Returning to The Guardian photo of the day poems I penned three years ago, I found the play on Aesop’s “The Hare and the Tortoise” a fitting theme for tonight’s post. Like the classic fable, there is a moral to be found in each poem. Yet unlike that beloved tale, the hart (or deer) and the tortoise are not in any sort of competition. Nothing is being said about perseverance or ingenuity. Rather, the first poem, inspired by the deer, speaks of early morning wonder, and the second, inspired by the tortoise, laments what has been lost. In order to best enjoy the images, follow the links back to The Guardian’s website. (All poems by Vincent H. Anastasi – 2019)
(Image 1) Morning Hart - Vincent H. Anastasi Before I cast off the deer-patterned flannel sheets - sleep’s warm sanctuary of a gray February morning - to silence the unnatural summons, sun caught the hart, if only for a moment, in its golden dawn-beams, leaf-filtered glow in Richmond Park. O! majestic crown branching out, bone-forked lightning, reaching up in perpetual praise to Him who set the sun to rule by day and makes my feet like hind’s feet on high places, I stumble this morning down the stairs in the muted-dawn slumber-fog of an early morning in Western PA.
(Image 2) Lost and Found - Vincent H. Anastasi For a century we feared the extinction of the Fernandina Great Tortoise despite the occasional scat and bite marks on cacti. Surely they dissolved in the frequent lava flows that easily outpace a tortoise. Somehow the centenarian evaded everyone, that crawling boulder, in a game of hide-and-seek that ended on Sunday: the momentous carapace and sage face that saw the light of Armistice Day now safely preserved in a specially designed pen on Santa Cruz Island.