Slice of Life – Quail Coming To Life

16 April 2024

Yesterday I sat in a poetry workshop with Shutta Crum. She led us in three new poetry forms. It was a relaxing time to write and listen to other poets share. The workshop was free, and part of the Jax Poetry Fest, which is hosted by Hope at Hand, a Florida non-profit “that provides art and poetry sessions to vulnerable and at-risk youth populations.”  There are still a dozen or more one-hour workshops available throughout April. The schedule is here.

I wrote yesterday and today about the Gambel’s quail that populate my yard here in the Mojave Desert.

Double Tetractys (Greece)

When her eggs will
hatch. For now she hurries then hides away

again. Springtime is here. She knows it’s close
Prehatch Checklist:
Seek more seeds.
Dust bath.

Pensee (French)

Quail mom
waits for her brood
dreams of little knob’s hatching
nestful under the creosote
in anticipation

Chastushka (Russia)

Waiting, thinking ’bout her babies
(Handy, weather’s not like Hades)
Quailing mother shunning snarers
Watches eggs, this gentle bearer

Today at Ethical ELA’s #Verselove we wrote a praise poem called Kwansaba. I kept my quail theme going.

Sevens Up with Dave Wooley

I wake up to the quail singing
praise. After a winter of denned-down
waiting, they make their sweet company known:
In the flutter and rhythm of wings
In the scurry of food enough pursuit
In their joy of dusty dry bathing
I remind myself to praise this day.

I couldn’t get a good picture today, just this mama quail walking in the brush (lower right hand corner).

Here is a papa quail calling out praise…

8 thoughts on “Slice of Life – Quail Coming To Life

  1. How fun to try all these forms with one topic, Deb. They all shine in different ways. I especially love the last Kwansaba praise poem, and its final line. Oh, the power of recognizing moments for gratitude and praising the day! Enjoy your quails I hope you’ll catch and share some sweet photos of the wee ones.

  2. This is such an amazing use of one topic in multiple formats. It sounds like a wonderful workshop.

  3. Nature so often brings us reminders (and reasons) to praise. And inspire us to write that praise.

  4. Denise, you broadened my limited knowledge of birds. These lines offer an amazing image”
    In their joy of dusty dry bathing
    I remind myself to praise this day.
    It is easy to praise the day with nature. I felt the warmth on my face and it was fabulous.

  5. I love all the quail-inspired poems, the Russian Chatushka particularly, “Quailing mother shunning snarers” just rolls off the tongue, and the verb use of “quail” the fear of entrapment for her babies…inspired. I also found hope in the papa quail’s aubade—that’s what it sounds like to me.

  6. What a marvelous idea to write about one topic with so many different forms. I love the idea of a ‘dust bath;’ and the word “scamper” is quite fun, too. Love that you ended with a fabulous praise poem. That papa quail is so colorful – and he has a fun praise song!

  7. Denise,
    You find the coolest PD. I love the direction you took in writing all four about quail. The Russian one is my favorite. Thanks for the link, too!

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