from Write a Poem, Save Your Life
by Meredith Heller | Posted 6/26/22
Some of my favorite treasures are objects I've found in nature. Once when I was walking in the surf along the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, I found the scapula of a small creature, smooth and ocean tumbled.
I love to look at how the light comes through the thinnest places of the bone. Lately, collecting birds' nests and snakeskins has been my passion. Finding feathers, from red-tailed hawk, wild turkey, owl, is always special. Driftwood makes great sculptures. Stones of serpentine and quartz become jewels in my garden. Some treasures ask that we take them home with us, while others request that we return them to where we found them. It's your call. Follow your intuition.
INVITATION: Go outside! Take a walk in nature. Pay attention to anything that catches your eye. Pick up a rock, a dried flower, a feather, a piece of driftwood. Sit with your found object and let it speak to you. Where was it born? Hold old is it? How did it get here? What kind of life did it have? What is its wisdom? What does it symbolize for you? What message and power does it offer you?
JUST WRITE! Write about your treasure. How and where did you find it? What is special about it? What does it teach you about yourself and the world? Do you take it home with you, or do you put it back where you found it?
Feather — Emi, 12
I am a part of something big
but I can do an amazing thing by myself
I am a feather
I was part of a cormorant
I soared through the sky with the greatest of ease
I dove through the water like a slimy seal
My other parts started to fall until I was the last
I clung on as hard as I could, but finally, I had to let go
I fell to the water and drifted for days
until the sound of waves woke me
I was on a sea of sand
A person picked me up against my cries
He carried me to a room with a desk and papers
He sat down and opened a jar of black goop
He threw me in and pulled me across the paper
making me dizzy like on a roller-coaster ride
Soon after, he left, and I heard glass break
A person with long brown hair came in
and stole me from the desk
She threw me in a bag
and we ran out the window
We went down a ladder
and the wind lifted me up and out of the bag
I was ready for a new adventure.
Santa Barbara Stone — Marley, 12
I was born on the Santa Barbara beach at the end of July.
I washed up on the shore, bringing my seashell friend with me.
He has made himself at home, as part of me.
The holes on my outside have cut deeply into me
after all I have gone through in the ocean.
I've been tossed around by seals.
I've been alive so long that I have been trampled by dinosaurs
which is what caused me to flatten
and my holes were stabbed into me by the daggers of their rough claws.
But during all I've been through,
my shell friend has helped me.
His kindness is what keeps me soft inside and out.
"That's a beautiful story,"
I say to my new nature friend.
"The shell really did shape your personality well."
Then I take him into my hand
and hold him in my tightly clenched fist
pressing him against my chest.
Copyright ©2021 Meredith Heller. All rights reserved.
Meredith Heller studied writing and education in the graduate departments of Johns Hopkins University, Naropa University, and Goddard College. ....