Friday, March 1, 2024

Moose in Winter

camellias from our yard!
 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit lovely Linda at TeacherDance for Roundup.

If you haven't had a chance, I invite you to read my Poetry from Daily Life column. Many thanks to David Harrison for including me!

Now, a reminder: I'd love to feature your poems in my public poetry project! Details here.

Also, Charles and I are grateful and excited about folks signing up for our Highlights Working Retreat for Poets June 23-26. Please join us!

Today's ArtSpeak: FOLK ART is after a piece by Vollis Simpson.

 Thank you, Kay McGriff for telling me about Vollis! 

There's even a whirligig park in Wilson, North Carolina featuring Vollis' whirligigs. (Yes, I will be visiting.) 

And if you want to incorporate whirligigs into your STEAM day, check out this lesson plan!

In researching Vollis, I stumbled upon a publication I must get: The Folk Messenger! It's a benefit of membership to the Folk Art Society of America. Yes, please!

I was drawn to the moose in this whirligig, I think, because we don't have moose in these parts. Deer, yes. Lots of deer! But moose are SO HUGE! They definitely bring to mind places like Minnesota and Canada, the North Woods I've read about in so many Gary Paulsen books. Thanks so much for reading!

Moose in Winter

You'll know him by his crown of bone—
and how he enjoys being alone.

He plods across morning—cold, stark—
ripping tender strips of willow bark.

A king's feast! And when twilight falls
he beds against warm-snow walls.

Moon curtsies, and all the stars bellow.
(They rather like this majestic fellow.)

- Irene Latham


  1. Love "crown of bone" - Thank you, Irene!

  2. Ha! Love the whirligigs, Irene, and yours (or really Simpson's) with a moose, and the image of the moon's curtsying and stars bellowing! A favorite memory is when hiking with students in the mountains, a moose was grabbing wet greenery from a creek, paid no mind to us so we sat and watched and sketched. Yes, they are huge and always seem bony to me!

  3. Irene, so much news here. I so loved reading your Mending poem, and yes, writing a poem is like sewing. That was a lovely metaphor. The moose in your poem is regal, even though he is riding atop a whirligig.

  4. "Majestic fellow' indeed. I am fascinated moose, having never seen one in real life and love the poem, especially the clever rhyme of bellow and fellow. And also loved reading about Vollis and his whirligigs. Such a great word - and wonderful, clever art. Glad to hear it is being restored and will keep people smiling for a long time to come.

  5. Those bellowing stars! I love them. My Mother was a seamstress that became a tailor. I grew up with our dining room being her studio. I talked to her for hours at the sewing machine. Love your poem, 'Mending.' Great post on David's column! It stirred up lots of memories for me.

  6. The way the crown of bone leads to the majestic king, bellowing and bellowed at by stars...and all the sounds of willow twilight warm-snow walls. Thanks for inviting us in in so many ways.

  7. Delightful poem. Love whirligigs and am also fascinated by moose (none here either). Chiming in with others who like "crown of bone." :)

  8. Whirligigs are so much fun, thanks for sharing the park and artist info. Your animated poem works well with his sculpture, I like the contrasts/opposites you use, "ripping tender strips" and warm-snow walls! Do you know about Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park, it's pretty cool, here's a link for it:

  9. Irene, thanks for the newsy info and the fun ARtSpeak poem. You contributed bits and pieces of imaginative thoughts mixed with nature's reality: He plods across morning—cold, stark—
    ripping tender strips of willow bark.


Your thoughts?