Exchanging Poems with Tabatha

It’s Poetry Friday. Thank you, Mary Lee Hahn, for hosting us today. Enjoy Mary Lee’s poem entitled: “That’s What You Wrote About the Green Beans.” It’s been awhile since I’ve been here, so it is good to be here with you all. 

I was excited to participate in the summer poetry swap for the first time ever. I was paired up with Tabatha Yeatts. What a joyful experience!

Tabatha went to my blog and found inspiration from a poem I wrote titled: “What I Learned from the Birds and You.” She used my title for a golden shovel poem.

Photo by Tabatha Yeatts


“You shouldn’t make friends with crows,” he’d told her…“They don’t have any manners.” ~Leigh Bardugo

The crows surprise me with what they know and what they don’t know. What
they don’t know: what it means when I hiss at them to be quiet. Stop it, I
say, as one rushes another, dagger-beaked and screaming. I learned
that they disgorge pellets –food less digestible than my oatcakes– from
watching one produce such a gift. Later, a second crow, spotting the offering, cast another. The
crows who aren’t brawlers strive to follow etiquette. It is these silent, solitary birds,
these sleek shadows willing to wait to be noticed, who stop me from putting the oatcakes away and
spur me to leave the curtains open. We can persist, trying to fathom each other– me and you.

Photo by Tabatha Yeatts

Do you believe it? She has befriended the crows, and though it seems true most of them lack manners, Tabatha feeds them anyway. I believe it is a good metaphor for loving the unlovable. I have crows in my town too, and I do look at them differently this week, striving to learn from them.

Thank you, Tabatha, for the wonderful gift. It was so fun to get it in snail mail and open it to see your beautiful poem, written for me, as well as the lovely postcards and stickers! My water bottle is enjoying the new decor!

Here’s the poem I wrote for Tabatha. You can click on each link to read ten of her poetry treasures!

Ten Things Found in Tabatha’s Poems

Tabatha, the poet’s friend,
Shares gifts, so our hearts can mend


12 thoughts on “Exchanging Poems with Tabatha

  1. Thank you for sharing Denise! We have crows at my house as well and they are interesting to watch. I hate it when they chase the other birds away and my son always grumbles at that too. He says “Hey!” and shakes his head with a disappointed look. He’ll be a good parent one day 🙂

  2. What a fun swap the two of you had! Both of your poems are insightful treasures.

  3. The Poetry Swap yields such rich treasures! I’m happy to be participating again this year, and also to see all the other poetry goodness flowing around creating all sorts of poetic ripples. I really appreciate the ending of Tabatha’s poem with her thoughts on those “silent, solitary birds”. Happy swapping!

  4. It is such a treasure to get a poem in the mail! I have crows, too, sometimes filling an entire tree then they fly off squawking together after something. It’s fun to see them get a little respect in a poem.

  5. I love the poetry swaps! It’s such positive and wonderful support between poets. What better compliment for a poet than to find their words woven into a golden shovel–a conversation between like-minded poems. And, Tabatha really is “the Poet’s Friend.” What a great moniker for her. I think I will refer to as this forever more. How insightful for you to find 10 gems from her blog posts to share. Thank you!

  6. I enjoyed reading this and learning more about the poetry swap. I’ve gotten a few postcards from poetry buddies this summer and they are always a delight to read. Maybe next year I’ll join the poetry swap.

  7. Denise, you and Tabatha make great swap partners. Tabatha’s poem strikes a cord, the take away line is, “loving the unlovable”. Your swap shared 10 wonderful poems from Tabatha’s collection. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I remember, as a child, reading a poem written from the perspective of a toad – and it made me see past the bumpy leathery (invasive species!) skin to the beating heart of a creature underneath. Poems are powerful. I’m now picturing Tabatha, befriending crows. Perhaps on the walk we once took around the lake.
    Your poem to Tabatha sounds lovely. You’ve captured some great lines and moments! And this is perfect; Tabatha, the poet’s friend, / Shares gifts, so our hearts can mend. 💞

  9. Love both of these poems, the irascible-attitudeful crow that Tabatha continues to feed, and your lyrical treasure poem for Tabatha, thanks for sharing all Denise!

  10. Denise, your post highlights the value of sharing as writers, poets, humans. Both Tabatha and you have been the beneficiaries of this swap. I can clearly see it in your words. Bravo!

  11. This is such a heartwarming post, Denise! Thank you for sharing your experience of swapping poems with Tabitha! I participated last winter in the poetry swap and it was amazing! I loved every bit of it. We can take such inspiration from each other! And, that is a gift, indeed!

  12. Denise, this was such a creative way to poem swap! I’m loving it, too. Grateful for Tabatha’s invitation and enjoying the gems that appear in my mailbox. Thanks for sharing the links!

Comments are closed.