Cinquain: Gone Fishin'
January 19, 2023
grizzled heron gazes,
lifts one foot, takes a giant step,
After reading Molly Hogan's post about the cinquain last week, I decided to try out it out. On Twitter I started following Alex Price, who has a daily cinquain prompt. Tinkering with the form—five lines with a 2-4-6-8-2 syllable scheme—and thinking about the exact words to use was challenging and fun. Somehow Alex's prompt for "phase" turned into "gaze," and, voilà!
The Poetry Friday roundup for January 20, 2023, takes place at Marcie Flinchum Atkins' blog.
Photo by Susan Thomsen, Connecticut, 2019. Blue heron art by Kevin Costa.
Yep, that sounds like a heron. Sometimes I am lucky enough to see one down by our pond.
Posted by: Kay Jernigan McGriff | January 19, 2023 at 08:08 PM
They’re so scruffy and so precise. And have you ever heard them vocalize? It’s such a weird sound. I am jealous of your pond!
Posted by: Susan | January 19, 2023 at 10:09 PM
Yep, I love watching the patience, and your word "gazes" is perfect! I watch and watch when the resident heron returns to the lake where I walk.
Posted by: Linda Baie | January 20, 2023 at 08:52 AM
Nice job! Herons are fascinating, and yes, they make weird sounds!
Posted by: jama | January 20, 2023 at 11:01 AM
"Grizzled heron" is perfect! They look so graceful, but they are ruthless, and they make a sound like a hog!!
Posted by: Ruth | January 20, 2023 at 11:32 AM
I tried a few cinquains this week too after reading Molly's post. They are challenging and I think the heron is a wonderful topic for a cinquain and love how the action builds to the startling last line. I'll have to try again!
Posted by: janice scully | January 20, 2023 at 12:11 PM
Wow, that's a fierce heron!
Posted by: Laura Purdie Salas | January 20, 2023 at 01:26 PM
Herons are one of my favorites and I always feel lifted when I see one. Watching them fish is fascinating! Talk about intense! I'm so glad you tried the prompts and shared your cinquain. I especially love that you transformed phases to gazes and went with it.
Posted by: Molly Hogan | January 20, 2023 at 01:53 PM
Thanks for reading, everyone! Herons are such odd birds; I do enjoy watching them. They even eat small animals and other birds. Lordy! I saw the word "impale" at Cornell's "All About Birds" site, and quietly lifted it. Molly, thanks for introducing me to the cinquain form.
Posted by: Susan T. | January 20, 2023 at 04:19 PM
I see herons occasionally on the bayou. You've captured the truth about nature in your small poem with that one word "impales."
Posted by: Margaret Simon | January 20, 2023 at 04:48 PM
Yes, nature. Not always pretty! I won't say a word about hawks and bird feeders.
Posted by: Susan T. | January 20, 2023 at 05:04 PM
Ta da! And, a great cinquain at that! Well done!
Posted by: Linda Mitchell | January 20, 2023 at 08:26 PM
Your word choice -- "impales" -- is PERFECT! Love the pairing of this one with Ruth's Kingfishers!
Posted by: Mary Lee | January 21, 2023 at 07:25 AM
Susan, first, I read about the kingfisher at Ruth's post, now the heron. I thought of a yoga pose when reading your poem but then, followed a very interesting word, impales. I looked up Alex Price and am ready to create cinquains this week.
Posted by: Carol Varsalona | January 21, 2023 at 09:09 AM
"Grizzled heron" — so on point!
You make the cinquain look easy. 😍
Posted by: Karen Edmisten | January 21, 2023 at 11:20 AM
Nice! I love "river-bank veteran." I haven't written a cinquain in ages! Must try that soon!
Posted by: Marcie Flinchum Atkins | January 21, 2023 at 11:21 AM
Y'all are the best! I got so enthused over Poetry Friday this morning that I submitted a poem to an anthology I'd heard about. We'll see.
I also had the thought that you could use multiple Cinquains to tell a story or even develop a bigger picture. Maybe I better return to the river and look for more herons!
Posted by: Susan T. | January 21, 2023 at 12:46 PM
I love Alex Price's cinquain challenge; it gets me writing many mornings! Even better when you can head off in a new direction, inspired. I love coming across herons... we don't see many in my desertscape, but having lived near many an agricultural canal in CA, I delight when they stand, squat, fly. I've yet to see one in the act of impaling!
Posted by: PATRICIA J FRANZ | January 21, 2023 at 02:17 PM
Patricia, they do look really cool when they fly. I know you're enjoying being back in the desert!
Posted by: Susan T. | January 21, 2023 at 05:46 PM
I love the heron juxtapose like a shield next to your pic, it fits impales perfectly–lovely all together your pic, the art, and your poem, thanks Susan! And yes we both have heron's this week, must be in the air…
Posted by: Michelle Kogan | January 21, 2023 at 07:29 PM
Thanks, Michelle. I was surprised to see the heron art when I stumbled across it near a local river, but it fits in that spot!
Posted by: Susan | January 22, 2023 at 11:36 AM