Our white chicken disappeared.
We closed the coop later in the evening when it was already dark and we assumed they were all inside. (They naturally go into the coop as night approaches.) I opened the coop the next morning and went about my day.
The chickens stick together most of the time but when one needs to lay an egg, she goes back to the coop by herself for a bit then rejoins the “flock” when she’s done.
All of that to say, I didn’t notice that she was gone until many hours had passed.
Our chickens are not our pets. They do not have names. We like them but we do not love them. They are not part of the family.
The white chicken was a cheeky hen who had too much personality to NOT earn a name,
So my husband and I called her Ferdinand (yes I know it’s a male name) after the mischievous duck from the movie Babe. It fit her.
In honor of Ferdinand, I offer this short poem.
Where’d You Go?
Your tail feathers cut a line through the air, stiff and sharp.
Ferdinand, where’d you go?
Rather than peck at your food or mill around with the ladies,
you snuck out through the nesting box,
anxious to begin your day.
Bright eyes, inquisitive with unspoken questions,
you cock your head,
bemused to find we won’t let you in the front door
even though you wait patiently.
You run toward me, skirts swept up, feathery petticoats charging up the hill,
your gaggle close behind
for the promise of
bread scraps, leftover oatmeal, limp lettuce.
Stark contrast of white against jaunty red comb,
You stand out amongst your more camouflaged friends
like a white-blond in a room of brunettes.
I like to think you took yourself on a road trip,
got cabin fever and went to visit some ducks across the pond.
Maybe you’ll show up at our door like no time passed,
tiny suitcase next to you and a grin on your beak.
I like free. Do you like free? Who doesn’t like free? I mean, come on! Well, have I got a deal for you… *end used car salesman shtick*
But really, I want to tell you about a fun adventure, the fruits of which you might enjoy.
If you’re a super quick blog skimmer, here’s the link, so you won’t even have to scroll down. Am I helpful or what?! http://gabrielgadfly.com/writestuff/ You’re welcome. 🙂
I’m a part of a writers group on Facebook, Writers Unite. I hope I’ve mentioned it here before, because if you are looking for a fantastic group of committed writers, Writers Unite is the place for you. People are supportive, encouraging, collegial, funny and have a wealth of knowledge. They host a Twitter chat party on Tuesday nights that you can find (if you’re interested) using the hashtag #writestuff .
(Just a little aside, but are we connected on Twitter? If not, click the sidebar over here ——————> and we can join efforts in taking over the world.)
Okay, moving on. This group of writers opened up an opportunity to submit a poem and have it critiqued and considered for a free poetry e-book they put together.
It was gutsy, by my standards, but I went for it and submitted a poem. Note: I am not a poet. And I know it. (Stop stop, my sides hurt I’m laughing so hard.)
But I somehow tricked them into liking what I wrote. They offered some suggestions of things that weren’t as effective, I changed some things, and it actually made it into the collection!
That’s the adventure. That’s the story. Here’s the link so you can download your free FREE free copy today. And you should know that many of the people who submitted are also bloggers and writers, so try to look them up and check out their work around the interwebs.
As always, thank you so much for reading and following. I genuinely appreciate it. Whoops! The link: http://gabrielgadfly.com/writestuff/
Today I’m guest posting over at Pen Paper Pad. I’d love it if you’d stop by and check it out. T.A. Woods is an insightful poet with a sense of adventure (who else would move from out east all the way to Hawaii??) and a great sense of humor. After you’ve read my post, be sure to dig around her blog. You’ll find all sorts of goodies there!
Here’s the link to my post on her blog:
Do you have a confidence problem?
Is there something you’re passionate about doing but that you keep to yourself?
We’ll come back to that. Put a little bookmark in your brain.
My grandfather was a large, authoritarian man who’s hearing had gone. We usually only saw them at holidays when he and my grandmother insisted we come to their house even though my siblings and I protested to our parents. I can still smell the combination of burning coffee and pork roast.
He couldn’t hear very well and this, combined with a loud voice starting point, made it sound like yelling when he addressed our family. He’d welcome us, get choked up and have to wipe his nose with a thin hanky, and frequently before the prayer he’d include a brief poem he had written.
I’ve come up with three reasons to excuse my reaction to his poems:
- Maybe it was his presentation, simultaneously bossy and emotional or
- Maybe I was an ornery teenager or
- Maybe I was hungry and felt that he was holding our dinner for ransom.
The way I remember it, though, his poems were a lot of clichéd, rhyming schlock. (I hope I’m wrong, because this is so ungenerous, and that if I read them now I might be able to find some value or beauty in them.) But if my grandpa ever had any doubts about the merit of his work, it didn’t show. He subjected us to his poems against our will, and was convinced of their quality.
All of this is conjecture, since I never took the time to ask him about the poems. We didn’t really talk in that way.
As I’ve rediscovered writing in the past four years, my family has been supportive. My husband doesn’t understand my drive to write, but he tries to ask me questions about how it’s going, tries to relate. My parents talk me up, tell other people that I’m writing, call me a writer. They sound proud of me.
While I appreciate their votes of confidence, I feel bashful and self-conscious.
My secret fear is that my writing will be self-indulgent, that I’ll subject people to hear it who have no interest in it.
Even though people have encouraged me, people who write and know writing, I still have a hard time not making disclaimers about my writing.
My sister called me out on it.
She asked me why I talk down the writing I’m doing, why I sound like Eeyore when I tell her about the writing contest I entered but probably have no chance of winning, for example. I tried to remind her that I’m charmingly self-deprecating, but her question was a good one.
Why do I dismiss my writing? Why do I lack confidence?
I think a lot of people get nervous about using the descriptors “writer” or “author” (or, eeek! “artist” which conjures up its own images and pressures) because it sounds presumptuous since how can I call myself a writer if I haven’t gotten that novel published, if I haven’t received a check for that article, if I haven’t gotten an accolade that distinguishes my work from that of someone else.
Should our confidence hinge on external assessments?
While internal motivation and drive are absolute requirements, getting outside validation can be helpful and…validating. 🙂 Writing is something that requires self-starting and especially if you are at the beginning of building your writing into a career, no one is checking up on you to make sure you’ve written X number of words today.
In the end, if you can take safe risks with your writing (or painting or DIY project or collection) it will give you a measure of confidence you may not have been able to get on your own. Enter that contest, submit something to your newspaper or offer something to a like-minded blog. Make a little foray to share your work with someone other than your dog and you will gain confidence that comes with letting your work see daylight.
As a little fun, this clip from SNL totally exemplifies the fear I have about being inappropriately confident/self-indulgent. It’s from the episode with Daniel Radcliffe and is pretty clean (mostly). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSjLiQxEZlM