Poetry Friday: The Forest Pond

Happy New Year! The Inklings are kicking off the 2022 with a challenge from Heidi. She suggested that we use the “The Lost Lagoon” by Mohawk poet, Emily Pauline Johnson (d. 1913) “to build your own poem FOR CHILDREN about a treasured place that you return to again and again (geographical or metaphorical).”

I really didn’t have to think too long about what to write about. There is a pond in the woods behind our house where my family and I have hiked, fished, searched for tadpoles, and skated since we moved here 35 years ago. Johnson included people in her memories of the lost lagoon, but I decided to leave the pond to itself in my poem.

This form was definitely a challenge. Coming up with two rhyming lines per stanza that make sense was hard enough, but THREE? Even though I wrote and rewrote each stanza several times, I’m still not sure everything works, but here is my response to Heidi’s very challenging challenge.

The Forest Pond

It’s spring time at the forest pond.
Geese return, led by a starry map,
turtles emerge from their winter nap,
red-budded maples ooze with sap
as nature waves her magic wand.

It’s summer at the forest pond.
In mama’s wake, fat goslings trail,
while tadpoles lose their legs and tails,
over glossy water dragonflies sail,
then nature waves her magic wand.

It’s autumn at the forest pond
and honking geese fly overhead,
beneath the pond, critters make their bed,
soon trees are bare and all seems dead,
then nature waves her magic wand.

It’s winter at the forest pond.
Noisy geese have taken flight,
white ice has water tucked in tight,
but days grow longer, there is more light
as nature waves her magic wand.

Draft, © 2022, by Catherine Flynn

Please be sure to visit my fellow Inklings to read their responses to Heidi’s prompt.

Heidi @ My Juicy Little Universe
Linda @ A Word Edgewise
Margaret @ Reflections on the Teche
Mary Lee @ A(nother) Year of Reading
Molly @ Nix the Comfort Zone

Then head over to Carol Varsalona’s blog for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

16 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: The Forest Pond

  1. Oh, this is lovely, Catherine, and flows beautifully. I’m so glad you added an extra stanza. I think my favorite line might be “white ice has water tucked in tight.” You’ve truly captured the magic of ponds here. (We love where we live, but often play with the idea of moving to live on a pond or lake…) Great response to the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is magic to live so near this beautiful place, Catherine. I have to drive, but love walking around a nearby lake. It’s grand to read of “your” pond through all the seasons!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Working through the seasons fits the form and rhyme scheme of your poem so well. I feel the rhythm of the year in the rhythm of your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Catherine, you brought that pond to life! Each stanza has a treasure, but I think my favorite lines are “white ice has water tucked in tight,
    but days grow longer, there is more light”–
    your hard work disappears behind the glossy ease of this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is lovely, Catherine. Of course my favorite line is, “Geese return, led by a starry map.” Even though it was a challenge…you make this look easy. I love how your lines are full of beautiful images and sensations. I’d keep this pond to myself as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nature poems seem to come so naturally to you. I love this seasonal visit to the pond and watching the geese. Your rhymes and rhythm are spot on as “nature waves her magic wand” over your muse.

    Liked by 1 person

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