Welcome to Poetry Friday! I'm delighted to be the host for this week's roundup. I've enjoyed reading your posts for so long, I'm happy to welcome you here today.
If you've stopped by my blog on Poetry Friday before, you may know that I have often posted poems about explorers over the last year. I was working on a book of reader's theater scripts about explorers, so poems on the subject were a natural extension for Poetry Friday. The book has been released and the publicity part is now in progress. I'll be hosting a blog tour here next week if you have time to stop by and chat.
So today I have another explorer poem to offer you.
C. Michael James Dennis (1876-1938) was an Australian poet and journalist. European exploration of Australia began in the late 1700s. By the turn of the twentieth century most of the continent's geographical features had been discovered and mapped. Dennis must have heard stories of journeys into the outback. Maybe he even interviewed some of the later explorers to hear about their adventures. No water for days on end. Heat so intense a man's hair stopped growing. Hunger so severe they ate their camels' feet or a faithful horse. Blindness from the glaring sun.
Ernest Giles, an Aussie explorer, once said, "Exploration of one thousand miles in Australia is equal to ten thousand miles in any other part of the earth's surface, always excepting Arctic and Antarctic travels." Venturing into the outback was no small matter.
And size is relative.
In this poem, Dennis' sense of humor is evident. Enjoy!
The Ant Explorer
by C. Micheal James Dennis
Once a little sugar ant made up his mind to roam-
To fare away far away, far away from home.
He had eaten all his breakfast, and he had his ma's consent
To see what he should chance to see and here's the way he went
Up and down a fern frond, round and round a stone,
Down a gloomy gully where he loathed to be alone,
Up a mighty mountain range, seven inches high,
Through the fearful forest grass that nearly hid the sky,
Out along a bracken bridge, bending in the moss,
Till he reached a dreadful desert that was feet and feet across.
'Twas a dry, deserted desert, and a trackless land to tread,
He wished that he was home again and tucked-up tight in bed.
His little legs were wobbly, his strength was nearly spent,
And so he turned around again and here's the way he went-
Back away from desert lands feet and feet across,
Back along the bracken bridge bending in the moss,
Through the fearful forest grass shutting out the sky,
Up a mighty mountain range seven inches high,
Down a gloomy gully, where he loathed to be alone,
Up and down a fern frond and round and round a stone.
A dreary ant, a weary ant, resolved no more to roam,
He staggered up the garden path and popped back home.
Whatever your journey, whether it's a new poem or a book or something much more daunting, may you always find your way back home.