Poetry Friday: “Meditations of a Tortoise”

Last weekend, I found a beautiful box turtle while I was out for a walk. She was on the edge of the road, headed for a busy intersection, so I walked along beside her, ready to help her if needed. She found her way without my help, but I enjoyed our time together. Of course she was an inspiration but I haven’t had much writing time this week, so I “found” a poem by gathering lines (with a few minor alterations) from poems about turtles by a few of my favorite poets.

The turtle hides
Inside her bony dome; her mobile home
She trusts that shell.
She seems to relish solitude
In a world of glimmering green:
A turtle in July.

In order, these lines are from:

“The Turtle” in Flutter and Hum by Julie Paschkis
“The Box Turtle” in Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs, by Douglas Florian
“Desert Tortoise” by Byrd Baylor
“Three T’s” by Mary Ann Hoberman
A Bale of Turtles” by me
“Turtle in July” in Turtle in July by Marilyn Singer

During my search, I also came across “Meditations of a Tortoise” by E.V. Rieu.


So far as I can see
There is no one like me.

Please be on the lookout for turtles as you drive! Learn how to help them here. (Thank you, Margaret Simon!) Don’t forget to visit Michelle Kogan for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

11 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Meditations of a Tortoise”

  1. I thought of you on my writing retreat this week when I watched a turtle trying to get through a chain link fence. It was not in danger, so I just watched. They are such determined animals. This one tried and tried and finally found a hole to emerge from and headed off into the woods. Maybe there’s a poem there. Thanks for sharing your turtle word gatherings today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Catherine, thank you for all this turtle goodness.
    It’s a new prompt you’ve taught me today- collect several lines from others’ poems for your subject & voila! … a new poem emerges – found. I especially chortled at
    “inside her bony done; a mobile home” & was delighted to find it is from Douglas Florian, one of my fave poem makers (& visual artists.)

    And it’s not entirely new, with your clever line. I liked your bale poem & you taught me a new word; I didn’t know the collective noun for turtles.

    Appreciations for much goodness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I so enjoy the “finding” of a poem from other lines. It always seems, at the outset, that it will be “easier” than simply writing my own poem. But, it’s not! It takes super careful reading and then arranging. It helps me get to know other writers in a new way. Your found lines work really well together. My favorite line from your post, though is that you “enjoyed spending time together” with the tortoise. That makes me smile.
    Enjoy June….wishing you moments to recharge!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marvelous post! Love those turtles. My husband saw two snapping turtles fighting recently, and I saw a heron with a snapping turtle-sized bite out of its feathers this morning. Our local pond is turtle-full.


  5. Not just one turtle poem – but lots of them! Thanks for sharing your found lines and the poems they came from. I’m glad your turtle made it safely across the road. We have passed by some large snapping turtles crossing the road. I’m afraid they are on their on!


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