Monday, May 16, 2016


posted by J.G. Annino

To finish a longer walk than our everyday
neighborhood amble of about 40 minutes, my hubby & I
mosey 40 miles south out of town through pine and oak forest.
There we breathe salt air of the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
& also, the earthy aroma of cypress swamp in this park of many habitats.

The shore here at the Gulf of Mexico is sand marsh. And that marsh
and that shore make all the difference, in spring & fall.

For some birds, the St. Marks Refuge is the first
landfall after a punishing migratory haul across water.

And so it was that recently we ventured on an
old path at the St. Marks refuge, old but never before trod by us.
The grassy way was busy with plant & insect inhabitants,
but not with visiting uprights.

                                          c. Jan Godown Annino  all rights reserved

We admired everything, including water lilies opened to the sun
in still pools, the last pom pom bursts of purple thistle spikes
and assorted small yellow and orange beauties.
 We found adult butterflies and juvenile grasshoppers.

When we met one particular critter, I couldn’t help but wonder –
Who are you?

We uploaded the photos from my Canon camera
at home to share with my writing partner, who is also my
dear/near neighbor & a frequent birder. She congratulated us on
spotting a long-distance migratory traveler.

A male, this creature smaller than a robin, had flown
here from winter residency in South America, possibly

After the trip I read that children’s author Laura Shovan 
SCHOOL) suggested the writing prompt of creating a poem in the
voice of an object, or in the voice of something living, by using an image
and not memory. I was glad I had the photo image.
This is the work-in-progress, revised two times.

                                                                                   c. Jan Godown Annino all rights reserved

by J.G. Annino

Dear bird watcher,

Ah! You saw a flash, pale yellow
I heard you - What a pretty fellow
Do not think me here for show
I face treacherous miles to go

While you watch me on this spent thistle
Think – he had to stop and wet his whistle
Think - what other creatures has he seen
Think – what is his perch,  when humans dream

Flash! I lift my wings - I’ve seen seeds
After drink and rest it’s food I need
While wings beat steady steady again
Go write a poem, be my friend

I must fly,

Bob, traveling bobolink

c. Jan Godown Annino 2016

Writing a persona poem brings the writer inside the
head of  a character. I think I may find another
character for a persona poem, soon. Can you see
how it’s a boost to those of us who are always seeking
to understand characters?

Some afterstory
Bob O’Lincoln is the call some birders
attributed to this bird.  Over long time that name
evolved to the lyrical way we say it today.
A tagged bobolink once traveled 12,000 miles in migration.
In a day a bobolink can fly up to 1,000 miles. Without a
suitcase! Bobolinks like rice fields, to glean the grains, such as
in Louisiana &  South Carolina. I feel fortunate to have now seen
my first bobolink.
Sources: Cornell Ornithology Lab online
My Dictionary

Plus, a thank you chirp for bobolink identification of this photo –
which I took May 7, 2016 on our walk at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge –
chirped out to my birding/writing pal, dear/near neighbor, Ann Morrow.

And two chirps of thanks to Michelle H. Barnes of the delightful
blog Today’s Little Ditty, & to Laura Shovan, for the persona poem prompt.


  1. Walking, photography, poetry, and a prompt to get in to our character's head and heart! TY, Jan.

    1. Actually, I almost felt it was you writing it - sounds like somelthing you've done/would do to spark your creative neurons.
      Thank you!

  2. Thanks, Jan, for this post full of wonder and interesting technique for better understanding not only characters, but the world around us.

    1. "Wonder" is one of the best words, Jane.
      Thank you, always, for your thoughts.