Posted by: ktzefr | April 28, 2013

Reading Companions

Yesterday was warm and sunny and I spent a good part of the day reading on the back porch under the maple shade.  I am used to the squirrels and rabbits and birds that visit at a distance, but I was startled to see this little guy casting his shadow on my pages.

Inchworm; Photo:KFawcett

Inchworm; Photo:KFawcett

There is a poem by the Indian writer Gokak called “The Transmigration of the Inchworm” in which the little worm is asked to measure many things as he’s very good at it —

“the beak of the pelican

the tail of the peacock,

the crown of the woodpecker,

the worn, featherless belly of the ancient owl…”

When the cuckoo asks the worm to measure his song, however, the little inchworm is stunned.  He can’t imagine how this can possibly be done and offers to measure anything else — the bird’s beak or tail or feathers.  But the cuckoo threatens to eat the worm if he doesn’t measure the bird’s song.  So the worm agrees, and then he moves as quickly as he can, inch by inch, into the forest and the trees until he vanishes without a sound. 

My inchworm pal vanished, too, with a little help from me.  I decided he’d be better off in the trees. 


Read a poem, write a poem, give a poem as a gift for National Poetry Month.




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