails and teeth and sharp eyes are things I hadn't thought of, but would be very useful.

jenny_o said...

Hah- so true! They can sure whip them around - and fatten them up :)

jenny_o said...

Baby elephants ARE pretty cute, aren't they? And wings would be wonderful.

jenny_o said...

I've seen lots of people do that, baili (and don't tell anyone but I've done it, too!) - don't worry. I knew what you meant :)

jenny_o said...

Thank you, Sir!

only slightly confused said...

A fun poem that leaves me thinking, what WOULD I like to have that the animal kingdom has and I do not....hmmmm.....the ability to breathe under water would be handy for sure. I already have a pretty big nose so I don't think I want a trunk thanks very much and tails would be hard to contain in blue jeans.

jenny_o said...

True! And I would love to be able to breathe underwater. Maybe I wouldn't have such a fear of water :)

Anonymous said...

Love your poem Jenny, and you describe them so well. I enjoy any poem about animals, particularly wild animals. I too believe that because of our bigger brain we feel we rule the planet over all other living things and I have written a couple of poems on the subject, but back to being light-hearted and my contribution for this evening.

Neighbourhood Nature

Nature surrounds our village,
Which is a wonderful sight.
Green trees, green hedges, green fields,
The colour is restful and right.

Tall trees reach out their branches,
To form a canopy across the lane.
Hiding away the sun and light
Until you emerge from the darkness once again.

The farmers have been busy harvesting
Their fields of all the crops.
Working hard by day and night,
Before the sun changes to raindrops.

Flowers have bloomed in our garden
And now they are way past their best.
It's time to take them out completely,
To give the earth a well earned rest.

A farmer owns the field behind us,
Who kindly gave our hedge a trim.
It looks so neat and tidy
Spruced up, all proper and prim.

I love my view of the country,
With living things all around.
There is no better place to be,
When I found myself house-bound.

The extra 'skill' I would like, is to be able to fly. To be above the roof tops and see the land as you do when in a 'plane. Marvellous.
Have a good week.

Joan (Devon)

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

I'd so love to be able to jump and run (and see in the dark) like a cat. Or a horse. And swim like a dolphin. And what would be more fun than being able to pick up things with your nose? Or see from hundreds of feet away? And float on wings above the earth and just. . . look around? Oh, so many things I'd love to do that animals do so easily. Sigh.

jenny_o said...

Wonderful descriptions, Joan - I especially like the "green trees, green hedges, green fields" - I can see it so clearly and it's how the land in our region is as well. Thanks for joining in again this week.

And I think I would like flying, too, the best of all :)

jenny_o said...

They all have mad skillz, don't they? :)

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

Oh, this sounds beautiful. I can just see it!
I hope you're not house-bound still. But with that beautiful view . . .

dinthebeast said...

I don't know whether I've already posted this here, but I can't remember doing so, and it's just so good that if I did, then here it is again.
It's a poem called "Bringing in Frost's Morgan" by Suzette Haden Elgin, who was a linguist and a science fiction writer who actually invented a language for one of her books. She also wrote a series of books called "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" that are just what they sound like they would be.

Sorry for being a day late, but my power supply broke and I had to fix it yesterday.

-Doug in Oakland

jenny_o said...

That is extraordinary. You always suggest such wonderful poems I would never, ever find. Thanks, Doug.

Anonymous said...

Nature is wonderful isn't it? Green is such a restful, peaceful colour. Think what our world would look like if all the 'greenery' was another colour eg red, blue yellow, beige etc. A totally different world.
Have fun this week.

Joan (Devon)

jenny_o said...

I hadn't imagined it until you suggested it! Very different, indeed.

Diane has been giving us the next week's topic on her blog the last while. Next week's is: working. And feel free to use it or not.

Anonymous said...

Be happy to Jenny, thank you.

Joan (Devon)