Tuesday, November 5, 2013


After a rainstorm, I watched small gulls at Lake Merritt dancing on the grass. I don't know what kind of gull—perhaps Sabine's gulls. They had sooty heads and white dots on their tail feathers. They'd dance, then tilt their heads sideways, as if to listen. And then, dance again. Pause. Listen. Dance. All around the lake. Small dancing gulls. I remembered an odd photo I found in a museum basement. Lake Pomo Indians tapping the earth with walking sticks. The caption read they were drumming a raindance to make the worms come up. Then it all fell into place. What was concealed. The gulls were dancing for worms, their feet thrumming the rhythm of the rain.


“Two for Tuesday” prompts on Tuesdays.
Write a concealed poem. Could be about a concealed weapon, concealing emotions, concealing intentions, etc. Cover it up and write about it.
Write an unconcealed poem. Okay, take everything from the first prompt and uncover it. Reveal everything that’s hidden.

My favorite are the small gulls at Lake Merritt who tapdance on the grass after rain to thrum up the worms. Don't know what kind—like Sabine's gulls. They have white polkadots on their tail feathers. Took me ages to figure out what they were doing. Then I remembered an odd Pomo photo where they were tapping on the earth with sticks—a raindance to make the worms come up. It all fell into place.

No date on this prose variation, late 1990s or early 2000s. 


For some reason I dated this first piece 1981, it could be a typo. Or maybe I revisited the idea decades later. And forgot that I wrote about it before. It is a different poem, same intent. Maybe I should type it up.

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