Friday, April 23, 2010

Poetry Tag: Marie Bradby is IT

Yesterday featured a beautiful pet poem by George Ella Lyon. Today, she tags her friend, Marie Bradby, who writes: I am delighted and honored to participate in your poetry tag. My poem below is "If You Were a Bird". The link to George Ella's poem is the connection and closeness we feel to animals. My house and yard are so full of nesting birds every year that I feel I live in an aviary. We have so much to learn from others who share this glorious earth with us. The birds give me as much comfort and love as Rosie! Here is her “bird” poem.

If You Were a Bird
by Marie Bradby
April 14, 2010

If you were a bird
in this world that goes
round and round,
you would gather
bits of straw and sticks
and even hair and tinsel
all day long
to build a nest,
a home for your babies to come.

If you were a bird,
you would sit
for weeks and weeks
day and night,
rain and shine,
cold and hot
on your eggs
until your baby birds hatched
and breathed their first breath
in this round, round world,
where things come and go
and come back again.

You would travel back and forth
hundreds of times
from sunup to sundown,
carrying worms and insects;
berries and seeds
to feed these hungry babies
with their wide-open mouths,
and their eyes still shut.

You would fight off
cats, foxes, and even other birds--
hawks, eagles, and owls--
clawing, pecking, and chasing these sly hunters
back to where they came from.
“Stay away!” you would yell. “Stay away!”

Then at sundown,
you would sit on this nest,
this cradle of fledglings,
to keep your babies safe and warm
while they rocked gently in the night breeze
on a leafy bough and slept--
a light feathery sleep
full of bird dreams
under a roof of stars.

If you were this baby bird,
still in this round, round nest,
you would get bigger and stronger each day--
much stronger and not fuss so much.
Your fuzzy, baby down would turn into feathers,
and your mama and papa would begin to teach you every bird thing.

Like flying.
First you’d try walking and hopping
to strengthen your legs,
then flapping your wings
to make them stronger.
Then short flights above the nest--
just a test--
flying higher and higher
until you slipped from earth’s grasp
and soared high in the sky
free as a bird
in this round, round world.

Then papa bird would lead a song
and you would begin to sing
first one note,
then two--
a grace note, a trill, a slur,
rolling up and down the scale.
You would warble,
peep, whistle, chirp
and coo
until you learned it just right.

If you were a bird, you would sing
and sing:
thank you kind earth
for berries and seeds,
for puddles of rain,
for grass and trees,
for pink-clouded dawns,
and another day kept from harm.
Every morning,
the world would wake to your cherry song.
If you were a bird.

Five fun facts about Marie Bradby
*she grew up the sixth of seven children
*she was a Girl Scout as a child
*she played the clarinet and oboe through college
*she worked as a journalist for newspapers and magazines for years
*it took about eight years before her first book was published

Look for these selected books by Bradby:
*MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE (Richard Jackson/Orchard Books, 1995)
*THE LONGEST WAIT (Orchard Books, 1998)
*MOMMA, WHERE ARE YOU FROM? (Orchard Books, 2002)
*ONCE UPON A FARM (Orchard Books/Scholastic, 2002)
*SOME FRIEND (Richard Jackson/Atheneum, 2004)

Next up: Nikki Grimes

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2010. All rights reserved.

Image credits:;;;;;;;

1 comment:

Jane Heitman Healy said...

Oh, how joyful! And what a wonderful description of bird life! And for those of us who are not birds, we can still warble, chirp, and sing thanks!