Friday, April 03, 2015

PO-EMotion -- Surprise


All you can see
is the agile,
I have become:
emperor of
the pond's airspace.

Imagine this:
in my nymph-hood,
I ruled below,
pond's murky depths,
spent years hunting
insects, tadpoles,
even small fish.
Extending my
overgrown lip:
flashing, snatching,
holding, munching.

Molting revealed
larger wing buds
each time, but no
hints of future

Until one day,
in early dark,
I climbed a reed,
stopped with my head
above water,
learned to breathe air.
That accomplished,
I morphed from a
water creature
to the wonder
you see today.

Never, ever
a lowly start.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Carol, at Carol's Corner, will join me again this year as often as possible.

Kimberley, at iWrite in Maine, is joining me this month. 

Kay, at A Journey Through the Pages, is joining, too!

Steve, at inside the dog, is sharing his poems 
in the comments at Poetrepository or A Year of Reading.

Linda, at TeacherDance, will join as often as she can.
Check the comments here and at Poetrepository for her poems.

Yay! Kevin (Kevin's Meandering Mind) is back this year,
 leaving poetry trax in the comments.

Jone, at DeoWriter, is doing a "double L" challenge. 
She and I are cross-poLLinating our challenges whenever possible. 

Bridget, at wee words for wee ones, has a gardening surprise today!

Ramona, at Pleasures from the Page, has a spring surprise today!

The roundup of  2015 Poetry Month projects throughout the Kidlitosphere can be found at 

Amy has today's Poetry Friday roundup at The Poem Farm.


  1. I love the surprise of metamorphesus! Indeed, don't overlook a lowly start. Here's my Surprise poem

  2. The opening stanza of your poem is striking. We humans see agility and beauty, but the dragonfly knows there is more to its story.

  3. Oh that ending! Go, dragonfly! Yesterday at the Carnegie Science Museum, we saw an Omnimax movie that showed how a dragonfly can move all four wings in four directions at once. Incredible...a surprise and what a grand one. Thank you for this reminder today. Your project is full of great and joyous surprises...for us, and I bet to you too! Happy Poetry Friday! xo, a.

  4. I learned something. I can't believe how skillfully you turned science into art. You've got my mind spinning. Going to show this to my students. That movie too. Perfect accompaniement. #DigiPoetry at its finest.

  5. Wow! Word choice in this one is exquisite! Every single word in that first stanza is absolutely perfect! And then how the whole tone of the poem changes in the second stanza, and you capture his less beautiful self with that over grown lip munching, etc. And then that important reminder at the end!

    Almost embarrassed to submit mine for the day. At least I wrote, right?


    In winter
    I am surprised by
    the tree's character
    strong precise lines and
    bare branch symmetry
    an occasional bird's nest
    tells family stories
    and reminds that
    new life will come

    in winter
    when all
    that covers
    and hides
    is stripped
    new tree beauty is revealed

    And I wonder
    if humans
    live similarly

    during life's winters
    when all
    that usually covers and hides
    is stripped away
    can you see
    strength of character
    new life

    is new beauty revealed?

    (C) Carol Wilcox, 2015

    1. I love the beauty you have found in the strong, yet spare branches of the winter tree.

      Spring will come soon.

  6. Here's another dragonfly larva hunting video, if you're so inclined:

  7. Dragonflies are amazing creatures and you have captured every nuance in your perfect poem, Mary Lee. I tried my hand at a poem inspired by your PO-EMotion "surprise":

  8. Very cool poem and video. Love "agile iridescent aviator." :)

  9. It is a wonder that the creature that's "terrorizing pond's murky depths" becomes the "emperor of the pond's airspace." Love the way you've contrasted the lowly nymph with the iridescent aviator!

  10. Mary Lee, "Dragonfly's Surprise" for me, only, is also "Mary Lee's Surprise for An Uneducated One" because I'm dumfounded about what I've learned here about a dragonfly's beginnings underwater, which you've taught me this artfully & elegantly, which is how the entire poem is.
    And the ending

    "Never, ever
    a lowly start."

    is a pow! of a verse for all times.

    I admire Carol's way in "Surprise" of cleverly linking the
    stark beauty of the winter tree with the inner timber of winter people - that pondering is worth mulling over - maybe over mulled cider.

    This is a fabulous 1st Poetry Friday for National Poetry Month Post.

  11. Anonymous4:35 PM

    Beautiful, Mary Lee. Apparently there's a lot I don't know about dragonflies!

  12. Loved those last three lines most of all. I enjoyed the transformation evident here in this poem. Beautiful, Mary Lee.

  13. Fantastic, Mary Lee - amazing creatures, and you've done them justice here. Great last stanza!!

  14. Wonderful! Such a "surprising" and eye-opening choice of subject matter. Especially love the phrase: "emperor of/the pond's airspace."

  15. Hah. "That accomplished, I went on to the next thing..." Indeed, dragonflies are master transformers. What a great poem.


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