Monday, May 21, 2012

My Friend - Susan Taylor Brown

Lily in Her Nest
Photo by Susan Taylor Brown

Lily at Water Rock
Photo by Susan Taylor Brown

Lily Feeding
Photo by Susan Taylor Brown

Lovely Lily
Photo by Susan Taylor Brown

Click the arrow to hear me read this poem to you.

Students - Today's poem is about my friend Susan Taylor Brown.  Since early April, Susan has posted exquisite photos of her new friend Lily on Facebook. These photos have made my visits to the computer much happier and richer than ever, and even though I have never seen Lily in person...I see her through Susan's love.  So while today's poem might seem like it's about a bird, it's really about a person who has learned to slow down enough to see and know and understand something very beautiful.  And so today, I am grateful to Susan and to her wee friend too.

This is a wonderful challenge to all of us who love writing.  Let's all fall in love with something small.  Let's be patient.

And now, I welcome Susan with a few words about Lily.

What can I tell you about a tiny bird who changed my life?

Lily helped me learn to be still, an important trait for poets. Any fast movements and she would zip away, often to the nearby plum tree to scold me.

In learning to be still she taught me to see. I would stand stone still in front of her nest, and watch her wiggle and twitch on top of her eggs. My eyes would focus on her long, slender beak, the way her feathers glittered when the sun hit them, the little bits of moss and grass and dandelions that she had wove into her tiny nest. 

In learning to see she taught me to hear. Waiting in front of her empty nest she would announce her homecoming and I held my camera up to try and catch her coming in to land. My arms would start to shake and I couldn't see much through the viewfinder so my ears would listen to the sound of the bees buzzing around me, the chickadees begging for their dinner, all sorts of garden sounds until at last, I heard her chirp that let me know she was coming, and the hum hum hum of her wings.

In learning to listen, I have learned more of what I want to say.

You can read Susan's beautiful poem about Lily here at GottaBook.  And you can see many more photos, videos and read more about Lily's story here at Poppiness.  You can read an essay about her broken nest and Susan's response here.  Please know that though Lily's nest was destroyed, she is back to visiting with Susan and her camera on a happy and regular basis.

On a funny note, Sharing Our Notebooks, The Poem Farm's sister blog, was just featured at Notebook Stories.  Addict of the week!

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  1. After someone gave the link, I found Susan, too, & love seeing what is happening with Lily. It's a lovely poem for her, Amy.

  2. I really love this idea of being patient, taking something in slowly.

  3. Lily is so beautiful, and you've captured her -- and Susan -- so perfectly in your poem.


  4. Inspiring post! Thanks to both of you for sharing.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing about me and about Lily and most of all, for being someone I am so happy to call friend.