Posted by: ktzefr | March 23, 2011

Writing Poetry On Elephant Poop…

I stopped by Busboys and Poets cafe and bookstore a few days ago to look through their tomes and trinkets.  In addition to books, the shop has a variety of fair trade items, including scarves, small purses, jewelry, and journals.  I’m a sucker for these little blank books.  I have a skinny number with an attached red-ribbon placeholder that looks like real leather and a pretty one with a sepia-toned photo of the seashore on the cover.   I’ve had both books for awhile, but they’re still blank.  I continue to fill spiral-bound notebooks of varying sizes with my notes, stops and starts, and whatever else I deem worthy of longhand.  Still, I couldn’t leave Busboys without a tiny journal.  I chose this one with the elephant, the full moon, and the bats in the trees.  Perfect…

Ellie Pooh's Elephant Dung Paper

…and it’s made from poop!  The card on the inside notes that Mr. Ellie Pooh’s Elephant Dung Paper won Green America’s Green Business Leadership Award in 2006.  A mix of elephant dung and recycled paper were “pulped to perfection by the elephants of Sri Lanka,” it says.  It is clean, odorless, eco-friendly, and acid-free to boot!  I smelled it before buying.

Now, what am I going to do with it?  At three and one-half by four inches in size and one-half inch thick I don’t think its pages will hold the great American novel — even if I could write it.  But it’s so…handy.  It easily fits in purse, pocket, or palm, so it would make a great traveler.  But I already carry a small spiral-bound notebook that fits the bill.  Besides, I don’t mind erasing and crossing out and dog-earing pages in a cheap notebook, but I paid six dollars for this handsome trinket.   It should hold words writ in final.

Suddenly, I know exactly what to do with the elephant poop book.  I LOVE poetry.  I have hundreds of “favorite lines” underlined and starred and dogeared and otherwise marked in a zillion different books on my shelves.  Why not fill my poop book with beautiful lines of poetry to carry with me?   I decide to go for variety and start pulling favorites off the shelves.


For the exotic and wise — Rumi (to create that peaceful, easy feeling)

“In one wheat grain a thousand sheaf stacks./Inside the needle’s eye a turning night of stars.

For the obscure or incomprehensible — Charles Wright  (to get me thinking because you never know if you’re getting it right or even if there is a right when you’re reading Wright)

“Abolish me, make me light./And so it happened.  Rumor of luminous bodies./The face on the face of the water became no face./The words on the page of the book became a hush.”

For keeping it simple, often funny, sometimes surprising — Billy Collins

“When at a loss for an ending,/have some brown hens standing in the rain.”

For love and lovely words — Neruda

“Your memory is made of light, of smoke, of a still pond!”

“The night wind spins in the sky and sings.”


Ahhh…so many pages of poop left to fill!




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